Jobs interview in theaters

Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview will arrive in Landmark Theatres nationwide on November 16 and 17. But why?

The footage is from an interview Steve gave Robert Cringely for the 1996 miniseries “Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires.” Only 10 minutes of the 70-minute interview were used in the documentary. After Steve’s death, the show’s director Paul Sen found a VHS tape of the complete interview in his garage. He suggested that Cringley post it to his site as a “gift to the world.” Cringley had other ideas.

“‘[Sen] didn’t see any commercial value in it,’ Cringely said. ‘I have three kids I have to put through college, so I thought maybe we could sell it.’

Cringely sent Landmark Theatres co-owner Mark Cuban an email late one night, less than three weeks ago, to see whether there would be any interest in screening it on Landmark screens. Less than five minutes later, Cuban fired back that he was game…It’s not an expensive risk, though. The cost to give theatrical quality to a dubbed interview on VHS was only $6,000. Cringely’s math tells him he needs only 1,501 people to see the movie to turn a profit and notes that he has a ‘large extended family.'”

This is unsavory to me. I don’t begrudge Cringely’s right to make a buck, but this feels like he’s knowingly profiting on the man’s death and I don’t like it.