Im Nachfolgenden findest Du ein Transkript des Audiokommentares zur "Back To The Future: Part I" von Bob Gale und Neil Canton, der sich nur auf den Code-1-DVDs befindet! Das Transkript ist eine Kollektivarbeit einiger Mitglieder des Forums auf BTTF.com für alle internationalen Fans, die diesen Audiokommentar nicht anhören können. Das Script ist auf Englisch (so wie der Audiokommentar). Eventuell wird es in ferner Zukunft auch eine deutsche Übersetzung geben. Momentan ist mir eine Übersetzung aus Zeitgründen leider nicht möglich. Dennoch viel Spaß beim Lesen!
Chapter 1: "Main Titles" - Transcribed by "i kno it's not to scale"
Bob Gale: Hi, this is Bob Gale.
Neil Canton: ...and Neil Canton.
Bob Gale: We're co-producers and I'm co-screenwriter of Back to the Future Part I. We couldn't talk [director] Bob Zemeckis into sitting down and doing a scene-specific commentary with us so you'll just have to put up with us this time. And this should be the last commentary that you listen to. Listen to all the other stuff on the discs first because we're going to assume that you watched the documentaries and listened to the first commentaries so we don't have to repeat and make you bored with hearing the same stories you have already heard.
[MARTY ENTERS DOC'S LAB]
Bob Gale: This is a set, obviously, shot on Stage 12 at Universal. [It was] a major pain in the ass to get this shot because of all these clocks and the intricate camera move, and it's actually the second beginning of Back to the Future that Bob Zemeckis and I wrote. As you heard on the rest of the material, the original version had a climax in New Mexico on a nuclear test site and the original opening scene took place in a classroom where Marty was watching a documentary about that. We actually built a classroom set where we were going to shoot that and after we re-cast Michael J. Fox and we were trying to figure out ways to cut money, Bob and I realized that we didn't need that scene, it was not information that we needed, and we concocted this sequence with a set that we already knew that we had that would be cheaper to do and since we were only shooting half-days with Michael J. Fox [because MJF was simultaneously taping episodes of his TV show, "Family Ties"], this shot took about a half a day to do - we didn't have to have Michael here to do that.
[SHOT OF TV NEWSCAST]
Bob Gale: This is Deborah Harmon on television... Bob [Zemeckis] and I worked with her on "Used Cars" (1980), and she came in to do this uncredited as a favor to us.
[MORE SHOTS OF DOC'S LAB]
Bob Gale: One of the things that this scene is doing, of course, is giving information about Doctor Emmett Brown. We're not gonna see Doc Brown for a good 20 minutes into the movie, but by seeing all this gadgetry and craziness you get a complete sense of who the guy is and you'll be interested to find out what kind of a character he is. Also I should mention that the clock is either an homage or a rip-off of the opening of the "The Time Machine" (1960), which starts with a whole bunch of clocks as well.
[SHOT OF THE PLUTONIUM CASE ON THE FLOOR]
Bob Gale: When you're watching the movie and you don't really know anything about what it's about except for the fact that you have already seen the commercials and so forth, by putting the plutonium down there and showing where it was is a way to keep you interested and to let you know that something major is going to happen a little bit later on.
[MARTY TURNS UP EVERY DIAL ON THE AMPLIFIER SYSTEM]
Bob Gale: You may have noticed that on one of those gauges, it said "CRM114", one of Bob and my favorite movies was "Dr. Strangelove" (1964), and "CRM114" is a direct reference to that movie.
Chapter 2: "Late For School" - Transcribed by "i kno it's not to scale"
[MARTY IS BLOWN AWAY FROM THE AMPLIFIER OVERLOAD]
Bob Gale: We blew Michael back right?
Neil Canton: Yeah.
Bob Gale: Yes, that was not Michael's stuntman.
Neil Canton: That was Michael.
Bob Gale: That was Michael.
[MARTY PICKS HIMSELF UP OFF THE FLOOR]
Bob Gale: My recollection is that we had some kind of a promotional deal with whatever company made these sunglasses. It's the only time in the movie you see him wearing sunglasses.
Neil Canton: Right.
Bob Gale: And we put them in here to do some kind of a contractual obligation, and you never see them again because shooting with mirrored sunglasses in a major pain in the ass.
Bob Gale: This was a complete four-walled set and we could move out any wall that we needed to. And our property people... and set decorators had a great time, just finding any kind of junk that they could to load up this set right. There's a jukebox, there's a canoe in here, there's a couple of animal heads I think. They just scrounged everything they could find out of the prop and set decorating department and stuck it in here. The idea, of course, being that when Doc Brown's mansion burnt down, as you saw earlier in this scene on the newspaper, Doc salvaged everything that he could and stuck it here in his garage.
Neil Canton: It's where he lives in the garage also... a section of it is his bedroom.
Bob Gale: So he keeps the plutonium under his bed there. Which, of course, is where anyone would keep plutonium.
Neil Canton: I would.
Bob Gale: The garage there is just a flat that we put next to this Burger King, which is on Victory Blvd. in Burbank. Again we had some kind of a tie-in with Burger King on this and the deal was, I don't think they gave us any money but, my recollection is that they let us shoot there for free, which is something.
[MARTY IS ON HIS SKATEBOARD AND GRABS ONTO THE BACK OF A JEEP]
Bob Gale: The guy who is driving the Jeep there is our stunt co-ordinator Walter Scott and this, of course, is the back lot at Universal. Walter is someone that Bob and I met during the production of "1941" (1979) and again on "Used Cars" (1980). He was not our first choice for stunt co-ordinator. we tried to get Terry Leonard who we worked with many times before [He was an uncredited stunt co-ordinator on "1941", "Used Cars", and "Romancing the Stone" (1984)] but Terry was not available and [he] said 'Use Walter, Walter will do a great job', Terry was right - he did.
Chapter 3: "The Slacker" - Transcribed by "Riverside Drive"
[MARTY AND JENNIFER ENTER SCHOOL AND WALK DOWN HALLWAY]
Neil Canton: The high school is in Whittier... it's Whittier High School.
Bob Gale: Richard Nixon's alma mater.
Bob Gale: Strickland there is played by James Tolkan, a terrific actor. Bob and I noticed him and were impressed by him in a movie called "Prince of the City" (1981), where he plays a tough New York City cop or police commissioner or something, and he was really joy to work with.
[BAND AUDITIONS IN HIGH SCHOOL GYM IN THE AFTERNOON]
Bob Gale: That's Huey Lewis, if you weren't paying any attention.
Bob Gale: This was shot at the Burbank Community Center on, what street was that on? Riverside, Alameda? Something like that.
Bob Gale: The guy playing guitar there was Michael J. Fox's guitar instructor. We put him in the movie because, why not?
Bob Gale: My recollection is, this idea that they get rejected by playing too loud was Huey Lewis' idea.
Neil Canton: That's right, it was Huey.
Bob Gale: It's the stupidest reason to reject anybody, and of course...
Neil Canton: I think it's something that happened to him at one time in his career...
Bob Gale: That's right.
[HILL VALLEY COURTHOUSE SQUARE LATER THAT AFTERNOON]
Bob Gale: Here, of course, we're setting up Goldie Wilson, who we're gonna meet in a little while.
Bob Gale: Claudia Wells here, who plays Jennifer - we had originally cast her as Jennifer before we cast Marty. As you know, it took us a long time to finally get to the point where we cast Eric Stoltz as Marty. We pushed the start date back several times. By the time we had re-adjusted our schedule, Claudia was no longer available to play Jennifer, so we had to re-cast her with an actress named Melora Hardin. Melora Hardin was a couple inches taller than Michael J. Fox. So when Michael J. Fox got put in the movie, a lot of people on the crew, particularly interestingly enough the women, felt that it was not a good image to have Marty's girlfriend be three or four inches taller than he was. One of the hardest things I had to do was to fire Melora Hardin. She never even worked a day on the movie, and she hadn't done anything wrong, but that's what happened. And of course with the new schedule now - with Michael J. Fox - Claudia Wells was available, and she came back to play Jennifer as we originally wanted.
Bob Gale: You'll notice the clock tower back there. The ledge that Doc Brown is gonna walk on later on is completely intact. This is the vision of time travel that Bob [Zemeckis] and I came up with where you can change things, so in this version of the world, Doc Brown was never out there on that ledge, so it is completely intact. Of course, at the end of the movie when we're back here, you'll see that it is broken, and it's also broken in Back to the Future Part II. Aerobics, of course, was a big craze in the '80s. We always tried to find something that we could do on the backlot that we were gonna change that would be an interesting contrast between the '80s and the '50s. So the café became aerobics. If we were doing it today, it would probably have been a Starbucks.
