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Early Apple employees Kottke, Fernandez comment on new film 'Jobs'

post #1 of 35
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Daniel Kottke and Bill Fernandez were around in the early days of Apple, and the two former Cupertino employees sat down recently to talk about what the new Ashton Kutcher film "Jobs" got right and wrong about the founding of one of the world's largest companies.



A good deal of the scenes in Jobs, which opened on Friday, played out differently than in real life than they do on the screen, according to Kottke and Fernandez. The two worked with Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Kottke on the hardware end and Fernandez on user interfaces.

Speaking with Slashdot, the two laughed and discussed what the film got right and where it was off base.

For starters, the previously released footage showing Jobs trying to convince a reluctant Wozniak of the value of a home computer "really rings false," according to Kottke. The movie does, though, apparently portray "the emotional note of the guy who was the co-founder [Woz] and feels betrayed by Steve Jobs lying to him about the payment for designing 'Breakout'."

Also dramatized for the sake of the script was the scene where Wozniak leaves Apple, which Kottke calls the most poignant in the film, even though "that never happened at all," Kottke says. "At all. That was a complete fabrication."

Fernandez, who hasn't seen the film, said he felt it likely that it wouldn't dwell enough on the actual personal computing environment surrounding the founding of Apple.

"A lot of people were doing personal computing at the same time," Fernandez said, "and Apple wasn't a shoo-in to win the race."

Fernandez said that he is reluctant to watch the new film, saying that it would be "too weird" to see someone else playing the late Apple co-founder.

"It seems to me that there's a lot of fan fiction about Apple Computer and about Steve Jobs," Fernandez elaborated, "and i think that this is the biggest, flashiest piece of fan fiction that there's been to date."

The film has had a bumpy path since it was announced. It in some ways competes against another as-yet-untitled Jobs biopic, that one to be penned by Aaron Sorkin. Initially slated to open on April 16 to commemorate the 37th anniversary of Apple's founding, the film was pushed back to August in March.

Speaking earlier this year at Macworld, Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad addressed criticisms of the film head-on.

"This was done," said Kutcher, "with the utmost love, admiration, and respect.
post #2 of 35
One can only hope that one of these days, a production company will take the time to do their research and efforts to portray things as it really happened. Otherwize, why bother.

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post #3 of 35

Great. More utter lies on which the Anti-Apple Brigade will base their posts.

 

There should be a disclaimer at the front of these films: "In no way based on the true story."

post #4 of 35
This is precisely why I'm not interested in opinions about this movie from tech blogs or even from people actually involved.
Bio is a broad category. Sometimes its a fact list, and other times its a broader picture that makes statements about a person or a period using facts as the jumping off point.
I don't need another techie history of Apple. I've read dozens, and I'm sure I'll spot errors when I watch the movie.
I'm interested mainly in seeing if Kutcher is able to stretch into the role and get a breakthrough that I really think he deserves.
post #5 of 35

Here's hoping it does for Ashton Kutcher what Mommie Dearest did for Faye Dunaway. 

 
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post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

This is precisely why I'm not interested in opinions about this movie from tech blogs or even from people actually involved.
Bio is a broad category. Sometimes its a fact list, and other times its a broader picture that makes statements about a person or a period using facts as the jumping off point.
I don't need another techie history of Apple. I've read dozens, and I'm sure I'll spot errors when I watch the movie.
I'm interested mainly in seeing if Kutcher is able to stretch into the role and get a breakthrough that I really think he deserves.
I agree with the first part of your post, but if you're expecting Kutcher to do for Jobs what, say, Daniel Day Lewis did for Lincoln, you're in for disappointment. He's an earnest young actor who does a workmanlike job at light TV comedy, but he just plain lacks the chops to play such an important person. On the other hand, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear--the screenwriting by all accounts is something even Daniel couldn't save.
Edited by Robin Huber - 8/16/13 at 11:20am
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post #7 of 35

Dramatizing, sensationalizing, and/or re-writing real life events do a great disservice to everyone.  While the writers may not intend to spread disinformation, that’s exactly what ends up happening.  I won’t be watching this movie just like I don’t watch other dramas based on real life.  It’s also why I’ve stopped reading most of DED’s pieces.

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post #8 of 35
Woz was the one that made the damn Apple at HP. Steve wasn't a freaking engineer.
But we all know Steve takes all he credit. He was the face, heart and soul of Apple by PR design.
Even Sir Ives is seen as the heart of Apple's design but he has a VICE in front of his title. Who is the BIG DADDY of design there? Huh.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

Dramatizing, sensationalizing, and/or re-writing real life events do a great disservice to everyone.  While the writers may not intend to spread disinformation, that’s exactly what ends up happening.  I won’t be watching this movie just like I don’t watch other dramas based on real life.  It’s also why I’ve stopped reading most of DED’s pieces.

