‘Miley: The Movement’ Director Reveals The Story Behind Her Story

MTV's 'Miley: The Movement' documentary premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT!

Before he signed on to direct “Miley: The Movement,” Paul Bozymowski was like most people: He thought he knew everything there was to know about Miley Cyrus. Turns out, he was wrong.

“As I delved into her history, I realized there was something really interesting going on here, she’s going through a change and great things can happen in the midst of change: public acceptance, private exploration,” he told MTV News. “I knew [the documentary] wasn’t going to be a behind-the-scenes thing; it was going to tell the story of what she’s going through at this particular moment in her life.”

And for nearly three months — beginning just before the release of “We Can’t Stop” and continuing through her much-discussed VMA performance — the cameras captured every moment of that moment. Bozymowski and team set out to make the definitive document of her defining era, following Cyrus into the recording studio, the rehearsal space, backstage and everywhere in-between… and out of all that, he came to understand just what was at stake for the young star at this pivotal point in her career.

Simply put, Bangerz is more than a mere album; it represents Cyrus’ attempt at a total reinvention, her bid at true artistic freedom. And she was determined to do it all on her terms.

“She’s driving the ship; no one’s going to watch this documentary and say ‘Somebody’s telling Miley what to do,’ ” he laughed. “She’s the creative force behind everything, and she has this incredibly meticulous attention to detail; when she goes into something she goes in 100-percent, and she gave 100 percent to this record. It’s so important to her that she’s doing everything that she possibly can to make it a success.”

Of course, it wasn’t all business; the cameras capture Miley at her most unguarded and unfiltered: relaxing at home with her dogs, cuddling with her mom, Tish, on a cross-country flight, cracking jokes with her friends. Those moments helped shape the documentary, but it wasn’t until Cyrus was offered a slot on the MTV Video Music Awards that the film truly took a turn. It was an opportunity to perform on biggest stage in music, and Miley knew what was at stake.

Which brings us to one of the documentary’s most memorable scenes: the seconds right before Cyrus took the stage at the VMAs, where she admitted she was “nervous as a mother—er.” For an artist who exudes a cocky confidence, it’s an incredibly revealing moment, one that speaks to the magnitude of what was about to happen.

“I was thinking of when Britney Spears had her big moment at the VMAs, what would it have been like to have cameras on her for the few moments before that? Or Madonna had her first big moment at the VMAs in 1984, what would it have been like to watch that develop?” he said. “To be there with her for those few months before her big performance that created this media storm. That’s where we were. We were with her for these months before this media storm happened. … and to have that scene backstage [at the VMAs], it kind of puts it all in perspective.”

The documentary follows Miley through the aftermath of that VMA performance, too, and witnessed her shrug off her naysayers with a nonchalance that belayed her years. And given that focus, it’s not really surprising that it was Cyrus who came up with the title for her MTV documentary. After all, she’s leading a Movement, and she won’t let anything — or anyone — stand in her way.

“She continues to power through, which speaks to her professionalism,” Bozymowski said. “Miley has the attitude of making the record the biggest thing in the world, and, in some sense, that means taking over the world. To her, ‘The Movement’ represents that.”

After you watch “Miley: The Movement” tonight, record your reaction on Instagram with #MileyTheMovement and you could see yourself on MTV!