On Thursday, filmmaker Adam McKay tweeted out a question, with a video: “Has anyone seen this Chevron commercial?” The one-minute and 40-second “commercial” begins with the beautiful shots of nature we have come to expect from big business interests like fossil fuel companies and agricultural farming giants: waves breaking on rocks, a waterfall, a newborn baby.
The voiceover begins: “We at Chevron believe that nothing is more precious than life.” A shot of a woman, eyes closed to feel the breeze in a long, tall grass field as a storm whips up the wind comes through, and takes up the screen. An underwater rainbow-colored explosion of life at coral reefs, a super-slowed close-up of a hummingbird dipping into a flower on a sunny day: “And the most precious life of all is the dead kind …”
A dark landscape fills the frame. Lighting strikes spread beautiful streaks of light across the horizon. “ … that has been compressed for hundreds of millions of years, under massive rocks,” a child playing on a slip-n-slide, “until it magically becomes oil.”
And it gets better and better, darker and more honest. Enjoy your weekend!
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I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.