Paid consultant Woz on ‘Steve Jobs’ movie claims accuracy doesn’t matter

“In the movie Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak serves as the film’s conscience. The Apple co-founder, played by Seth Rogen, is an awkward but assertive counterbalance to Jobs,” Emily Chang reports for Bloomberg. “Wozniak’s on-screen confrontations are some of the movie’s most memorable. According to the real Woz, they are all fiction.”

“In his first in-depth interview since Steve Jobs’s release in some U.S. theaters, Wozniak said Rogen’s character ‘said things I could never say.’ ‘Everything in the movie didn’t happen,’ Wozniak told Bloomberg TV. ‘Every scene that I’m in, I wasn’t talking to Steve Jobs at those events,'” Chang reports. “Wozniak consulted for the film, which entailed ‘hours and hours’ of discussions with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and attendance with Rogen at a magic show in Los Angeles. Wozniak had also talked extensively with Walter Isaacson for the 2011 Jobs biography on which the movie is based.”

“Even though the real-world events didn’t happen as they do in the movie, Wozniak said Steve Jobs is the best depiction of Apple yet, and he has already seen it three times,” Chang reports. “‘But it is not how Jobs acted in any way,’ Wozniak said. ‘The movie is not about reality. It’s about personalities.’ Wozniak touched on other subjects in the interview, including… a conversation with Jobs before his death about the possibility of Wozniak’s return to Apple. ‘I said, ‘No, I love the life I have,” Wozniak recalled. ‘I’m not the person for it.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Accuracy doesn’t matter — until you find yourself renaming rivers in order to match Hollywood concoctions.

Lie: “The graphical user interface was stolen from Xerox PARC.” Repeat a lie often enough, like on thousands of movie screens and countless upcoming downloads around the world, and it becomes “fact.”

And, BTW, Jobs’ NeXT, Sorkin’s “single biggest failure in the history of personal computing” as inserted into the mouth of a fictional “Woz,” is the basis for the Mac’s OS X, the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch’s iOS, and stands as the root of all of the success that Apple, the world’s most valuable company, enjoys today. If that’s a “failure,” we’d like to see Sorkin’s idea of “success.”

Can’t we just get someone who actually understands Steve Jobs, Apple, and what really happened to write the book and the movie? Is that really so hard?

Aaron Sorkin is a lazy writer who recycles his sententious dialog with shocking regularity:

Universal releases new 2:20-minute scene from ‘Steve Jobs’ – October 9, 2015
The Steve Jobs in ‘Steve Jobs’ is a fictional character invented by Aaron Sorkin – October 8, 2015
Jony Ive joins chorus of insiders’ complaints about new ‘Steve Jobs’ movie – October 8, 2015
The Strange Saga of ‘Steve Jobs’: A widow’s threats, high-powered spats and the Sony hack – October 7, 2015
‘Steve Jobs’ director Danny Boyle warns of ‘tremendous, terrifying power’ of tech giants like Apple – October 7, 2015
Forbes reviews ‘Steve Jobs’: ‘An electrifying interpretive dance of abstract biographical cinema’ – October 7, 2015
Steve Jobs’ daughter Lisa skips movie screening, but parties with cast – October 7, 2015
Philip Elmer-DeWitt reviews ‘Steve Jobs’ movie: ‘I loved it’ – October 7, 2015
Aaron Sorkin: Steve Jobs just wanted to be loved – October 6, 2015
The ‘Steve Jobs’ movie that Sony, DiCaprio, and Bale didn’t want is now an Oscar favorite – October 6, 2015
Michael Fassbender already the odds-on favorite to win an Oscar for ‘Steve Jobs’ – October 5, 2015
Steve Jobs’ widow and friends take aim at Hollywood over ‘Steve Jobs’ biopic – October 5, 2015
‘Steve Jobs’ biopic too nasty to win Best Picture award – October 2, 2015
Andy Hertzfeld: ‘Steve Jobs’ movie ‘deviates from reality everywhere’ but ‘aspires to explore and expose the deeper truths’ – October 2, 2015
Aaron Sorkin blasts Apple’s Tim Cook over ‘Steve Jobs’ critique: ‘You’ve got a lot of nerve’ – September 25, 2015


      1. Joe Nocera knew Jobs personally and possesses a much deeper understanding of the tech world than A.O. Scott, who is simply a movie reviewer.

        Sorkin clearly has an agenda with his portrayals of the tech world in his movies. His dialog may be slick, but his message is a poisonous sham.

  1. Lie: “The graphical user interface was stolen from Xerox PARC.” Repeat a lie often enough, like on thousands of movie screens and countless upcoming downloads around the world, and it becomes “fact.”

