The greater meaning behind the Californian locations chosen for new biopic Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs, the new biopic from Danny Boyle that depicts the historic career of the late Apple Inc. co-founder, recently brought the London Film Festival to a close and is set to be released on October 23rd.
The film stars Michael Fassbender in the titular role, Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, Jobs’ confidant, and Seth Rogen as Apple Inc. co-founder, Steve Wozniak.
The film tackles its source material from a theatrical approach, being split into three main acts, each just moments before the release of a major technological innovation. The events in question are the 1984 Macintosh launch, the 1988 unveil of NeXT computers, and finally the late 1988 iMac launch.
To recreate these events, filming took place in three separate theatres throughout the state of California. According to director Danny Boyle, the style of each theatre relates to the main theme of each act.
As he explains: “the Flint Auditorium at De Anza Community College, in the heart of Cupertino, was where the actual Macintosh launch in 1984 took place. That stage was where Steve Jobs unveiled the Macintosh that day. So we were standing in his footsteps, literally. We filmed the first act on 16mm because it felt rough-edged, homemade and basic in what is a simple, functional theatre.”
He continues: “you can debate to what extent Steve Jobs, in real life, set out to make the NeXT computer as an act of revenge against Apple, but ultimately the NeXT operating system was his way back into Apple... We wanted the location to reflect this feeling of operatic revenge, which is why we chose the Opera House, with its velvet curtains and gilt edges. Act Two demanded a more indulgent, almost romantic, feel. We shot this act on 35mm, which is kind of liquid, beautiful, smooth—certainly compared to the 16mm of the first part.”
And concludes: “the third act is much more about the future, the clean lines of communication and our modern control of data. The iMac truly introduced the Internet into our daily lives. We shot this act at the futuristic Davies Symphony Hall in downtown San Francisco. And we shot it on the ALEXA—a modern, digital camera, which has almost infinite pixels and resolution.”
Steve Jobs is the second film of the last two years to tell the life story of the Apple Inc. co-founder. In 2013, Open Road Films released Jobs, which featured Ashton Kutcher and received a negative critical response.
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