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On June 21, 2009, I took my girlfriend Chani to a showing of "Back to the Future," which was being presented as part of a Michael J. Fox retrospective at a film festival in a historic local theater. In reality, the film festival didn't exist and I had rented out the theater. The management was in on my plan, and helped me with fake tickets and putting the movie on the marquee outside. About 20 friends and neighbors that Chani didn't know came to sit in the theater so that it wouldn't look suspiciously empty.

At the appointed time, we entered the theater and sat down. After some previews for upcoming films, "Back to the Future" began to play. About 20 minutes in, however, the movie... diverged... from the original script, becoming instead a marriage proposal. This video begins at the scene just before that point, so you don't have to sit through the whole thing to watch the interesting part.

During the long pause (when I am standing awkwardly on screen) I got down on one knee with a ring and proposed. She said yes! At that very moment, both of our families entered from another room (they knew the exact second to come in based on when the movie had started).

For those who are curious about the technical details, I did all the filming and editing myself, using a digital camera propped up on a chair to film me acting against a "green screen" made of green disposable tablecloths. I used a free 30 day trial of Pinnacle Studio to do all the chroma key work. It took 10 to 15 hours of editing to get things the way I wanted them.

To the best of my knowledge, the approximately 90 seconds of unedited footage from the original movie in this clip, and the approximately 30 seconds of composite material clearly comprise a derivative work that falls under fair use. (The remaining 2 minutes are entirely original.)

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