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Steve Jobs – Apple’s 3 Act Structure


Steve-Jobs-Script-AnalysisAn excerpt from my script review for Steve Jobs which will be available 10/19/15:

4.) Dialogue and Description

Description, blah, blah, blah.

You’re not here for that. I didn’t read Mr. Sorkin’s script for that.

Whether love him or hate him, we came for one thing…

The dialogue!

Some people find it “too cute”, others believe Mr. Sorkin’s writing is the Second Coming.

Personally? Asking, “What’s the most interesting way a character can say this,” ALWAYS leads my mind to Mr. Sorkin’s back and forth between his characters.

This script was no different, and I enjoy reading it because his works are ever present in the back of my mind as I write.

Overall, and Lobo and 3way discussed it a bit here, is the “God complex” implemented in Steve’s language and interactions.

(And because I love you all, I’m actually typing these out!)

Page 7 :

Did you tell the fire marshal that
we’re in here changing the world?


Did you?

Yes, but unless we can also change
the properties of fire, he doesn’t care.

Page 22:

We’re not a pit crew at Daytona,
this can’t be fixed in seconds.

You didn’t have seconds, you had
three weeks. The universe was created
in a third of that time.

Well someday you’ll have to tell us
how you did it.

Page 35:

God sent His son on a suicide
mission but we still like Him
‘cause He made trees. We’re gonna
sell a million in the first 90
days, twenty thousand a month
after that.
Maybe you could give me a break.

(This one felt weird, like a God/Jesus reference forced in to keep with the theme.)

Page 121 – The background music for the NeXt launch is a contemporary version of “For Unto Us a Child is Born.”

Steve Jobs felt he was the god of Apple, and we get that. The argument made in that other thread was saying this type of theme is consistent in Mr. Sorkin’s writing, and when I think of The Newsroom I can see the point.

Question – What other examples can you name?

Okay, now for the plain old fun Sorkin style banter…

Page 21:

I said I applied for welfare
yesterday. The TIME article said
your Apple stock is worth 441 million
dollars. And I wanted to ask how
you felt about that.

Well…I feel Apple stock is
being dramatically undervalued.
This would be a good time to get it.

Ha! I miss The Newsroom.

Page 33:

You’re well educated?

No, I went to MIT.

Page 44 (when suggested Steve stole intellectual property from Xerox):

…what would you say to someone
who said you stole the Macintosh
from Xerox?

Do you know who invested the piano?


Do you know who wrote “Moonlight


That’s what I’d say. Go
take your seat.

BOOM! And go fuck yourself, Mr. GQ! (Just kidding, Steve was pretty nice to Joel compared to everyone else.)

Page 60 (re: Steve’s old partners at Apple):

They’re suing me.

Still it was nice they came.

Page 65:

The top, bottom, right and left
are about a millimeter shorter
than the front and back.

They’re not, I measured them.

Lisa, I’m kind of an expert in
design and that’s a 20 cent ruler,
you think there’s a chance it could
be off?

Lisa thinks about it a moment…

If I had another ruler I could
measure the ruler but I really doubt
it’s off.

Page 79 (poor Woz):

You can’t write code, you’re not
an engineer, you’re not a designer,
you can’t put a hammer to a nail. I
built the circuit board, the
graphical interface was stolen
from Xerox PARC, Jeff Raskin was the
leader of the Mac team before you threw
him off his own project…everything! Somebody else
designed the box!
So how come 10 times in a day I
read Steve Jobs is a genius? What
do you do?

I play the orchestra. And you’re a
good musician.
You sit right there. You’re the best
in your row.

(This was a metaphor from a “deep” conductor story from a few pages earlier.)

Page 147 – The whole story about Alan Turing and the Apple logo, referenced at the end of Imitation Game script, and then Steve denies that’s where they got it.

That was pretty funny.


There was a technique that was overused, where a character would specifically use a word with a double meaning, only for the next character to purposefully misunderstand in a forced humorous manner.

(Page 95 where Steve says “Right now” to Lisa is the straw that broke my mind’s back.)

Just be sure to use jokes like this sparingly. Don’t flail the dead horse’s haunches.

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And be sure to check out our Notes Service, where I give my detailed thoughts and suggestions on your script.


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