Production Information (Continued)
For an unfamiliar viewer, what impression will they get from Steve Jobs
in this movie?
I think that he was a remarkable genius who, perhaps despite the opinions of
possessed a tremendous amount of warmth, and I think that does come across
in the film. He was passionate and determined, and he wanted the best out of
people. He found it difficult working with anyone he felt wasn't working at
potential. He often thought force would get the best out of others, which he
he deserved, because he was giving his best. His employees were there because
they were the top in their fields. He had extremely high standards that were
often hard for everyone to live up to. I'm sure it was difficult working under
circumstances-but that's how Steve was. And look what he achieved.
In the computing and technical worlds, the name of Steve Wozniak
is well known. Outside of those circles, when you ask someone about
Apple, generally the first name that comes up is Steve Jobs.
Yes-I think it's difficult to say who was the what of Apple. I think the
still out. Even as we were making the movie, we hypothesized over what the
characters might have been thinking during these important launches. I have
to include myself in the second group-I didn't realize Steve Wozniak was as
instrumental in making Apple as he was until I started working on the movie.
For the purposes of my character, it seems as though Wozniak was probably
the one who said, "Everyone could have a computer." It would be like today if
someone said, "Everyone should have an airplane in the front yard." It would
have been that ludicrous. But he wanted that, so he found a way to make an
airplane for a few thousand dollars that could fit in your garage. It was that
much of an accomplishment. I also think it's very telling that even though
Steve Wozniak left full-time work at Apple in the early '80s, he remains the
only employee of the company who has been-and still is-on the payroll
since the first day Apple existed.
Today, Jobs' accomplishments are practically taken for granted-
we cannot imagine life without the devices he launched. All of those
things, though, would not have been possible without the two "Steves"
in the Jobs' family garage.
It seemed like Silicon Valley in the '70s and '80s was like Hollywood. It
an insulated community of creative people, most of whom had the same skill
set, the same interests. The thing about both Hollywood and Silicon Valley-
they're the only two businesses literally named after where they are-so you'd
imagine that everyone who was here around that time was in "the business."
For me, one of the most surprising things about Aaron Sorkin's screenplay is
that there is very little in the way of linear exposition, including a watershed
discovery moment in the garage. It's much more a human story. I think that
audiences are going to discover that Steve Jobs was a deeply flawed guy who,
nonetheless, dreamed big, made other people better and...probably could have
been happier himself if he didn't think that kindness and genius were binary.
Can you explain that last comment?
Steve Jobs had his own way of plowing through life and motivating those
around him, who ultimately were driven to achieve the unfathomable. Jobs
earned a reputation for being, for lack of a better phrase, a really difficult
He felt that in the service of genius, taking extra time to insert a little
into his day-to-day interactions with not an efficient use of time. In his
those two qualities, genius and kindness, existed in a binary system, where it's
either one or the other-zero or one, yes or no. Woz is an extremely kind man,
and that's how I chose to play him.
And how was your experience working with Danny Boyle? What
impression did you come away with?
If I were going to go on an expedition into some uncharted jungle, I would
want Danny Boyle in charge. He's a master at keeping things moving, and finding
these small opportunities to add interest or extra meaning to these little
It's like, in school, I remember these exercises that went with learning to
your reading and comprehension-so words would flash in front of you and you'd
have to read and understand them really quickly. Then, they'd speed them up.
And if you didn't keep up and pay attention, pretty soon, you'd miss something
that was really important. Danny has taken all of Aaron's words and put them
into the mouths of these constantly-moving characters, and then turned up the
speed so these ideas are coming fast and furious-but not in a scary way. You get
what's going on, and you think, "Okay, man, this is one super-fast ride, but it
awesome." Danny is aware that being backstage, with people walking down a hall
and talking about computers might feel constricting, but it's also what's
about it. He was constantly looking for ways to pump it up, keep it interesting,
keep the mental fireworks popping.
