John Baumgartner


BACK TO THE FUTURE (Zemeckis, 1985)

Couldn’t have done this better myself, so I post it here.  This by the same guy, Jamie Benning, who created the fantastic “filmumentaries” on JAWS, RAIDERS, and STAR WARS, by exhaustively collecting existing interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, alternate takes, etc, and cutting them into the movie, for a mega “commentary track” type experience.

This is his short doc (3 min) on Zemeckis‘ gorgeously detailed and story-rich opening shot from BACK TO THE FUTURE, with Benning’s own interview with the special effects man, Kevin Pike, who had to build and execute all the zany mechanical elements and effects on the set.  Really makes you appreciate how inventive, complex, and delightful this opening shot is.


I recommend watching all of Benning’s videos, each as fascinating as the next, which you can find on his Vimeo page.  If you got some hours to spare.

BTW, Kevin Pike has had a wonderfully successful career – having had this fortuitous beginning:

Kevin Pike started out as a local hire for Jaws (1975) for Universal. He had been working on Martha’s Vineyard as a busboy when the first of the crew arrived. He got a job working as a laborer, carpenter, painter and, later, helped out in special effects on the shark. After the location filming was completed, Kevin came out to Hollywood. – IMDB bio


  • November 15, 2014

    I always learn so much from these posts!

  • November 21, 2014

    Fascinating! Thanks for sharing, John!


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