Steve Jobs, the man who made so much of filmmaking accessible to all, has died.
We cover some, though not a lot, of technology at indieWIRE. However, Jobs’ vision for Apple and the products it produced have had a tremendous impact on the world we cover: It shaped filmmaking — and particularly indie filmmaking — as we know it in the 21st century.
When I began covering indie film about 15 years ago, Steenbecks and their ilk were still the norm. Digital editing belonged to Avid and it was something to which you aspired — it seemed to make things so much easier! — but the cost for an indie filmmaker was prohibitive to the point of absurdity.
That changed when Final Cut was introduced in 1998. Adoption wasn’t immediate, of course, and its capabilities by today’s standards were meager. Whatever. It unlocked filmmakers’ capabilities. It made it possible for post production to begin in your own bedroom, not a rented studio.
The result, of course, is every filmmaker had the ability to make movies. Sometimes the results were genius films like Jonathan Caouette’s “Tarnation,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004. (It was edited on iMovie, Final Cut’s low-profile nephew; unlike Final Cut, it was free.) Sometimes it was a reminder that not everyone is meant to be a filmmaker.
Either way, the world has changed: Today, everyone knows – from NYU film students to CAA agents to my 72-year-old mother — that anyone can make a film. We take that access for granted. And why not? The secret to the popularity of his devices is their extraordinary democracy.
Like I said, we don’t cover a lot of tech at indieWIRE; we should probably should do more. But Jobs’ passing makes me grateful for all that he gave us and, because I’m greedy, how much more he undoubtedly could have given.