Apple post-Steve

Steve Jobs leaves Apple, and thus ends an era. Apple, and therefore Steve Jobs, have had a huge influence on the film and television industry, especially in the area of post-production.

From his first era defining personal computers, to his second era turning the company around, Steve Jobs and the design team he lead allowed for the democratization of our industry. It is true that today much is done on non-Apple machines, either Linux or Windows, but think back on some of the key contributions Apple has made.

• The rebel Mac unit at ILM showed that personal computers could be used for visual effects

• Photoshop, while cross platform, led to a much higher percentage of penetration of Macs proportionally in our industry

• Final Cut Pro helped move offline editing from specialist edit suites to the rest of us

• Shake – good and bad – defined years of film compositing

• Pixar, funded and co-founded by Jobs, redefined feature animation. One can’t help but feel that while Disney bought Pixar, effectively the reality is that creatively Pixar took over and saved the soul of Disney. When Jobs took over Pixar it was not the industry legend it is today – it was a medical imaging company that made great Siggraph short films.

• The iPad and iPhone redefined the game, and there is hardly a film set around in commercials, film clips, episodic or features that doesn’t have a bunch of Apple products in the pockets of the crew, on the laps of the clients, or in front of a data wrangler, DIT or visual effects supervisor.

So what now for Apple? Will Apple continue as is? Will the June 1997 Wired cover find a new meaning? It is hard to remember just how down Apple was before Steve Jobs returned with NeXT.  Will it become more consumer-based and less focused on the professional market? Will Tim Cook steer the company differently? Certainly Steve Jobs is still a presence, he is not dead, he will become the Chairman of the Board, but it is hard to not feel as if we are seeing the end of an era.

8 thoughts on “Apple post-Steve”

  1. I know you guys are guilty being apple fanboys 🙂 nothing wrong of liking the products (and their exceptional quality / force to innovation).
    But I am not that thankful. At least not in the pro market. I still don’t get why people stick to it although there have been major drawbacks in the past which really killed a lot of investments in the past.

    Shake R.I.P.
    Final Cut Server R.I.P.
    Xserve R.I.P.
    Final Cut Pro (at least the Pro) R.I.P.
    Final Touch / Color??? What happened to this one?
    Not to mention that update cycles for software and hardware are very “uncertain”.

    I do get the strong points of apple but they have made some very doubtful decisions for us as an industry. I was disappointed that they pushed so hard into the movie segment and then step by step abandon it.
    Other than that: Personally I dislike the aggressiveness in their business style, and what happened in china during the production of the iPad2 really killed that company for me. There are no enterprises which are saints but this company proved itself more than enough where their focus is.
    Please let’s don’t start flame-waring here. I just felt that some things should be said as counter part. And I know that you guys know and might even share some concerns. So let’s not spoil the moment, I will admit, I’m thankful for all the positive things this company under Mr. Jobs leadership accomplished. Would hope they could change about my concerns. Other than that may Mr. Jobs get healthy. He deserved some free time 😀

    1. Yes Apple has made some decisions that screwed some people… and it added things like quicktime that helped others…

      I did not mean to imply everything was rosy – I agree with your post – I am sure we dont need to flame-war to realize that Apple has had its ups and downs and I am sure we all agree with you that we all hope Mr Jobs recovers and gets healthy. As with all things in life it is neither all white or all black.


  2. No matter what one thinks about Apple and their products Mr. Jobs is a true legend that has affected our industry and life more then we probably want to admit.

    It’s also important to remember that Jobs hasn’t left Apple (yet) since he’s appointed Chairman of the Board. So he will probably have a thing or two to say in the future too. I truly hope that Mr Jobs recovers and will be with us for many years to come, guys like that don’t grow on trees.

  3. In order for Apple to get so far so fast, it’s had to lay down its best aces. Now the world has seen and is copying Apple’s best hand. Android phones have already surpassed iOS at 43% to 18% respectively. New tablet devices are streaming out like mad to copy the iPad. Windows still has an unsurpassed 92% dominance in desktops to OSX’s meager 6%. Artsy small shops run on Macs; corporate business does not.

    Apple’s struggles will be:
    1. Since we are now into recession 2.0 it’s a very bad time for Apple to maintain high prices. Rich people are still Apple’s number one customers.
    2. Apple has abandoned the professional market in favor of the simplified, dumbed-down consumer market.
    3. The upcoming Windows 8 effortlessly runs on multiple devices and will eat away even more market share from Apple.
    4. Apple has put forth its best ideas, and now that Jobs has stepped aside Apple will just try to hold on IF it can.

    Love Apple all you want, but the numbers clearly show that Apple is still not winning the technology war even with its best efforts. Real day-to-day work and business does not get done on an iPad.

    1. The point of the article, is that the figurehead of one of the most important companies of the last two decades is stepping down.

      But to your points – don’t confuse market share with industry relevance. They are innovators, always have been. Android is a free operating system being delivered on 100’s and 100’s of phones, made by a dozen different companies. iOS is available on one phone, made by one company. It’s like saying Bill Gates isn’t rich, because the rest of the world put together has more money than he does.

      Apple are, arguably, unmatched in terms of the vision they have shown in the ‘personal’ computing and electronics market. I’d question whether they have ever in their company’s history gone after the corporate business market. There are more people outside that world than within it. They have never had more than a meagre slice of the pie, in terms of overall computer market share. That hasn’t stopped them being, to use an embarrassingly overused word from their product videos, revolutionary.

      With what confidence do you speak, that they have used all their best ideas? You seem to be very in the know about one of the most secretive corporations on Earth.

      Or is it simply 100% baseless conjecture?

      1. If Apple is supposed to be in the business of revolutionary, then why after all of these years is it still a sad 7% of the market share compared to Windows which is almost 80%?

        Did anyone ever stop to think that people are selecting Windows over Mac because Mac is too expensive, doesn’t work with a lot of software, or perhaps that people think it’s pretty and all, but they want performance over pretty..? I can’t think of a single software reason to own an Apple computer. It’s simple; Apple makes pretty play-toys for brain-dead consumers not workstations for intelligent professionals. Do we need to dig into the disaster of FCPX to drive the point, yeah probably not. Like the article stated: it is true today that much is done on non-Apple machines.

  4. aaaaaaaandy dill

    When Apple got serious about the pro market, the pro market needed someone to take them seriously. Avid’s were tens of thousands of dollars and Apple gave us an editor that you could have up and running for two or three grand. Color gave us grading for a fraction the cost of a DaVinci. Now we’ve got software only Avid, we’ve got DaVinci on Mac. We don’t need Apple the pro-software maker now.

    So thank you Steve Jobs, for being there when we needed you.

  5. Where, oh where, did you get that image? I would love a clean version of that old Wired cover from ’97.

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