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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like so many others across this great nation, I will be hosting a Back to the Future party this Halloween. This is a big theme departure for me, and I am starting with all new props that will have to be printed and fabricated mostly from scratch. Even though the 2nd movie is the only one that's set this year in October, I'm going to be theming this party for all three movies from the trilogy for sake of variety. I'm going to use this thread to solicit feedback/help and post updates as I go along. I know this isn't a classic Halloween party theme, but hopefully it will help others who are doing the same since I did not find any other threads on this topic after searching. :cool: Mods, please move this to the prop section if you think it overlaps.

So here's what I have planned for each room along with some major showcase electric props:
  • Rooms:
    A. BTTF 1 room: clocktower, flux capacitor, paper prop replicas/posters on surfaces and walls, george McFly's desk, Marty's skateboard, enchantment under the sea dance area (food, streamers, balloons, fish netting, papier mache clam, fake shells/seastars, spiked punch, Marty's guitar somewhere w/pictures), doc's workshop area: clocks on wall, flux schematics, black board, plutonium case, possibly hazard suit, Einstein's collar or food bowl​
    B. BTTF 2 room: TV with 10 split feeds, fax machines, hoverboard, pepsi free, tons of paper props for Biff's pleasure paradise, matchbooks etc.​
    C. BTTF 3 room: obviously as many old west things as I can find as well as paper/photo prop replicas from the film, pie tin, Delorean model​

  • Paper Props:
    I've collected almost all of the high quality paper props from the RPF online. So although I haven't listed them below, I have tons of paper props for each room. These are excellent pdf's from dedicated amateur enthusiasts. I have almost every available paper prop from the three films, and I intend to print using a large-size industrial printer along with custom sizes (e.g. posters for Jaws 19, Enchantment Under the Sea Dance, newspapers etc.) and custom paper (e.g. blue safe the clock tower flyer, newsprint, weathered paper for Doc's letter to Mary that was penned in 1885 etc.) If anyone wants to collect these same props, have a look at the following thread: http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=67267&highlight=back+future Be sure to thank the creators as well.​

  • Large/Difficult Replica Props
    A. Clock tower with columns, cardboard watch face, gargoyles. I will be running a line of paracord from the clock face to the other side of the​
    B. flux capacitors​
    C. time circuits​
    D. energized power cable from clock tower (led's)​

And here's where I could use some ideas/assistance:
  • Fabricating the columns for the clock tower. There's probably a ton of good threads on here, but I want the columns to look Roman. Anyone have a favorite (read: easy) howto? I'm guessing papier mache or chicken wire will be necessary.
  • For the enchantment under the sea dance, I wan to use one of the Gemmy green/blue animated led's (like the fire and ice model) that create an underwater effect. Anyone have a link to these or a thread discussing them? I couldn't find one. Is there another led light that creates a similar effect of being underwater?
  • For the clocktower cable, I want to make it appear energized. Do they make long ropes of led string lights that have a similar effect to the melting icicle/blood drip led's? My dream is to have a quick moving light (like lightning) cycling all the way down the cord. Anyone have a link?
  • *DREAM PROP* Fake (cardboard?) mockup of the back of the Delorean time machine with fog machine fog coming out of the exhaust ports. I don't have time/skill to fabricate an entire cardboard Delorean, but would like to have some time machine prop in some form. What might be the way to go about doing this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update on the energized wire: I believe I can get the effect I'm looking for by buying one of those led strip rolls that have a programmable animation. I think they're called "dream" or "dreamy" chasing led light strips. Anyone have experience with these? I don't really know which one is the best value.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update on the paper props, as well as a call for help making columns and reproductions of the clocktower panthers. Now I've got the image files for all my paper props. Here are just a few:



I'm moving on to the clocktower. I need to produce real looking columns, and I need to make a 2d cardboard clocktower face. I also want to have reproductions of the panthers that look like this:


Anyone have a link to their favorite column making diy? Also, does anyone have suggestions of how to recreate these panther statues either in 2d printouts or 3d sculpting? I want to do this cheaply, of course.
 

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Hello! What a fun theme! It sounds like you really have a great direction to take things in. I don't really have much feedback regarding some of the questions you asked, but when I was reading that you'll do one room as BTTF 3 with the Old West theme, I thought of the cool cardboard stockade that's a new item that Oriental Trading is carrying this year. It would be a fun photo op too - here's a link ~

http://www.orientaltrading.com/web/browse/processProductsCatalog?mode=Searching&sku=13703515

I saw it in their Halloween catalog & it looks pretty good up against the Haunted Farmhouse Banner (item name). They also have lots of other Western party supplies (search "western" or "cowboy". Worth a look!

