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.