Directed by Academy Award-winner, Danny Boyle, Steve Jobs follows the evolution of Apple’s pioneering and creative leader over the course of three seminal moments in his industry-changing career. The film hosts an all-star cast led by Michael Fassbender playing Steve Jobs; Kate Winslet as the former marketing chief at Apple for the Macintosh and Jobs’ confidant Joanna Hoffman; Seth Rogen as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak; and Jeff Daniels playing former Apple CEO John Sculley. Technicolor, led by senior colourist Jean-Clément Soret, provided colour-finishing and editorial-conform services for the film.
Inspired by Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography of the driven Apple founder, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin created a 182-page, three-act play based on three pivotal moments in Steve Jobs’ life. Humanizing the larger-than-life Jobs, Sorkin’s robust dialog is delivered in a “machinegun-like” style weaved into a character-driven narrative through the three pivotal product launches in San Francisco: the first Macintosh, introduced in 1984; Jobs’ Next computer in 1988; and his 1998 launch of the new iMac that revolutionized home computing after resuming his role as CEO of Apple.
The film’s three-part structure also provided a visual creative framework and inspiration for the principal photography and final look of the film. Jean-Clément Soret explains cinematographer Alwin Kuchler’s decision to shoot on 16mm and 35mm film as well as the last act on the Arri Alexa was, “to emphasize the look and feel of the three different periods of the film,” from many of the actual locations in San Francisco where the events depicted happened. The production design for Steve Jobs was created to allow the photography to happen in 360-degree environments in the film’s principal Bay Area locations.
As each act is noticeably different, Soret describes the colour-finishing choices, “…bold and colorful early 80's, with mature[colors] and the best colours that analog film could offer in the late 80’s; and finally with digital, cold and sharp 90's colors.” In the new issue of American Cinematographer Magazine, Kuchler remarks about Soret, “Jean-Clément is like working with a Michelangelo of the grading world.”