Update: Steve Wozniak provided some of his thoughts on the film to Gizmodo after seeing ‘JOBS’ last night.

With the new Steve ‘Jobs’ biopic starring Ashton Kutcher set to hit theaters nationwide today, Slashdot just posted an interview with two former Apple employees who gave their take on some of the inaccuracies in the film and what it was really like working at Apple in the early days. There has been a bit of controversy surrounding the film with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak expressing that a lot of scenes in the movie never happened and Ashton Kutcher firing back in a recent interview claiming Wozniak is being paid by another company to support their Steve Jobs film. Daniel Kottke and Bill Fernandez, two early Apple employees that worked with Woz and Jobs in the garage days, talk about a few scenes that the movie got wrong.

According to the Kottke and Fernandez, the scenes in the garage, the scene with Wozniak quitting Apple, and Jobs’ big speech at the West Coast Computer Faire, all happened quite differently than portrayed in the film:

On working in the garage: 

Daniel Kottke: Well, I’ll tell you what it wasn’t like. What you see in the film, and in “Pirates Of Silicon Valley”—you saw that, right, Bill? I was really the only person who worked in the garage. Woz would show up once a week with his latest to test it out, and Steve Jobs was on the phone a lot in the kitchen. The current film also has these scenes where you, Bill, and me, and Randy and Chris and there’s a whole gang, and Bill Atkinson, and Rod Holt. We’re all in the garage.

Bill Fernandez: [laughs] We never had that many people in the garage at any one time.

Daniel Kottke: What completely cracked us all up is the scene where Rod arrives for the first time. Rod comes up wearing leathers, riding up on a motorcycle with long hair.

Bill Fernandez: WHAT?!

Daniel Kottke: He’s like this motorcycle dude. It just cracked us all up.

Bill Fernandez: WHAT?! [laughs]

On the West Coast Computer Faire:

Daniel Kottke: It really blew me away. But anyway, that speech that Ashton does: “Ladies and gentlemen, I am Steve Jobs, and I’m going to introduce you to the Apple II, blah blah blah.”  That speech that he gives never happened, for sure. [laughs] It was just a booth at a computer show… There’s a whole other aspect that wasn’t even touched: the personal computing environment. The Commodore PET computer came out, and we were concerned that we might lose to them. And the Radio Shack TRS-80 came out. And from what I gathered, there’s nothing in the movie that sets the context.

On Wozniak quitting:

Yeah. That never happened at all. At all. That was complete fabrication…Yes, it is poignant, and so I think it makes sense in the film, even though it never happened. So, I don’t know, the reality was that Woz was welcomed and encouraged to be part of the Macintosh project, but then he had his plane crash and so he was out of commission.

You can read more from the interview with Kottke and Fernandez on Slashdot here.

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15 Responses to “Former Apple employees call ‘Jobs’ biopic a ‘work of fiction’, explain how it really happened”

  1. oneokami says:

    Daniel Kottke: What completely cracked us all up is the scene where Rod arrives for the first time. Rod comes up wearing leathers, riding up on a motorcycle with long hair.

    Bill Fernandez: WHAT?!

    Daniel Kottke: He’s like this motorcycle dude. It just cracked us all up.

    Bill Fernandez: WHAT?! [laughs]

    I LOLed too just reading that.

  2. These do seem like pretty minor gripes for a fairly significant production.

  3. rettun1 says:

    I think this movie would be more interesting than the other one, which is said to be three scenes of uncut footage of Steve preparing for different keynotes. I like the biographical idea better

    • You have that half right…the other movie is currently being written by Aaron Sorkin. The entire movie will take place during 3 significant keynotes and is based off the The Steve Jobs biography (it is the official adaption).

  4. rivertonrock says:

    Strange. I was expecting 100% truthful accuracy.

  5. The thing is though, anyone who thinks that exact historical accuracy is actually what they are supposed to be shooting for in a movie knows pretty much nothing about movies, what they are, how they work and so forth. There has never been a movie made that is exactly historically accurate, because if it were, it would be completely unwatchable and not actually a movie at all.

    It’s like the ultimate straw man argument. Taking something that is never supposed to be x and criticising it for not being x. Just sayin.

  6. Im disappointed that the Jobs film got poor reviews and that many facts are either wrong or is fiction. Sure some times things that really happened may not be exciting at least base specific moments in reality. I rather see a tweaked truth then a completely fabricated story. It just seems like the producers of Jobs wanted to make a fantasy biopic and not a true biography. Bummer, hope next Apple related film is much better!

  7. So in one scene there were more people in the garage? Yawn.

  8. I read Isaacson’s book – that’s all I needed! Making it to movie is just for information sake for all who are Apple Product users who has no clue about the true SJ… but for fanboys like me – no need to watch it.

    Although, I’m curious about the upcoming Sony Film based on Isaacson’s book… they should title it “…oh and one more thing!”

    …just sayin’!!!

  9. nelmat says:

    Bitter jealous wannabes. This is a film, not a documentary. Why make such ridiculous statements as ‘it didn’t happen exactly like that’. Of course it didn’t. I love other biopics, the Glenn miller story, the Karen carpenter story. Being a sensible consumer of media, I understand that these are dramatised interpretations, which are probably romanticised and fifty percent pure fiction. These idiots need to let to and stop trying to steal another persons fame. Simple jealousy and ‘look at me’ comments.

    • And you know these people… how, exactly? Daniel Kottke and Bill Fernandez are long time friends of Jobs. It seems to me that they feel disturbed seeing their friends and coworkers glamorized and molded into fictional characters. I really don’t think this is a matter of jealousy, and I’m not sure what leads you to that conclusion either.

  10. The movie will be a flop!!

  11. The Social Media is not accurate too.. the whole intro scene is fiction..

  12. Felipe Baez says:

    Work of fiction, yes that is called a “movie”!! If people want a factual work then they should watch a documentary.

  13. The key truth in the whole thing that Steve Wozniak misses, is he’s in no way qualified to be or do anything except the most rudimentary tasks. He’s not the talent he thinks, nor is he the visionary he hopes that others believe. He’s a fat, ugly talented fool, hanging on to his 15 minutes.