As far as creating the panther statues - if you have a college or high school near you, consider calling up the art department to see if a student might take on the project for a small commission. They might be able to draw it in a 3-D way and then you could cut out a silhouette. You could probably make a reasonable price offer because you'd also be doing them a favor by giving them a project for their portfolio & then you could qualify as a reference for them. Just a thought!

Looking forward to seeing pics of your party! :cool:

 

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I bought a mini flux capacitor from Think Geek last year. It's a car charger, and pretty small (like a deck of cards). An adaptor could be used so you could plug it in to a wall. Might not be anything you could use, just thought I'd mention it.
 

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Have idea for columns you might want to look at using cardboard cement tubes home improvement stores carry those. As for the base card board boxes will do. Check my profile my album shows how I did mine similar concept.
 
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Last year while planning our 80's Villains Ball, I found that there was actually a Delorean Club here locally. I contacted the group, and one owner was willing to let me use her car as a prop and photo op for our guests for $50. It was really fun...maybe there is one in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
View attachment 251548
[ View attachment 251550 ]

Last year while planning our 80's Villains Ball, I found that there was actually a Delorean Club here locally. I contacted the group, and one owner was willing to let me use her car as a prop and photo op for our guests for $50. It was really fun...maybe there is one in your area.

I did some searching for this, but apparently socal is doesn't have any of these nearby that are also time machine replicas (kind of ironic). Still, the delorean is pretty cool nonetheless! I might try this. How long did you get to keep the car? And was the owner there the whole time? I want to have one of these for the party as well.
 

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You can rent a DeLorian in the greater Los Angeles area here:

http://www.brianbero.com/delorean.html

If you lived in Norther California, look what you could get!

http://www.docbrownstimemachinerental.com/?gclid=CPf8xr2AyMcCFY9cfgodmn4Emw

(Bet is it EXPENSIVE!)

You can purchase columns -- if you have extra cash and can re-sell or store them later -- on any party goods site; they are frequently used in weddings. These look a lot like the ones from BTTF:

http://www.shindigz.com/party/wedding-columns/pgp/1f089a

I have made columns using large shipping tubes. You can use newspaper papier-mâché for the ridges.

Are you making a free-standing clock tower, or converting a wall to look like City Hall with the clock tower? If you are using a wall, you could use brick scene setter rolls to cover the wall, then add windows, columns and a clock for a 3D effect.

http://www.shindigz.com/party/brick-wall-backdrop/pgp/13szsnsbwb

Pinterest has some amazing ideas for Back to the Future party food, decor, etc. Have you checked there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I ended up getting a DeLorean owner to commit to coming to the party. Also, I will be building a custom clocktower out of styrofoam and wood. I decided to go with vinyl brick paper because it looks more realistic on the clock tower.

Right now, I could use some advice regarding an idea I had for simulating the burning tire tracks from the end of the first movie (where the lightning bolt is harnessed from the clock tower). I considered imitation fan flames and led rope lights to simulate the burning tire tracks, but the former would be too expensive given the length and the latter just doesn't look realistic. I know that working with real fire is dangerou, but I thought of a way to make it somewhat safe and burn for a long time.

I'm considering using the chafing dish gel fuel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chafing_fuel. This is a clean burning fuel that can last up to 6 hours. I'd like to fashion some sort of trough (simulated tracks) to hold the fuel while it burns. It will be in the middle of the asphalt road. So there's no chance of anything catching fire. Any ideas on how to build the troughs on the cheap? I think they need to be metal to prevent any leaking and burn-through. I was going to go with tin foil and some other substance to hold the foil in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So I'm scratching the fire trails idea. It's just too risky. Here are a couple pictures of the clocktower being built. I needed to support a lot of weight for the gable, so we're using concrete mold tubes. Not cheap, but very sturdy. These can be huge cemetery columns next year! Next steps are to paint the columns, apply fake vinyl bricks to the clock tower, raise it, and attached the clock, panthers (laser cut wood outlines) and led cable for the finished effect. Hope I'm not he only one viewing these pics ;)

In other fun news, we'll be having a DeLorean or two coming to visit the night of the party!




 

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Cool concept. But how cool would it be to enter your set up THROUGH A VORTEX TUNNEL!
maybe next year....
 

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This came together so great! I really think this theme was so original & fun - I've never seen a party like this before! I bet your guests had so much fun! The whole clock tower setup turned out wonderfully - love it! :cool:
 
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