Posts Tagged ‘De Anza College’

“Steve Jobs” Comes Home


by Glenn Lovell

Call it a homecoming —

Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle — known for “Trainspotting” and “Slumdog Millionaire” — is in the Bay Area shooting that still-untitled Steve Jobs biopic scripted by Aaron Sorkin from Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography. In mid-January, the company cordoned off Crist Drive in Los Altos, home to “the garage” where Apple was founded in 1976. Last week, principal photography moved to, among other spots, De Anza College’s Flint Center on Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino.

The always natty Jobs — sporting green bow tie and double-breasted blazer — unveiled the original Mac at Flint Center in 1984.

Michael Fassbender is standing in for the Apple guru, a role originally linked to Leonardo DiCaprio and (a dead ringer for Jobs) Jobs3Christian Bale. Seth Rogen costars as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, the brainy Sancho Panza to Jobs’ big-picture Don Quixote

For the De Anza campus shoot, the production is looking for enthusiastic local extras, 18-40 years old, who will cheer on cue as Fassbender’s Jobs addresses an Apple convention. Must have ’80s hairstyles and clothing. Production is also looking for vintage cars, 1983 or older.

Kate Winslet, Katherine Waterston and Jeff Daniels are set for juicy co-starring roles.

De Anza Film/TV students had the opportunity to serve as extras on Saturday, January 31, 2015, on the ‘Danny Boyle Project,’ ” said De Anza film prof Susan Tavernetti. “The ‘crowd scene’ shoot took place from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the Sunken Garden adjacent to Flint Center.” Though student extras weren’t paid, De Anza’s F/TV Department received a donation — “$10 a head.”

A production company synopsis provides insight into the film’s approach: “(Jobs’) passion and ingenuity have been the driving force behind the digital age. However his drive to revolutionize technology was sacrificial. Ultimately it affected his family life and possibly his health. In this revealing film we explore the trials and triumphs of a modern day genius, Steven Paul Jobs.”

Beau Bonneau Casting in San Francisco (415-346-2278) is handling paid-extra gigs.

Faulty “Tower”


That strangled “Aaargh!” you hear is the sound of Universal execs bemoaning the lousy showing of their pricey, over-hyped “Tower Heist.”

Following a carefully orchestrated send-off, the Ben Stiller-Eddie Murphy comedy caper failed to secure the top spot at the box office its opening weekend. (Adding insult to injury, it was bested by the kidpic “Puss in Boots” ‒ its second week in release.)

Certainly timely enough ‒ Stiller, Murphy and four others exact payback for a Bernie Madoff-like Ponzi scheme ‒ the $85 million crime farce surprised industry prognosticators with its less-than-stellar showing.

I asked a couple of my film classes at De Anza College if they’d rushed out to see the comedy. En masse, they shot me one of those “Huh? What planet are you from?” looks.

Stiller, Ratner and Murphy

Almost to a one they agreed the film had a tired ‘boomer vibe. Though I liked it, I could see their point. Besides its ersatz “Mission: Impossible” jazz theme, the film is crammed with pop culture references from the 1970s and ’80s, including Steve McQueen, Tina Turner, “Boys from Brazil,” “The Doberman Gang” and, from TV Land, “Matlock.” The casting of Alan Alda as the villain conjures memories of another time-capsule experience: CBS’s “M*A*S*H.”

If the comments by my students are indicative of how today’s target audience feels, producer Brian Grazer, director Brett Ratner and Murphy, who developed the project, would have done well to canvass campuses before going into production.  The interaction would have been eye-opening, leaving the trio to conclude, Hey, maybe the audience we should care about doesn’t want to see this film.

My classes, I’m sure, wouldn’t have minced words. They sure didn’t Tuesday.

“The trailer looks incredibly cheesy and washed-out, like a boring version of ‘Ocean’s 11,’” volunteered Sharif Elrefaie.

“Eddie Murphy gives off a family vibe,” observed Erik Ard. “It’s hard to take him seriously in a crime plot.”

“Eddie Murphy?” shot back an incredulous Roderic Wilson. “He hasn’t been funny since the ’80s. He needs to get his mojo back!”

Of course, “Tower Heist’s” reception wasn’t helped by Ratner’s gay slur during a preview-screening Q&A. Asked “What was your rehearsal like?,” Ratner replied, “Rehearsal? What’s that? Rehearsals are for fags!”

Talk about clueless! Ratner not only offended the entire LGBT community, he demonstrated what my students already knew ‒ how really out of touch he is.