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Steve Jobs film to consist entirely of scenes before product unveilings

post #1 of 41
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The award winning screenwriter scripting a movie on the life of Steve Jobs has revealed that the entire film will consist of three scenes that will take place before the unveiling of the original Mac, NeXT, and the iPod.

Aaron Sorkin revealed the details of his script in an onstage interview at Newsweek and The Daily Beast's Hero Summit. Sorkin told editor Tina Brown that his film will consist of three scenes each about a half-hour in length.

Those scenes will occur in real-time, suggesting they will show fictionalized accounts of Jobs backstage before the start of one of his iconic keynote presentations. Newsweek CEO Baba Shetty added that Sorkin said the three product launches featured in the movie would be the Mac, NeXT, and the iPod.

Sorkin also revealed that Jobs would call him from time to time to compliment the screenwriter on something the Apple co-founder had seen and enjoyed. Jobs even asked Sorkin to write a Pixar movie once, but the Oscar winner declined.

Sorkin

Aaaron Sorkin with Tina Brown at The Hero Summit, via Roger Wildermuth.


Sorkin also discussed his script writing process, and said he strives to show audiences what a character wants, rather than who a character is. As for Jobs, he said there would be "no point" in writing something about him if he wasn't a flawed person.

Sony Pictures Entertainment tapped Sorkin to script a movie on the life of Jobs in May after the studio optioned the rights to Walter Isaacson's biography. Sorkin won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on The Social Network, a film about Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook.

Sorkin revealed in May, as he was still in the beginning stages of the script, that he envisioned the movie as more of a painting than a photograph reflecting the life of Jobs. He also said he wanted to avoid the "cradle-to-grave" narrative that naturally comes from adapting a biography.

"I'm probably going to instead identify the point of friction that appeals to me and write about that," he said at the D10 conference. He also described Jobs as "an extremely complicated guy."

In addition to The Social Network, Sorkin's credits include A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing, Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Charlie Wilson's War and Moneyball.
post #2 of 41
This is Onion TV, right?
post #3 of 41
Sounds boring to me.

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post #4 of 41
"Sony Pictures Entertainment tapped Sorking to script a movie"

Sorking?

how did spell check let that through?
post #5 of 41

Interesting move.  Should be more provocative than a regular bio pic.  Character studies (when done right) are fascinating.  

 

If you want his entire life story, read the book.  

post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

Sounds boring to me.

I was expecting an action thriller a la Bond.

post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post

Interesting move.  Should be more provocative than a regular bio pic.  Character studies (when done right) are fascinating.  

If you want his entire life story, read the book.  

People will complain now, that books don't do it for them, they rather watch film.

Imagination is really dwindling..
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post #8 of 41
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Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

Sounds boring to me.

I hope you are kidding. 

post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I hope you are kidding. 

 

Sounds awful to me also. Sorkin loads his scripts with motormouths. I'll avoid this one. Thanks for the heads up, Aaron.

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post #10 of 41

This guy sounds like he has a bigger ego than Jobs. He wouldn't write a script for Pixar as requested by Jobs but he will write a film about Jobs. How respectful.

post #11 of 41

or more likely, these three scenes will be there to hook the viewer by using an event with which many are familiar (if not the actual event, at least the way the event changed the tech landscape), and these scenes will act as an introduction to an entire set of scenes establishing how we got to where the scene takes place.

 

much more interesting than steve pacing back & forth and yelling at people about what color the carpet is.

post #12 of 41

I was hoping for a treatment more like what he did with The Social Network. I don't see how three (albeit significant) events will portray even half the scope of Walter Isaacson biography. When I heard Sorkin would be writing the screenplay of the Steve Jobs bio, I was psyched. Now, after hearing this, not so much. I'll still watch it though.
 

post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinman View Post

or more likely, these three scenes will be there to hook the viewer by using an event with which many are familiar (if not the actual event, at least the way the event changed the tech landscape), and these scenes will act as an introduction to an entire set of scenes establishing how we got to where the scene takes place.

 

That would be interesting enough, but that's not what it sounds like to me. Don't forget, these scenes are supposed to play out in real time. I would laugh my ass off if the Jobs project with Ashton Kutcher ends up being the better of the two.

post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinman View Post

or more likely, these three scenes will be there to hook the viewer by using an event with which many are familiar (if not the actual event, at least the way the event changed the tech landscape), and these scenes will act as an introduction to an entire set of scenes establishing how we got to where the scene takes place.

 

much more interesting than steve pacing back & forth and yelling at people about what color the carpet is.

 

If you know Sorkin's "walk and talk" style of writing, the description makes sense. He typically has people walking fast from A to B while rattling off prose at a breakneck pace.

 

The whole concept sounds DOA, frankly.

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post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

I was hoping for a treatment more like what he did with The Social Network. I don't see how three (albeit significant) events will portray even half the scope of Walter Isaacson biography. When I heard Sorkin would be writing the screenplay of the Steve Jobs bio, I was psyched. Now, after hearing this, not so much. I'll still watch it though.
 

