So I was recently commissioned by Marc Schmid of Switzerland for a Back to the Future II Diorama. What intrigued me about Marc's request was that he wanted the Delorean hovering in front of the famous Blast From The Past store. I often have to refuse some project just because the idea does not interest me or the clients idea does not match their expected budget. But this one got me. So here is how I start a typical project. First I research...a lot! This can take hours or it could take days. In this case, because I myself am a huge fan of Back To The Future I knew exactly where to look and at what point in the movie to skip to. Now, what I do to help me is I copy the DVD to my computer, this way I can skip to the part or parts in the movie that I am recreating and forward frame by frame to take the snap shots I need. These are crucial to getting things right. (See below for just a few of the screen shots I used to create my blueprints for this diorama.
The one highlighted in red was key, and when I found it it gave me tons of information. It's the only fraction of a second that we see the storefront completely.
Once I have my research material what I do is take something I know, or can find exact measurements from. In this case I used a few. Like Michael J. Fox's height, length and hight of the Delorean, and measurement that are common such as that a doorway is almost always 36 inches wide.
I put all that together with my screen shots and get rough measurements for everything. I then calculated the scale. And after about 3 to 4 hours this is the result. This can be printed actual size and used as patterns or cutting guides.
Once I finished that I started to tackle some details. Which I will cover in Part 2. But I did start one, which turned out to be way more challenging than I thought. In the alley way next to Blast From The Past there is a poster thats says "UsAir Surf Vietnam". Now the challenge was that you do not see it straight on or fully in the movie. What I did find was a behind the scenes production still of Micheal J. Fox and crew standing in front of it. This was my best shot and getting this right.
I recreated all of it from scratch except for the couple and surf board. I had to take that from the photo with Micheal and fill in the missing parts. My guess is once this poster is about 2cm wide, these small imperfections should not show. Stay tuned for the updates!