Film ID:
NEFA 8514

EYE TO THE FUTURE

1961

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Description

A documentary and educational film produced by the ICI Film Unit on the role of the engineer in the development of industrial production, building on the research of the chemist and physicist and making experiments practical on an industrial scale. The film records a student's progress through university, including a whiz through non-academic activities to illustrate the benefits of university, a summer apprenticeship schemes at ICI Wilton works, and internship programme in Canada. The final continues showing the student at work with a post-graduate student, conducting an experiment with an early analogue computer, taking his final exams and eventual graduation. The film ends with him now a junior engineer supervising other students.

The film begins on an open ledger laid out on a bench. On the open pages is a chart or graph representing a form of measurement. Resting on the open page is a pocket watch or stopwatch. The camera pans right showing a technician making an adjustment to a chemical experiment. A wider shot shows the complex arrangement of glassware and tubes. The camera zooms in on one flask containing a liquid. The picture dissolves to a general view of a huge round concrete flask-shaped building on the site of a chemical plant. The camera pans right showing another similar building and then to a broader view of pipe work and other large steel framework installations.

Title: ICI Presents - Eye to the Future

Title: Produced by ICI Film Unit

General views of a chemical plant including views of the flask-shaped buildings under construction. The camera pans from right to left showing more general views of the chemical plant followed by a chemical laboratory containing glassware and tubing as well as other chemistry equipment.

The film cuts to show a man drawing a diagramtic representations of chemical installations(?) on a blackboard. The film then shows a technician checking dials and turning valves on coloured pipe work. Another technician adjusts some electrical equipment. The film cuts to diagrams which are placed on a table in front of the camera. These appear to be detailed plans for a full scale chemical production plant. A group of engineers gather around a model showing the framework of the new plant. The film cuts to a close up of a draughtsman's drawing board. The camera pans up to a broader view of the whole drawing office. The film cuts to show two technicians testing some new equipment. One of them adjusts a control on some electrical equipment. The next shot is of a scale model of the new plant installation. A technician add some new items to the model.

On a construction site, a crane is moving a large steel beam. A dumper truck crosses the site and continues away from the camera. Another lorry is seen travelling towards the camera. The camera pans left and upwards showing the extent of the new construction. A night shot follows showing lights on the chemical installations. The camera pans right to an external shot looking through a window to a control room with each side of the room showing dials and other controls. The room is lit with strip lights which emit an eerie glow. Men check the readings of the dials and other indicators.

The film cuts back to the scale model of the chemical plant seen earlier, as the technician adds more items to it. The film cuts to an engineer checking a dial on a piece of equipment while turning a valve control. A colleague takes notes. Another engineer adjusts another piece of control equipment which has coloured light displays and mechanical controls. The film cuts to a drawing office where a man is talking to one of the draughtsmen.

In a street a Vauxhall taxi from 'Ace Taxis' pulls up at the kerb. The young man who was talking to the draughtsman earlier, gets out of the car. The taxi leaves and he is left alone on the pavement with his suitcases. The young man picks up his suitcase and walks through arch and reports to a porters lodge where the porter, in very formal dress, directs him to his rooms. The young man is a student arriving at university to begin his studies. The film cuts to the new student and his fellow freshmen attending an introductory lecture by the head of the engineering department.

A rowing team is seen out on a river. A close up follows of the boat's coxswain shouting instructions. The film cuts to a rugby match, then to an internal shot showing a group of students playing tiddledywinks. Lights for a theatre stage are switched on and a group of students are shown rehearsing a play. The film shows another student operating the lights. The film cuts back to the head of engineering continuing his introduction and the students listening attentively and taking notes. The lecturer writes mathematical figures on the blackboard. A close up follows of the lecturer explaining the content of a diagram.

A rotating chart is part of a student experiment. The chart is fixed to a table which is at the centre of a large rotating drum. An overhead shot shows students seated around the table as the whole drum rotates. Items on the table roll off as the drum rotates.

The film cuts to a sequence of other lectures in mathematics. The student who is the main protagonist in the film begins to look weary as he tries to keep up with all this new knowledge. The film shows another experiment which tests the strength of joints in metal. A special machine pulls a joint apart. Students operate the machines and take readings from instruments. Another experiment tests the strength of a reinforced concrete beam. The students look on as the controls of the experiment are adjusted. Our student writes up the results of the experiment.

