Back To The Future (1985)

Posted by brian

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Back To The Future, one of Robert Zemeckis’ breakthrough films, was conceived by producer and co-writer, Bob Gale, when he visited his family in St Louis Missouri and wondered what it would of have been like to be friends with his father in high school. Originally conceived as a laser and a refrigerator at one point, the time machine, a DeLorean DMC-12 was chosen because of its gull-wing doors and its resemblance to a flying saucer. The iconic car was designed to be an offshoot of Doc Brown’s personality: technical and stylish. The green, red, and yellow design of the light indicators was inspired by George Pal’s 1960’s film, The Time Machine. Industrial Light & Magic designed the instantaneous time travel effects on the car and the clock tower which included lightning, fire trails, and explosions.
Director of photography, Dean Cundey, had the solution of bringing a sense of nostalgia for 1955, by introducing subconsciously to the audience that it was a warmer, softer, fuzzier time. This is shown in shots in Lou’s Diner when George attempts to ask Lorraine to the dance, and moments revolving around George punching Biff. For contemporary periods, Mr Cundey opted for harsher, more contrasty lights with additional saturation. Zemeckis preferred not to shoot in wide screen, so the movie was shot in 1:85.
The core location was filmed at the Universal back lot which gave the filmmakers a lot of control. The clock tower and nearby structures could easily be transformed to a dirty, worn down 80’s, or a new, pristine 50’s. While most films try hard to avoid product placement, Back To The Future embraced it with Pepsi’s, Bank of America’s, DeLorean’s, Texaco’s, Toyota’s and so on. In 2007, the film was accepted into the National Film Registry.

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Posted on March 16, 2011 at 3:16pm

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