Slow Down: Density Has Brought Us Here..err, Destiny…

Slow Down: Density Has Brought Us Here..err, Destiny…

Slow Down: Density Has Brought Us Here..err, Destiny…

It’s a fast paced world out there, one in which the cliche of stopping and smelling the flowers is often ignored in favor of more speed, less waiting, and higher productivity. But what happens when you take a minute and slow it down? For one reader, a little bit of movie magic. As you may have read, recently there was a large fire on the backlot of Universal Studios, one which damaged many classic movie sets including areas where Back to the Future was filmed, along with many others. Also caught up in the blaze was a building that apparently housed video and film footage. Luckily, everything contained in this warehouse had been backed up or copied and nothing irreplaceable was lost. The blistering hot flames shot a cloud of smoke into the air like a wide shot of a disaster movie, raining bits of ash and debris across the valley.

What does this have to do with taking it slow? Hundreds of yards from the site of the blaze, escaping the sprawling lot, a little piece of our childhood fluttered down into the street. To just about any passerby, it would have appeared to have been a piece of garbage. A short, dirty, brittle piece of 35mm kicking around the gutter. But when held up to the light – the unexpected. The virtually unimaginable. On that scarred bit of celluloid, a memory. A single, scratched frame from Back to the Future. The film that had lost a piece of its history as the set burned had in another way survived the fire. Had our reader just ignored the garbage and walked on, that little piece of magic would have been swept away and lost forever. But, stopping to investigate, that decision to take a chance on a little scrap of film paid off in a unique and unexpected way.

So what does this teach us? Well, to anyone coming out of college and diving into the “real world” can attest, things move fast here. It’s easy to get swept away in the time stream. Hitting 88mph is an easy feat and the other bastards can do 90. But if you slow it down every now and then and take a look around, you might be surprised at what you’ll find. Sometimes a treasure may be at your feet in the oddest places, incomprehensibly far from its origins. Or you may find the opportunity of a lifetime- business, personal, or educational, down the most unexpected of roads. In life, as often as you hear it, sometimes it pays dividends to stop and take a look around. Take it all in. You’ll be surprised at what you might find. And if this whole article may seem a little bit too cliched to you, hey, at least we stayed away from the one man’s garbage platitude.

  • Tom

    WHAT!? THIS IS AWESOME! What a find!

  • j

    That’s some crazy luck. good sentiment in the writing too

  • dave


  • Jim

    How much for it? :)

  • Lorin

    Word. Definitely a great sentiment, and how true it is. For us amateur film buffs, that would be the find of a lifetime, laying in the gutter.

  • steve

    you’ve gotta frame that or something.

  • bluxed

    That is really awesome. I’d offer the person a few hundred for it.

  • Stillz

    No way…

  • Marty

    No way. Good looking fake, though. It doesn’t have sound on the side.

  • Doc Brown

    Marty, not all film types are sound-on-film. Also, the news said that the Universal fire didn’t damage anything irreplaceable – ie the original film negative. That could be a show reel, which don’t always have sound-on-film (ever seen a movie go out of sync, that’s why). Looks pretty legit to me.

  • magazin

    It doesn’t have sound on the side

  • Heyleland

    The orange color around the sprocket holes indicates it’s a piece of an interpositive, which is made from the cut camera negative with all of the color timing built in. This is combined with a positive image of the soundtrack to make an internegative from which release prints are struck.

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