Films exhibited at Drilling through the Screen
The following films were selected in collaboration with Professor Greg Waller (IU Media School) for a screening he presented at a recent conference at Stockholm University called Drilling Through the Screen: Modern Imaginaries and the Oil Industry. Professor Waller will be releasing his analysis on the use of nontheatrical films to promote the U.S. oil industry in other venues. But the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive (IULMIA) has created this page to make the films themselves freely available for streaming.
These thirteen films are only a fraction of the hundreds of titles that IULMIA has on the subject of energy production. This small selection points to the myriad audiences in which small gauge films were used to communicate the oil industry's business strategies. For example, The Last Ten Feet (1949) was sponsored by the Oil Industry Information Committee for a national push to connect oil production and American power around the globe. However, Transportation Underground: The Story of a Pipeline focused on the construction of an oil pipeline across the state of Indiana and was distributed within the state for educational purposes by Indiana University. The commercials for Franger Gas, White Rose Gas, Power Glo, and Zephyr Gas were broadcast in the 1950s for local markets in northern Indiana, southern Michigan, and Ohio. Finally, 1970: Start of a New Decade of Progress was produced for employees of Sohio and is an example of how nontheatrical films were sometimes made for very limited and specific audiences.
Click on images below to select and view films: