What does the crystal ball predict for the future of energy? It isn’t quite that easy, but the documentary film “Switch” explores the most asked and quite possibly the most important energy question: Where is all of our energy going to come from?
“Energy makes modern life possible. It’s the most important and pervasive commodity in the world,” according to Harry Lynch, the film’s director, co-producer, and co-writer. “It powers every mode of transport, all of our buildings, all communication. It allows mechanized agriculture, modern medicine, credit cards, and electronic banking on a global scale—everything! These are obvious when we think about them, but most of the time, we completely take them for granted.”
The film examines all of our energy options—coal, natural gas, and renewables. Lynch and Dr. Scott Tinker—narrator, co-producer, and co-writer—explore the world’s leading energy sites, from coal to solar, oil to biofuels, many highly restricted and never before seen on film. They get straight answers from the people driving energy today: international leaders of government, industry, and academia.
“Switch” is part of the Switch Energy Project, an effort designed to build a balanced understanding of energy. It includes: the film, a huge video-based and data-supported website and an elementary, middle and high school education program of videos and curricula co-developed with the American Geological Institute.
Feedback on the film has been positive. Experts see it as an impartial, informative look at energy’s future.
“Smart energy movies like this one focus on pragmatism instead of silver bullets. I found it very encouraging,” said Michael Ming, Energy Secretary of Oklahoma.
Tinker said the film is an impartial look at all energy types.
“While many other energy films set out with an agenda, then advocate for one energy type or another, Switch is different,” Tinker said. “We started with a question then went out to find the answers, working hard to remain unbiased and open to new ideas. I’ve been studying our energy transition for 10 years and working in energy for nearly 30. I learned many, many new things on our journey. And they’re in the film. It’s based on practical, realistic evidence from the field and the many other experts we interview! Its controversy is in its balance and candor. In that respect, there is no other energy film like this.”
To learn more about the Switch Energy Project visit http://www.switchenergyproject.com/.
Fun film facts:
- Filmed in 11 countries
- 27 world-leading energy sites for all energy types
- Includes 53 expert interviews
- Switch took 2 years to film using 2 primary and 8 additional cameramen, shooting more than 500 hours of footage
- Switch took over 1 year to edit (for the film and the web videos), using 2 primary and 7 additional editors