They Were There (2011). By Errol Morris, no cinematographer credit. IBM shelled out for an industrial by the best in the biz to mark its 100 year anniversary, complete with a Philip Glass score. It’s a little too on-point with messaging to make for an interesting film, but it includes this particular frame and facial expression, so in my mind it’s a film worth watching.
Barry Franz recounts IBM’s presentation to the committee that created the UPC code. “The door opened and if I recall right three people came in. One was a very unique IBM individual. He didn’t look to me like the kind of IBM people I’d been associated with. If I recall right, his suit may have been brown.” Apparently this brown suit could sell widgets, because IBM got the contract and now there are UPC codes everywhere on our planet. It’s even become one more clichéd option when customers choose a tattoo, a UPC code as an act of rebellious irony. Or maybe they’re just sci-fi fans.
Thanks to John Shand for suggesting this film. It’s a good one to illustrate Morris’s signature style. May we all deliver such artistry to our corporate clients.