Showing posts with label Buick to the Future. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buick to the Future. Show all posts

Jun 28, 2017

Buick to the Future: 10 Years Later

It can be difficult to look back at past work and think about what you would've done differently or how it could've been better. That's not really the case with Buick to the Future, a series of short episodes I made a decade ago with my friend Tyler. They were obviously loosely inspired by the Back to the Future films, but really they were their own kind of weird.




10 years ago I was taking some classes over the summer at film school and had just started the Editing Luke website. It was around this time in 2007 that YouTube had really started to explode, however there wasn't nearly as much strategy behind putting videos online back then. There was also nothing particularly surprising about two film students, however amateur, wanting to experiment with our own content on this brand new platform.  

Let me just say that my friend Tyler and I knew from the start how ridiculous the idea was, but with my old '89 Buick and a love for Back to the Future, we at least had a great title! YouTube was really the wild west back then, and it was pretty clear that it was transforming the kinds of content that people were watching. Ironically, I'm not sure we mused much about the future when making these videos, we just wanted to give it a go!



That summer the Buick to the Future episodes were watched over 10,000 times, which in my 2007 mind probably felt like the whole world. I know the videos circulated with our friends around the university and I remember people telling me at dorm parties that fall that they thought they were hilarious. It all seems so innocent now.


I can't help but be nostalgic for these cheesy videos, not because they're all that great themselves, but because the experience of making them and sharing them online radically influenced the direction my career took. In the decade that I've shared my film related experiences on this site, it's kind of amazing to look back at such a humble beginning and see the thread of how it lead to my media company, numerous, bigger projects, and the ability to reach wider audiences.

I sometimes have to remind myself just how quickly the online video world has changed - YouTube wasn't HD or widescreen in 2007. Facebook videos were barely even a thing yet, and cell phones shooting video was cutting edge. The technology has come a long way, and naturally so have we in how we use it. As it turns out, the only time traveling we'd be doing with Buick to the Future would be while reflecting on how much time has gone past since it was made.

 

Aug 17, 2009

Buick to the Future: Episode 4 (2008)

Debuting on April 1, 2008, Buick to the Future: The Conclusion (or Episode 4) was the unexpected addition to the Buick to the Future: Trilogy created over the summer of 2007. In many ways, it was never meant to happen. At the end of Episode 3 one of the final credits stated that the series was most likely over. Then again, there was never supposed to be a part 2 or part 3 either. In a series that was just plain fun to make, I suppose Episode 4 was one last hurrah! for the BTTF idea, a needed escape from a long winter of boredom, and a chance to shoot one last project with my friend Tyler (AKA Doc) before I left university for good.

If I can attribute anything to the motivation behind revisiting a series with almost no plot-arch and an extremely loose connection to the Back to the Future movies, I have to say that it was nostalgia that initiated the final episode. By early 2008 I had put the project behind me, but in an effort to promote my videos I was busy creating trailers to showcase on my blog. After going through all the Buick footage from what had been a very memorable summer in 2007, I was left feeling recharged on the idea. Essentially, it was a matter of 'why not' that made up my mind.

This is the original trailer for the Buick to the Future trilogy from February 2008.


After showing this trailer to Tyler he was on board to make another short, but really, I don't think it would've taken much convincing as he's enjoyed making the series as much as I have. With the spring just starting to emerge, we were both feeling pretty restless and in need of something creative. The idea of elaborating on an already established concept seemed like an ideal place to start. On a side note, all the supplemental Buick trailers and promos can now be viewed as part of my Buick to the Future: Promotions post.

Writing and shooting Episode 4 was a breeze. This was the case with all the shorts really. It was the difference between film school guidelines and film student playing. All the premises were based on Doc doing the wrong thing and me (as Marty, but playing myself) calling him out on it. It was a simple formula, but in terms of what I wanted to achieve it worked perfectly.

This last episode remains my favourite because to me it's technically the most complete. It touches on all the random things that I wanted the series to be, and it also allowed for more creative shooting and editing. For instance, the footage between the hand held video camera we were using as a prop and the footage from the master shot all cut together really well. All that was shot with a single camera during different takes, the prop camcorder was never on. 


