Did Back to the Future actually and accurately predict our future as we know it?
Cubs Win! Cubs Win! (Well, let’s not get too hasty…)
Have no idea what any of this means? Get (old) schooled below [with easter eggs a plenty]…
To those not aware of this cinematic phenomenon, you’re probably sideways glaring like our friend Marty above. Ok, stay with me…
On this date, in 1989, Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox in Back to the Futures I-III) went back to the future… which is TODAY. Why celebrate a day in the past about a day in the future that only happened in the movies?
Because, the future is what you make it!
There’s a great compilation quote in the trailer for Back in Time, a documentary feature about the culture of Back to the Future, “Life has taken us places we never knew it would take us. And that’s what Back to the Future is about.” That’s exactly what this story and eventual franchise legend did for me.
Back to the Future III (1990) made me want to learn more about telling a story and the filmmaking process. No slight against parts I and II, chronology had more to do with it than anything. This piqued interest lead me to volunteer for the Florida Film Festival. Volunteering at the Florida Film Festival predicated my decision to go to and complete film school. More than ten years later, our team for the 2013 48 Hour Film Project drew the genre ‘Buddy Cop’ and came up with the loosely futuristic short film called “TechSquad.”
The icing on this proverbial cake? Our team, Creative Inlet Films, won the Orlando leg of this international film competition. We went on to screen nationwide and yes, even went to screen internationally! In 2014, our film screened at the Oscar Accredited Florida Film Festival, taking my whole, personal storytelling journey full circle! In fact, TechSquad is STILL on the festival circuit over two years later. In fact, we’re screening at Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival this weekend!
Also in the trailer, Executive Producer Steven Spielberg says, “Lightning in a bottle tends to stick around for a long time.” It’s been thirty years so far, and the film is even more iconic now than it ever was!
Central Floridians’ most vivid memory of this film might be the sadly retired attraction Back to the Future: The Ride at Universal Studios Florida (now Universal Orlando Resort), which was thought of by some as a dreamy ‘Back to the Future 4.’ The ride closed on March 30, 2007 and was replaced by Springfield USA, a land modeled after The Simpsons.
Nerd Alert: Universal Studios Hollywood also got a Back to the Future: The Ride after us. It also closed a few months after the one in Orlando did, on September 3rd, 2007. How do I know? I made the pilgrimage to be there in person and was one of the last people to ride both attractions! There’s one ride still standing, at Universal Studios Japan, and it’s STILL open. [BUCKET LIST!] And, because I can, a shout out…
For the benefit of those who never had the opportunity to experience Back to the Future: The Ride, here’s the setup; You were a Time Travel volunteer (you, and you and YOU!) for Doc Brown’s Institute for Future Technology. Your mission? To catch Biff (who of course stole one of Doc’s DeLoreans) by going back to the future in your own eight passenger model, bump him at 88 miles an hour and successfully cross… the space/time continuum. My favorite part was hearing Doc’s warning while leaving,“Hurry up! Get out! Before you meet yourself coming in!” (Apologies for the crudity of this ride synopsis. It’s not to scale.)
This collection of B-roll from Opening Day in 1991 is pretty rad…
As beloved worldwide as Back to the Future is, Central Florida businesses are getting back in the spirit too, which makes my little nerdy 8bit heart go aflutter!
Several movie theaters are showing all three Back to the Future films (aka “The Trilogy”) beginning at 4:29pm, the exact time that Marty, Doc, Jennifer Parker & company went back… to the future!
Honestly, I think it’s time for a Back to the Future Shadowcast in Central Florida, like the Rocky Horror Picture Show midnight shows presented by Orlando’s own Rich Weirdoes at AMC Universal!
I suppose I should close with a thank you divided amongst many; Thank you Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis for sharing your story of friendship and adventure with Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett L. Brown. Thank you Steven Spielberg for making sure it all happened. Thank you to the cast and crew, particularly Michael J. Fox for believing in the project enough to not sleep, basically, throughout your entire run on Family Ties and beyond.
Thank you John DeLorean for a most righteous time machine, and Chuck Berry for that new sound we’ve been looking for. Thank you Alan Silvestri and Huey Lewis for being the soundtrack to my soon realized aspirations – and for being just too darn loud. And a final thank you to Universal Studios Florida for hiring a girl just after her 16th birthday in 1995 and giving her the skills she uses on set to this day.