Hollywood and the energy business

Nicholas Newman Eniday February 2017


Dallas skyline

For Hollywood, the global energy business and its people continues to be a source of inspiration. Here is a sample of often interesting and sometimes thought-provoking movies, documentaries and television series…

Hollywood spends millions of dollars to captivate audiences worldwide with romance, comedy, drama and horror movies. Fewer in number, but not insignificant in presence, is Hollywood’s depiction of the energy sector and its people in movies, TV series and documentaries. This includes a string of releases over the years that have turned fledgling actors into major stars, like James Dean in Giant and Larry Hagman in the escapist Dallas television series. But that is not to forget the pioneering depiction of the power of electricity in the 1910 horror movie Frankenstein.

Pioneering spirit

The oil and gas industry continues to demonstrate its pioneering spirit as it explores for new resources in increasingly remote and hostile places and develops new technologies to speed access and make higher productivity gains and lower costs. The early years of the oil industry have been captured in the 2007 Miramax movie, “There Will Be Blood” inspired by Upton Sinclair’s novel “Oil”. It depicts the story of a silver miner-turned-oilman played by Daniel Day-Lewis on his ruthless quest for riches during Southern California’s oil boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Portraying the trials and tribulations of energy innovators, the 1940 film, “Edison, the Man,” starring Spencer Tracey as Thomas Edison is notable. Edison’s struggles as a leading pioneer in technologies supporting power generation, grid networks, and the electric light bulb is depicted on the silver screen. It foreshadows the many struggles of present-day innovators in raising funds, learning from experimentation and underscores the difficulties of converting a theoretical idea into a viable commercial concept. Read More

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