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Kickstarting the DeLorean from “Back to the Future”

by Kevin Marshall   July 27, 2013 at 12:00AM  |  Views: 3,344
Source: Jason Aron/Louis Krubich/Kickstarter.com

Filmmaker Jason Aron was driving one day when he came across another car that was literally stopping traffic.

That car was the famous (at one time infamous) DeLorean.

When it was first released in 1981, it looked like a vehicle straight out of the future as imagined by a 1970s sci-fi B-movie. The story of the car itself has been told numerous times as a cautionary tale, with doors that opened vertically, the collapse of the company that manufactured the car, and all the pitfalls that served as an apt metaphor for 80s excess.

Three years after the car's spectacular debut and even more spectacular failure, its image was forever redeemed in the eyes of the masses when it was used as the time machine in the first "Back to the Future" film. The film starred a then red-hot Michael J. Fox, but the image of the car itself is what was burned into the minds of movie-goers.

"There's something about this car," Aron told Spike.com. "There's something about this phenomenon. I wanted to know why."

Inspired by a fellow filmmaker doing a documentary on the history of the Batmobile, Aron set out to explore the community that has grown around this peculiar vehicle. His research and travels found him talking to owners of replicas and actual cars used in the film.

Source: Jason Aron/Louis Krubich/Kickstarter.com

Right now the film is just a Kickstarter, but Aron and producer Louis Krubich have high hopes. They self-funded the featurette that appears on the Kickstarter page, starring a teacher from Massachusetts (as you probably guessed by the accent) who traded in World War II memorabilia as a hobby and, almost accidentally, amassed a small fortune. He used the money he raised through the sale of trinkets, uniforms, and historical relics to take another trip through time: for the hefty sum of $540,000, he became the sole private owner of one of the models used in the actual "Back to the Future" films. Amazingly, he still had plenty of money left over to convert his barn into a shrine devoted to the franchise. Yet he doesn't come across as an eccentric or a fanatic, which makes his tale all the more fascinating.

"He is one of the most interesting people I've met in my entire life," Jay told us. "Just a modest guy."

Then there's Oliver and Terry Holler, who purchased a DeLorean and converted it into a replica of the car after Oliver successfully overcame a bought with cancer. Together, this husband and wife team travel throughout the continental United States, charging people to take pictures near the vehicle with all money going towards the Michael J. Fox Foundation, a charitable organization established in 2000 to raise money and awareness for Parkinson's Research.

It's stories like these that Aron and Krubich are looking to tell through the documentary.

"One of the things we found is that the community is very generous," Aron said. "Almost everything that's raised through these cars is given back."

Source: Jason Aron/Louis Krubich/Kickstarter.com

It was important for Aron and Krubich to tell this story, but also tell it for the right reasons. They've already vetted and screened potential subjects to weed out anyone that they feel is in it purely for financial gain. The subjects they've talked to use the funds they raise with the car, whether it be through personal appearances or photographs at conventions, to raise money for various charities.

"We've had to pick and choose who were in it for the right reasons," krubich explained. "They all do this because of the love and commitment they have for the trilogy."

It's that commitment and love that they're hoping to showcase, and they're hoping it'll also translate to the project happening. Only two weeks remain for them to reach their intended goal of $33,000. They're hoping a late push will make this documentary happen, particularly since they've already gotten the go-ahead to screen the film at the official thirtieth anniversary celebration in 2015. More importantly, though, because the film and its iconic car are so engrained in American culture.

"It wasn't a political movie, it didn't change society," krubich said. "But it built a community."

The Kickstarter for "Back in Time," along with the featurette, can be seen at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1193589543/back-in-time