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- "The photographer ducked under the curtain behind the box camera. The flash powder ignited. For an instant, the night turned blinding white."
- —From Back to the Future Part III by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 112)
A photographer was present at the Hill Valley Festival on Saturday September 5, 1885, offering the opportunity to those attending to have a souvenir photograph taken with the new clock that would be installed in the tower of the Hill Valley Courthouse. His camera was of the large 19th century variety which sat on a tripod, and had focusing bellows, a curtain to keep out the light and a handheld flash.
The photographer had originally taken a photograph of Emmett Brown standing alone with the clock. Doc was shot in the back by Buford Tannen later that night, and buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery two days later. The picture eventually ended up in the City Archives, where it remained for seventy years until it was discovered by Marty McFly and Doc's younger self in 1955.
When Marty McFly traveled back to 1885 and attended the festival with Doc, the photographer took a photograph of the pair of them standing together in front of the clock — an idea of Marty's, since he wished he had brought along his own camera. When Doc returned to 1985 in the Jules Verne train, he gave Marty a framed copy of the picture as a memento.
Behind the scenes
- The photographer was played by Dean Cundey, who was director of photography on all the installments in the Back to the Future trilogy.