 

The Social Network was an awful, boring movie IMO.  It used a very standard bio-pic format and didn't venture once into any scenes that actually required "acting" per se.  It could have been a movie of the week on NBC.  

 

I think the idea of centring the movie around three similar, but pivotal scenes years apart in the man's life is a great idea and more imaginative than I would have expected from a hack like Sorkin.  The idea of doing these three scenes as the entire movie however, and filming them in real time seems unnecessarily restrictive.   I don't see it working at all if literally the *only* scenes are those.  It will probably be interesting and fun to watch, but it won't exactly tell much of a story or have any real point of view on Steve himself, which seems like a cop-out to me.  

post #16 of 41
There goes the timeline. DOA indeed. Didn't they notice the social network won an Oscar? Idiots. The minute they casted Kutcher I knew it was crap. Noah Wyle would have guven it the serious edge it required, not this jokester who has never acted in a dramatic roll. Straight to video.
post #17 of 41
Originally Posted by Kr00 View Post
There goes the timeline. DOA indeed. Didn't they notice the social network won an Oscar? Idiots. The minute they casted Kutcher I knew it was crap. Noah Wyle would have guven it the serious edge it required, not this jokester who has never acted in a dramatic roll. Straight to video.

 

Isn't this a different movie? TMZ is doing their trash with Kutcher, and Sorkin's movie is separate.

post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

The Social Network was an awful, boring movie IMO.  It used a very standard bio-pic format and didn't venture once into any scenes that actually required "acting" per se.  It could have been a movie of the week on NBC.  

 

I think the idea of centring the movie around three similar, but pivotal scenes years apart in the man's life is a great idea and more imaginative than I would have expected from a hack like Sorkin.  The idea of doing these three scenes as the entire movie however, and filming them in real time seems unnecessarily restrictive.   I don't see it working at all if literally the *only* scenes are those.  It will probably be interesting and fun to watch, but it won't exactly tell much of a story or have any real point of view on Steve himself, which seems like a cop-out to me.  


Agreed.

post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

If you know Sorkin's "walk and talk" style of writing, the description makes sense. He typically has people walking fast from A to B while rattling off prose at a breakneck pace.  ...

 

This is otherwise known as "bad writing."  

 

It's okay for a crap TV show like CSI or Homeland because it's main purpose is to prod the plot along.  It's faster and easier to have the characters basically narrate what the author wants the audience to know than it is to have it become apparent through the complexities of the character interactions.  It's lazy writing at best. It's similar to having "voice over" explanations in a movie which is also a definite no-no for any real writer.  

post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

...The idea of doing these three scenes as the entire movie however, and filming them in real time seems unnecessarily restrictive.   I don't see it working at all if literally the *only* scenes are those.  It will probably be interesting and fun to watch, but it won't exactly tell much of a story or have any real point of view on Steve himself, which seems like a cop-out to me.  

 

And therein lies my problem with it. I totally agree.

post #21 of 41
Sounds interesting. Who ever feels boring about the movie... GO FISH.
post #22 of 41

The only reason to do this is if he thinks of Jobs as primarily a showman. That's a common misconception.

post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

"Sony Pictures Entertainment tapped Sorking to script a movie"
Sorking?
how did spell check let that through?

That's pretty forked, isn't it?
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post #24 of 41
Quite an original take on the biopic concept, this could be good, or very very bad! We'll see. Also as there is that more conventional biopic of Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher, it would be pointless making another one so soon in the same vein.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

The only reason to do this is if he thinks of Jobs as primarily a showman. That's a common misconception.

Nonsense. He's choosing these points because they represent turning points for Jobs, Apple, and perhaps technology.

Want to make a really bad movie? Just do a cradle to grave copy of the book. Like every crappy biopic from the 40's and 50's.

Want to make a great one? Pick the one or two things that really represent the whole. THAT takes artistry and skill.

 

To see the best current example of this, go to see Spielberg's 'Lincoln', in which Tony Kushner took one month out of the entire Doris Kearns Goodwin book 'Team of Rivals' and made the most riveting and moving picture in memory.

post #26 of 41
Intriguing. I was hoping Sorkin wouldn't go down a traditional narritive route so I'm encouraged that he's doing something original structurally. Looks like he's focusing on three defining public events in Job's carreer path, each of which have him in a very different emotional (and physical) state. This'll be an incredible role for the lead actor. Much prefer something daring and original over the usual biopic approach, which we'll get with the Kutcher version anyway.
Edited by MeniThings - 11/15/12 at 3:37pm
post #27 of 41
The iPhone launch was the biggest success in the history of the company. Odd they won't include it.

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post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

The iPhone launch was the biggest success in the history of the company. Odd they won't include it.

True, the iPhone was a bigger event than the iPod, but this isn't about the products, it's about the person behind the products and Jobs underwent some very very different ways of interacting with people over his time away from Apple and his return to Apple. I think the writer is looking to paint a picture of Jobs from three different angles, much like Pablo Picasso did with many of his paintings, such as the "Weeping Woman." 