The film cuts to the student at work in the library where he writes his notes and discusses an issue drawn to his attention by another student. The next shots shows the student and his colleagues with their supervisor who gives advice on their work. The film cuts to less formal activities where students talk amongst themselves, take a drink in a bar plus a sequence of snippets of conversations between students. A street scene follows where an old car pulls away from the camera in the rain. The car is open topped and has four students in it. Two of the students try in vain to keep the rain off with umbrellas as they drive along. The car turn left into a side street where the it breaks down. The driver gets out of the car and inspects under the bonnet, while the other occupants of the car look on.

The film cuts to a shot of a large black limousine approaching the gatehouse of ICI Wilton works. Our student guide tells us he is taking a short course during his summer holiday. The car drives along the roads which service the works with general views of chemical plant and associated buildings. The film cuts to a machine shop where a supervisor in a white lab coat supervises other trainees. The student is working on a lathe as part of a programme to learn about workshop practice. He learns how to cut metal with an oxy-acetylene torch. He then accompanies a fitter carrying out routine maintenance on works in the plant. The student assists the fitter in manhandling some pipe work.

Back at university the student is seen parking his bike in a concrete bike rack. He and his colleagues hang up their coats on a set of hooks outside a laboratory or workshop. The student operates the controls of a water tank in order to study the water's behaviour. A fellow student operates another control further along the tank, another student adjusts the flow of water as it leaves the tank. The next shot shows a hydraulic turbine. The blades of the turbine can be seen through a transparent housing.Our student operates a control on the turbine. He shines a flashing light, possibly a stroboscope, on it and the camera zooms in on the flashing light.

The film cuts to the student in his study working on notes under the glow of a table lamp. The film cuts to the student leaving for another posting during his next summer vacation. He is seen climbing aboard an airplane to Canada to work for CIL in Canada, ICI's partner company. The film shows the student and an engineer looking over several reels of Terylene attached to a loom or a similar machine. The next shot shows thicker strands of Terylene being fed from steel drums and transported as long strands overhead. The engineer and the student walk between the drums during this process. They follow the progress of the strands through the plant.

The film cuts back to the student, now back at university for his final year. He is late and enters the lecture theatre where the seminar is already in progress. The lecturer is giving instruction in mathematics with a number of formulae on the blackboard. The film follows a general view of a number of lectures in quick succession, using lots of talking heads. A cut to the student showing him struggling to keep up with his notes. The film cuts to a quieter environment in the library, where the student concentrates on his work. The camera pans from right to left over the specialist magazines on display. The film follows the student as he looks in at a research laboratory where post graduate work is taking place. A post graduate student shows him a model plane which will be used in an experiment in a supersonic wind tunnel. A special camera shows the forces being exerted on the nose of a rounded projectile. Another shot shows a reel of tape being used in a control system. A lecturer shows the student a rack of electronics with complex wiring. An experiment follows showing the student engaged in work of his own. He is observing an experiment which demonstrates the properties of springs. A variety of electronics monitors the experiment including analogue computers. Charts are printed from special measuring equipment.

The film cuts to more relaxing activities including a jam session at a local jazz club; believed to be the crypt at Wilton Castle. Shots of energetic dancing follow.

The next sequence shows a university lecturer complete with mortar board and black cloak opening an envelope. Papers taken from the envelope are handed out to the room of students. He hands one to our student who puts it to one side. The film cuts to an exterior shot where students are gathered around a notice board, they seem pleased with what they see. The film cuts to four students including our student dressed in ermine collared cloaks and white bow ties as they prepare for graduation. An exterior shot shows them appear from a doorway with their degree scrolls in their hands. The camera zooms in on the group of students.

In his new job our student is back in the workshop, as he supervises someone using a vertical stand drill. Next we see him in a drawing office where he has in front of him a design for some new equipment. The camera pulls back showing him working at his drawing board. The film cuts to a large lathe in a workshop, then to a shot of a large pipe being welded. The student supervises progress. He then appears working with a model of a new chemical plant. In his commentary the student states that his first job is as junior engineer. The next shot shows him leaving the factory where he is working then getting into a cream coloured Morris Minor saloon. He drives off, a long shot shows the new Billingham ICI Agricultural headquarters. A travelling shot shows him driving by chemical works (possibly ICI Wilton). A roadside shot shows him driving away towards a rather polluted sunset, as the camera lingers on a long shot of chemical works.

Title: ICI (Emblem)