Although short films that document manufacturing processes are as popular as ever, some of the most shining examples have existed for decades.

In 1958, Dutch filmmaker Bert Haanstra paid a visit to the Royal Leerdam glass factory where an army of chain-smoking glassblowers delicately crafted crystal wares by hand. He also visited another factory that mass-produced glass bottles. Using footage from both factory visits, he then crafted Glas, a dialogue-free 10-minute short that compares the two production processes against a backdrop of soft jazz music. Thanks to the lyrical editing and jazz backdrop, the film went on to take home the Oscar in 1960 for Best Documentary Short.

Needless to say, while the award-winning short is high on the entertainment scale, it also gives us an interesting and timely look into what gets lost when we turn our work over to automation and machines:

Did anybody else catch that guy lighting a cigarette off the hot glass?


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.