There is a ridiculously small number of people who have had their lives transformed into a movie. There number of people who have seen their lives spun into a nine-minute corporate commercial is even smaller.
Billed as "A story inspired by real events," the Shell Films commercial "Eureka" has been available for a while, but I hadn't seen it until this month's WIRED arrived. The issue is polybagged with a copy of the film on DVD. I figured I could spend nine minutes of my life I'll never get back on the agitprop, and let AutoblogGreen readers know if it's worth their time. It's not.

The film isn't poorly filmed or executed in any way – I've been to enough film festivals to know that it's easy to make uninspired short films – it's just not really fun to watch a well-lit press release. I'll summarize the film – with spoilers – and also put the YouTube stream of the movie (the clip above is the trailer) in case you want to decide for yourself after the jump. You can also watch the film over on the Shell website.

[Source: Shell, WIRED, YouTube] "Eureka" is about Jaap van Ballegoolien, a shell engineer, and his troubled son (apparently, his trouble is that he stays out late and tries to call his father who works on the other side of the works thanks to Shell). We also meet a semi-ignorant, idealistic reporter (look, she wears dress shoes to talk to a meeting with our roughneck Shell oil engineer/hero. How darling). Thanks to her suggestion that he take time away from the problem – trying to squeeze every last bit of oil from already-standing oil platforms – he returns home to Amsterdam and takes his son out for a burger and milkshake. Bingo presto, an idea is born. Or should I say "eureka."

The film tells us that the "Snake Well" as invented by Jaap van Ballegoolien, and his team, is now being used in Shell's Champion West Oil Field in Brunei. The inspiring message from this discovery: keep using your oil, we'll find ways to drill it. In the film, van Ballegoolien says, "I thought of calling it [the Snake Well] the 'bendy-straw' drill. The beauty of this technology is that it means fewer wells, which means less disruption and less waste. Prolonging the life of oil fields across the world, whilst we continue developing alternative energy sources." Where's the DVD of that process? You'd think by making $4.37 billion or so in profit per quarter, there should be money in the budget, no?

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