One of the things that comes to light during these backstage
fireworks is a confrontation between Woz and Jobs. What has led
up to their disagreement?
That's one of the things that I love about this script-instead of a
telling of Jobs' life story-Birth, Adoption, School, Woz, A-ha!-you get the
character of Steve running a gauntlet of all of the current conflicts in his
right before a product unveiling. I mean, if the poor guy had anything near this
crazy going on every time he had a new invention to launch, I don't think he
would have made it to the stage the countless times he did. So Woz has a bone
to pick with Steve-Danny ended up calling it "Woz's crucifix." Apple's most
successful product up until the iMac was the Apple II, which was my character's
machine that did not have end-to-end control-it could play well with all kinds
of hardware, not just Apple-branded stuff. Steve insisted his computers have
end-to-end control. And in the script, Woz usually says something like, "But
it's what the consumers want!" Steve hated the Apple II, even though it was
the moneymaker at that point. So in the script, my character asks for this small
thing-just give a shout-out to the guys on the Apple II team for all of their
work. They really were the ones paying the bills. But because that doesn't go
with Steve's vision-this non-purebred computer-he does not want to water
down his presentation with it. So it has become a standing request: "Will you
please...?" "No." "C'mon, just..." "No." Woz's crucifix. And in Aaron and Danny's
hands, that moment says reams about who they are and their relationship.
The first read-through of Aaron Sorkin's script must have rung a few
bells with you, given your past collaboration with him?
Yes, there's a musicality to Aaron's writing, to all great writers. And once
find the music, the rhythm that Aaron incorporates, it just sings. I remember
when we did the reading of the script before rehearsals, before we started
shooting, and you heard Michael and Kate, then Seth, everyone, just jumping
in-and suddenly, it was like this orchestra, with everyone playing in the same
key and all talking at once. There were these entrances and exits, duets, trios-
it's the way it's written; there were no ad libs.
I was also well aware of the practice and rehearsal that getting on top of
language takes-for Michael particularly, who is at the center of every exchange
on every page, it was going to be a steep mountain to climb. An orchestra does
not pick up their instruments and perform a perfect Ninth Symphony right out of
the gate. Danny did us all a great service by structuring rehearsals between the
shooting of each act. That gave everyone a chance to get their mouths around
the language, and also, to get up and moving, because no one stands still, at
least, not for very long.
What is your character about, and how does he figure into the universe
of Steve Jobs?
Steve Jobs lured John Sculley away from his post as C.E.O. of Pepsi-Cola to
Apple in 1983, about eight months before the famous "1984" ad and Macintosh
launch at the shareholders meeting. John was brought in to run the business
side of things. Steve really liked John's marketing genius-he was there during
the Pepsi Generation campaign that sold so well. So, Steve basically said, "I'll
be the visionary, you run the business." It was a bromance, so to speak. They
really enjoyed each other's company, and it's pretty clear that in many ways,
John became a father figure to Steve, the kind of father a little genius growing
up in Northern California would envision himself having-smart, sophisticated,
accomplished, wealthy. From what I read, Steve was a great salesman, and he
sold Sculley on this. He said, "Aren't you tired of selling sugar water? You
a chance to change the world." Here's this young visionary, more or less asking
Sculley if he wanted to be young again.
Sculley later said, "A genius is someone who sees 20 years down the road
right now and knows how to get there." I think Sculley was thrilled with the
idea of doing something that mattered, not just pushing a product so that the
shareholders are happy-which is ironic, because that's really the reason he
was there. But it was really the excitement of changing the world that seduced
Sculley, who was happy to be doing so.
You met with John Sculley?
Yes-Danny didn't want a full-throttle impersonation, but a character, honest
the feelings of the particular situations. There are elements of Steve that
brought in, and there are things of Sculley that I've added...but not to the point
impersonation. That would have been one way to do it, and there have been plenty
of successful re-creations of people onscreen, but what we were doing with Steve
Jobs is playing the truth of our characters, the feeling of the situations Aaron
combined into these pressurized moments in time. One of the key things for me in
meeting John was to see his sense of loss that is still with him today.
