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Review of One Film - Research Paper Example

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Assessment of Back to the Future By Course University Date In 2007, the 1985 film Back to the Future was selected by the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry as a “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant” film (Fhlainn, 2010, p…
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Review of One Film

Download file to see previous pages... This paper assesses the film for its cultural and historical value by examining the movie from the idea for the film, the drafting of the script, production and post-production exposure and results. Film critic and freelance journalist, Josh Winning (2010) provides thorough insight into back story for Back to the Future. According to Winning (2010), the idea for the film originated with producer Bob Gale and writer/director Robert Zemickis. Both Gale and Zemickis had produced a few films together and had always wanted to produce a time travel film. The idea for Back to the Future originated with Gale back in 1980 when he visited his parents and came across his father’s high school yearbook. Gale found himself wondering what kind of a high school teen his father was and speculated over how he might have reacted to his father had he attended school with him. It was this thinking that gave birth to the idea for Back to the Future (Winning, 2010). Upon his return to Los Angeles, Gale pitched the idea to Zemickis, who speculated over what Gale’s mother might have been like in highschool and the idea for Back to the Future was complete. Together, Gale and Zemichis took their idea to Columbia Pictures and a developmental contract was signed and the two began working on drafting a script. The script was designed to transport 17 year old Marty back to a time when his parents were teens in high school. This meant that Marty would have to go back to the 1950s, an important time in American history and culture development. This was an era in which teens gained some form of economic power and freedom and became empowered (Winning, 2010). The first draft for the script was completed in 1981 and featured Marty as a video pirate and the time machine was largely a fridge. A second draft in 1981 changed Marty to a “wannabe rock star” and modernised the time machine (Winning, 2010). Ian Nathan (2010) of Empire magazine provides insight into the making of the film Back to the Future by interviewing Gale and Zemickis and executive producer Steven Spielberg who worked with the draft scripts. According to Spielberg, the first draft was a bit too clean and would not hold up against the raunchy comedies that were currently dominating the box office. Moreover, the time machine seemed so stationery and would have had limited mobility for the time traveller. On this basis, the first draft was rejected by Columbia Pictures and a more mobile time machine with wheels was devised for the second draft which was shopped around. The script went back and forth between studios and Gale and Zemickis at least forty times before a final draft with an acceptable level of edginess was achieved. Spielberg acted as an advisor, mediating between various studios and Gale and Zemickis, trying to preserve the integrity of Gale and Zemickis’ ideas and helping them to finally sell the final draft to Universal Pictures (Nathan, 2010). Upon accepting the draft, Sid Sheinberg at Universal made three notes to the script. First, the character Dr. Emmett Brown could not be called “professor” as that would be “too corny” (Nathan, 2010). Secondly, Brown’s mascot could not be a chimpanzee as no movie with a chimpanzee in it has ever been a hit. Thirdly, the movie title had to be changed from Back to the Future to Spaceman from Pluto. However, Gale and Zemickis would not agree to a movie title change and with Spielberg’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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