Wow. Such a drama queen. 1rolleyes.gif

post #10 of 35
Fan fiction indeed. "Reality has been edited for time and content. Some characters and historical events have been altered for dramatic license."

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post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer Applesee View Post

One can only hope that one of these days, a production company will take the time to do their research and efforts to portray things as it really happened. Otherwize, why bother.

That will never happen. People like dramatization. That's why people often say "let so and so tell the story, he/she tells it better", it's not that the other person tells it better they just know how to dramatize better.
post #12 of 35
Might see the flick despite the so-so reviews.
Looking forward to the Sorkin film.
I hear it won't be yet another paint-by-numbers biopic.

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post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soloman View Post

That will never happen. People like dramatization. That's why people often say "let so and so tell the story, he/she tells it better", it's not that the other person tells it better they just know how to dramatize better.
Exactly.
People who go to a for profit movie biopic expecting the cold facts (as if that were possible) are no better than those yahoos who say "Apple is making soooo much profit, they should cut their prices in half so more people can buy their stuff."

The reason they made this movie was to make money. I guarentee this. A dramatized documentary of Jobs' life would not grab headlines or make even the top 50 list of grossing movies for the year. (There would also be plenty of people who complain it was missing some important points or got something wrong anyway...)
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post #14 of 35

I'm not saying the movie is good. I haven't seen it yet.  

 

… but those are some serious bullshit criticisms.  

post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

Dramatizing, sensationalizing, and/or re-writing real life events do a great disservice to everyone. 

Yet everyone does it.
post #16 of 35
Although I'm looking forward to the parts where Steve becomes President, discovers that Bill Gates is his real father, has the lightsaber fight with Scully on the roof of Apple headquarters, and takes over the universe with his army of evil, robot, space monkeys, the rest of the film can blow.

That's right.

Blow jOBS.
Edited by GTR - 8/16/13 at 2:28pm
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post #17 of 35
Real life is undramatic and dull. If the producer's and writer's had copied real life the film would have been duller than watching golf or paint drying. Get a grip folks and lOL get a life geez!

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Originally by Rickers - 2014 : Cook & will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost so long.



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post #18 of 35
I expect a bit of fabrication, it's a movie.
post #19 of 35
I am wondered how Woz say about this movie?
remember folks, It is not a "documentary",it is a "Hollywood movie"
I repeat, It is not a "documentary", it is a "Hollywood movie"...
"Steve Jobs" can be anything in "Hollywood movie"..
post #20 of 35
I have no issue with shading the truth for dramatic purposes. Do you think Hamlet was the factual story of Åmleth, the actual Danish prince? Does the fact that Shakespeare took many liberties make it a bad play? I'm sure Åmleth's fans circa 1200 would say yes. But with the passage of vast amounts of time, we can appreciate the artistry for its own sake, and not let factual liberties interfere with our appreciation. There's the rub (sorry). The real Steve will be in the living memories of everyone for years to come. We cannot easily ignore what we know to be untrue.

Yet there is still room for much artistry within the bounds of fact (or at least the spirit of it) as I hope Aaron Sorkin and actors worthy of his writing will demonstrate.

Standard bio-pics made within months of the subject's death just don't have the necessary aesthetic distance to escape factual criticism.
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post #21 of 35

Where's the part where Steve and Jony ditch their wives and live happily everafter? 

 
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post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

Woz was the one that made the damn Apple at HP. Steve wasn't a freaking engineer.
But we all know Steve takes all he credit. He was the face, heart and soul of Apple by PR design.
Even Sir Ives is seen as the heart of Apple's design but he has a VICE in front of his title. Who is the BIG DADDY of design there? Huh.

 

Without Steve, Woz would be still working at HP.  Steve is a visionary and knows technology well, that makes him an extremely rare individual. 

post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I have no issue with shading the truth for dramatic purposes. Do you think Hamlet was the factual story of Åmleth, the actual Danish prince? Does the fact that Shakespeare took many liberties make it a bad play? I'm sure Åmleth's fans circa 1200 would say yes. But with the passage of vast amounts of time, we can appreciate the artistry for its own sake, and not let factual liberties interfere with our appreciation. There's the rub (sorry). The real Steve will be in the living memories of everyone for years to come. We cannot easily ignore what we know to be untrue.

