Tech writer Cord Jefferson has blogged about his experiences as an extra on the set of jOBS, the biopic of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs, highlighting the hours of boredom, the art of ‘fake talking’ and a quick chat with the star, Ashton Kutcher.
Writing on Gizmodo, Jefferson says he was passed over several times as ‘The Woman in Shorts’ scanned the crown of wannabes for a scene in which Jobs gives his ’1984′ speech railing against IBM at a Hawaiian tech conference, “meaning that everyone from heavyset Latina women to fragile senior citizens to Larry Bird ringers with long hair belong as long as they look ‘80s and nerdy enough. Who doesn’t belong, apparently, is me.”
He was invited to take part, however, and when he pointed this out he quickly ended up at a table in a circa-1983 banquet hall, shouting responses and applauding as Kutcher delivers Jobs’ speech behind a podium covered with white butcher paper, an Apple logo and two microphones.
“According to another extra at my table,” Jefferson writes, “the podium before was wooden and only had one microphone on it, a minor inaccuracy to which Kutcher took offence. ‘That’s not what the real podium looked like,’ said Kutcher. So they changed it.”
As the day wore on, and he moved from the speech to a scene in which Jobs argues with Apple’s business team – Mike Markkula (Dermot Mulroney), John Sculley (Matthew Modine), and Arthur Rock (JK Simmons) – Jefferson realised that it took 10 hours to shoot five minutes of footage.
“During a brief standstill in shooting, I’m told that ‘someone’ wants to speak with me. I think I’m going to get reprimanded for (making angry faces in a scene), but instead, Ashton just wants to say hello and ask that Gizmodo ‘stop shitting all over’ his movie before it‘s even done filming. He’s really very nice.”