Film: 9072

Industry + Work | 1980 | Sound | Colour


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British Gas Information film about energy in the past, present and future 1980's

A family in their living room, girl watches heavy metal band 'Tank' on the television, mother does the ironing with headphones on, dad works at a desk and a boy works on a BBC computer. Camera focuses on the television, the fire, the iron, the desk lamp, the computer, the radiator and the thermostat. The boy puts in a disc and "Energy Game" appears on the screen. The computer starts to talk to him about energy - "Hello Brian Bright, my name is EnerJohn". Brian is incredulous but his family don't seem to notice. The computer shows him various scenes where energy is used; cars on the road, a plane taking off, a train and domestic appliances.
Brian then disappears in whirl of light and travels through time to see how energy was used in past and in the future. Brian sits in the corner of the screen with a white hard hat on looking at the images behind him. Various industrial scenes.
He looks in on his family in the living room, the door closes and reads "energy in the past". The door warps and when he opens it again to reveal his Victorian ancestors. The father writes with a quill at the desk, the daughter plays with a doll's house and the mother irons by heating the iron in the fire. His hair and clothes have changed also. Music is played on a ….. And battle figures are laid out on the floor. Brian enters the room and picks up a book called "The Time Machine". He sits next to his great great grandfather and opens the book, a flashing panel (the talking computer) says "you are now in 1895". He looks around him at the lamps and the fireplace, his father talks about the cost of lamp oil.
Brian presses escape. Sun set scene, sun rises over countryside. Computer talks about the sun and fossil fuels. Picture of a man shovelling peat, close-up of coal, burning oil, and natural gas. Black and white sketches showing people using wood for energy, the mining of coal, the development of the gas industry, the invention of the steam engine, the discovery of electricity, batteries, electric lightbulb.
Back in Brian's living room, he takes a trip into the future and the room becomes a futuristic vision. Everything is very white and shiny. His mother is tapping her shopping order on a screen in the wall and his father is typing on the table. EnerJohn appears on a screen in the table showing him the ways people will extract energy in the future, from water, tides, solar energy, wind, thermo-nuclear processes, hydrogen. Space shuttle landing. Brian's mother colects a shirt from a slot in the wall which doesn't need ironing.
Brian is returned to his living room with a renewed resolve to save energy. He turns the heating down and berates his parents for leaving the lights and iron on. Final scene of 'Tank' on the television.

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