After winning an Oscar for his screenplay for The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin became a very safe choice to adapt Walter Isaacson's biography, Steve Jobs, for a feature film; it was in this capacity that Sorkin sat for a session with journalist Walter Mossberg yesterday at the AllThingsD D10 conference. And like his characters, Sorkin eloquently described his work as though it should be treated as one of the most important enterprises the world has ever known. Thanks to a live blog of the session, I've collected Sorkin's five most obnoxious remarks.
On his upcoming HBO series, The Newsroom: "The stuff that I write doesn’t work very well as background music."
Take that, less ambitious TV writers whose work only requires half their viewers' attention! What hacks!
"I try to write what I like, and what my friends like, and then cross my fingers and hope that it’s good enough for me to earn a living."
Residuals from his various films and TV series aside, the Oscar probably helps keep him solvent. Furthermore, someone who's worried about where his next paycheck is coming from probably wouldn't be so mad about his union.
"Anytime you’re at the movies and you see the words ‘The following is based on a true story,’ you should think about it as a painting, not a photograph."
That line feels pretty carefully polished for a statement that's so fundamentally obvious.
"I really fell in love with the phonetic sound of intelligence."
Some might say that really intelligent people don't require repetitive 500-word sentences to get their points across. But sure.
"I can't judge this character [Steve Jobs]. He has to be, for me, a hero. To put it as simply as possible, you want to write the character like they are making their case to God, why they should be let into heaven."
If this is really what defines Sorkin's concept of his characters, then it's even harder to account for the smug goons that populated Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.