← Technological Analysis of Back to the Future II (1985)

Intents of the Filmmakers

Regarding Computing Technology, Present and Future

Upon research, it was discovered that the filmmakers, Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis, understood even before creating the script that they would be unable to correctly predict the future of technology [1]. Gale looked at other movies that attempted to predict the future, and found they were unable to accurately predict the technology of the future. As a result, he decided to take an optimistic view, and “have a good time with it” [1] and portray a utopian future where technology has solved many of the small issues of living, such as s floating robots that can walk dogs. This is in stark contrast to another movie of the time the directors knew about, Blade Runner (1982) [1]. In this sense, the film succeeds in portraying a happy future. For example, even Marty's house, which is located in a poor neighborhood because a mistake in Marty's past results in his financial undoing, is highly automated and technologically advanced with voice-activated televisions and many other comforts of living. This implies that advanced technology is cheaply available in 2015 and that even the lower rungs of society are able to live comfortably.

Additionally, filmmakers, knowing they had no ability to predict the technologies of the future nor their social implications, decided also to have fun with the technology aspect of the film and intentionally decided to make upgraded counterparts of existing technologies, wanting to believe old technologies would become nostalgic rather than forgotten [1]. They also understood that the audience would find it difficult to relate with the futuristic society if the technology in the film was too advanced and revolutionary. For example:

We know today that many new categories of products have been released since the 1980s which have had profound social implications, such as smartphones and tablets. These handheld mobile technologies have reshaped the way we communicate, socialize, shop, and live in a way that was unpredictable in the 1980s.


[1] Back to the Future, Production Notes