Why do you think that is?
By around 1985, it was clear that some difficult financial decisions had to
made at Apple-those decisions also came loaded with emotion, for both
Steve and John. They basically came to a fork in the road with one direction,
the continued existence of Apple as a company, and the other, perhaps the
termination of the company. The survival tack looked to the Apple II as the
breadwinner, with a shift in focus to the sale of that; remember, Steve hated
that computer because it wasn't his baby. Steve wanted more resources shifted
toward his creation, the Macintosh, which was not performing the way the
company had hoped. John pushed for the Apple II, and the board agreed.
Steve then forced a vote-him and his Macintosh, or John and the Apple II-
and Sculley said, "Sure, okay." The board sided with Sculley, and Steve was
removed from the head of the Macintosh division-five months later, he left
Apple and founded NeXT, Inc.
What came out in the press and became popular opinion-stoked by Jobs all
his life, in fact-was that Sculley fired Jobs. Now, I believe John was not your
stereotypical cold-hearted C.E.O. He's a guy that really liked changing the
universe with Steve Jobs, and he did what he thought was right based on the
fiscal situation at Apple, making what he knew to be a sound business decision.
But to Steve, that became a betrayal of Shakespearean proportions. After that,
John found out that he couldn't repair their relationship-and that sense of loss
haunted him. By the time Steve Jobs' star had exploded and he'd become
"Steve Jobs," Sculley and his family had become a lightning rod for criticism,
ridicule, out-and-out malice and hatred. So Aaron has John appealing to Steve
to set the record straight. And in my meeting John, I came to believe that while
he has moved on, and onto other things, it still hurts. In Aaron's hands, it
becomes the downfall of the king at the hands of the rising prince.
What were your impressions of the screenplay for Steve Jobs?
I had read Walter Isaacson's biography, and I was impressed that Aaron took a
570-page book and in two hours was able to convey so much information about
someone's life with so much humor and humanity. It covers a lot of ground in
an almost abstract way, without resorting to an A-to-B-to-C chain-of-events
timeline. Instead, we learn what we do from the non-stop interactions Steve has
with his colleagues-and some family-in the 40 minutes before he unveils three
new products. There's the Macintosh, then the NeXT "cube" computer, then the
iMac. Before each launch is an act full of rapid-fire dialogue from everyone who
crosses Steve's path.
This story involves a lot of strong personalities. How does the
character of Andy stand out from the pack? What do you admire most
about your character?
The character of Andy is a truth-teller; he always says what he thinks,
of the consequences. He just puts things out there, whether they're good or
bad. It's not malicious; that's just who he is. I think it's one of the things
Steve loves about him. Andy said that he usually says too much, but I find that
endearing. He provides a kind of levity when he's with Steve, and I think he
brings out some facets of Steve's character that others don't necessarily get
to see too often.
Your character plays a crucial part in the story and in the Mac's
development. Can you talk a little about that?
Andy was an original member of the Mac team. At the beginning of the
screenplay, on the eve of the Mac launch, Andy's in a panic because there's an
element to the demonstration that isn't working and Steve has charged him with
making it happen. Previously, Steve had asked the Mac team to help out with
the product demonstration, and Andy had come to help with the music part.
Steve then insists that the computer needs to introduce itself and say "Hello"
to the audience. It falls to Andy to make this happen. When it doesn't work,
Steve uses fear to drive Andy to make it succeed. He threatens that he'll
announce in front of everyone that Andy was solely responsible for the failing
voice demo. I try everything I can think of, and finally land on something
that does enable the Mac to say "Hello."
How would you say that the Mac reflects its inventors?
