Geek's marriage code: Propose Marty McFly-style

For pure geek gumption, it's hard to beat Corey Goldfeder's elaborate scheme of digitally editing himself into "Back to the Future" to pop the question.

Corey Goldfeder and fiancee Andrea
Corey Goldfeder and his now-wife Andrea pose in front of the Queens, N.Y., movie theater where they watched "Back to the Future"--and got engaged. Corey Goldfeder

Who says geeks don't know how to do romance right?

Among the geeky gestures of amour we've seen, there was the guy who popped the question in Super Mario World, the guy who engraved a proposal on an iPod, and the man who asked for his love's hand via patent application.

The latest inductee into the Geeky-Proposal Hall of Fame ? Google software engineer Corey Goldfeder, who went so far as to stage a fake Michael J. Fox retrospective at a local movie theater and then digitally edit himself into "Back to the Future" to pop the question to Andrea (and about 20 onlookers he recruited so the theater wouldn't look suspiciously empty).

The proposal was fitting for the couple, who met at a costume party where Goldfeder came as Marty McFly, the time-traveling protagonist in the sci-fi action adventure comedy, which they both call a favorite.

Goldfeder used some borrowed chroma key equipment to digitally replace Fox's face with his own. With some splicing and voice-over work, he staged a conversation between time machine inventor Doc Brown and Marty McFly (wearing Goldfeder's visage) about whether the time was right to propose.

"At the end of this conversation, the movie me then turned to face the camera and prompted the real me to propose," said Goldfeder, 27. "I got down on one knee, pulled the ring out of my pocket, and asked the love of my life to marry me." She said yes, and both families entered from another room to congratulate the newly engaged couple. (See a video of the proposal after the jump.)

Goldfeder/McFly proposed in Queens, N.Y., in June 2009 and the couple wed that August, practically making them an old married couple by now. Fortunately, they get to go back to their own future as finalists in a proposal contest sponsored by Jewelry Information Center. Voters have until April 30 to vote for their favorite proposal; the top pair gets a vacation to Greece.

Of the 10 finalists, we also like the tulip garden proposal and the Scavenger Hunt to His Heart, but for pure geek gumption, it's hard to beat Goldfeder's elaborate scheme. He propped a digital camera on a chair to film himself against a "green screen" made of disposable tablecloths and used Pinnacle Studio to add 30 seconds of composite work into the classic film.

In all, it took Goldfeder 10 to 15 hours of editing to get things just the way he wanted them--and hopefully they will stay that way for many, many years to come.

Chanoch proposing to Chani from Corey Goldfeder on Vimeo.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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