The Back to the Future franchise was not only hugely successful when each of its films first came out; it has had a longevity that few films will ever have. As a result, its fandom has only grown since the 80s. Wanting to document the devotion Back to the Future fans have for this franchise as well as the its impact on society, Jason Aron co-created Back in Time – a documentary about Back to the Future’s legacy. Wanting to learn more about this project, Jason Aron allowed ScifiPulse to interview him.
Nicholas Yanes: When did you become a fan of the Back to the Future franchise?
Jason Aron: I never remember a time without it. BTTF came out when I was two-years old and I have early memories as a 9 year old of recording the movie line by line with a friend in school. I’ve always loved it.
Yanes: Is there a specific moment in the series that has impacted you the most?
Aron: BTTF 2 as a whole. I love technology and growing up thinking there might be a sports almanac, get rich quick schemes and time machines, it was all very intriguing to me. As a kid 2 was definitely my favorite movie and I think the wonderment behind it all was the driving factor there.
Yanes: When did you decide to make this documentary?
Aron: In late 2012 I was working on a film where they used the DeLorean as a prop and I realized that day how much everyone else loves BTTF. People were taking pictures of the DeLorean in the middle of the street and I had that Doc Brown moment where I realized – hey, we should do this thing.
Yanes: To get this documentary made you turned to Kickstarter. What advice do you have for other filmmakers thinking about turning to Kickstarter?
Yanes: In addition to the movies there are a wide variety of materials that are part of the Back to the Future franchise. How did you determine which of these spin-off materials would get time in the documentary? Were there any you wish you could have discussed further?
Aron: Not really. I think for us, we were looking at the fans and their stories. We never said we need to devote a certain amount of time to the ride or game, or even any of the specific films in the franchise. Whatever came from the stories the fans told us made it into the film based on how well it all worked with everything else we had.
Yanes: The documentary has a lot the original cast and people behind the camera discussing the franchise. How did you convince them to be interviewed?
Aron: For most it was very easy. The people that worked on this film are very giving of their time and appreciative of the fans support. So they were an ask away. Others needed a few more emails or phone calls, but once this project grew legs it was fairly easy to get most of the people we wanted.
Yanes: A fact that took me by surprise was that Back to the Future was never intended to have sequels and that the “to be continued” message was added after the theatrical run. What were some facts you learned about the franchise while making this film?
Aron: There were definitely some cool behind the scenes stories, but listening to Frank Price talk about the way he got the rights for BTTF from Columbia was an amazing story that he had never told before.
Yanes: Despite living in a media landscape saturated with different forms of entertainment, the Back to the Future movies are still popular. Why do you think Back to the Future continues to resonate with fans?
Aron: The story is extremely simple and touches on basic human elements that everyone can relate to. It is so well written and acted that you can watch it over and over its great. They also didn’t make the film overly “80s” which I think really helps it hold up.
Yanes: When people finish watching Back in Time, what feeling do you hope they leave with?
Aron: We hope people learn something new, get touched by the stories in the film and generally have a smile on their face thinking about this amazing franchise.
Yanes: Are there any other projects you are working on that people can look forward?
Aron: We have some projects in the works and hopefully we’ll be able to announce them VERY soon