Steve was an elitist, and he wanted to be sure that his creations were as
as they could be from misuse. To guard the Mac against anyone but Apple's
employees opening its shell up-to do something like attempting to add more
memory-Apple made it impossible to do so without special tools; regular
toolbox tools would not work. These sorts of measures were called "end-to-end
control," and it was something Steve lobbied hard for. Later, he built some of
the same kind of exclusionary capabilities into his subsequent project, the NeXT
computer-emails sent from a NeXT could only be received on another NeXT, at
least in the beginning.
By contrast, Steve Wozniak's baby, the Apple II, did not have end-to-end
because he said that consumers didn't want it. So yes, I believe that inventions
can carry the traits of their inventors. Steve's need to be in control is a
conflict in our story-and how that kind of tight rein on others affected his
relationships. Some can take him the way he is, while others are driven away.
What was your experience with the real-life Andy Hertzfeld prior to
the shooting? What things from your time spent with him did you
incorporate into your characterization?
Aaron Sorkin had completed some interviews with Andy while he was gathering
material for the screenplay. Later, Andy came in and spoke with us during our
first rehearsal period. It's a very personal story for him, so I felt the weight
that responsibility in helping to tell it. During my later conversations with
one of the things that keyed me into his dynamic was that Andy maintained
their friendship mostly on Steve's terms. I do think that their friendship was
of mutual respect, but whenever Andy made a plan to see Steve, Steve would
back out...or it would simply never happen. Steve would just periodically show
up at Andy's doorstep, and they would do things together. Andy accepted Steve
purely for who he was. Andy's spirit comes out in his enthusiasm for his work,
and in his obsession and awe with what computers can do. He's always kept a
sense of wonder about what he does, and that's been inspiring to experience.
What was your initial reaction to Aaron Sorkin's script?
I felt like I read it in five minutes, and I didn't breathe the whole time;
it was so
intense and exciting. Aaron has his unique writing style-all of his characters
are really complicated and bright, he doesn't shortchange them and the pace
is dizzying. When you read a wonderful script, it's so seductive. It just makes
you want to play with it, get your hands on it, mess around in it and try to
out how to make it sing. It's usually scary when you love a project and you
hope that they'll choose you for the part, but I think I was just too excited to
intimidated. I think everyone on this production really set the bar very high,
and we all wanted to rise to the occasion.
Chrisann Brennan is Steve Jobs' high school girlfriend and the mother
of his first child, Lisa. Describe your character and her relationship
with Steve Jobs.
If my character of Chrisann had to describe herself, I think she would say
she's a mother first. So much of her identity, for better or worse, is to be an
advocate and protector of her daughter. All mothers do that to some degree,
but I think that the position she was put in forced her to make Lisa her sole
focus. Chrisann was Steve Jobs' sweetheart and they had an on-again, off-again
relationship for years, during which time she got pregnant. I think he
had an interesting reaction to that; he swiftly denied paternity and didn't take
responsibility for the child. At the outset of the film, we find my character
frustrated and in a dire and desperate situation. She shows up with Lisa at the
launch of the Macintosh to seek his help. She's also very humiliated and angry
with some of the things he has said about her publicly, so she's there
to confront him about that as well.
What is Steve's relationship with Lisa in the film?
When we first see Lisa and Steve together, there's a kind of awkwardness in
the way that they relate to each other-they've never spent a lot of time
I think on the one hand, he's this fascinating figure to her, but he also
her, because she really doesn't know where she stands with him. And he's not
particularly, or stereotypically, parental or paternal with Lisa. What's
about the dynamic is that he talks to her like she's smart, like she's a person.
He recognizes how bright she is, which is great, but he then communicates
with her like he does every other bright person in his life-he's fairly
often callous. He can't really seem to give her what she clearly needs, which,
obviously, is a little bit of attention. While we were shooting these scenes,
female part of me was nearly debilitated by what I viewed as his shocking
treatment of her-the actress part of me just used it to go after Michael.