Also, there were considerably more scene changes and cuts in this episode than all the other episodes combined. It was part of my plan to make the project feel larger and more dynamic. The hand held shot of Doc stumbling down the street in the opening, and the hand held shots mimicking the prop camcorder were all used to add more energy - the tripod did all the work in the original trilogy. In terms of editing, examples of my experimenting were clear in my numerous jump cuts when Doc & Marty discuss time travel on the couch. In general, more shots were cut into each sequence, and the ending montage was the pinnacle of this.No, the final episode wasn't meant to be taken any more seriously, but I thought if I was actually going to put the idea to rest it was worth putting a bit more time into it. In the end, Buick to the Future: Episode 4 turned out better than I thought it would.

While the series has yet to explode online, it has continued to draw passionate supporters for my work and thousands of views online. Buick to the Future continues to be one of my biggest draws on YouTube. I ended this episode with another title saying that the series was really over this time, but it's a weak promise. As long as I own my old Buick I suppose there's always the possibility for one more short. Only time will tell.

Below I've posted 2 versions of BTTF: Episode 4. The first is the original upload, which thanks to my Vimeo account I can share with the copyrighted music. The second is the modified version I had to make when the audio was blocked on YouTube. Both are essentially the same, just with a few different songs included. In any case, help yourself to a laugh.

"It's Buick, Bitch!"

Buick to the Future: The Conclusion (Episode 4)
Written, Directed & Edited by Luke Fandrich w/Tyler Cyrenne as Doc



Jun 29, 2009

Buick to the Future: Trilogy (2007)

Shrouded in the scientific mystery of time travel, automotive engineering, and the perplexities of the space-time continuum, came a project about . . . well, none of this. The project that would grow into a trilogy, later a series, started out as nothing more than a half-assed attempt at comedy and the means to jump start a brand new blog – this one.



“Obviously you’ve never heard of Good Vibrations”. It was with Doc’s closing line at the end of episode one, as he was left standing in an empty dirt parking lot, mix tape in hand, that I knew it was going to be a good summer.

In the creative vacuum that is film school, you sometimes forget about the simple joy of creating something on your own terms. My first time staying in Regina over the summer to take some electives allowed me the freedom to try a variety of new things. The Buick to the Future movies just happened to have a bit more longevity than everything else.

There wasn’t any reason to think that the first video we shot was going to be that memorable in the beginning. It wasn’t planned to be a series. In all honesty, the project would never have happened had I not come up with the title – Buick to the Future. It seemed too good not to use, and was only made more significant because of how much I love my old car, still proudly referred to as ‘The Buick’.

Buick to the Future: Episode 1


Back in June 2007 I was ambitiously trying to get my brand new blog, Editing Luke, organized. There was years of work and film school projects to consider uploading, and on top of that there were big plans for creating a personal online portfolio. One of my first goals was to create some brand new content though. I was stocked with plenty of artsy shorts and travel edits, but what I really felt I needed was more comedy and narratives in general to appeal to a wider audience.


With a rough idea about Buick to the Future in my head, I started writing out some simple scenarios and things fell into place days after that. The original draft of the script could’ve taken the video in a different direction, but the beginning was cut because I wanted the video to be no longer than 5 minutes. It was made clear on the first page of the original script that Doc had been tinkering with the Buick, and that I was actually me – really Luke, not Marty. It provided more detachment from the fake fantasy of the story, but with so many comedic plot holes already worked in there wasn’t much to lose.

Shooting was no ordeal. Like I said, it was fun creating something for myself outside of the classroom. Tyler, a film student at the time also, felt just as excited to be a part of the project and admitted to me that it was nice being the actor for a change and not having to deal with any of the camera setups.

Buick to the Future, the first video, was very simple. Loosely based on some Back to the Future popular culture, largely based on the natural interaction between Tyler and myself, the video was a clean-cut formula that seemed to work. Tyler got to shine as Doc, I still played myself as Marty, and in the background I got the chance to create something fresh and inspired for my brand new blog.

Buick to the Future: Episode 2


When editing wrapped up, I knew I wanted to make a sequel. Buick to the Future: Episode 1 was uploaded on June 15, 2007 and part two was already being written. The three original shorts from that summer were created within weeks of each other, mostly staggered for the sake of keeping people somewhat interested. 


