It’s been almost two years since the theatrical debut of spOILed, so why re-release the film now in an updated, shorter format? Strangely enough, there are quite a few good reasons.
I actually attempted to produce a 52 Minute version of spOILed in August of 2011. I naively thought I could cut it down by simply removing sections and interview segments and then squeezing it all together. I cut and squeezed but it just didn’t work, so I set it aside. Then we were quickly swamped by the task of taking spOILed to theaters across the country. I was stressed about not being able to get a shorter version completed, but the delay turned out to be an unexpected gift.
When we were nearly finished editing our film in early 2011 there was no way to know that emerging shale oil production would turn from a promising flow into an enormous gusher. This new release takes that important change into account.
With shale making a significant impact on the world oil market, many experts are once again claiming “Peak Oil” is a myth and that there’s no need to be concerned about the availability of petroleum in the foreseeable future, if ever. I now believe focusing on oil-in-the-ground can be misleading. spOILed-52 does a better job of drawing the critical distinction between “Peak Oil” and “Peak Flow”. It identifies the many “above ground pressures” that are likely to keep the cushion between supply and demand uncomfortably tight.
One of the benefits of waiting to produce a shorter version is you get re-evaluate the content of the film based upon feedback. In this case, the input came from the thousands of people I spoke with personally in theaters from Midland to Santa Barbara and Billings to Kansas City. That input helped me to make many points stronger (such as oil in products and the much higher cost of gasoline/diesel outside the U.S.) while deciding how to find 38 minutes of cuts. We actually cut out more than that in order to make room for the new material.
Creating a 52-minute spOILed gives us a better chance to sell the documentary to international broadcasters where there is a much greater demand for products that will fit into a one-hour slot. Additionally, we are motivated to get our film into hundreds and hopefully thousands of classrooms. The condensed version will work much better in this environment.
The original spOILed may have come out two years ago, but our film’s message is timeless. Like it or not, fossil fuels built the modern world and oil is by far the most important commodity in our lives today.
spOILed is a valuable tool for educating people on these undeniable truths.