The movie Back to the Future, is filled with an all star cast and dynamic visual effects that were stunning in nineteen eighty-five and still stunning by today’s definition. It was an appealing movie in which all ages could relate to the fun and entertainment that it was meant to portray. The movie was set in the fictional town of Hill Valley and focused upon the antics of “Doc. Emmett Brown” played by Christopher Lloyd and his sidekick “Marty Mcfly” played by Michael J. Fox. The film was written by Robert Zemeckis, who also directed the movie and Bob Gale,who came up the story idea. Steven Speilberg was the producer for the film.
The story idea came to writer Bob Gale one day when at his parents’ home he found an old yearbook of his father’s. He thought to himself, “Would he and his father been friends if they had gone to school together?” Gale returned to California and shared his idea with Robert Zemeckis. They decided to take the project to Columbia pictures and made a developmental deal with Columbia for the script in September of 1980. (Klastornin) The rough draft of the script was finished in February, nineteen eighty-one. The film turned out to be more than just a thought about his father. The film had only a nineteen million dollar budget and brought in more than three hundred-eighty million dollars. Back to the Future was a critically acclaimed best movie of nineteen eighty- five. Critic Christopher Null claimed it to be “a quintessential nineteen eighties flick that combines science fiction, action, comedy and romance all into a perfect little package that kids and adults will devour.”(Null) It won the Hugo Award for dramatic presentation, the Saturn award for best science fiction film, academy awards and Golden Globe nomination. The film marked the beginning of a franchise with the sequels Back to the Future ll in nineteen eighty- nine and the sequel Back to the future lll in nineteen ninety. There was an animated series, a theme park ride and a video game released as well.
The movie has a scene in which Marty is asked who is president in nineteen eighty- five and replies, “Ronald Reagan”. The person he is talking to laughs and tells him that Ronald Reagan is an actor, not a president. When watching the film for the first time Ronald Reagan himself was so amused by the joke about his being president that he had the theater stop the movie and rewind the reel so he could see the part again. He even referred to the movie in his nineteen eighty-six State of the Union address. He stated, “Never has there been a more exciting time to be alive, a time of rousing wonder and heroic achievement. As they say in the film, Back to the Future, where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”(cspan) Many years later president George H.W. Bush used references from Back to the Future in his speeches.
The film had to shoot at Universal Studios in California because no town would allow producers to redo their town to fit the nineteen fifties setting. Hill Valley scenes were shot at Courthouse Square on the back lot. Industrial Light and Magic created the thirty- two special effect shots. (Freer) Designers set the fifties in a wonderful way to make the town look beautiful, they shot all the scenes from the fifties first so they could make the town look bleak and ugly for the scenes in the eighties. Back to the Future had to shoot differently than how most movies are filmed. Michael J. Fox was working weekdays on the hit television series Family Ties. This made him only available to work on the movie set from six-thirty p.m. to two-thirty a.m. on weekdays. They were forced to save exterior scenes until weekends because that was the only time he was available during daylight. This routine gave him only five hours for sleep each day. He found this schedule exhausting but worthwhile because he was simultaneously living his dream of being on television and in movies. The movie took one hundred days to film and finally wrapped up on April twentieth of nineteen eighty- five. Producers and editors worked twenty-four hour shifts making sure the movie would be ready for its July third release date. Only eight minutes of filming was omitted when editing was completed.
A lot of hard work went into the making of the movie Back to the Future. It was a risk at the time with lots of wondering whether the movie would flop or be a success. It proved a risk worth taking because now, twenty-six years later, it is movie that most all generations have seen. Back to the Future will continue to remain a film title known worldwide. This is a film that closes the generation gap and brings old and young together as one. Future generations will continue to enjoy this film for years to come.
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