Video by Section 3 Films
Camera: AJ Martinson III
Assistant Camera: Eric Rafael
February 21, 2015
by Paul Pakler
Dear Paul Pakler (age 4),
Hello, little guy. I’m you! Age 34, writing to you from the year 2015! At this point, I’m older than Mom and Dad (who are probably reading you this letter . . . because you’re four). Things are pretty crazy in the future, but I’m getting ahead of myself . . .
By the time you’re hearing this letter, you will have seen an amazing new film called Back to the Future. It’s the one with Alex P. Keaton from your favorite TV show, Family Ties. And, once Dad uses the new VCR to tape it off HBO, you will begin watching Back to the Future endlessly.
The reason that I am writing to you is that - get ready - in 1989, they will release Back to the Future 2! In Back to the Future 2, Marty, Doc, and Jennifer visit the future. 2015. My time! Then, they return to 1985, but it’s different, so they go back to 1955. Finally, Doc gets hit by lightning and is sent back to 1885, and the movie ends. It’s a bit of a mess. (There’s a third movie that takes place with cowboys. Yeah. Cowboys.)
Lots of people really enjoy comparing the 2015 as we know it to the 2015 that Back to the Future 2 predicted: what it got right (not much) and what it got wrong. (Don’t even bring up hoverboards on Twitter.) It’s also a chance for people my age to wax nostalgic (Ask Mom and Dad what that means.) about their childhoods. People in 2015 like to gauge themselves and each other by what kind of pop culture they consume and how skillfully they can analyze it. People in 2015 are kinda weird.
Now, I could tell you all about all the fancy gadgets and gizmos we have in 2015, but you’ll find out about all of that in the natural course of human events. What I will tell you about is that we can play the guitar, we can drive stick like Marty does in the time machine, and we, along with our beautiful and nice ex-girlfriend, once saw Biff do stand-up comedy in Philadelphia.
We live in New York City like we always wanted to; we become an actor like we always wanted to. And, both of those things are really tough to do, and they don’t stop being tough. Being a grown-up is hard. Some days are good, and some days are bad. And, the next thing you know, 1985 is as far away from me as 1955 is from you (though, to be fair, you didn’t live through 1955). It’s okay, though. Getting older is okay, and whenever it scares me too much, I can always watch Back to the Future and think of you.
I made sure Mom and Dad kept all your Transformers, He-Man, and Star Wars toys safe. Don’t worry.
Be nicer to Barbra.
Sometimes, I look at pictures of you, and in every single one you’re smiling. That is magical. Please try really hard not to lose that.
Paul Pakler (@paulpakler): Paul is an actor, writer, and improviser living in New York City. He is a member of the long-form improv team, Field Trip. He is currently in post-production on Living Room, a short film that he wrote, produced, and acts in. Paul previously participated in The Katniss Chronicles, an audio drama based on bestselling book series, The Hunger Games, on which he served as Dialect Coach and NYC Director and portrayed the character, Finnick Odair. He has performed in theaters around the country, as well as in TV, film, and commercials. Paul graduated with a B.F.A. from Point Park University and from The People’s Improv Theater.
For more of Fanboy Comics' coverage of the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, please visit www.fanboycomics.net!