David Bowie and Technology – Filming A Movie With An iPhone! How It Started!

David Bowie It was one of those amazing California evenings in San Francisco. My friend Jamie Wood, who’s dad Ronnie Wood is a member of the band The Rolling Stones had asked if I wanted to invite anyone to the show. I had suggested some people I knew all from technology in Northern California. Standing backstage were Sean Penn, George Lucas, John Hartnett, Vice President of Palm Inc, Vinod Khosla a venture capitalist and was one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems, who had brought his friend and introduced me to William “Bing” Gordon at the time Chief Creative Officer of video game publisher and developer Electronic Arts. As I took Vinod to introduce him to George Lucas, George looked at me and said “We know each other, he sold me my first computers system.” Vinod elaborated ” George told me I don’t understand all the technology, but show me how I can use it to tell my stories better.” We all know what George did with all that technology.

My friend John Hartnett, had been the first to get some Palm smartphones to Bowie’s tour teams, and they were used to track everything going paperless. John is currently is a partner of SVG Partners. Bing Gordon of Electronic Arts saw the future and started putting music in video games, something David Bowie had done in 1999 with ‘The Nomad Soul‘, while also starting his own internet company with music, videos, exclusive to his own site. Bowie, John Hartnett, George Lucas, Bing Gordon all knew how technology and the internet was about to change the world, ( YouTube, Google, Twitter, Instagram, iPhone ) were not yet around. I was lucky to be living in Southern California where my buddy a filmmaker and I would skateboard through ‘Dog Town’ and Steve who tragically passed away would show me cool tricks to do with smartphone, while street-boarding. My surfer friends had started making mini-movie using smartphone. Then came the iPhone.

As I travel the world documenting those in the creative world that have been inspired by Bowie, or in some manner touched by his artist work with my iPhone the most common response I get from people about filming with the iPhone is simply one word “cool!”.

“Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.” – Steve Jobs



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