Bob Gale: "Orgy American Style" playing there at the Essex Theater. I'm not actually sure if that's the title of a real movie, but it probably is.
Chapter 4: "The Family McFly" - Transcribed by "Riverside Drive"
[MARTY ENTERS LYON ESTATES ON HIS SKATEBOARD, RIDING ON THE BACK OF A TRUCK]
Bob Gale: When the movie played in Australia, Michael J. Fox had to do a public-service announcement for Australian television telling kids not to ride off the back of cars on their skateboards. They were, I guess, a little bit behind this [trend] in Australia, and kids hadn't even figured out you could do that. And of course, we had to tell them it was dangerous.
Bob Gale: This street is in Arleta, although this shot right here [of Marty walking up to the doorway to the house] is on a set.
Neil Canton: The first shot, where the truck is coming down the street, is in Arleta.
[BIFF YELLING AT GEORGE INSIDE THE MCFLY HOUSE]
Bob Gale: And here we have Crispin Glover as George and Tom Wilson as Biff, in their makeup. You'll find on the DVD some makeup tests, and we did a lot of tests to try to figure out how we were gonna light the makeup so it wouldn't look too makeup-y. This was a combination of latex devices and the actors' own flesh. By the time we did Back to the Future Part II, there had been advances in latex technology, where all the old-age makeup was in latex, but here it was a combination of partially latex appliances and partially them [the actors].
Neil Canton: If I recall correctly, it was Ken Chase who created the makeup.
Bob Gale: That's right. Ken had done "Roots" (1977). He'd done a lot of interesting makeup on "Roots", and that's the reason we hired him. On the other commentary, I think we talk about how it was an unusual choice to use the same actors playing themselves old and young. It's still not done all that often, but we felt that it was critical that the audience would appreciate what happens to these characters by seeing the same actors play them in all their incarnations. This greasy-hair look that Crispin has is great. We did a number of tests, trying to figure out what we were gonna do with his hair, and this turned out to be the ticket.
[SHOT OF GEORGE AT DINNER TABLE]
Bob Gale: This peanut brittle gag here is the payoff of a scene that got cut out, in which after Biff leaves, a neighbor comes by with his daughter selling peanut brittle, and George ends up buying a whole case of peanut brittle, and that's what he's eating for dinner.
[MCFLY FAMILY AROUND THE DINNER TABLE]
Bob Gale: We have a lot of exposition to set up everything that happens later on in the show. Exposition can be very, very painful, and you always try to figure out creative ways to get it out there. I think the most creative piece of exposition is the set-up for [Uncle] Jailbird Joey, because the cake gag that sets it up is funny all by itself, and you're completely unaware that it's any sort of a set-up whatsoever. The rest of it is pretty much pure exposition - the whole story of the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. As a writer, you sometimes try to be creative in how you hide the exposition, and make it so that it isn't noticeable. But sometimes the best thing to do is just bite the bullet, and have somebody just spit it all out, so that's what we do.
Bob Gale: Marty's brother and sister, by the way, are Wendie Jo Sperber and Marc McClure, who are veterans of the "Zemeckis-Gale Acting Repertoire Company". We used both of them in both "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" (1978) and "Used Cars" (1980). When you enjoy working with an actor, you go back to them, and have them come back again because you know that you can depend on them and you know that you'll have a good time working with them.
Bob Gale: The makeup on Lea Thompson here, Lorraine, is just great - all puffed up because she's an alcoholic. It's quite a contrast to the makeup that [makeup artist] Ken [Chase] created for her at the very end of the movie.
Bob Gale: Another thing I should say about this scene is that because of Michael's schedule [simultaneously taping episodes of his TV show, "Family Ties"], we had to film the coverage before we shot the masters. We would block the masters at the end of the night when we were shooting with him, so that everybody would know what their place was. Then we would put a stand-in there for eyelines, and Bob would shoot the coverage of everybody else before Michael came in. Then when Michael showed up, we'd shoot the master, then Michael's side of the scene. So the camera doesn't move around a lot at the dinner table because that was of necessity; we didn't have Michael to shoot that way.
Chapter 5: "A Time Machine" - Transcribed by "Riverside Drive"
[MARTY APPROACHING MALL PARKING LOT]
Bob Gale: This mall was a long schlep to get to this location from the studio, but it was the closet mall we could find that had this hill looking down on the parking lot, which was critical for the sequence at the end of the movie when Marty comes back and watches himself.
[MARTY WATCHES DELOREAN EMERGE FROM VAN]
Bob Gale: We had to schedule the shooting of this scene to take place after Christmas. The movie started shooting in November - that was with Eric Stoltz - and we couldn't shoot at a mall at Christmas because there were Christmas decorations all over the place, and it was too crowded. It was still a working mall when we shot it. We would shoot our close-up coverage first in a very small section of the parking lot that the mall people let us have. By 10 o'clock at night, all the employees were gone, and we could shoot the whole thing. We started filming this in January 1985, and we filmed a few nights with Eric Stoltz. It was during the filming of this that we made our casting change, on a night that Neil will always remember... tell them about it, Neil.
Neil Canton: I had a beeper on and my wife beeped me - she was pregnant, nine months pregnant. Just after we gave Eric the news and spoke to the crew and let them know what was going on, my beeper went off, and I went to the pay phone - we didn't have cell phones then - and called my wife. She said the baby was due and it was time to come home. I raced home - I figured I was at the furthest point I could possibly be - I raced home and took my wife to the hospital. My daughter was born, and I came back to work on Monday, I was the proud father of a beautiful baby girl, and had a new actor in Michael J. Fox.
[DOC PREPARES EINSTEIN FOR TEMPORAL EXPERIMENT #1]
Bob Gale: That insert, I remember, was a pain in the ass to get, to have both clocks to change at the exact same moment there.
Bob Gale: In a couple of these shots in the car with the dog in it, we actually had a stunt guy wearing a dog costume, who could actually drive the car. So the close-ups, where you obviously see it's a dog, is the real dog. Anything that was wide like this where we were afraid you might see the dog, was a stuntman in the dog suit.
Neil Canton: It was a whole suit - a dog suit - because we all know that dogs can't drive cars.
Bob Gale: This is an homage to Disney's "The Shaggy Dog" (1959).
[EINSTEIN TRAVELS INTO THE FUTURE]
Bob Gale: This, of course, was a combination of first-unit, second-unit, and inserts. Executive producer Frank Marshall was the second-unit director, and he would go out to the mall after we were all finished with storyboards and stunt guys and shoot shots like that.
Neil Canton: He would complain about how incredibly cold it was.
Bob Gale: It was cold.
Neil Canton: I think we actually had some snow flurries.
Bob Gale: I think you're right.
Bob Gale: People have frequently asked, what's the significance of 88 miles per hour? The only significance to it is that it's easy to remember.
Bob Gale: Those fire trails - that was another major pain in the ass. In the shots where the fire ignites, I think we had to undercrank those - it was some combination of gasoline and pyro fluid. Our special effects co-ordinator, Kevin Pike, always had great theories about why things were going to work. But it seemed like 8 out of 10 times, the theories needed to go back to the drawing board.
Neil Canton: A lot of times we would get the fire lit, and by the time we were ready to roll, the fire would be out - we had to stop everything and start all over again.
[DOC EXPLAINS TO MARTY WHAT HAPPENED TO EINSTEIN]
Bob Gale: Notice the composition that Bob [Zemeckis] uses - the blocking here - the disparity in the heights between Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. This is one way that Bob came up with to compensate that. So you'll notice throughout Back I and Back II, Bob uses this blocking a lot, where Christopher Lloyd is walking one way and Michael J. Fox is walking the other way. They're walking back and forth in three-dimensional space, and it's very effective... it's also very dynamic.
Bob Gale: I believe this was liquid nitrogen that we had sprayed all over the car to ice it up.
Neil Canton: It was also a problem keeping it on the car... it would drip off several times before we were ready to go.
Bob Gale: This is the iciest you'll ever see the DeLorean. You'll notice as the movie goes on, when the DeLorean reappears from a time trip, there's less and less ice on it, and finally by the time we're into the sequels there basically isn't any. I figured we used Mr. Fusion as an excuse why we weren't gonna have ice on the car anymore - great idea, great visual, and a pain in the ass to shoot.
[DOC SHOWS MARTY HOW THE DELOREAN WORKS]
Bob Gale: The red, green, and yellow of the different time displays is another homage to the George Pal [film] "Time Machine" (1960), where he had three lights bulbs over the time display thing that were in those colors. This is one of my favorite jokes that no one ever laughs at, that Jesus was born on December 25 in the year 0.
