Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Premiere of the "BTTF" documentary at George McFly's house

Last Saturday was the block party in Pasadena where John, the producer, director, and photographer of his documentary "Back to the Future on Bushnell Avenue" was given it's grand premiere. I'd spent the previous week cutting and polishing footage from his rough stringout of clips. As it turned out, I would be working on this right up until showtime.

The block party happens once a year on the street where Lorraine's, George's, and Biff's grandmothers house all reside from "Back to the Future" and "Back to the Future Part II". And of course the tree across from Lorraine's house which is the centerpiece of the documentary. The event was catered with Mexican food and there were a number of tables and chairs placed in the blocked off street for people to mingle, relax, and eat.

Midway through Saturday John realized that he hadn't called some of the local "BTTF" fans who were interviewed over the course of the last several months. Ultimately he was able to contact five or six people, who stopped by to watch the final cut. One of these interviewees was a guy from Monrovia named Lionel and we had some pretty good conversations about the trilogy and movies in general. I also thought about getting in touch with Stephen Clark who runs to put the word out to other fans in the LA area. Unfortunately the go-ahead decision came a little late on the actual day for him. He said it might be too last minute and if we'd notified him a few days before he could have blasted his site with the news. Unfortunately it seemed inappropriate to have perhaps hundreds of fans show up to what was ultimately a private neighborhood block party.

After I finished the final cut and John gave it his very happy seal of approval, we walked up the block to intro the documentary minutes later (yes, we finished THAT close to showtime) which would be projected onto a large screen erected on the front porch of the house (right by the front door) that was used as George McFly's residence. We received a hearty round of applause, plus some comments from neighbors who said that they understood now why this place touches so many people. After the eleven minute doc. ran, we were treated to a 25th anniversary screening of "Back to the Future". I have to say it was pretty wild sitting there on the lawn and watching "BTTF" in the very place where parts of the movie was shot.

As "BTTF" began to roll we were met, quite by accident, by a couple from New Zealand who were also fans. Turned out they were doing a little "BTTF" location tour of their own and just happened to walk down John's street, only to find a small fan celebration going on. They'd missed seeing John's piece, so we headed back to his house to show it to them in the basement where his edit bay was set up. Lionel joined us as well to watch once more. As mentioned previously, this is where I worked for the majority of Saturday to finish editing. We all exchanged Facebook pages with one another, then headed back up the street to watch the climactic clock tower sequence in "BTTF". What a perfect night, I thought to myself. In fact, Rebecca and I had had one of the best and most enjoyable nights in recent memory.

The very next day a light bulb went off in my head. I spoke with John about the possibility of showing his doc. on an LCD monitor right on the front porch of his house when the locations tour connected with November's 25th anniversary event rolled through. He loved the idea, so I went ahead and contacted the guy whose running that to make the proposal. Have not heard back form him yet but hopefully soon.


At September 29, 2010 at 2:52 PM, Anonymous Allen Pinney said...

This is so cool. Wish I could have been there!


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