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One filmmaker who owes his success to Steve Jobs

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Steve Chiotakis: People around the globe are paying tribute to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who died yesterday. News of Jobs’ death has people reflecting on his contributions.

One of whom is filmmaker Jonathan Caouette, who says he could never have made his documentary “Tarnation” without technology Jobs helped to create. Caouette is with us this morning from New York. Hi Jonathan.

Jonathan Caouette: Hi, how’s it going?

Chiotakis: It’s going well. Would you have been able to edit your movie without the software iMovie?

Caouette: I most certainly would not have been able to edit my movie without the software of iMovie back in late 2003. I would still be cutting probably from VHS to VHS. I actually don’t know where I would be at this point —

Chiotakis: Are you serious? VHS to VHS?

Caouette: You know, filmmaking — back a long time ago, being like what — even in the year 2000 when I started really contemplating taking everything that I had done, which was essentially shot on VHS and other idiosyncratic formats like super 8 film and other kinds of things that I used to create my first film, “Tarnation.” The idea of pastiching those materials together in a cohesive way that I had sort of always wanted to do in my mind’s-eye, never could have come into fruition if it weren’t for the onset of iMovie.

Chiotakis: To be sure now, Jonathon, there are other pieces of software, right, where you can make a movie? I mean I know that it’s easy to sort of get into the flow — Apple this, Apple that — but there are other ways. How did Steve Jobs personally, do you think, affect how moviemaking is going?

Caouette: The products he delivered, everything he designed, his whole bedside manner, the way he would talk about what it was that he had conjured up — was so unintimidating, you know. It was just this very comprehensive approach. And very user-friendly, I think, compared to almost anything out there.

I actually loved the original iMovie I so much — it was one of the cooler things ever — I think I’m really interested in rewinding and going back to an older format and editing it on Apple’s iMovie I once again, just to do it.

Chiotakis: Jonathan Caouette, filmmaker over in New York. Jonathan, thank you so much.

Caouette: Thank you so much.

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