RIP Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs has passed away from cancer at the age of 56. The co-founder of Apple and chief executive of Pixar (he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Co.in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney) was arguably the leading technological visionary of our time. He transformed the computer industry, revolutionized animation, and, most recently, reshaped delivery systems with the introduction of the iPod, iTunes, the iPhone, and the iPad.

In 1986, Jobs purchased the Graphics Group from Lucasfilm for $10 million and spun it off into Pixar, retaining Ed Catmull, who became CTO, and John Lasseter, who oversaw all film projects as exec producer. He eventually directed the breakthrough Toy Story in 1995, the first CG-animated feature.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jobs at a Pixar party in LA to celebrate its 15th anniversary. I had just written an overview of Pixar for the Los Angeles Times that was published earlier in the day. Jobs read it and thanked me for my kind words. He was casually dressed in jeans and a button down shirt, and struck me as very easy going and caring. He asked me if I’d every been up to Pixar, and I told him that I recently enjoyed covering Monsters, Inc. “You should come up during the start of a production,” he suggested. I took him up on the offer and got the first sneak peek of Finding Nemo for Premiere Magazine.
I also remember overhearing Jobs discussing the upcoming Oscar race with a couple of his Pixar colleagues. Shrek, which eventually won, was viewed as the front-runner, but Jobs remarked that Monsters, Inc. would wear longer because it had more going for it than topical satire. Always competitive and thinking about the future.
Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Movies, Oscar, Tech

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