 

It's gutsy and he may or may not pull it off. It also requires the viewer to THINK and form some kind of internal view of Jobs instead of being passively fed what the writer wants the viewer to come away with.

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post #29 of 41

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman View Post

This guy sounds like he has a bigger ego than Jobs. He wouldn't write a script for Pixar as requested by Jobs but he will write a film about Jobs. How respectful.

<s>

That's an interesting point.

I wonder if Steve ever declined a request made of him by an admiring associate?

 

"Hey, Steve,

You build companies. Apple is a great one. Maybe you could collaborate with me and some friends to build a screenplay writing and distribution company. It'd be really cool and fun. And I know you'd do a great job.

What do you say, buddy?

 

Sincerely,

 

Aa[aaa]aron Sorkin

 

</s>

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Aaaron Sorkin with Tina Brown at The Hero Summit, via Roger Wildermuth.

 

 

 
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

If you know Sorkin's "walk and talk" style of writing, the description makes sense. He typically has people walking fast from A to B while rattling off prose at a breakneck pace.

 

The whole concept sounds DOA, frankly.

The premise for "The Social Network" sounded totally lame to me. And yet, now that I finally watched it I must admit, it was an extremely well done and fascinating film (that wasn't really about FaceBook or a "Social Network" at all.) The skill in telling that story makes me think Sorkin could take the boring sounding premise described in this posting and make another fascinating film (although it may not really illuminate historical truth about Apple and Jobs, just as "The Social Network" may be fascinating, but of unknown historical veracity regarding it's characters.)

Sorkin's a latter-day tragedian, not a documentarian.

post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

I was expecting an action thriller a la Bond.

I just saw the new Bond movie and enjoyed the powerful music that defines these movies. For a Steve Jobs movie, the sound track from "Anger Management" might be what's needed.

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post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

<s>

That's an interesting point.

I wonder if Steve ever declined a request made of him by an admiring associate?

 

"Hey, Steve,

You build companies. Apple is a great one. Maybe you could collaborate with me and some friends to build a screenplay writing and distribution company. It'd be really cool and fun. And I know you'd do a great job.

What do you say, buddy?

 

Sincerely,

 

Aa[aaa]aron Sorkin

 

</s>

 

Done that. SJ

 

Sent from my iPhone

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post #33 of 41
Very interesting way to handle the story. However, I'm surprised that he isn't making it *FOUR* product intros: It seems to me that the original iMac intro should be included, since that marked the rebirth of Apple under Jobs.

Original Mac / NeXT / iMac / iPod
post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDjinn View Post

Very interesting way to handle the story. However, I'm surprised that he isn't making it *FOUR* product intros: It seems to me that the original iMac intro should be included, since that marked the rebirth of Apple under Jobs.
Original Mac / NeXT / iMac / iPod

This movie nothing to do with products.  It's a character study of a man in three phases of his life.  

post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

I was hoping for a treatment more like what he did with The Social Network. I don't see how three (albeit significant) events will portray even half the scope of Walter Isaacson biography. When I heard Sorkin would be writing the screenplay of the Steve Jobs bio, I was psyched. Now, after hearing this, not so much. I'll still watch it though.
 


Why is it necessary to portray more than half the scope of the Isaacson's biography? That book was flawed (and factually incorrect) on multiple counts. Notwithstanding that, the movie is about the man, not the book.

post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

 

Done that. SJ

 

Sent from my iPhone


Don't do that, please. Don't.

post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post

Interesting move.  Should be more provocative than a regular bio pic.  Character studies (when done right) are fascinating.  

 

If you want his entire life story, read the book.  

I dunno.  Sounds more like a TV movie than a full-fledged film that's supposed to be a bio.   And only 90 minutes?   

post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post

This movie nothing to do with products.  It's a character study of a man in three phases of his life.  

A play has three main acts, too.

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post #39 of 41
Steve Ballmer's bio pic will consist entirely of scenes of his hyperactive sweaty chants, stomping on employees' iPhones, and throwing chairs.

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post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Nonsense. He's choosing these points because they represent turning points for Jobs, Apple, and perhaps technology.

Want to make a really bad movie? Just do a cradle to grave copy of the book. Like every crappy biopic from the 40's and 50's.

Want to make a great one? Pick the one or two things that really represent the whole. THAT takes artistry and skill.

 

To see the best current example of this, go to see Spielberg's 'Lincoln', in which Tony Kushner took one month out of the entire Doris Kearns Goodwin book 'Team of Rivals' and made the most riveting and moving picture in memory.

 

Between doing a cradle to grave biopic and showing real-time sequences of him preparing for 3 different presentations there's a lot of ground. I don't think it should be cradle to grave. I don't think it should be the 30 minutes before going on stage 3 times either. Like I said, that suggests he sees Jobs as a showman. Given that there's a lot of people out there who think Jobs was primarily a showman and a marketer, that's worrying.

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