WIN-TV premiered a scene-by-scene remake of 'Back to the Future,' which originally starred Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd as time travelers Marty McFly and Doc Brown.
The premiere was held Oct. 21, at the LP Wilson Center. Cast and crew members were in attendance. WIN-TV's version will be broadcast in November.
While not backed by a major studio or millions in production money, WIN-TV sourced video from the Windsor community. The community access channel also filmed several key scenes for the release and edited the final cut.
For the movie to succeed, a DeLorean was needed. Brad Eisenhaure allowed the use of his 1981 DeLorean for the production, a stainless-steel machine primed for the rigors of time travel, back to 1955.
Jenny Hawran, WIN-TV's executive director, said the Back to the Future remake coincides with the station's 35th anniversary.
"We were born in the 80s, WIN-TV, and we wanted something to celebrate that. Our mission is the community, getting the community involved," Hawran said.
Similar Back to the Future remakes has been created in other communities around the country, according to Hawran. She felt confident Windsor could do the same, even on a low budget.
Though WIN-TV provided technical assistance, completed scenes were submitted by individuals and groups. Scenes from the original were spliced with the amateur clips.
"It was a whole community project and that was what was so exciting about it," she said.
WIN-TV received video from the Windsor Jaycees, the Windsor Chamber of Commerce, Windsor students, and an after-school program. More than 120 people were involved in the production. Several scenes were filmed using smartphones.
"We're very happy with it. It's a true community," Hawran said.
One filmmaker used well-known Windsor landmarks as backdrops, including the Plaza Theater and town hall.
"It was a wonderful thing to see because that's what it's all about, seeing our community and community members up there," she said.
Hawran added the use of nonprofessional actors made for more interesting results. The video will not be downloaded onto YouTube, because of copyright concerns. It will be shown over the coming months on WIN-TV.
Marshal Fox, who played Marty's grandfather, acted in a scene where Marty meets his mother's family at dinner in 1955.
"This was a family affair. We got together at the chamber of commerce, rehearsed a couple of times," he said.
A crew from WIN-TV filmed the scene.
"They were unbelievable," he said.
Fox and his fellow actors, Shelly Alt and Sarah Gilligan, stuck to the original script. He considers his acting chops "OK." He anxious to see the final version.
"It was a great way to bring the community together," he said.
Gilligan, who played Marty's mother, Lorraine Bains, predicts her acting began and ended with her one and only scene.
"I had four lines and I really had trouble with it. I have a new-found admiration. That's my takeaway. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be," said Gilligan.
Alt, who portrayed one of Marty's aunts, had an easy assignment, simply sit at the table and eat.
"I had a lot of fun doing it. It was a great experience," said Alt. "I made sure I ate that food right."
Tracy Rotkiewicz, of WIN-TV, played future Mayor Goldie Wilson, an inspiring piece of casting.
"I kept reading my lines, hoping I would get it right," Rotkiewicz said. "Luckily, we got to tape it over many times to get it right."
Of course, the film does not work without the DeLorean, a sleek two-seater conceived by John DeLorean.
DeLorean's company eventually shuttered, not helped by an FBI sting operation when the auto engineer was taped trying to traffic cocaine to undercover agents.
Eisenhaure said he found the DeLorean in a shed at a junk shop in Old Lyme. By coincidence, he was taking his daughter to a theater seminar being run by a guy named Doc. The car was hidden by an oversized tarp.
He peeled back the tarp and discovered the DeLorean, a sports car he coveted for some time. His wife, Courtney, was adamant they buy the car immediately. After months of haggling with the owner, Eisenhaure bought the car Oct. 21, 2015, or the day Marty went back to 1955.
Oct. 21 is considered Back to the Future Day.
"It was our density," Eisenhaure cracked.
To restore the car's finish, Eisenhaure wiped down the car with blue Dawn dish detergent and Windex.
"People flip out. They just smile and laugh," he said. "It's awesome."
Only 9,000 DeLoreans were produced.
He added a few gizmos for the film shoot, including a Mr. Fusion and the time machine remote control.
He collected donations for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which funds Parkinson's Disease research. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1991.