What was it like being directed by Danny Boyle, and what kind of
energy did he bring to the set?
Danny's energy on set is supportive and generous. He allows for
which is all you can really hope for as an artist-to feel supported in your
choices and free to play. I think the thing that he brings that I value most is
patience. On any studio project, you can almost hear a ticking clock-everyone
knows you have a finite amount of time to capture these scenes. But with
Danny, I never felt that pressure. And all the time, I knew he was spinning
a dozen plates at once, a lot of them I had no clue about. And he kept his cool
the whole shoot. There's a lot to admire.
The characters of Chrisann and Steve have a very complicated
and contentious relationship. What was it like playing opposite
One of the skills you hone as a performer is the utter belief in the now and
the truth of the moment. I had to remain in that truth-the second I became
conscious that I was working with Michael Fassbender, this awe would overtake
me. It was awe at the skill and talent he possesses. Honestly, I find him
annoying, because I saw him in this indie where he wore a papier-mache head
the entire film-and he was completely riveting. He brings so much to this role.
I think another actor might have shied away from the more questionable
darker sides of Steve Jobs, but Michael embraced those elements. He's
willing to be unsympathetic. He's very courageous and just extraordinary.
What do you feel is the impact in the world of the work done by this
small group of people we follow in this film and how has it changed
the way that people live today?
It's really astounding to think about the impact a few people had on the way
all live our lives today. Children now have almost a natural facility with
that my generation never had. Revolutions have been made possible because
of people being able to communicate on these little devices in their hands.
What would our world look like if this crazy visionary hadn't shown up, hadn't
followed the path he followed, hadn't believed in it so much? What would have
happened if the person that did show up did not possess the skills to present
this technology in a way that was so palatable, appealing, and accessible? Steve
humanized these devices and made it seem like anything could be possible.
What did you think when you first read the script for Steve Jobs?
What would you say the movie is about?
When I read the script, I felt a kinship with Lisa, because we're similar
and she likes writing; I thought we were very similar. At its core, I think the
movie is about the impact one person can have. It's about Steve Jobs, a
genius designing breakthrough computers, and his relationship with the people
around him. You could place anybody in that dynamic, though-everybody has
a group of friends and family they can affect the way Steve did. So it's about
relationships, and the consequences of being myopic in the way that Steve was.
Before this project, were you familiar with the story of Steve Jobs'
career, or with the man himself?
I knew who Steve Jobs was, as almost everyone does, and that he was not
everybody's favorite person, but I didn't have any idea that his relationships
with his employees and his peers and his family were so complicated. He
was really an icon, but the extent of my prior knowledge about him was that
he was this genius who made these amazing products.
What has the rehearsal process been like? What's it like working with
Danny Boyle and Michael Fassbender?
My favorite part has been watching the actresses who play the younger
of my character, Makenzie Moss (Lisa at 5) and Ripley Sobo (Lisa at 9). I came
to watch them rehearse, to pick up their little quirks and funny mannerisms. It
a cool experience. I've never worked on a film that had so much rehearsal, and
it's really been helpful.
Somehow, Danny found the perfect balance between direction and letting you
do your own thing. When I got the callback, I flew to L.A. and did this scene
him. He told me he really liked the last part and gave me direction for the
part. Then he told me to go away for a couple of hours-just to think about it,
and then come back. It was amazing of him to give me that chance. I've never
been allowed to sit on something like that, and I think that somehow he knew
brooding and mulling it over-and over, and over, and over-would really help me.
As for Michael Fassbender, he brings a relaxed energy, but at the same time,
he's meticulous. He likes to analyze his character, to go back to the root of
things and ask himself, "What could have happened to cause this tension?"
I like working with him because we talk a lot about our characters and their
relationship-even things that aren't remotely in the script. He wants everybody
to do well, and he wants everybody to know exactly why they're saying
something. I appreciate that attention to detail and that clarity.