    What are you talking about MDN? This is well documented that after visiting Xerox PARC, Steve Jobs realized that all computers would be working with a GUI. Watch Triumph of the Nerds. Jobs says this himself. Obviously the code and exact design was not stolen but the idea certainly was inspired by Xerox PARC.

    1. There is a difference between “paying” for access vs stealing. Apple was upfront about making the Mac. Xerox had no idea what to do with the Altair, outside of copy machines. Xerox didn’t want Apple to make copy machines, and that was their agreement.

      Xerox was a cornucopia is tech, which brought about Ethernet and contextual ubiquitous computing. The team at Xerox Park, went on to form 3com (Broadcom), and join Apple.

    2. Apparently you’ve read none of that “documentation.”

      PLEASE, read the history about Xerox and Apple’s agreement, Xerox’s subsequent Apple stock investment and Xerox ALLOWING Steve Jobs to see what they had in R&D and Apple then licensing the technology and vastly improving on it to create the Mac. (How do you think he would have been able to see what they secretly had otherwise?)

      You and other ignoranti are part of the problem interpreting the correct and less than sensationalist history on Xerox Parcs and Steve Jobs.

    3. You said it yourself. It was inspired by PARC, but it was in no way stolen. Apple paid Xerox for the access and for the right to use the ideas. What Apple went away and built was far beyond what existed at PARC.

    4. That’s the point exactly. While the “idea” of a GUI was inspired by work at Xerox, but Apple did the grunt work to implement it. Apple’s GUI is nothing like Xerox’s. The GUI we all know today on Macs, and which was copied my Microsoft in a half-assed fashion, was invented by Apple.

    5. LOL jd,
      “this is well documented”. no the actual event is documented. the lie is well repeated to the point you think it’s fact. it’s not. read the documentation.

    6. The idea was inspired. Apple gave Xerox the option for 10% of Apple when it went public in exchange for rights to use the GUI concept. The GUI Xerox used was incredibly clunky in comparison. To move the windows, you had to input pixel coordinates to where you wanted the window to move. It was not as simple as drag and drop. Many, many other issues with Xerox’s version as well, compared with what Apple brought to market. (but still incredibly brilliant, especially for its time).

      TLDR; Apple’s GUI ended up being far more advanced than Xerox’s. Apple offered 10% of Apple shares to Xerox in exchange to use their GUI concept.

  2. Woz is not right in the head. He never has been since he crashed his plain and hit his head.

    I remember, during an iPhone event a couple of years before Steve passed on, an interview where the interviewer pulled the two Steves together in a spontaneous interview. The interview was so awkward and the two Steves were like two N poles of a magnet. The interviewer asked if the two ever get together or collaborate like they used to in the old days. The answer was they hadn’t seen each other for years…… was kind of awkward. Steve Jobs ended the interview quite abruptly with something like….”Woz, let’s do lunch soon”. He said it in a way that he didn’t actually mean it, and walked off to meet others crowed around him. I don’t think they got on very well in the last few years of SJ’s tragically shortened life.

    1. I think theres a bit of jealousy, ever since Jobs came back to Apple. Certainly the iPhone hit a nerve with Woz. The iPhone is so Jobsian and completely opposite of what Woz was about.

      Woz is all about accessibility, getting to the core of systems, hacking, slots, cards, expandability, etc.

  3. Thanks for the links to the Sorkin supercuts. I’ll reserve judgement on “Steve Jobs” till I see it, but I’ve been a fan of Sorkin since Sports Night. His use of pet phrases and his staccato style of dialogue is his hallmark, not his weakness. David Mamet has a unique tone to his writing. As does Stephen King. And lots of other writers.

    Get over the fact he and Danny Boyle didn’t make the Jobs movie you might have wanted to see. It’s a movie. Nothing more.

    1. Yes but it does it’s damage spreading falsehoods and feeding the Apple Haters ammunition since it’s been “verified” in a Hollywood movie. If anything look to a Hollywood movie version for the worst lies about the person being biopic’d because of cinematic dramatization concerns.

    1. You mean like the ‘Judas’ move when Jobs told Woz that Atari paid them $700 to split for dev work when it was really $7000?

      While I appreciate Apple’s stuff, it is gratifying to see Job’s corpse get some comeuppance it is overdue for. Fellas, the guy was a shitbug when he didn’t need to be, Woz and Jonathan Ive have said so in so many words, and deep down all of you know it.
      You can still appreciate the equipment and software. Hell, millions
      of people own Volkswagens and enjoy driving them on interstate highways, but not so many people lionize Hitler for spawning the culture that created them. Stop drinking so much kool aid or shooting each of the messengers as they appear, behavior-wise you are starting to resemble those groups that still zeig heil pics of der Fuehrer. (assuming none of you are among that number… I could be wrong)

      Yes… yes… I just made a Jobs – Hitler allusion. Ahhhh…..