Neil Canton: Probably still not laughing.
Bob Gale: November 5 happens to be my father's birthday. My father, I think, believes to this day that this is a great homage to him. It was just the right day with the right day of the week to make the thing work with the script.
Bob Gale: We picked November because of the time of the year when we were shooting the movie, and of course to make sense that they would be having things like a school dance in school. We obviously couldn't have it take place in August, because there wouldn't have been any school.
Bob Gale: Again, blatant exposition here. What takes the curse off it is a great actor saying it with a crazed look in his eye.
[DOC AND MARTY RELOAD DELOREAN WITH PLUTONIUM]
Bob Gale: Notice Doc's truck there - [signage that reads:] "E. Brown Enterprises - 24-Hour Scientific Services". Our thinking was, if the folks in Hill Valley needed a scientist, day or night, they could simply call Doc Brown, and he would be there in his truck to do whatever service a scientist would be required for.
Bob Gale: This plutonium is actually fairly accurate. I remember, John Zemansky, our prop man, actually had a guy come to the parking lot at Amblin, with some things that looked just like this, to show us how plutonium would be stored and carted around. So, for those of you who might be interested to know what plutonium would look like, I don't know if it would actually be red like that, but it would be carried around in a case and units like that.
Bob Gale: If you look at the deleted scenes, you'll see the scene that we used that suitcase for. And if you haven't looked at the deleted scenes, you can stop the DVD and check it out...
Neil Canton: ...see what you missed.
Bob Gale: When Doc talks about going into the future to see who wins the next 25 World Series here, at the time Bob and I wrote that, we had no idea we'd be doing a World Series gag in Back to the Future Part II, but there it is.
Chapter 6: "Escape To The Past" - Transcribed by "Riverside Drive"
["WHO DO YOU THINK? THE LIBYANS!"]
Bob Gale: I was told that when NBC ran this movie recently, about four or five months ago - and this is June 2002 when we're recording this - they edited out some or all of the terrorist stuff here. I guess in the network's desire to be politically correct, they didn't want to offend any terrorists, be they Libyans or anybody else.
Neil Canton: We were ahead of our time, with Libyans wanting plutonium.
Bob Gale: Actually, we weren't. That was something pretty topical then and there - Khadafi [Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafi] was trying to get a bomb. Anyway, the moral of that story is, don't want movies on network television if you want to see movies the real way they're supposed to be.
[DOC IS SHOT BY THE LYBIAN TERRORISTS]
Bob Gale: We were criticized for that being too violent, when the movie came out. But it had to be violent, because we needed to make this incredibly powerful impression on Marty so that he would be motivated to write that letter and want to do something to avert Doc's death.
Bob Gale: You can't really hear the dialogue there, but one terrorist says, "Damn Soviet gun!" when the gun jams [Soviet AK-47 gun?], and the other one, when he can't get the car started, says, "Damn German car!" [German Volkswagen van]]
[MARTY JUMPS INTO THE DELOREAN AND FLEES THE TERRORISTS]
Bob Gale: Story-wise, it was important that Marty goes back in time accidentally. Bob [Zemeckis] and I struggled with this for a long time. Traditionally, in time-travel movies, the time traveler wants to go through time, and does something because he wants to travel through time that messes things up. We didn't want to mess anything up; obviously we wanted to make things better. So the solution to that was to make sure that it was clear that our hero did not want to travel through time, and once he got back in time, all he wanted to do was get back.
Bob Gale: For you continuity geeks out there that like to find continuity mistakes, we know that the numbers on the odometer aren't consistent from one shot to the next. It's a movie; don't worry about. You're supposed to be watching whether the needle hits 88, and not what the odometer says.
Chapter 7: "1955" - Transcribed by "Riverside Drive"
[MARTY CRASHES INTO PEABODY FAMILY BARN]
Bob Gale: This was filmed at the Disney ranch in Newhall [California] - this wonderful barn here. That shot was undercranked... we shot it a couple of times at different speeds, and that was the one that was most effective.
Bob Gale: [Peabody family is awoken] That's the fastest turn-on-of-lights-and-moving-from-upstairs-to-downstairs in the history of cinema there.
Neil Canton: I have a vague recollection that the woman in this scene [Ivy Bethune, who played Ma Peabody] was late arriving. We thought maybe she wasn't going to show up, and we tried to talk one of the hairdressers, Dorothy Byrne, into getting dressed, and she was dressed in the outfit. Then the actress showed up.
[PEABODY FAMILY ENCOUNTERS THE DELOREAN AND MARTY DRIVES AWAY]
Bob Gale: That's a fake comic book [that the boy, Sherman Peabody, is holding], by the way. We made that, obviously, to make it look like the DeLorean, but it was inspired by DC Comics and Weird Science comics. Cows are always good for a laugh, so we have cows.
Bob Gale: Of course, the Twin Pines is now a Lone Pine, and the payoff for that is at the end of the movie.
[MARTY DRIVES DOWN THE HIGHWAY]
Bob Gale: This is a process shot here; I don't remember whether we actually shot these plates or whether we found them in stock.
Neil Canton: I think we found them in stock.
Bob Gale: This is near Chino, California, about an hour-and-twenty-minute drive from the studio. This was a really tough location to find, just to find a big vast section of farmland like this, near Los Angeles. It's probably not farmland anymore; it's probably all housing and condos and stuff.
Bob Gale: The weather gods were certainly on our side when we shot this, because we had to bust the crew way the h*ll out here. We couldn't have asked for a better day.
[MARTY HIDES THE DELOREAN AND HEADS INTO HILL VALLEY]
Bob Gale: Originally in the script, the housing development was going to be under construction, but that was too expensive to do, so the construction became simply a billboard.
Neil Canton: I think we even scouted some sites that were under construction.
Bob Gale: Right, and there was not a sense of big open space like you have here, so we decided that the billboard would work, and certainly it's absolutely as effective here.
Bob Gale: This was probably impossible to do - for him to actually get the car back there like that with it dead, but it's a movie; it solves a lot of problems.
[MARTY WANDERS AROUND THE COURTHOUSE SQUARE]
Bob Gale: I don't remember whether Miller gave us any money for putting their truck there, but they did give us free beer.
Neil Canton: They gave us product.
Bob Gale: On Fridays everybody got to go home with a couple of beers, and on Friday that was pretty important for the crew.
Bob Gale: [Shot of Texaco gas station] This was a gag that Bob [Zemeckis] came up with right on the spot. There was one gas station attendant in uniform, and Bob saw that and suddenly said 'Oh wait, I know a great gag we've got to do'. He made Deborah Scott, our costume designer, go scour through the studio to find three more costumes like that. It's a great gag; it gets a big laugh.
Neil Canton: I think we also shot this sequence on a Saturday, as I recall, because of Michael's television schedule [on "Family Ties"]. We needed daytime work, and we couldn't get him except on a Saturday. It turned out it was a beautiful day, with big clouds and blue sky. It gave it a real '50s feel.
Bob Gale: Today, of course, you'd put that sky in digitally, if you didn't have the sky that you wanted.
Neil Canton: But you'd still have to shoot it on Saturday.
Bob Gale: The picture of Red Thomas there - that was Hal Gausman, our set decorator. No clearances necessary when you use pictures of the crew for those things, so that's what we did.
Bob Gale: It's a testament to Larry Paull's production design here, that everybody on the crew said that this street reminded them of where they grew up, whether it was a suburb or small town or bigger city.
[MARTY ENTERS LOU'S CAFÉ, WHERE GEORGE IS EATING]
Bob Gale: This is one of the few interior-exterior sets on the Universal backlot, and it's been used in countless Universal movies. I think this was used as the drugstore in "The Sting" (1973).
Neil Canton: It might have been.
Bob Gale: That's Norm Alden there [Lou], a well-known character actor.
Bob Gale: The phone book gives you the impression that Hill Valley is a much bigger area than it probably is. The Browns are a pretty big family, judging by how many there are in the phone book there.
Bob Gale: I remember that Pepsi, who we had a deal with, asked us to take out the reference to Tab in the movie. We told them no; it was too good of a joke. Of course, you probably don't know what Tab is anymore. It was a very popular diet drink [made by Coca-Cola... it was a precursor to Diet Coke], mostly in the '70s, and in fact by 1985 when the movie came out, Tab was pretty well history. But it was too good a joke for us not to use.
