‘Jobs’ Interview: Director Talks Title Error, Character Arc & iPhone Pocket Problems

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Ashton Kutcher Josh Gad Jobs ‘Jobs’ Interview: Director Talks Title Error, Character Arc & iPhone Pocket Problems

You go to the movies to experience a story, period, but Joshua Michael Stern’s Jobs is also going to mean something else to many people because Steve Jobs didn’t just create products to buy; he created products that changed the way we live our lives.

Jobs focuses on the rise of Apple, beginning with Steve’s discovery of Steve Wozniak’s (Josh Gad) early design of the personal computer. Positive that the machine could change the industry and the world, Steve insisted that they create Apple Computers and start pushing the product fast. Sure enough, things took off and Apple eventually grew into one of the most profitable companies in the world, but not without a great deal of time, energy, and extreme highs and lows. While Jobs’ dedication to the user over the shareholder would eventually see him removed from the company, it’s that devotion to making the best user-friendly product that made Jobs himself an icon and turned items like the iPhone into an additional appendage of sorts.

Perhaps this is shedding too much light on my addiction to all things Apple, but think about it; could you watch a movie about something that’s part of your life the same way you experience something that you’re not directly connected to? In the case of Jobs, I couldn’t and walked away with two separate reactions – a reaction as a moviegoer simply looking for a good story and also as someone whose life is intrinsically connected to Apple products.

In response to my two takes on his movie, Stern explained:

“In the course of his life, there was so much we had to leave out, and I think different people have something separately invested in him … To me, this was just a movie about a man and his company and how at some point the company became the man and the man became the company. People say, ‘Is this a movie about Steve Jobs or just a movie about Apple?,’ and I think that they’re inextricably linked.”

Stern owns loads of Apple products, but he doesn’t consider himself Apple or Steve Jobs obsessed and noted that that was essential for him to be able to make this film.

“I think that was important that I, the director, was almost removed from it so that he could see that this was a movie about a man and a character. Regardless of the fact that he was an icon, I had to find the drama and I had to find the arc of the character.”

Ashton Kutcher Jobs1 ‘Jobs’ Interview: Director Talks Title Error, Character Arc & iPhone Pocket Problems

And that character arc is also tied to some very distinct visual choices. Stern ran through some of the key components of his shot selection that define specific stages of Jobs’ life:

“The beginning of the movie is all long lenses, lots of flares, lots of him in nature, lots of him among a lot of people … And then, when he steps into the second part of his life, which is when he created Apple, he was in the business part … windowless, florescent, big wide lenses. He starts to become more isolated in the frame because he’s separate from people. He’s in big spaces, but alone, which is sort of the symptom of being a visionary, you become more and more isolated as you get older. And then at the end, when he has his resurrection, he’s fired and comes back, it becomes a much richer, not so de-saturated, flares kind of creep back in, windows blow out.”

A Jobs fun fact – even though IMDb still lists it as the film’s original title, jOBS was never a legitimate name for the film. Stern explained:

“I think somebody just did it as a lark on the script just ‘cause it was kind of goofy, and they just picked it up, but it was never gonna be the font for the title of the movie. It was almost an in joke and it got put on crew sheets and then it eventually got into the media.”

And a Steve Jobs fun fact – Apple’s main man found toilet flushing soothing.

“To relax himself, he used to sit on a toilet and he used to put his feet in the cold water and just flush the toilet. It was relaxing to him. And we kind of shot that scene, but it never made it in – it just didn’t work.”

Check out our full video interview below to hear about all of that and much more straight from Stern himself.


Jobs will get a limited release on Friday, August 16, 2013.

Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.

Follow Perri Nemiroff on Twitter @PNemiroff
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  1. I have no interest in seeing this (the only Apple products I’ve ever owned are iTunes and an iPod Classic) but I love the idea of the visuals changing to reflect the personal and business sides to his life.

    I wonder if we’ll get a brief Pixar mention or will it focus solely on his time in Apple?

  2. Not a fan of Kelso…

    • @tongue

      From the trailers and commercials, you see him doing that whole frantic talking while smiling thing he does all of the time on That 70’s Show, lol. This is going to be a disaster…

  3. MEH.

  4. im not interested in the movie really. im more interested in seeing how well, or how badly, kutcher does in the role

    • So I take it you’ll be seeing the movie?

      • @Akamu

        Hell yes! I’m lining up 2 months in advanced!! 😉

    • Wow, your rant is way off topic. This movie has nothing to do with Apple and all about Steve Jobs. Like the products or not, but you have Steve Jobs to thank for a lot of what you use on a daily basis. Nobody cares about your product choices and nobody is pushing Apple products. This is a movie about a man who helped shape the personal computer business.

      • Yes, this movie will be in no way pushing Apple products just like The Internship was not a big Google advertisement… 😉

        • Was the internship a bio pic of Lary Page? No. Will this pic have Apple in it? Yes, you got me there.

          • …and what are advertisements? A means of getting brand exposure? Thanks. :-)

            • So by your definition 42 was just an ad for the Dodgers and every movie is an ad for Chevy, Coca Cola, Kellogs, Motorola, Dell and any other object you or any human uses on a daily basis.

    • “Seriously, open up an Apple computer and look at the hardware inside. Intel CPU, MSI motherboard, DDR2 RAM, it’s all PC hardware, and not even the latest PC hardware to boot…”

      I’m typing this on an Macbook Air with a Haswell CPU, Intel HD 5000 GPU and 8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 RAM.

      Tell me again what part of my machine is outdated again?

  5. ! Ken J, well said. I think I love you!

    I only have this to add: Apple products make for stupid computer users. If you understand how an Apple computer works you don’t understand anything about every other type of computer or application or even the internet…. They maybe ‘user friendly’ to a point but they are NOT any more intuitive that any other computer. And in fact they defy logic most of the time. just a few examples: I had to work on a Apple desk top during my internship in a art gallery. No one could figure out how to to make a network printer work for all of the network. Trying to search for a file on one is like searching for a needle in a needle factory. Lastly we had one Apple we couldn’t get one to turn on for days until someone finally realized it was because a scanner attached to it was unplugged. It would NOT boot up and it wouldn’t tell you why…

    • @Charles

      Actually, it’ll be very easy to find a needle in a needle factory… 😛

      Ok, I understand you meant one specific needle, lol. 😀

    • PEBCAK

  6. Yeah Ken J actually had a good point…”what are you” what are you talking about?? Of course this film will have a lot to do with Apple, just as the above article mentions, Steve Jobs and Apple are very much one in the same and intertwined,

    • Ken J’s initial rant was all about how much he hates the products. My point is no matter what you feel about the brand, wether or not you own or use an Apple product is irrelevant to what Steve Jobs has done to help reshape an industry and what he was able to do to a company that almost went extinct. I could care less if you are a Mac or a PC or if you own a Galaxy or an iPhone. The healthy competition between all these companies help to push each other to keep innovating and experimenting with new technologies and new designs that we as consumers can all benefit from.