The Apple Matters Interview: Josh Rizzo
All of us here at Apple Matters, writers and readers, share a passion for all things Apple. It is was makes us collect old Macs, read books about Steve and Steve working in a garage, and obsess over what will come next from the great halls of Cupertino.
There are many books about the history of Apple but Welcome to Macintosh takes on the company in documentary film form. The project is a fantastic idea that has been well-received by critics. I catch up with John Rizzo to discuss how the film was made, working with Apple, and why Apple Matters.
What is Welcome to Macintosh?
Welcome to Macintosh is a documentary that mixes history, criticism and an unapologetic revelry of all things Apple.
How did you come up with the idea for the film?
We had been discussing the PBS documentary series "Triumph of the Nerds" and felt that we wanted something more, yet something different. When Rob tried to show "Triumph" to his wife, about twenty minutes in she very politely informed him that she was bored. It was interesting, but it wasn't captivating to non-geeks. Rob pondered this as he went out to clear show out of his driveway. The next time we spoke together, we agreed that we needed to try to make something other Apple fans could share with "non-geeks" and enjoy.
How long did it take you to make?
It took us about 5 years to get where we are today, and we are still hard at work on the DVD as well as securing distribution deals.
Where can people see the film?
The DVD is in the works for a fall release and we are working on getting it on to an internet VOD service such as iTunes. We will also be preparing a BlueRay disc as well as some interesting Television options.
Did you have any official Apple support?
No, no official support from Apple, however we have been in contact with them and they are aware we exist.
Did you try to get an interview with Steve Jobs?
In our communication with Apple, we had expressed interest in speak to Steve Jobs, among others. There is certainly a wall put up around the upper execs- strangely so for a publicly held company that makes consumer products.
How has the film been received?
The film has been received very well! Full theaters, cheering, at one screening people even hissed when photos of ex Apple CEOs were on screen. We have been in three festivals so far, and we will have more announcements upcoming. After each screening we engage in conversation with audience members who have lots of good questions and who enjoy relishing in the history and nostalgia.
What was the most challenging aspect of the project?
The most challenging aspect of the project has been the distance between us, Rob lives in central Ohio and Josh lives in Los Angeles, and the people we interviewed are from all across the country. The tools truly helped us overcome, as we both have MacBook Pros that we take everywhere, and use for everything- writing, emailing, researching. etc. When it came to shooting, we shot on HD 1080 cameras, and did our "offline" work at DV25 in FinalCut Pro- this was great as we could still edit on our laptops with low cost storage- from any where. We then conformed the project in HD, used all Apple tools for color correction, sound sweetening, and score, and viola!
What do you think it is that make people so passionate about a computer company?
The impact Apple has had on design and engineering is very far reaching. Founded in the fires of the American social revolution, the "Apple Aesthetic" has influenced an entire generation of artists, musicians, designers and engineers. Welcome to Macintosh offers a view of Apple as not just a company, but a social catalyst- always creating products or services on the tip o the global subconscious. Apple *must* change the world and it *must* be the best at anything it attempts. As a company their business practices have been progressive and industry changing- Perhaps the last of its kind- a "founder driven" company.
Why does Apple Matter?
Why does Apple Matter? Because people like you and me place value on their products and allow their business decisions to affect our lives. We care because they have invoked something inside of us that loves beauty, simplicity, maybe peace, its hard to tell. Apple makes tools that border on toys, what an amazing mix!
The DVD will be released this fall, check WelcometoMacintosh for details.