This color ESSO training film “Opportunity Unlimited” is about how to improve business at an Esso service station. It also shows some of the ESSO and ATLAS branded point of sale signage and advertising campaigns. Produced circa the mid 1950s, probably 1957. It was directed by Edward Seward and produced by John Bransby. Note: the film may have been shot at the Jackson Esso Service Station located at 328 Henderson Drive, Jacksonville, North Carolina. The plot of the film consists of an “A” and “B” story, with Esso station owner Bill Jackson taking a long overdue cruise to Mexico with his wife, while his employees mind the station in his absence — while getting coached by a visiting corporate sales manager. Opening titles: Esso Standard Oil Company presents Opportunity Unlimited (:06-:36).The owner of Jackson’s Esso Service Center, Bill Jackson, talks to a judge. He’s driving a 1957 Buick Roadmaster. At home, Mrs. Jackson receives a phone call from a travel agent to pick up tickets for their cruise aboard a steamship. Bill checks the oil and works under the hood on the Belair. Mrs. Jackson calls the service station and leaves a message for her husband (:37-2:51). The judge and Bill discuss. Esso salesman discusses what is needed (2:52–4:35). The men discuss. Cars drive slowly down a suburban street past the Monroe Auto Mart used car lot in Monroe, North Carolina (5:36). City streets and the promise that more cars will soon be on the road. Bill talks with the salesman. Esso service station sign. Car at an Esso station (4:36–6:42). Bill closes his station at night. His station sits quiet when closed. Texaco station is open. Bill talks with a salesman about how to increase business (6:43–7:59). Bill gets home, talks with his wife. Bill didn’t have time to grab the tickets, he’s home for lunch (8:00–9:29). Cruise ship horn blows. People wave. Ship sails at sea. Bill and his wife on the beach. An Esso sales manager talks to the other workers at the service station, a truck is unloaded. The salesman goes through a binder to explain how to expand and improve business. Bill and his wife walk around a boat dock. They have the option to board a fishing boat and decide to go for $15 a person (9:30–12:23). Sales manager talks to the other workers at the service station about selling opportunities. An interesting looking coupe pulls up to an island at the service station. A man cleans the windows while someone checks under the hood. The oil stick is shown to the customer. Esso Salesman talks to the other worker at the service station (12:24–15:29). Car in service station lot vanishes. A man checks how much gas is still underground in the tank. Oil change. Tires being changed. Sales manager talks to the other worker at the service station. BIll gets a picture taken by his wife with a giant fish on vacation. Car pulls out of the station at night. Worker goes into the station and makes a call (15:30–17:57). Bill’s wife seeks Bill as he sits on the beach. The coworker sent him a letter on vacation. His wife reads it to him. She pulls out an ad from the envelope. The two discuss, Bill stands up (17:58–21:25). Inside the Esso station, the coworker types another letter. Three workers look at a picture the boss sent of himself with a fish. The workers paint, fix up the station, put up an oil display. Esso handouts. Workers discuss their plan for better business (21:26–23:17). Workers are nice to customers, clean windshields, and offer new services. A worker cleans the inside floor mats. Coworker types. A worker hands a woman a flyer that show what they offer (23:18–25:21). A board has all of the appointments listed. A new man was hired for the station as well. Bill and his wife read a letter at a table near the beach, they discuss what it says (25:22–27:40). Radiogram / telegram. Car is worked on at night at the service station. The worker talks to the Judge. Another worker talks to the judge after doing work on the car (27:41–29:24). A picture of Bill with his fish in the newspaper. Bill talks with his employees and they show him a clipboard that has the figures. Salesman comes in and talks with Bill. Bill takes off his jacket and heads for the judge. He holds a newspaper. He shakes the judge’s hand and then shows off the picture of him and the fish. The employees come and help out on the judge’s car. Bill waves as the judge leaves (29:25–33:05). No end credits. This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k.
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