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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 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.
  • Reply 2 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."

  • Reply 3 of 35
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 35
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member


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

  • Reply 5 of 35
    gqb wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member


    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.

  • Reply 7 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.
  • Reply 8 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. image

  • Reply 9 of 35
    Fan fiction indeed. [I]"Reality has been edited for time and content. Some characters and historical events have been altered for dramatic license."[/I]
  • Reply 10 of 35
    solomansoloman Posts: 228member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,742member
    soloman wrote: »
    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...)
  • Reply 13 of 35
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


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


     


    … but those are some serious bullshit criticisms.  

  • Reply 14 of 35
    solomansoloman Posts: 228member
    droidftw wrote: »
    Dramatizing, sensationalizing, and/or re-writing real life events do a great disservice to everyone. 

    Yet everyone does it.
  • Reply 15 of 35
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 35
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    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!
  • Reply 17 of 35
    I expect a bit of fabrication, it's a movie.
  • Reply 18 of 35
    bunlobunlo Posts: 28member
    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"..


  • Reply 19 of 35
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,213member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 35
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member


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

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