How Steve Jobs Came to Play FDR in That Crazy Apple Video

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Steve Jobs - Broadband

Last week, a bizzare WWII-themed short film made by Apple came to light, in which Steve Jobs played FDR. Now, filmmaker Michael Markman, who worked on the project, has written about how the video came to be.


Writing on his blog, Markman explains:

"As Glenn and I listened to Mike [Murray, head of Mac marketing] talk about beach head and market penetration, and as we watched him draw on his white board, the parallels to the landings at Normandy seemed obvious. I think Glenn was first to connect 1984 to 1944. And the idea clicked in almost immediately.

"Given the way Steve had positioned Apple against IBM, it just seemed to fit. Glenn, Mike, and I began brainstorming right there in the office. Ideas came tumbling out. IBM had Charlie Chaplin for P.C. advertising. And, it turns out that Charlie Chaplin not only had a Hitler-like mustache, he had actually done a Hitler sendup in The Great Dictator. We'd show oppressed workers liberated by the brave forces of Macintosh. We got so excited by the idea that Mike wanted to rush right in and pitch to Steve.

"I called Chris in L.A. to outline what we were thinking. War movie. Stock footage from the D-day landings. Chaplin as Adenoid Hynkel hanging on the wall. Mac marketing team in cameo roles. And the topper: Steve as FDR...

"Glenn, Mike, and I marched into Steve's office to give him the pitch. Pretty much the way I outlined it in the previous paragraph. Steve's eyes were sparkling through it all. By the time I got to, "and you as FDR," I had made the sale. In the binary universe of Steve Jobs, something is either a zero or a one. This was a one. Instantly. Definitively."


None of which explains quite why Steve Jobs said yes, of course—which is what we'd all really like to know. Cough. Megalomania. Cough. [Mickeleh's Take via Steve Troughton-Smith via The Verge]