Film: 8989

Industry + Work | 1980 | Sound | Colour


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Today's Office
Man sitting at desk in office, woman (his secretary) walks into office holding files. She leaves several on his desk and hands him a piece of paper to read. Telephone rings, he answers it and gets information from a trader but when he returns to the phone the caller has hung up. He looks fed up.
Tomorrow's Office (set in the year 1985):
Boss and secretary walk down hall, boss holding polystyrene cup filled with coffee. She is wearing a male outfit feminized: tie, waistcoat and white suit with a purple checked skirt. He signs a cheque on his very tidy, clear desk. Fingers press a key pad marked from one to zero, print, delete, zoom, diary and message next to a 'high tech' silver mouse ball. Message comes up reading Happy Birthday, Wednesday 6th May 1985. Shot of key pad again. Close up of boss. Close up of screen reading 'diary', with meetings listed. Mail comes up on screen. Great shot of our man looking efficient and business-like at a high tech, smooth desk top. He is moving his mouse ball which shows up on screen as a white dot. He writes onto a note pad which comes up on screen. Close up of screen. Close up of man drinking coffee from polystyrene cup. Woman sits at old fashioned looking computer with green text. There is no hard drive, it is all in one; keyboard, drive and monitor. Shot of an open plan office. Boss's secretary goes to her desk and answers phone embedded in desk top. Close up of her talking on phone, she presses key pad for travel information for her boss. Close up of boss putting phone down. Video conference, camera zooms in on that appointment. He logs off computer, walks into video conferencing room. Computer makes great beep beep noises as data is input. Joke mail on screen about micro computer. Close up of hand caressing silver mouse ball. Close up of hand writing on screen pad. He sends cartoon to his friend. Checks address data on the database. He checks his mail and finds a birthday card from his girlfriend. Video conference begins with over the shoulder shot of David talking to Frank on a TV screen. Narrative of trouble with the project manager who has resigned meaning a delay in building. David looks up personnel hierarchy on his computer. David logs out, depressing the key pad and then makes a call on the telephone to try and sort out the project manager problem using the personnel database. Legal contract brought up on screen. Landscape of lake and fir trees with mountains in background. It is the secretary's painting in her office. David looks at figures on a graph on his screen, they are sales and production figures. Close up of man talking on white telephone. Graph of company market share. Secretary places polystyrene cup with coffee on her boss's desk. He puts phone back into its holes on the desk top. Checks details of possible replacement engineers in his personnel file. Also checks appraisal sheets. He has another video conference and the caller plays Happy Birthday to him. Five years later. It is 1990. The technology of the office has developed further. Voice sensitive computers enable dictation to be printed immediately as text onto the screen. He speaks to his secretary via video phone. Apparently everything seen on the film, which may appear as a fantasy is either already in operation or is being tested in the laboratories. Example of voice recognition. A woman with a head set surrounded by machines. Optical character readers. Still of an office full of early (1970's) computer technology. Good shot of a desk with old style computer and 3D diagram on screen. Early Windows pages shown in research laboratory. Video conferencing still. Slide show of diagrams illustrating adoption of planned strategy for using computers.

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