What do you think drove Steve Jobs?
One way to put it is that Steve Jobs was self-centered, in the best way. He
was driven by his perfectionism. Also, he had a need for validation from his
peers and his family, but he had difficulties in finding it-like, he didn't have
right tools to be able to either ask for it, or receive it, if it was offered. I
he knew he couldn't impress people by being kind, so he took to impressing
people by being exceptional.
What do you think is the legacy of the group of people the film follows,
the impact they have had on the world? And what role does this
technology play in your own life?
The legacy of the original Apple team is almost a monopoly on the technology
industry. They built this incredible brand that's become so much more than just
the Apple computer-it's a huge facet of popular culture, with people waiting in
line for hours for the next new Apple product. Before Apple, people thought of
computers as being for programming and designing games-things that were
kind of nerdy. But now, average people look at technology as something they
can utilize in a creative way-they can use these devices that once seemed so
far-fetched but now can do so many things, including allowing them to stay in
touch with people who are really far away.
If this team had never existed, if this technology had never existed-no
no Mac computers, no FaceTime-you'd lose a sense of being part of a larger
community, of the entire world. I personally have a love/hate relationship with
technology; it amazes me that we can access a wealth of information from
one tiny computer, but at the same time, I recognize the detachment it brings
with it. Seeing all your friends around the table looking at their phones kind
represents the danger in technology; without it, we might have a closer, more
intimate society, where you interact with your peers face-to-face, or not at
but you'd lose this connection to the world. To me, a world without technology
would be a very isolated one.
What took place during your initial discussions with Danny regarding
the cinematography for Steve Jobs-and how was this project going to
differ from your previous collaborations with Boyle?
Right from the very first time we spoke about the film, we talked about
in that I would need to think beyond the customs of a "plant, point, and shoot"
type of camera operating plan. The maneuvering of the cameras would be a
choreographed exercise, pivoting around the character of Steve fast enough
to see all of the others catapulting in and out of shot. Camera operation was
crucial-it had to be directly responsive to the acting. There would need to be
a constant watch on the physical distance between the actors themselves, and
between the actors and the camera. Even though Steadicam is usually reserved
for action sequences or chase scenes, with Jobs in perpetual motion, it was an
ideal fit for this type of stand-up and walk-around film. Additionally, we
using zooms on Steadicam, as well as other types of lenses, so that we could
enhance, slow down or speed up movements. We agreed that everything we did
had to be about giving priority to the actors and setting the right platform
which they could function.
Ironically, the further we got into shooting, the more I became fascinated
how the behind-the-scenes activity had come to mirror the action in front of the
camera. In the screenplay, everybody has to keep up with Steve, who is always
center and forever on the move. It's this sense of a circulating camera with
appearing in and out of the shot, just trying to keep pace with him. Danny was
extremely prepared and came with very clear ideas, and so behind the camera,
it became about all of the departments racing to keep up with our kinetic
How else did you realize this "always moving" philosophy in the film?
In many ways, I approached Steve Jobs as a thriller. There is a constant
catapulting of words, with extremely smart people throwing verbiage at each
other-ideas are planted, challenges thrown down. There's a racing pulse kind
of energy, a ticking clock that's urging everyone to channel even more effort
into the task at hand. It's a feeling of "we have got to pull this off, or
And inside of these spaces, the pressure builds. I think the energy Steve
brought into every interaction pulled people into him-I think a lot of them
came to work based on curiosity, as in "What can be achieved today?" The
bombardment of ideas created an atmosphere that compelled everybody to try
and top each other. Everyone was constantly "on." You wanted to be your best
and brightest for Steve. The biography mentions Jobs was never static, and we
take that to heart on every level. There are very few instances in this film
anyone stops to catch a breath.
