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A Brief History of Going Back

camera and car

Going Back began as a short story written by writer and artist, Ron Teachworth. Ron received a grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts in 1981 and began developing the story into a film using the grant and his own savings. Ron was teaching high school at the time and Bruce Campbell was working with him in his classes as an "artist in residence." Bruce and some of his friends had recently shot The Evil Dead. In early 1982 the cast began rehearsing in Ron's painting studio. The bulk of the shoot was done in Cass City, Michigan in June 1982. Additional scenes were shot in Rochester Hills, Michigan and rural parts of southern Tennessee (during winter in Michigan).

Going Back premiered at the Detroit Institute of Arts and had several local theatrical screenings at the Punch & Judy Theatre in Gross Pointe, Michigan. Media reviews were very positive.

The film screened at seven film festivals, including the Turin Film Festival in Italy in November 1984. At the Sixth American Independent Feature Film Market in New York City, the film was picked up by Vestron for release on home video. Vestron was near bankruptcy and shut down shortly after the first few copies were released on VHS. Unfortunately, the Vestron distribution contract gave them the rights to Going Back for fifteen years. The distribution rights to the movie were sold and resold as part of Vestron's library. There were no further home video releases.

filming a car

In 2000 the distribution rights to Going Back reverted to writer/director Ron Teachworth and he began working on a DVD version. Ron approached Bruce Campbell with the idea of a commentary track. During a visit to Michigan, Bruce joined Ron Teachworth and cinematographer John Prusak in a recording session.

bruce campbell and susan under the tree

Ron compiled this commentary track with other extras for the DVD and began marketing it to distributors. He worked with one movie sales agent for a while who did not seem to be able to get any attention from distributors. In late 2003 Darlene Cypser of Inferno Film Productions, LLC, contacted Ron about offering Going Back at the American Film Market. While many foreign and domestic distributors screened the movie and said good things about it, none of them were willing to invest in it.

The original version of Going Back contained licensed music from the Beatles' "Hard Days Night" and the theme song from the television show "I Love Lucy" to set the mood of the movie based in 1964. By 2004 not only had those licenses expired, but the cost of licensing either of those pieces of music had increased astronomically.

After long discussions with Sony Music and CBS in 2005, Ron and Darlene began to believe that the licensing issues were insurmountable and were holding the movie back. So Ron went back into the studio and edited the soundtrack to remove those pieces. With that complete, Going Back was offered again at AFM in 2005 but again no home video distributor stepped forward. Throughout 2005 Darlene had been discussing the fate of the movie with her business associate, Trygve Lode who was also the owner of Bifrost Distribution, LLC. In early 2006 Trygve agreed to distribute Going Back on DVD under Bifrost. In May 2013 Bifrost Distribution merged with Inferno Film Productions, LLC (aka Inferno Motion Pictures).

Bruce Campbell relaxing