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This week, we take a look at the engineer and entertainment. Today’s post is about the number 0.0010342%. This represents the percent of movies in which an engineer plays a major role. Notice that this is a percent and it means that in a little more than one out of 10,000 movies, an engineer is given significant billing. Not top billing, of course. That percent is much, much lower. But, there you have it. Engineers provide Hollywood with electricity, clean water, wastewater disposal, engines, sound expertise, computer wizardry, and the list goes on. What does Hollywood give to the engineer in return? A few lines in every 10,000 movies. And most of the movies with engineers are science fiction, so the engineer is usually “out there” socially.

I guess it could be worse. At least not too many engineers are the bad guys.

Call in the Engineer

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For the most part, the entertainment industry is against engineers. We will cover this in other posts.

But how are engineers themselves portrayed? For the most part, engineers are admired, as they should be. Sure, there is the bad example at the beginning of MI3, where spy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is at his engagement party and is explaining his cover job as a transportation engineer, then after he walks away, the guy in the group he was talking to pretends to fall asleep. A jab at engineers for sure. (Side note: When Ethan leaves the group, after the guy feigns sleep, the women all agree that they would marry him, even with his “boring” job. Of course, it is Tom Cruise.)

However, in movies when a person has the name engineer attached to his character, like on a team – good or bad – the audience knows one thing. This person gets things done. Yes, the engineer is the person they give the difficult, technical job to. If there is a bomb that needs diffused, an underground wall that needs breached, a computer security system that needs overriden, or an alien spaceship that needs destroyed, what do they do? Call in the engineer. The engineer will get it done.