Episode 2 was uploaded on June 29, 2007 and Episode 3 on July 24, 2007. Tyler and I agree that part two was the easiest to shoot because the banter just came so naturally. There were key jokes I wanted to use in the script, but after that we just played it by ear. It didn’t hurt that it was almost all in one location too. If there was any hiccup worth mentioning it came from episode 3.


It was shot all outdoors in the middle of the prairie and it was HOT. We both got pretty good tans that day, and I remember Tyler melting in his long sleeves and jeans. The noisy bugs were also the biggest hassle in editing out of any of the videos, but with that the series felt complete. See the parking lot from episode 1 and the drive-in from episode 3 in my 'on location' series of posts.


The joke was made at the end of episode 3 that the series was most likely retired, but months later when I started making my Buick to the Future promotion videos it seemed like part 4 would be fun to do. That’s another story, but episode 4 would end up happening. See Buick to the Future: Episode 4 here.

In a nostalgic sense, I have really clear memories surrounding the making of the trilogy. They were escapes – from being broke or school or whatever else. They’re probably even checkpoints in my long friendship with Tyler. I remember these projects and can’t help but feel proud, not because any of them are groundbreaking are even really the best edits I’ve done, but because these videos remind me of my goal to promote myself back in 2007. I see them and remember how I wanted to get more assertive about my approach, how I wanted to feel relevant and ambitious and motivated, and more than anything, how I wanted to entertain.

Buick to the Future: Episode 3


Buick to the Future put me in touch with a lot of people. It’s made lots of folks laugh, it’s encouraged many of them to check out this blog, and more than anything, these videos gave me the positive reinforcement that I really needed to hear when I started sharing my work online.

They’re comedies about time travel that kind of did and kind of didn’t happen – and while it seems like it might be fun to time travel back to that summer again, I’ve realized that I’ve been able to experience so much and relive the memories over and over again just by sharing and watching the movies. Buick to the Future and that summer marked the start of a new chapter in my independent movie-making, which based on the subject matter seems strange to say – still, things haven’t been the same since.


Jun 9, 2009

Buick to the Future: Promotions (2008)

In marking the 2 years since the original Buick to the Future debuted here on Editing Luke, I've taken it upon myself to finally write the full scale posts associated with these movies like I have with so many of my other projects. These posts include the Buick to the Future Promotional Edits, the Buick to the Future Trilogy from 2007, and Buick to the Future: The Conclusion (Episode 4) from 2008.

The bulk of the promotional edits I made were to stir up interest for the BTTF series months after all 4 episodes had already been completed. The only exception was the original Buick to the Future trailer, which promotes the trilogy, and subsequently inspired one more episode: The Conclusion. To be fair, I can't guarantee that there will never be another BTTF short because if you watch episode 3 it seemed clear that we thought that would be the end too.

Buick to the Future was my campy mainstream, comedic, parody inspired, popcorn entertainment appeal to the YouTube crowd. It was made to help develop my new blog, attract some visitors, and get some laughs. It thankfully did all of that. Over the last couple years the series has received a modest 15,000+ views - but more importantly, for the small few that it connected with, they supported the project in a big way.


Check out the commemorative trailer for the 2 year anniversary of Buick to the Future, inspired by Doc's lost mix tape from Episode 1.


 
The episodes have been re-uploaded a few times due to copyright or quality issues, and despite my trailers and teasers the videos still remain fairly hidden on YouTube. It's tough to feel too disappointed though. The series revolutionized my online filmmaking and jump started my concept for this very blog. In that sense it's been a huge success, and like I said previously, it's not like this is the end - the promotion is ongoing. 

Of course, all this aside I have to thank Tyler Cyrenne for his help and support in making the series. His role as Doc was hilarious, and while I played myself (as Marty), there was no shortage of comedy on screen and off. You've embraced BTTF as though it was your own Tyler, and I couldn't be happier. Thanks again! 

Watch the short promos in the playlist below, including: 
The Original Buick to the Future Trailer (Originally Uploaded Feb.29/08), BTTF Promo 1 (Uploaded May.3/08), BTTF Promo 2 (Uploaded June.16/08), BTTF Promo 3 (Uploaded Sept.11/08), BTTF Series Trailer (Uploaded June.7/09)