Chapter 8: "Dad The Slacker" - Transcribed by "Lil' White Dove"
[MARTY AND GEORGE ARE SITTING NEXT TO EACH OTHER INSIDE LOU'S CAFE, AS BIFF AND HIS GANG ENTER]
Bob Gale: That's Billy Zane there, by the way... if you saw "Titanic" (1997), you know who Billy Zane is. This was his first movie.
[BIFF BULLIES GEORGE AS MARTY WATCHES]
Bob Gale: As I recall, Crispin did come up with this business of him eating his cereal like that and, as many problems we had with him matching, he really worked out when he was gonna have a mouthful of cereal, so that was something we didn't have any continuity problems with.
[GOLDIE WILSON WALKS OVER AND LECTURES GEORGE]
Bob Gale: This actor's name is, believe it or not, Donald Fullilove. Yeah, of course, he did not really have a gold tooth, but through the magic of make-up and appliances, he does here.
Bob Gale: [George leaving on his bike] This is a great vintage bike that we got from Schwinn.
Chapter 9: "Calvin & Lorraine" - Transcribed by "Lil' White Dove"
[MARTY RUNS DOWN LORRAINE'S STREET LOOKING FOR GEORGE]
Bob Gale: This is south Pasadena, Bushnell Avenue as I recollect, and when we shot with Eric Stoltz, this was actually the very first thing in the movie that we filmed.
Bob Gale: When we were scouting this location with Eric Stoltz, Michael J. Fox was shooting Teen Wolf on the same street, and he always talked about how he remembered that some Spielberg company was there scouting, and how he wished he could be in a Spielberg movie someday.
[MARTY PUSHES GEORGE OUT OF THE WAY AND IS HIT BY THE CAR]
Bob Gale: One of the greatest sound effects, that head hit on the cement there. Another speciality of Chuck Campbell, our sound effects editor, was the barking dogs. Every time there's something loud that happens on a street, Chuck would always give us some barking dogs back there. Wonderful little touch.
[MARTY WAKES UP IN LORRAINE'S BEDROOM]
Bob Gale: This, of course, is back on the set again. Our sound man, Bill Kaplan is a total fanatic about trying to have the most perfect production sound you can create, and so he went to great lengths to put the right kind of sponges to absorb the rain falling outside the window so that the sound of the water falling would not ruin the production track. And, thank God he did, because we didn't have to loop any of this scene.
Bob Gale: Lea Thompson is just absolutely wonderful here. This was one of the audition scenes that we had for Lorraine, and she just nailed it.
Neil Canton: Yeah, she looks great - she was Lorraine.
Bob Gale: All the little touches that [production designer] Larry Paull and Todd Hallowell, our art director, came up with, just putting all those photographs around her mirror of heart-throbs from the '50s - it's not something that you notice really, but, if you do, it just kind of helps you understand that Lorraine is really boy-crazy.
[MRS. BAINES CALLS FOR LORRAINE, AND MARTY TRIES TO QUICKLY PUT ON HIS PANTS]
Bob Gale: And this is pure Michael J. Fox here.
Neil Canton: Right, this is the kind of stuff he can do, he's so great at it.
Bob Gale: He can just do that, and he could do it every time.
[MARTY WALKS DOWNSTAIRS WITH LORRAINE AND MRS. BAINES]
Bob Gale: Frances Lee McCain is Stella Baines there, and George DiCenzo is Sam Baines. Bob [Zemeckis] and I met George DiCenzo and actually wrote dialogue for him during "Close Encounters [of the Third Kind]" (1977). He played [an] Army colonel or general, Air Force colonel/general.
[MARTY SITS DOWN TO DINNER WITH THE BAINES FAMILY]
Bob Gale: Now, when the movie was translated into Italian... in Italy, all television was state-controlled, so they did not have a word for "re-run". Nobody in Italy would've known what that word meant. So, in Italy, this scene was translated as, "I saw it on cassette," because they did have VHS machines [VCRs] over there by 1985.
Neil Canton: And did you have to change, for overseas, the Calvin Klein joke?
Bob Gale: Oh yeah, that's right, Calvin Klein wasn't well-known over there, either. I think it was Yves St-Laurent in France... no, it was Pierre Cardin in France, so Marty was always called Pierre in Europe.
[MARTY GETS UP FROM THE TABLE AND LEAVES]
Bob Gale: I'm trying to remember, did we shoot this on a Saturday, or was Michael finished with his show ["Family Ties"] by the time we did this?
Neil Canton: I think he was done with the show. I don't think this was a Saturday.
Chapter 10: "Future Boy and Doc" - Transcribed by "Riverside Drive"
[MARTY APPROACHING DOC'S HOUSE]
Bob Gale: This is the Gamble House in Pasadena - a great example of Craftsman architecture, built by architects Greene & Greene. And it's a tourist attraction, so...
Neil Canton: It's a California landmark...
Bob Gale: ...if you come out to Southern California, be sure to check it out. Now the close-up here, this door was a different Greene & Greene house in a different part of Pasadena called the Blacker House. We weren't allowed to shoot inside the Gamble House, so this, by being the same architects, was a pretty good match.
[INSIDE DOC'S HOUSE AFTER MARTY IS PULLED IN BY DOC]
Bob Gale: And again, this was a scene that we had originally shot with Eric Stoltz, and we had to go back to the same location to shoot it with Michael. The woman who owned the house had sold it from when we filmed there the first time. Our location manager came to us and said, you guys gotta film in here before escrow closes, because I don't know if I'll be able to make a deal with the new owners. So we begged ["Family Ties" producer] Gary Goldberg out of his rehearsals for two days, so that we could shoot there before escrow closed on this house. Gary was kind enough to let us do that.
Neil Canton: I think this was one of the very first things we shot with Michael, that's my recollection.
Bob Gale: Nah, I think this is much further along... this is like in March.
Bob Gale: This disappearing photo gag is a wonderful example of what Bob and I refer to as "movie logic versus real logic". There's no real sense as to why the characters would disappear from the photograph one by one. Why wouldn't they all disappear at the same time? Why doesn't the photograph itself start to disappear?
DOC MOVES TO HIS GARAGE AND MARTY FOLLOWS HIM]
Neil Canton: This is a set again...
Bob Gale: This is a set again... obviously the wide shot was at the Gamble House, and this is at Stage 12 at Universal.
[LYON ESTATES AREA - LOCATION OF DELOREAN]
Bob Gale: This was the backlot at Universal. There's no reason to go all the way back out to Chino to shoot this when you weren't going to see anything. Our effects guys brought the fog machines. This was up near the Psycho house, if I remember correctly.
Neil Canton: That's right.
Bob Gale: By the way, you'll see the toilet that Doc fell off of in "Back to the Future Part III", so stay tuned...
Neil Canton: [laughs] Ha ha ha...
Bob Gale: Doc builds the time machine for himself, but he felt compelled to create Dymo labels there saying, "Shield your eyes from the flash of the flux capacitor" - I guess to remind himself that it was dangerous.
[DOC AND MARTY RETURN TO DOC'S LAB]
Bob Gale: The deleted scene of Doc going through his suitcase and looking at his belongings came right before this scene here.
Bob Gale: As I recollect, it wasn't quite as easy to find a black-and-white television that we could do this with as we thought. What we ended up doing was take a color set and putting it into the shell of a black-and-white set and treating the video to look like this so it would look like it was black and white, and it was actually a color set.
Neil Canton: That's right. It was one of those things that we thought would be the simplest thing to do, and it ended up being complicated.
Bob Gale: There are always those things in movies... you think something's gonna be a snap to do, and it turns out to be a headache and a half.
Bob Gale: There's a marlin on Doc's wall to the right - another unseen adventure of Doc Brown's.
Bob Gale: And of course, these portraits of Isaac Newton, Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein there are seen at the very beginning of the movie, when we're exploring Doc's lab... during the credits.
Neil Canton: And this is back in Pasadena [the set for Doc's lab], and it was one of the most difficult scenes we had to shoot, partly because we had airplanes constantly flying overhead and Bob [Zemeckis] was trying to get it all in one [take]. We couldn't get all the way through with out the airplane noise coming through and having to cut. There was also a time restriction as to how late you could shoot, and we were like [on] the edge of the envelope on the time restriction.
Bob Gale: All of the trucks had to be off the street by 10 o'clock as I remember, which means we had to wrap shooting by 9 PM.
Bob Gale: Here's that back-and-forth composition again with Christopher Lloyd walking back-and-forth in three-dimensional space [similar to the shots of them in the mall parking lot before Marty goes back in time - see Scene # 5]
Bob Gale: Our sound man didn't like that fire going in the fireplace, either.
Neil Canton: The flames were driving him crazy.
Bob Gale: Compared to the planes it was nothing.