Our Steadicam operator, Geoffrey Haley, turned out to be a real artist, and
his work allowed us to build scenes and flow as we moved through the three
spaces and acts. During his interview for the position, Geoff discussed his
response to the script, to Aaron's words-he exhibited a deep respect for the
language. I needed someone intensely motivated to keep up the sheer physical
energy it would take be in the thick of this electrified environment of
and words in motion. To be able to achieve what we did with the filming, a lot
of the credit I would give to Geoff.
How were the three product launches going to be visually differentiated?
How do the differing filming techniques support the storytelling?
We wanted the visuals to reflect the settings: Act One in 1984 is set at the
institutional-feeling Flint Auditorium at De Anza Community College, where we
would be shooting on 16mm, the grit and grain signaling the rough-and-ready
feel to this presentation by a harried group of sleep-deprived creatives; four
years later, the grandiosity of San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House would
be captured on 35mm, with its beautiful filmic qualities, playing up the
themes of the act, as well as Steve's growth from geek to ringmaster; and for
Three in 1998, with the launch of the iMac at San Francisco's Davies Symphony
Hall, we would use the film-style digital camera system ALEXA, itself an
of technology Jobs helped to pioneer.
When we were shooting Act One, it was the most like a movie set-production
was the only thing that determined scheduling. We were alone, which was a
great gift, as it gave us the opportunity to become adept at our ever-moving
shoot. Acts Two and Three were considerably more complex, as we would be
filming inside active performance venues, with a full schedule of rehearsals,
meetings, functions and performances that we had to sidestep. In the end, it
was an intricately put-together battle plan-Danny said it was like production
being chased by a pack of dogs. We would have a drop-dead time to be out of
one area, and in a matter of minutes, the space we just evacuated would be full
dancers, musicians, or performers. Everything we learned while filming Act One
was put to the test inside the Opera House and Symphony Hall.
Adding to the challenge was the limitation on the use of lighting. For
we couldn't hang lights in the auditorium. There were certain spaces where they
would allow us to change lights, and other spaces where we could add a couple
of extra lights. In some spaces, we had to bring in lights the night before. It
a very different process than anything else I've ever worked on. My gaffer had
to rehearse setting up and dismantling lights with a stopwatch, and he had to
continue to practice to get it done in as little time as possible-always faster,
faster! In the end, we got to the level where we would not enter a space until
had been fully cleared, and we would be gone before anyone in Symphony Hall
became annoyed with us!
What do you think was the most challenging-and the most singular-
aspect of filming Steve Jobs?
It's a little odd, because I think the answer to both of those questions is
same. I think probably the most fantastic thing about this film is the brilliant
pairing of Danny Boyle-who, one could say, is known for his visual fireworks-
and Aaron Sorkin-whose hyper-intelligent, word-driven style is his calling card.
Thinking in those terms, it's really somewhat of an unexpected combination,
actually. But to watch their visions come together has been energizing and
inspiring. That said, as I touched on earlier about the race-against-the-clock
shooting schedules in the second and third acts...it was always about making
sure the visuals served the words. In some cases, it may be a little more
to say that we needed to make sure that the visuals kept up with the words. It
was brilliant and challenging at the same time.
How did you feel about tackling a project that takes place in three
specific locations in three different years?
I think what I found most exciting about the script was, in fact, the visual
of it being in three locations-three places at exactly the same time in the
in three different periods-1984, '88, and '98. How do you make that work as a
production designer? How do you keep an audience interested when you know
you're working with an icon like Danny Boyle, who is going to expect some sort
of visual texture, something special? But also, you have this extraordinary
by Aaron Sorkin, much in his famous style, which involves pages and pages and
pages of brilliant dialogue. Danny read the script and decided that Steve Jobs
not a man to sit around and contemplate things. He was always on the move and
would always be that way. So the rhythm of the film, in many respects, was
anything else I had done before-talking and walking, but three different venues.
Working within parameters like that gives me the opportunity to push myself to
come up with even better solutions through design.
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