Yet there is still room for much artistry within the bounds of fact (or at least the spirit of it) as I hope Aaron Sorkin and actors worthy of his writing will demonstrate.

Standard bio-pics made within months of the subject's death just don't have the necessary aesthetic distance to escape factual criticism.

I don't understand the issue of people worrying about every little detail. Movies are for entertainment. There's always some liberty taken with the facts - it's not a documentary, it's a flipping story.

This reminds me of my teenage daughter. Every time she sees a movie that's based on a book, she flips out every time something in the movie doesn't exactly follow the book. In reality, it doesn't have to. They're different media and artistic license allows for changes - just as the Jobs movie is not real life and doesn't have to follow real life verbatim. That would be a pretty boring movie.
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post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul94544 View Post

Real life is undramatic and dull. If the producer's and writer's had copied real life the film would have been duller than watching golf or paint drying. Get a grip folks and lOL get a life geez!

Jobs had a pretty dramatic life.  His companies transformed computing, music, and film.  He was up and down, and turned a near-bankrupt company into the most valuable company in the world.  He knew and loved and worked with some of the smartest and most creative people in the world.  By the end of his story he had a hundred billion dollars and many of the  best hardware and software engineers in the world at his disposal to try to do anything that he could imagine, and he could imagine a lot!  He was having the most fun of his life when he was pulled out of this world, working up to almost the last minute on just one more thing.  That doesn't sound like paint drying to me!

post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer Applesee View Post

One can only hope that one of these days, a production company will take the time to do their research and efforts to portray things as it really happened. Otherwize, why bother.

Oh I don't know. It is kind of a tradition with humans to wait a long time after an event, make stuff up and publish as if fact. Look at the Bible as a prime example. Humans find the truth boring it seems. Heck even the Discovery Chanel has abandoned science for fiction in the name of entertainment.1biggrin.gif
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post #26 of 35
The real facts are always more dramatically entertaining than fabrication. Good scripts don't try to shoehorn reality into PC agendas and emotional plot tricks. Maybe someday Hollywood will use ex-employees as consultants and make a real Steve Jobs movie.
post #27 of 35

  The sad part is that both movies will not explain the importance of Job's efforts with NeXT and Pixar.   It is equally impressive what he did there.  Lee mentions that without NeXT it would have been difficult to make the Web. And how important has that become?   Also, Apple today would not be what it is without NeXT.

  And with Pixar, we forget that Lucas was not able to make much out of that.  With the direction of Jobs, Pixar not only had a great run of movies (best in history I hear).   But even Disney was not able to do much with them.  Original ideas for Woody will attest to that.   Jobs and company made it all possible for him to later sell Pixar to them.  Making him the biggest owner of Disney.   Who could of imagined that Pixar would be sold for more money than the Star Wars franchise.

  Also, if you look at most studios that do animation movies now, all surely use the Pixar software that Jobs guys perfected.   Pretty much did away with Disney 'Imagineaneers'.   (or however you spell it)

   Lots of important history stays missing. 

post #28 of 35
Saw the movie and it was better than I had expected and Kutcher is not bad as Jobs but it is hard to forget his Kelso character. However the movie does feel incomplete with very little mention of Bill Gates, NeXT, etc. and non of Pixar, but I guess there is only so much they could put in one movie.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by juandl View Post

The sad part is that both movies will not explain the importance of Job's efforts with NeXT and Pixar.   It is equally impressive what he did there.  Lee mentions that without NeXT it would have been difficult to make the Web. And how important has that become?   Also, Apple today would not be what it is without NeXT.

Maybe it will be a trilogy. 1wink.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by juandl View Post

And with Pixar, we forget that Lucas was not able to make much out of that.  With the direction of Jobs, Pixar not only had a great run of movies (best in history I hear).   But even Disney was not able to do much with them.  Original ideas for Woody will attest to that.   Jobs and company made it all possible for him to later sell Pixar to them.  Making him the biggest owner of Disney.   Who could of imagined that Pixar would be sold for more money than the Star Wars franchise.

Also, if you look at most studios that do animation movies now, all surely use the Pixar software that Jobs guys perfected.

