Before he made The Martian, Ridley Scott directed the most iconic Apple ad in history with the classic 1984 Macintosh commercial. So what better way to set yourself apart from Apple as a rival smartphone maker than to… completely rip off ideas Apple was circulating thirty-odd years ago? Yeah, we don’t get it either. Check […]
When work takes you to the lunar surface, even the smallest detail should have a Plan B. Apollo 15 commander David Scott donned his personal Bulova watch for his final moonwalk in July 1971 after the crystal on his NASA-issued timepiece fell off during a previous walk. As an idea, it proved priceless. As a […]
With the release of Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs starting in just a few days, a new report from The Wall Street Journal states that a handful of Steve Jobs’ „allies,“ centering on his widow Laurene Powell Jobs, attempted to shut down the movie before its release. Going so far back as to when it was in the hands of Sony, she lobbied the various production companies the script passed through – ending with the movie’s distributor, Universal Pictures– in attempts to prevent its eventual release.
The report describes the objections of Powell Jobs and others to the new movie and several others as depicting Jobs as „cruel and inhumane“ with scripts and stories that „play down his accomplishments“ in preference for entertainment over accuracy. Among those speaking out against the films is Jobs’ close friend Bill Campbell:
“A whole generation is going to think of him in a different way if they see a movie that depicts him in a negative way,” said Campbell, a longtime Apple board member and friend of Mr. Jobs. Mr. Campbell hasn’t seen the film.
“If they want to make a drama, they shouldn’t do it at somebody else’s expense,” said Mr. Campbell. “He’s not there to defend himself.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook has also spoken out against the new movies, calling them „opportunistic“ during a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin objected to Cook’s characterization, stating Cook „had a lot of nerve“ making such an assessment when Apple has „a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour,“ but he quickly apologized for the statement.
Steve Jobs producer Scott Rudin said that the crew behind the film offered a chance for Powell Jobs to be included in the film’s production and on set, but her dislike of the Walter Isaacson biography – from which Aaron Sorkin based his script – prevented her from becoming involved.
“She refused to discuss anything in Aaron’s script that bothered her despite my repeated entreaties,” producer Scott Rudin said in an emailed response to questions from The Wall Street Journal. He said Ms. Jobs “continued to say how much she disliked the book, and that any movie based on the book could not possibly be accurate.”
She has, however, apparently yet to see the film, as she declined an offer to screen the film in advance under a non-disclosure agreement.
The film still has a few supporters from Apple’s corporate past, including Steve Wozniak, who was paid $200,000 to consult on the film. Wozniak states that since the movie is about „Jobs and his personality,“ he believes that the filmmakers „did a great job.“ Although there were a few bumps in the road leading up to filming, Steve Jobs is earning largely positive reviews from a few early screenings, even generating Oscar buzz for star Michael Fassbender and his portrayal of Jobs.
In a new interview with The Daily Beast, Steve Jobs director Danny Boyle spoke about many aspects of the movie, from why he casted Michael Fassbender to Apple’s lack of involvement with the film and whether it’s accurate to the life of Steve Jobs.
After Christian Bale dropped out of the role and Sony Pictures courted the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Bradley Cooper, the production chose Michael Fassbender to play the Apple co-founder. Boyle admits Fassbender doesn’t look like Jobs, but says that there’s a drive inside Fassbender that resembles Jobs.
What I saw in Michael was, aside from him being a great actor, this obsessive dedication to his craft, which I felt made him perfect for Jobs. Even though he doesn’t look exactly like him, by the end of the film, you believe it’s him.
Boyle goes on to say that he „won’t even pretend to say that this is the definitive portrait of Jobs,“ noting that he acknowledges that some people will take the movie in a different way. Boyle says the film attempts to show as much of Jobs as possible, but that they weren’t able to fully capture everything about him.
As Raymond Chandler said, in any work of art there’s a sense of redemption. He clearly achieves that in his other family, which we don’t touch on. He did move towards knowing that even though he did make the most beautiful things in the world, he himself was poorly made. The ability to recognize that is a big step. He is our hero, if you want to call him that.
Finally, Boyle speaks a little about Apple’s lack of involvement in the film. In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Ridley Scott, who directed Apple’s infamous „1984“ commercial, said that the filmmakers wanted to include the commercial in the film. However, Apple wouldn’t agree because they didn’t like the direction the film takes. „It’s about his daughter,“ Scott tells The Daily Beast. „Which is an odd choice because he was a genius designer and visionary.“
Sources at Universal Pictures tell The Daily Beast that Apple was „not helpful“ in the making of the film. When asked about whether Apple tried to obstruct the making of Steve Jobs, Boyle dodges the question and says „We’ve had our struggles and we’re going to get the film out there, and once we get the film out there, I’m sure we can talk about all that.“
The full Daily Beast interview goes more in-depth with Danny Boyle, touching on the movie’s behind-the-scenes drama after the Sony hack, the film’s unique structure and more.
Computer engineer Hunter Scott wrote a Python script to enter virtually every Twitter contest started over the span of nine months. The bot ended up entering him in about 165,000 different “RT to win” contests and more importantly, he won close to 1,000. On average, he won four contests per day every day. Scott embarked on […]
In a new interview with Evening Standard, Apple Music executive and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine sat down to talk about everything from the launch of Apple Music to the company’s dramatic reversal of its free trial royalties policy following Taylor Swift’s public dismissal of the service in an open letter.
Iovine depicts a conversation between himself, Eddy Cue and Apple CEO Tim Cook that ultimately resulted in the support of Taylor Swift’s – and many musicians backing the pop star – opinions on the service.
“Eddy [Cue, Apple senior VP] woke up on Sunday morning,” says Iovine. “He called me and said, ‘This is a drag’. I was like, ‘Yeah, maybe there’s some stuff she doesn’t understand’. He said, ‘Why don’t you give Scott [Borchetta, Swift’s label boss] a call? I called Scott, I called Eddy back, Eddy and Tim [Cook, Apple CEO] called me back and we said, ‘Hey, you know what, we want this system to be right and we want artists to be comfortable, let’s do it’.”
Later in the interview, Iovine mentions an aim for more personality in the Apple Music experience, attempting to avoid the use of numbers and algorithms curating music for its users, and hiring experts for the job of building the playlists that fill out each Apple Music user’s personalized „For You“ section. Still, the Apple Music executive mentions a „numbing“ amount of music streaming services available to customers – from Spotify to Rdio and the newly-launched Tidal – as a definite hurdle for the new streaming service to clear.
“There’s a lot of [them],” he says, disdainfully. “Music deserves elegance and the distribution right now is not great. It’s all over the place and there are a bunch of utilities. That’s the best you can find. It’s basically a really narrow, small, inelegant way to have music delivered. So it’s sterile, programmed by algorithms and numbing.”
As Iovine says: “Algorithms don’t understand the subtlety and the mixing of genres. So we hired the best people we know. Hired hundreds of them.”
The entirety of Evening Standard‘s interview with Iovine is worth a read, as it touches more on his background with Steve Jobs, his early-industry struggles with competitors like Napster, and the difficulties of hiring Zane Lowe away from the BBC and into Apple Music’s 24/7 Beats 1 DJ position.