Bob Gale: My recollection is, we finally did get it right - we did get it clean, and we didn't have to loop it, but that's just my recollection... I could be wrong.
Neil Canton: Nah, I think we did it about 32 times.
Bob Gale: The fact that Doc can figure this out ["erased from existence... "] so quickly is a testament to his true genius.
Chapter 11: "Marty's Problem" - Transcribed by "Riverside Drive"
[DOC AND MARTY ARE SEEN OUTSIDE HILL VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL]
Neil Canton: Back at Whittier High School...
Bob Gale: In the deleted scenes, you'll see the bit that we cut out where Marty finds Lorraine sitting in class, cheating. We just cut that out because we decided we didn't really need it.
[DOC AND MARTY SPOT GEORGE IN THE HALLWAY AND WATCH HIM FROM AFAR]
Bob Gale: [sign on the hallway wall] Ron Woodward, who's running for class president there on the left, was our key grip.
Neil Canton: And he didn't win. (Bob Gale laughs)
[GEORGE IS CONFRONTED BY STRICKLAND]
Bob Gale: The disciplinarian at my high school, his name was Bailey Burkhead - he always used to say, 'Let me give you a nickel's worth of free advice', so some of my friends from high school, when they saw the movie, wrote to me telling me that they fell out of their chairs when they heard Strickland say that line.
[MARTY WALKS WITH GEORGE IN THE HALLWAY AND LEADS HIM TO LORRAINE]
[DOC AND MARTY DEBATE HOW TO GET LORRAINE AND GEORGE TOGETHER]
Bob Gale: I love Doc's shirts in this movie. He's always wearing these great Hawaiian shirts - it's not exactly a Hawaiian shirt I guess, but it's loud enough to be one.
Neil Canton: (laugh)
[DOC SEES THE SIGN IN THE HALLWAY FOR A "RHYTHMIC CEREMONIAL RITUAL"]
Bob Gale: One of the rules of how Doc Brown talks is that he never uses a small word if he can think of a big word, so he has a hard time coming up with the idea of "dance", even though it says it right in front of them.
Chapter 12: "The Matchmaker" - Transcribed by "Riverside Drive"
[NOTE: The first comments from Gale and Canton don't show up until over 2 minutes into this scene... either their minds went blank or they had to take a bathroom break!]
[MARTY TALKS TO GEORGE IN THE CAFETERIA, WATCHES BIFF HARASS LORRAINE, COMES TO THE RESCUE OF LORRAINE, AND NEARLY GETS INTO A FISTFIGHT WITH BIFF]
Bob Gale: Incidentally, Billy Zane is not in this scene with Biff's guys. I think we shot this on a Saturday, and Billy just wasn't available to work that day, so he wasn't in it. You don't really miss him, but in case you're wondering Biff only has two guys with him instead of three, that's why.
[MARTY FOLLOWS GEORGE BACK TO GEORGE'S HOUSE]
Bob Gale: This is the same street in South Pasadena where Lorraine's house is. This is two or three doors down the street, and it worked out perfectly to have this other house next door to the first one.
Bob Gale: "Science Fiction Theater" (1955-1957) is an actual, real television show from the 1950s. By the way, that wishing well in the photograph there is at the Amblin offices at Universal.
[INSIDE GEORGE'S BEDROOM LATE THAT NIGHT, AS MARTY SHOWS UP WEARING HIS RADIATION SUIT]
Bob Gale: That Fantastic Story magazine there is something our set decorator found. It's not something we made for the movie. It was just so perfect and looked so much like Darth Vader that we had to use it.
Bob Gale: The tape is labelled "Edward Van Halen" instead of "Van Halen".
Neil Canton: Yeah, we couldn't get permission from the entire group, but Eddie Van Halen gave us permission.
Bob Gale: Yeah, we were able to identify it as him personally, but not call it Van Halen the group.
Neil Canton: Here's the hair dryer.
Bob Gale: Right, there's the hair dryer; you'll see the long version in the deleted scenes.
[MARTY IS AT THE GAS STATION THE FOLLOWING AFTERNOON, AS GEORGE RUNS UP TO HIM]
Bob Gale: This is just a wonderful throwaway gag, with Michael not being able to open the Pepsi bottle, because a kid from the '80s would only be used to twist-off bottle caps.
Bob Gale: Crispin really is good in this movie, and it's too bad that he had such strange ideas and attitudes about how an actor should behave.
[GEORGE WALKS INTO LOU'S CAFE TO TRY TO TALK TO LORRAINE, WHILE MARTY WAITS OUTSIDE FOR A MINUTE]
Bob Gale: Our music supervisor Bones Howe did a great job coming up with songs that clearly were not rock-and-roll and didn't have much R&B (rhythm and blues) aspect to them to create a contrast to "Johnny B. Goode" when you hear it later on. "Dance With Me Henry" [by Etta James] is the name of that song.
Bob Gale: I'm trying to remember if this was another Saturday shoot...
Neil Canton: Yeah, I think it was.
Bob Gale: These Saturday shoots were very expensive.
[GEORGE APPROACHES THE BOOTH WHERE LORRAINE IS AND STARTS GIVING HIS SPEECH]
Neil Canton: I remember that Crispin had a cold - that's why his voice sounds like that. But it works just the same...
Bob Gale: Absolutely.
Neil Canton: ...because when he first came in, he said he couldn't speak.
Chapter 13: "Skateboard Hero" - Transcribed by "Riverside Drive"
[BIFF ENTERS LOU'S CAFE AND YELLS AT GEORGE]
Bob Gale: This is one of those great movie gags, where the music stops, somebody unplugs the jukebox to enhance the dramatic effect of this. No reason for it.
[MARTY PUNCHES BIFF, RUNS OUT OF LOU'S CAFE, AND STEALS A KID'S "SKATEBOARD", WITH BIFF AND HIS GANG IN PURSUIT]
Bob Gale: I should tell you a pretty good story about finding the skateboard experts that helped us design this skateboard chase. Remember, in pre-production of this [movie was] in 1984, and skateboarding is not the popular thing that it is now. There were no skateboarders who had any name recognition the way there are today. So I decided to go down to Venice Beach [in Venice, California] on a Sunday, because every crazy person that has a weird skill is always hanging around on Venice on a Sunday afternoon.
Bob Gale: So I'm walking around, and there were two guys doing this skateboard demonstration, and they were terrific. I watched them for a while, and I thought, these are the guys we need to help us. So I started talking to them, and I felt like the biggest jerk in the world, to go up to these guys and say, 'Hey, I'm producing this movie and we need some skateboarders.' But you have to do that sometimes. So that's what I did, and I gave them this big speech about how I'm producing this movie and we had this skateboard chase. And I'm wondering, what are these guys gonna say? One of them pulls out his business card and says, 'My agent's name is on this card, just call her and she'll set it up.
Bob Gale: And of course when we shot with Michael, he [Bobby Schmeltzer] was five inches too tall. So Michael's stunt double was Charlie Crowel, who is now a stunt co-ordinator, one of the best in the business, just a really skilled and terrific guy, and very bright. He helped us figure out how to do some of this stuff - and learned how to skateboard, because he didn't know much about it - and he did a great job.
[MARTY ARRIVES BACK AT DOC'S LAB, AND DOC IS WATCHING THE 1985 TIME TRAVEL EXPERIMENT VIDEOTAPE]
Bob Gale: You'll notice here that the tinge of the [TV] set is more sepia than blue. I can't exactly remember why that was the case.
[DOC AND MARTY WALK OVER TO THE HILL VALLEY COURTHOUSE SQUARE MODEL ON THE TABLE, AND DOC EXPLAINS HOW THE TIME TRAVEL TRIP WILL WORK]
Bob Gale: This was the art department in their glory. I love the ketchup bottles and all the different...
Neil Canton: Salt and pepper shakers.
Bob Gale: Salt and pepper shakers, right, and all this stuff. You can look at it and sort of identify what it is.
Bob Gale: I should talk about "jigowatts" for a second. The proper pronunciation, of course, is "gigawatts" [with a hard "G" sound], and when Bob [Zemeckis] and I were doing research, we talked to somebody who mispronounced it "jigowatts". We were actually completely unfamiliar with the term, and we thought that was how it was supposed to be said. It does come from the Greek 'gigas' [that Greek root is pronounced with a "J" sound, not a "G" sound], for gigantic, so I suppose it's not beyond the realm of possibility. But never having heard of it, we actually spelled it in the script "jigowatt". A "jiggowatt" is actually supposed to be a gigawatt, a million watts. So the mystery of the gigawatts is now solved.
[NOTE: Bob Gale made a mistake here, it should be "billion" rather than "million"!]