Pixar's rendering software is used a lot in all sorts of movies:

http://renderman.pixar.com/view/movies-and-awards

The NeXT system actually used it for its 3D graphics rendering. Pixar makes mostly cartoons themselves but their software is used in all sorts of places to quite shocking effect (this process drove Ian McKellen to tears on the Hobbit because he was just acting with stand-ins):



The audio there is Lana Del Ray (makes a change from the manufactured rubbish you hear these days):



Pixar's software is not the only software around but they were most definitely a driving force in the industry and pioneered a lot of this. There are mixed accounts about Steve's involvement as per usual. One of the co-founders tries to set the record straight here:

http://alvyray.com/Pixar/PixarMyth1.htm
http://alvyray.com/Pixar/PixarMyth2.htm
http://alvyray.com/Pixar/PixarMyth3.htm
http://alvyray.com/Pixar/PixarMyth4.htm
http://alvyray.com/Pixar/PixarMyth5.htm

John Lasseter recently gave an emotional tribute to Steve while accepting an award on his behalf and Steve gave an interview with Lasseter way back. He was obviously close to some of the staff at Pixar and given Pixar's recent appearance at WWDC and Pixar naming a building after Steve, there's probably still a close relationship between Apple and Pixar. Steve's role in Pixar was primarily financial investment - he sunk $50m into it. I think he said himself at one point he was looking for an investment opportunity but certainly his appreciation for the intersection of technology and art would have made Pixar more appealing to him than it would to the venture capitalists that Alvy says turned down the investment. It seems as though he got more involved with the company the longer it ran and was credited as an executive producer on Toy Story.

There's an interesting article here with an experience recounted by Thomas Higbey at NeXT:

http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-story-teller-2013-7

"I worked at NeXT the summer of 94. I was in the break room with 2 colleagues when Jobs walked in and started making a bagel. We were sitting at a table eating ours when he out of the blue asked us "Who is the most powerful person in the world?" I said Mandela since I had just been there as an international observer for the elections. In his confident fashion he stated "NO!...you are all wrong...the most powerful person in the world is the story teller."

At this point I was thinking to myself "Steve, I love you but there is a fine line between genius and loco... and I think I am witnessing this right now". Steve continued, "The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come and Disney has a monopoly on the storyteller business. You know what? I am tired of that bullshit, I am going to be the next storyteller" and he walked out with his bagel."

He may not have been referring to Pixar there because he became a storyteller in more ways than just through fiction. People's lives are stories and they convey a vision, a set of values and an agenda for others. If you get it right, like Steve, entire generations will use that story as a guide. Get it wrong and your story will get discarded.

This is why I think games are important. People dismiss games as being vacuous time-fillers and many are but they are part of one of the most engaging story-telling mediums when they are done a certain way. They are realistic, interactive imitations of life's inherent stories.

It would be nice to have a film that covers the entire sequence of events all the way through NeXT and Pixar rather than skipping over that part. Even if it made a 3 hour film, it's an important part of that history. Perhaps a documentary would be more suitable though. There's enough footage around and they could dramatise short sequences.
post #30 of 35
Saw the movie as incomplete with no mention of iPhone or iPad. That is just stupid. That makes the iPod look as his last achievement.
post #31 of 35
Originally Posted by siretman View Post
Saw the movie as incomplete with no mention of iPhone or iPad. That is just stupid. That makes the iPod look as his last achievement.

 

Except it was never supposed to be about anything beyond that, nor did it claim otherwise.

post #32 of 35
To those criticising jobs, he saw the big picture and put people together, that is what visionary leaders do. CEOs rarely have the (university level) skills to be good at specific hands on work (else they would have no time to run the business because they would be tinkering in the labs), but do tend to have a clear understanding of what can and cannot be achieved, from both a design and business level. Steve Jobs was that sort of person as well as being a superb salesman, something that is vital for all CEOs, else no matter how cool a company products are, few will pay attention. Virgin, Tesla/Space-X and others are the same, although Elon Musk is one of the few rare CEOs who is also a proper engineer, not just a visionary figurehead.
post #33 of 35

This movie is horrible. I knew it was going to be bad 1 second after Ashton opened his mouth. Should have known better 1oyvey.gif

post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Except it was never supposed to be about anything beyond that, nor did it claim otherwise.

Where is the claim to cover only till 2001? The movie is called Jobs not Jobs till 2001.

Even a few frames of text mentioning those two other revolutionary achievements would have been better than nothing!! They mentioned his death in text, why not more of his singular achievements.
post #35 of 35
Originally Posted by siretman View Post
Even a few frames of text mentioning those two other revolutionary achievements would have been better than nothing!! They mentioned his death in text, why not more of his singular achievements.

 

Because people (read: laymen going to see the movie who don't actually give a crap about factual accuracy) already know about the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. They use them every day.

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