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thatifsomebody
was going to go back in time...
...it had to be with a time machine.
So that's how the creativejuices got flowing.
Obviously, the partin the past
in the movie takes place in 1955.
The Academy Award for Best Picture
thatyear went to a movie called Marty.
Is itjust a coincidence
or was it a conscious decision...
...to call Michael J. Fox's character
in the movie Marty?
I think that was a coincidence.
I don't remember us thinking about that.
No. We never thought about that.
The fact that Marty...
...had never even occurred to me
until you just mentioned it right now.
Sometimes we name characters
that are insidejokes, other times...
...I think, in the case of Marty,
I think it wasjust a name that....
Sometimes wejust name characters
that have a good sound to them...
...that they roll offyour tongue kind of easily.
Then other times we name them afterpeople.
Like Biff Tannen.
Ned Tannen was the president of Universal.
When we were making
I Wanna Hold Your Hand...
...at one meeting that we had...
...he gotirate with us in his office
and threw the script on the floor...
...and accused us of wanting to make
an anti-Semitic movie...
...even though I'm Jewish.
So, in honor of good old Ned,
Biff got his last name.
How much research did you find yourself doing
on the 1955 time period...
...to make sure that everything was accurate?
We did quite a bit of research.
Itseemed to be the process
of coming up with ideas was to just...
...go and immerse yourselves in....
We would immerse ourselves in....
We'd go to the library
and read the newspapers of the time.
You know, those great Time-Life series
and photograph books of the time.
You have to sort of be a history buff
to enjoy doing something like this.
When we came up with specific scenes...
...we would research, specifically,
if we could do a certain thing.
But most ofit wasjustsort of getting
a flavor for the time.
Then, of course, once the production gets going,
then it gets to be...
...really fun,
because then everything starts to get real...
...and you have teams of researchers
in the art department, and they start...
..ing up with ideas, and then you can
justsort of riff on what they bring you.
It wasn't a foregone conclusion
automatically that 1955 was the year.
In fact, when we wrote the scriptin 1980,
it was also 1955 then.
And as the years went by...
...because it was fouryears later
that we actually got the movie made...
...we gave Marty an older brother
and an oldersister...
...so thatyou would understand
the age of his parents...
...that they would be in high school in 1955.
But 1955 was important because
we wanted Marty to invent rock 'n' roll.
That was one of the ideas
that we had real early on.
So, ifit was any later than 1955,
that couldn't have worked.
We knew it had to be after rock 'n' roll.
It wouldn't have worked ifit was 1950 or 1949.
When you were writing the script,
did you have any specific actors in mind?
No, I don't think....
You know, Bob and I
actually entertain ourselves by saying:
"Wouldn'tso-and-so be funny to do this?"
But I've found, over the years,
we do that on specific lines of dialogue.
We'll sit there and say:
"Nicholson. He would really be able
to do this line great. "
So, for me anyway, they become
these kind ofshadow characters.
And I never really see anyone specifically
when we're writing.
-I don't. Do you?
-No.
Sometimes, in terms of trying to conceive
how a character would deliver dialogue...
...we would imagine in our heads,
like, Jack Nicholson or Jimmy Cagney...
...orsomebody who has
a very distinctive way ofspeaking.
And that'sjustsort of a guideline
to putsomebody's voice in our head that...
...allows us to give the dialogue a certain style.
Sometimes it's based on somebody
that we actually know.
Again, just to give the character a style of talking.
In Back to the Future, since
most of the characters were young people...
..

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