      1. Yes. That was a douche thing to do. Either Woz is telling the truth in how Jobs was a jerk, or he’s hitting him while he’s down. Two douche actions don’t produce spring fresh water. But what I mean about going Judas, is it seems like last minute betrayal. I always thought they remained friends. But after some comments, it seems that maybe it’s been strained since the 80’s or even the beginning. Each one using the other.

      2. Meanwhile, folks have conveniently forgotten the real enemy—Microsoft! They are the Soviet Union of computing, and even though the metaphorical Berlin Wall fell, they silently rise again while Apple sects fight amongst themselves. Hell, one sect, abetted by Hessian trolls, actively seeks to hollow out Apple by removing its leadership.

      3. Woz interview with Dan Lyons:

        Q. The legend is that Steve cheated you out of some money on that deal.

        A. The legend is true. It didn’t matter to me. I had a job. Steve needed money to buy into the commune or something. So we made Breakout and it was a half-man-year job but we did it in four days and nights. It was a very clever design.

        – See more at:

        The Woz didn’t care — why should anyone else?

        You’ve never done anything in your youth that you later regretted? You don’t think a lifetime of history can outweigh such transgressions? The Woz was very understanding of SJ, and I give him credit for not letting this incident destroy their friendship.

        In any event, Apple has been generous to Woz over the years. He is still on their payroll, I think. Maybe SJ has made up for it, don’t you think?

  4. yeah, but not really. the Xerox PARC interface was not really a GUI in the sense of the Mac GUI – instead of using function keys it allowed selection from command menus – but none of the drag and drop, windowed file management of the Mac Finder and consistent behavior of elements throughout applications upon which modern personal computing relies.

  5. Two people having a conversation in which the background context is understood by both is not the same as a conversation written as part of a script in which the unfamiliar is explained to the audience as the dialogue develops.

    Expecting verbatim dialogue in a film is a bit like my kids expecting the actors in Harry Potter to repeat every line written in the original books.

    1. Methinks the GUI dialog bit would’ve gone down smoother had the Woz character said something like “you don’t code, you don’t engineer, you don’t design—you look at something others did, and if you recognise the future in it, you take it, one way or another”

      “It was stolen” can be easily understood as a punchier version of that declaration, understood as shorthand between two intimates, but it will never be accepted by those burdened by Jobs’s legacy. Probably for similar reasons (avoiding brickbats), Shakespeare took liberties only with unfamiliar, long-dead monarchs in his entertainments, placing stagecraft ahead of museum fare in his mission of explaining the human condition to humans.

  6. Woz is worth 100 Million, I really don’t think $200K is enough money to make any difference in his life. MDN acts as if Steve Jobs was their only child. Your obsession is outright creepy

    1. It’s just extreme fanboyism, underpinned by vested interests, i.e. Investment in AAPL. They’re human and have a megaphone, so it’s completely understandable. Jobs has attained sainthood in their eyes, as evidenced by their literally swearing by him, and by their dissing of former family members, lovers, and co-workers who deface the Norman Rockwell portrait of the man. Meanwhile, current Apple leader Tim Cook continues to hang by a thread in their estimation. MDN’s takes are a series of cliffhangers worthy of Indiana Jones. Too many missteps by beleaguered Tim, and a trap door will open beneath him.

  7. As a trained historian, I am getting very tired of artistic folk saying that truth does not matter in historical works. If you are making a multimillion dollar movie that claims to be historical, why not take a little trouble to make it match what really happened? An awful example of this was on TV recently: a three part “history” of the ancient Egyptian boy king, Tutankhamen. It got almost every detail of the real king and his country wrong. But I am sure the artists were happy with their freedom to create crap instead of historical drama.

    1. Except that TV show was labeled as “history.” Both Boyle and Sorkin are the FIRST to admit that “Steve Jobs” is not “history” any more than Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” was supposed to represent the actual actions and dialogues of the assassination of a Roman emperor. There are larger truths involved in storytelling. That’s the point, not who said what to who and when.

      1. Reminds me of the generic explanation for why something is done that no one can understand: It was the designer’s choice!

        Sorry. I call bullshit on “designer choices”. Something can be tasteful _and_ realistic. If Sorkin and Boyle were channeling Steve, they would have made their movie tasteful _and_ realistic.

        And one more thing:
        Aaron Sorkin is NOT William Shakespeare !!!

    2. Totally agree. What is wrong with expecting the truth?

      The problem today is: everyone feels entitled to their own “version” of the truth — whether accurate or fiction.

      But reality is a constraint.
      Always has been.
      Always will be.

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