[DOC AND MARTY TEST THE TIME TRAVEL TRIP ON THE MODEL WITH THE WIND-UP CAR, WHICH LEADS TO THE FIRE]
Bob Gale: This scene, of course, is a classic World War II, 'Here's the mission boys, and this is what we're gonna do'. You show the mission, you show what's supposed to happen, so that when things start to go wrong, the audience completely understands what's gone wrong and what has to happen for it to be right.
[LORRAINE KNOCKS ON THE DOOR TO DOC'S LAB AND DOC LETS HER IN]
Bob Gale: This is the only scene in all three movies that Lea has with Christopher Lloyd. We always thought it was amazing that she did these movies and never really got to play any kind of a scene with Chris. This is about as much of what they get to do, looking at each other there.
Bob Gale: I think that shirt that Michael's wearing was something that [costume designer] Deborah Scott just found in the wardrobe department. I don't remember her making many clothes at all in this movie, finding just about everything. We didn't have the budget.
Neil Canton: We didn't have the budget to make anything.
Bob Gale: [After Lorraine talks Marty into taking her to the dance] Chris Lloyd just nodding his agreement to that scene... Chris just does great stuff like that.
[MARTY IS AT GEORGE'S HOUSE, TRYING TO TALK HIM INTO TAKING LORRAINE TO THE DANCE]
Bob Gale: Again, for all you continuity geeks, you can watch the flaps of Michael J. Fox's pocket - it goes in and out. There, it's in, and I think in the next shot, it's out again.
Neil Canton: This is one of those things that we never noticed, in all the times that we were looking at the movie. We got a letter about it; it was one of the first letters we ever received...
Bob Gale: Right.
Neil Canton: ...and we went back to the editing room.
Bob Gale: You're always surprised. There are always a couple of things like that that happen where you just never notice something, and boom, there it is. So for all of you that have watched the movie as many times as you have and never noticed it, now you'll never be able to watch this scene without noticing that flap.
Bob Gale: As I remember, this was actually the exterior of Lorraine's house.
Neil Canton: Yes, it was the back yard at Lorraine's house, and all that grass there was cement. We put the grass in for the [scene].
Bob Gale: The clothesline, just one of those great period touches that adds so much. You don't think about them anymore. It was what people did to dry their clothes before there were clothes dryers. All you kids watching this, that was the case.
[DOC AND MARTY ARE IN COURTHOUSE SQUARE - DOC SETTING UP THE TIME TRAVEL TRIP AND MARTY GETTING READY TO LEAVE FOR THE DANCE]
Bob Gale: The voice on the radio there, giving the weather report, is our sound effects editor Chuck Campbell [credited as supervising sound editor], who has a very wonderful, resonant radio announcer's voice. We begged him to do that; he finally relented.
Bob Gale: The Packard [car] there [that Marty drives to the dance], everybody on the crew wanted that Packard. Some private collector had that car, and everybody lusted for that Packard. It ran every time, too - he [the private collector] took damn good care of it, unlike the DeLorean [laughs].
Bob Gale: There are some people who claim that the guy who just rode the bicycle behind Chris there was the Doc Brown of Back to the Future Part II riding his bicycle, looking for Marty. That's not true, but it's a good story
[MARTY WALKS INTO THE CAFE AND WRITES HIS WARNING LETTER TO DOC]
Bob Gale: There's another continuity mistake on this letter. We got a letter from a kid in Japan, actually. One of the words at the end of a line - when the letter is put back together at the very end of the movie - is at the front of a line. We never noticed that, and the fact that somebody in Japan would notice that who doesn't even speak English would write us a letter - in very bad English about it - some people don't have enough to do I guess.
[POLICE OFFICER ASKS DOC WHAT HE IS DOING AND ASKS TO SEE A PERMIT]
Bob Gale: The actor playing the cop is Reed Morgan. Reed is a great character actor, and Bob [Zemeckis] and I used him in "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" (1984).
Neil Canton: For any sports fans, he [Reed Morgan] played basketball at the University of Kentucky for Adolf Rupp.
Bob Gale: I didn't know that [laughs].
Chapter 14: "The Big Date" - Transcribed by "Lil' White Dove"
[THE STARLIGHTERS ARE PLAYING "NIGHT TRAIN" AT THE DANCE]
Bob Gale: This shot is done off of the remote hot head camera, which was a stage crane camera which Bob used extensively in this Dance... a much better version of the luma crane [camera].
Bob Gale: It took a couple of weeks for the camera operator to be comfortable using it, because he wasn't able to look through the lens when he operated it, he could only watch it on the TV monitor.
[MARTY AND LORRAINE PULL UP TO THE SCHOOL IN THE CAR]
Bob Gale: Did we shoot all this on location here [at Whittier High School], Neil?
Neil Canton: Yes.
Bob Gale: I get confused with Part I and Part II. This was...
Neil Canton: Yes, this was all on location.
Bob Gale: This was all on location. Both sides of it?
Neil Canton: Yes, everything at Whittier... the entry of the dance is in...
Bob Gale: Yeah, the gymnasium, yeah, right, that's the Methodist church on the corner of Franklin and Highland in Hollywood.
Bob Gale: They had a terrific gymnasium in there, and we were able to shoot during the daytime because it's not a real school. We could only shoot at Whittier High School on Saturdays, during school vacations, and at night. And, in fact, between shooting with Eric Stoltz and with Michael J. Fox, we shot there both over Christmas vacation and spring vacation.
[LORRAINE TAKES OFF HER JACKET, AS MARTY GETS MORE NERVOUS]
Bob Gale: This was the scene that was too risqué for the Walt Disney Company and was the reason that they would not consider having us make this movie for them.
[LORRAINE KISSES MARTY]
Bob Gale: Actually, this is what I was thinking of. This shot here, we shot later.
Neil Canton: Yes.
Bob Gale: This was shot on a stage.
Neil Canton: Right, because we were missing her reaction... [Lorraine's reaction to Marty's nervousness after she kisses him]
Bob Gale: Her reaction didn't work on whatever we had.
Chapter 15: "The Real George" - Transcribed by "Lil' White Dove"
[BIFF OPENS CAR DOOR AND PULLS MARTY OUT]
Bob Gale: We've been asked why the movie is shot in the 1.85 [1.85 to 1] aspect ratio as opposed to widescreen, and the reason for that's a decision that Bob [Zemeckis] made with Dean Cundey, the director of photography.
[BIFF GETS INTO THE CAR TO CONFRONT LORRAINE]
Bob Gale: Bob had shot "Romancing the Stone" (1984) with Dean Cundey before making "Back to the Future", and that was shot widescreen. Now, Bob didn't like widescreen because he likes a lot of depth of focus when he shoots.
[BIFF'S GANG CARRIES MARTY AWAY]
Bob Gale: This movie is shot with a lot of blind lenses. Very rarely did Bob ever use a closer lens than a 29 millimeter. Most of it was a 21 or 24. And with an anamorphic widescreen lens, you just don't get the depth of focus ever. And Bob likes to have that depth of focus.
[THE STARLIGHTERS CHASE AWAY BIFF'S GANG]
Bob Gale: And the other reason was that it's not a big movie and since we couldn't show as much on the sides of the frame as you can in a big, outdoor movie, we decided that there was no point in shooting it in widescreen, and the 1.77 format [1.77:1.00 aspect ratio, more commonly identified by the multiple 16:9] had just been decided as the standard for widescreen televisions of the future, and we figured that by shooting it in 1:85, in the end, more people would see the movie on video than they saw in the theater, and they would see it much closer to what Bob and Dean intended in their framing by shooting it in 1.85 [1.85 to 1 ratio] than if we shot it in widescreen.
[GEORGE ARRIVES AT THE CAR AND CONFRONTS BIFF]
Bob Gale: Now, there's a gag that we cut out of the rehearsal of the fight that showed that George practised punching with the punching bag and missed with his right hand, and then let fly with his left hand, and knocked the punching bag off of the clothesline, suggesting that perhaps George should have been a left-handed person, but was forced to be right-handed.
Bob Gale: We ended up cutting that out because there was no reason for it. It was much better for this to turn into a surprise, and for his anger, here, to be the catalyst for him laying Biff out.
[GEORGE PUNCHES BIFF AND HE AND LORRAINE WALK AWAY]
Bob Gale: And actually in the first draft of the script, when Marty comes back to the future, George, instead of becoming a successful writer, ends up becoming a boxer. We decided that kids really didn't want, want to have their dads be prize-fighters, so we ended up changing that, but that was our first idea.
[DOC IS SEEN IN COURTHOUSE SQUARE NEAR THE CLOCK TOWER]
Bob Gale: Those cats on either side of the clock were from "Cat People" (1982). Something that the art department found in the scene dock at Universal.
[MARTY RUNS TO WHERE THE STARLIGHTERS ARE STANDING AROUND]
Bob Gale: This, this is Whittier High school. Big high school. Found all kinds of great places to shoot around there.
Neil Canton:: And they were very co-operative.
[MARVIN BERRY AND THE STARLIGHTERS SING "EARTH ANGEL"]
Bob Gale: And that's - the actor is singing [Marvin Berry] - Harry Waters, Jr. Great voice. Nice guy.
Bob Gale: Those shots you're going to see of the photograph in the neck of the guitar, especially the ILM shots-it was impossible to get that shot, so ILM built a giant guitar neck about three or four times the size of a regular guitar neck, and we blew the photograph up much bigger, and that's how we got those shots.
[MARTY, PLAYING GUITAR, SEES HIS HAND START FADING AWAY]
Bob Gale: This is the one effect that never really worked right. It's good enough, but...
Neil Canton:: We ran out of...
Bob Gale: We ran out of time, and Bob signed off on that because he had to. There was no other way we were going to get the movie into theaters by July 3.
[GEORGE KISSES LORRAINE AND MARTY'S HAND IS RESTORED]
Bob Gale: Why he gets a hole in his hand instead of the whole hand starting to vanish - again, the vagueries of time travel.
[MARTY LOOKS AT PHOTOGRAPH, IN WHICH HE AND HIS SIBLINGS REAPPEAR]
Bob Gale: That was the shot that ILM had to build the large guitar neck for.
[MARTY AND THE STARLIGHTERS FINISH "EARTH ANGEL"]
Bob Gale: And one of the things that happens musically there, we bring in the string orchestra when George, George kisses Lorraine. That's just sort of a subjective decision that Bob and [composer] Al Silvestri made. It's very, very effective. We wanna have it be as lush and romantic and [laughs] syrupy as possible, and it just works, because, as the audience, you want it to work.
Chapter 16: "Johnny B Goode" - Transcribed by "i kno it's not to scale"
[MARTY SINGING "JOHNNY B. GOODE" ON STAGE AT THE DANCE]
Bob Gale: This is not Michael J. Fox singing here by the way. The guy that sang this, his name was Mark Campbell, as I recall, a very very good match for Michael's voice.
Neil Canton: [He was] somebody that [music supervisor] Bones [Howe] found... he heard him sing at a club at some point.
Bob Gale: As I remember there was some black militants that decided that this was a racist movie because a white guy had to inspire Chuck Berry to invent rock-n-roll [laughs] in their interpretation of this... some people just don't know that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes a joke is just a joke.
Bob Gale: That's a great shot with the remote head cameras swooping through the girl's legs right into the guitar. And it took Bob [Zemeckis] a long time to get that shot but it works all the time. Chuck Berry enjoyed this, by the way.
[MARTY GETS MORE AND MORE WILD IN HIS STAGE ACT, AND HE FINISHES THE SONG]
Bob Gale: Michael rehearsed the hell out of this number, and the hours and hours that he put in doing this really paid off... he brought the house down.
Bob Gale: The idea for the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, by the way, came from researching old high school yearbooks and seeing what kind of things went on in high schools in the period and quite a few high schools had sea theme dances. It just seemed perfect.
[MARTY SPEAKS WITH GEORGE AND LORRAINE AFTER HE GETS OFF THE STAGE]
Bob Gale: And what makes the movie into a movie instead of a television show is the background behind Lorraine and George there, seeing the dance behind them. This is a real Frank Capra moment here - Marty remembering this thing that happened to him when he was 8 years old and there's always one thing as a kid that your parents do to you that you never forget. For me it was my dad throwing out my comic book collection.
Chapter 17: "Back to the Future" - Transcribed by "Fusion Flux"
[IN COURTHOUSE SQUARE, AS DOC IS WONDERING WHY MARTY IS LATE... MARTY ARRIVES AND HE HELPS DOC SET UP THE DELOREAN FOR THE TIME TRAVEL TRIP]
Bob Gale: We should talk about the various wind machines that we used during this sequence here. We used the standard Ritter machines that are most frequently used, which are electric, but for the really big wide shots where we needed wind blowing all the way across the backlot there, we had a machine known as the McBride, which was simply named after Mr. McBride, whose machine it was. Basically, what it was, was an airplane engine on a big cherry picker, and it was the loudest thing that's being used here. But this is where Bill Kaplan, our sound mixer... we just kind of shrugged our shoulders and know that we were gonna have to loop all this stuff here [in post-production], because that thing was just oppressively loud...
Neil Canton: ...but effective.
Bob Gale: ...very effective, but it was the words that the crew dreaded to hear, when the assistant director said, "Turn on the McBride", and this thing would roar to life. It was an airplane engine, so imagine that you're standing 50 feet away from an airplane engine, and that's what it sounded like, but you need an engine that powerful to blow wind that far.
Bob Gale: Shooting at the back lot at Universal, it's cold back there at night. I don't know how the guys that built Universal figured out that it was going to be probably the coldest place in Southern California, but man, at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning we were shooting this stuff, we were freezing.
[DOC FINDS THE LETTER FROM MARTY INSIDE HIS COAT POCKET, AND ARGUES WITH MARTY ABOUT IT]
Bob Gale: Remember Ramone, Neil?
Neil Canton: Yeah.
Bob Gale: The caterer?
Neil Canton: With his chilli.
Bob Gale: With his chilli. One of the weird things that happened - we had four people that came down with appendicitis during the production of this movie, and people started thinking there was something wrong with Ramone's food that was the cause of that. It wasn't, it was just some really freakful incidents.
Neil Canton: One of the guys was kind enough to have the appendix that he had removed put into a glass jar and he brought it [to the set].
Bob Gale: That didn't last long, as I recollect.
[TREE LIMB FALLS AND BREAKS CONNECTION BETWEEN TWO CABLES... DOC AND MARTY WORK TO FIX IT]
Bob Gale: Figuring out how we were going to shoot the night sky during this sequence was something that we spent a lot of time thinking about. ILM would've liked to have done a composite special-effect sky for just about every shot, but Bob [Zemeckis] and Dean [Cundey] talked about that and decided that if you were really filming during a lightning storm, the only time that you would ever see the sky was when lightning backlit the clouds. You would never see anything in the sky other than that. It would always just fall off and be black, so we let it be black most of the time and you only see it when there's lightning, and it looks much better that way than it would if you always saw the clouds.
[DOC WALKS OUT ONTO THE CLOCK TOWER LEDGE TO GET THE CABLES CONNECTED IN TIME FOR MARTY]
Bob Gale: Right.
Neil Canton: So, every day we would do a little bit of Chris on the ledge and Michael would show up.
Bob Gale: We did put Chris Lloyd up on the real exterior of the clock tower there for a couple of shots, and that's him there...
Neil Canton: There's one. [both laugh]
Bob Gale: And there's a shot coming up, that's the stage that's fake. We just needed a couple of those shots to show him up there, so people can completely buy the illusion.
Bob Gale: The stuntman that we had doubling Chris Lloyd here was Bob Yerkes, who is one of the legends of stunt. He's the inventor of the airbag. And his family were circus aerialists, so, Yerkes came by doing anything. Anytime you want to have somebody way up high, Bob Yerkes was always the first guy you'd try to get, because he was born for that.
[MARTY SETS UP THE DELOREAN AND PREPARES TO START DRIVING FROM THE STARTING POINT]
Bob Gale: This stuff here was shot in Griffith Park, my favorite location in the movie, because it was only 5 minutes away from my house at the time. And we shot this on a Friday night, after Michael finished shooting "Family Ties", so we started shooting at 10 o'clock at night and we shot all the way 'till dawn.
[MORE SHOTS OF DOC HANGING FROM THE CLOCK TOWER LEDGE AND TRYING TO CONNECT THE CABLES]
Bob Gale: The fact about clocks that I didn't know until we made this movie - the number 4 on the clock has four I's instead of an "IV" in Roman numerals, and that is, apparently, a clock tradition.
Neil Canton: And we broke that.
Bob Gale: That's a mistake. Roman numeral clocks are supposed to have all four lines, and here we didn't do it.
Neil Canton: And it's too late now.
Bob Gale: [laughs]
[MARTY INSIDE THE DELOREAN WAITING TO START DRIVING]
Bob Gale: Here's another example of movie logic vs. real logic, the idea that this alarm clock was going to be accurate enough to signal Marty to get to the clock tower in time for this lightning strike, because it's a pretty ridiculous concept. But nobody thinks about that. When is it ten o'clock, when the clock chimes start, or when they finish, Or somewhere in between?
Bob Gale: Wonderful editing here. Harry Keramidas was the lead editor for this sequence. Of the two editors [Arthur Schmidt was the other editor], Harry was brought in later when we realised how jammed we were going to be on our post-production schedule, and Harry would take one sequence and Arty would take another sequence and they would take a look at each other's work after one edited so that there was true collaboration and, of course, Bob [Zemeckis] would work with each editor in great detail to get these sequences timed out perfectly.
Bob Gale: By using editing and wide-angle lenses, we made that street on the back lot look five times longer than it really is.
Bob Gale: We looked at a lot of National Geographic footage of lightning bolts to get to one that was the model for the big lightning hit described in the script as the biggest bolt of lightning in the history of cinema - something like that - and ILM gave it to us in spades.
Bob Gale: "The Atomic Kid" (1954) on the marquee there was a Mickey Rooney movie from 1954 that took place on a nuclear test site. That's the only remnant of the idea that we originally had in the script for that idea.
Chapter 18: "Doc's Decision" - Transcribed by "Improbable History"
[BACK IN HIGH VALLEY AT COURTHOUSE SQUARE IN 1985]
Bob Gale: Now, as I explained earlier, the ledge you can see is still broken here 30 years later, and the courthouse is now the Department of Social Services.
Bob Gale: Here's the raisin bus bench [California Raisins advertisement], that I talk about on the other commentary. Product placement that the [California raisin industry] raisin board spent $50,000 for, and then we gave them their money back because it was definitely a rip-off for them.
Bob Gale: There was an old movie theater in Burbank that had been changed into a church, and that's how we came up with the idea of making that movie theater into a church in 1985.
[MARTY GETS OUT OF THE DELOREAN, EXCITED TO FINALLY BE HOME]
Bob Gale: I love this, the fact that here's the town square completely dilapidated, and Michael says everything looks great.
Bob Gale: And that Bank of America that you just saw in that shot there - that's where the bank wanted to put in a working VersaTeller in the bank and we told them they didn't have to do that.
[LIBYANS DRIVE BY IN THEIR TERRORIST VAN, AND MARTY STARTS RUNNING TOWARDS THE MALL PARKING LOT, LEAVING THE DELOREAN BEHIND]
Bob Gale: And we're back in the City of Industry, at Puente Hills Mall, now Lone Pine Mall instead of Twin Pines Mall.
[MARTY ARRIVES TO THE EDGE OF THE MALL PARKING LOT AND WITNESSES DOC BEING SHOT BY THE LIBYANS, THEN REALIZES THAT HIS OTHER SELF IS ALSO IN THE PARKING LOT]
Bob Gale: And the two Marty's coming up here, this was just done, with photo doubles. There's no special effects here, there's no two Michael J. Fox's like we do in Part II and Part III... there was really no reason for it [here].
[MARTY ROLLS DOWN THE HILL ONTO THE PARKING LOT, WATCHING HIS OTHER SELF BE CHASED BY THE LIBYANS]
Bob Gale: We were told that at this exact time in 1985 on October 22, at 1:30 in the morning, about two dozen people showed up at this mall, to see if anything was gonna happen. [laughs] Nothing did of course.
[THE LIBYANS' VAN CRASHES INTO THE FOTO-MAT BUILDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MALL PARKING LOT]
Bob Gale: Foto-Mat did give us some money for that little product placement there. Everyone would wanna take their photos to 'Foto-Mat' because a car crashed into it.
[MARTY RUNS OVER TO DOC, AND THINKING DOC IS DEAD, MARTY IS DEVASTATED, UNTIL DOC SITS UP AND PULLS OPEN HIS RADIATION SUIT, REVEALING THE BULLETPROOF VEST HE IS WEARING]
Bob Gale: Here's the letter that doesn't quite match the letter when Marty writes it [in the earlier scene in 1955]. And again, nobody noticed this, except one kid from Japan. Nobody would have noticed it, of course, if there was not such a thing as home video. But if there was no such thing as home video, you...
Neil Canton: ...you wouldn't be sitting here...
Bob Gale: ...here watching this and we wouldn't be doing this.
[DOC DRIVES MARTY BACK TO HIS HOUSE]
Bob Gale: In the beginning, when Doc says he's going into the future, he says he's going 25 years and, now he's gonna go 30 years. I guess Doc just decided that because Marty went 30 years one way, he should go 30 years the other way. No real logic to that, but... as Doc says, 'what the hell.'
[DOC BACKS OUT OF MARTY'S DRIVEWAY AND DRIVES OFF INTO THE FUTURE]
Bob Gale: We decided that we'd seen the DeLorean go through time enough times that we would save money and not show it happening here - just have it happen off camera.
Chapter 19: "Future Shock" - Transcribed by "futureboy"
[INSIDE MARTY'S BEDROOM, HIS RADIO/ALARM CLOCK IS GOING OFF]
Bob Gale: To show you that somebody's always watching and details that you don't think are important, somebody else notices - this yellow magazine there that says "RQ", which completely went by everybody on the crew, something the set dressers found... RQ stands for "Reference Quarterly", which is the trade journal of reference librarians. And I got two or three letters from reference librarians from around the country that had seen the movie and wanted to know why. What was the significance of this trade magazine, what was it doing in Marty's bedroom? There's no reason why a kid would have it. And of course it's just a mistake, something the set dresser threw on the set. Nobody paid any attention to it, and reference librarians have scratched their heads ever since.
[MARTY WALKS INTO THE LIVING ROOM AND NOTICES THAT IT LOOKS DIFFERENT]
Bob Gale: This is the second pass [production designer] Larry Paull did on this set... the first version that he designed was too modern. It did not look feminine enough, and as we all know it's the wife who is the prime mover in interior decoration in a house.
[GEORGE AND LORRAINE ENTER THE HOUSE]
Bob Gale: Getting Crispin to wear these clothes was one of the hardest things we had to get him to do. He just hated that wardrobe, hated that look. And coming up - when Biff comes in with the novel, take a close look at the picture of George on the back of the book. He doesn't look the same as he looks in this scene. That was the first version of the revised George McFly look that we came up with. We had to have something for the photograph, and that was what he was going to look like, when we had him acting that way. It just didn't seem good enough, didn't seem enough of a contrast.
[GEORGE HARASSES BIFF ABOUT WAXING THE CAR OUTSIDE]
Bob Gale: Everyone wants to know, is Biff gay, now that George decked him? Well, when this movie was the only of the three movies that existed, you could believe that. But, as you'll discover in the sequels, that's not the case.
[COPIES OF GEORGE'S NEW BOOK ARE DELIVERED TO THE HOUSE AND BIFF BRINGS THE BOX INSIDE]
Bob Gale: UPS got there very, very fast, from when Marty closed the door and Biff came running back in.
[MARTY AND JENNIFER ARE STANDING TOGETHER IN THE DRIVEWAY WHEN DOC ARRIVES FROM THE FUTURE]
Bob Gale: Marty never gets to kiss Jennifer through the whole movie.
Bob Gale: You look carefully in that shot - that was not Chris Lloyd driving; it was a stuntman. I think it was R.L. Tolbert. Those are solid metal glasses... Christopher Lloyd couldn't see a damn thing out of those, but they looked so good...
Neil Canton: That he worked with it.
Bob Gale: .....that he worked with it, right. One of our statements on the [future of the] necktie... Chris Lloyd is wearing a clear, plastic tie. What's the point of wearing a tie if you can't see it? [Our statement was] What's the point of wearing a tie, even if you can see it?
Chapter 20: "Roads? (Credits)" - Transcribed by "futureboy"
[SHOT OF DOC, MARTY AND JENNIFER INSIDE THE DELOREAN]
Bob Gale: The Japanese characters on his [Doc's] shirt, by the way, are to indicate the significant Japanese influence we expected there to be in the future... we were wrong.
[DELOREAN BACKS OUT OF MARTY'S DRIVEWAY]
Bob Gale: Great bar code license plate there.
[DELOREAN LIFTS UP OFF THE GROUND AS DOC PREPARES TO FLY IT INTO THE FUTURE]
Bob Gale: When we previewed this movie, this shot was a really rough black-and-white shot, and it didn't matter. The audience was right there ready for that car to fly, and... .
Neil Canton: ...went crazy.
Bob Gale: ...they went crazy.
Bob Gale: All right, we'll continue this in Back to the Future Part II.
Neil Canton: Looking forward to it.
Bob Gale: [laughs].
TO BE CONTINUED!