Boyhood Screen Facts

The Boyhood movie is a coming-of-age film released in 2014. It was written and directed by Richard Linklater. The film follows six-year-old Mason Evans Jr., played by Ellar Coltrane, and his family as they navigate life into his adolescence. Olivia, played by Patricia Arquette, is Mason’s single mother who is forced to make hard choices and moves her children multiple times to improve their quality of life. The movie deals with difficult themes including relationships, divorce, abuse, and finding your place in life. Ethan Hawke also stars in the movie as Mason Evans Sr., the initially elusive but loving father of Mason Jr. and Samantha. Boyhood examines complex family dynamics in the formative years of a young boy’s life using interesting writing, filming and creation techniques. Check out various Boyhood screen facts below.

Filmed Over 12 Years

The Boyhood movie was filmed from 2002 to 2013. Each year, all the cast and crew would get together for a week of filming. Ellar Coltrane was seven years old when filming began and nineteen-years-old when filming finished. The film captured the entire span of his literal Boyhood. In addition, the movie showed about fourteen minutes of screen time for each year of Mason’s life.  The original working title of Boyhood was “The Untitled 12 Year Project” because of the unique filming technique. 

No Plastic Surgery

The director asked Patricia Arquette to not get any plastic surgery over the twelve years of filming Boyhood. This was to make the character more realistic as Linklater did not believe Olivia’s character would get any plastic surgery herself.

12-Year Work Contracts are Illegal

In the state of California, The De Havilland Law makes any work contracts over seven years in length illegal. Each year, the cast would come back out of good-will and dedication to the project, as they were not legally required to complete any work after 7 years. Lorelei Linklater, Richard Linklater real life daughter, who plays Samantha, got sick of the commitment after four years. She asked her father to kill off her character. He refused as that would have been too dark. Lorelei would eventually enjoy filming Boyhood towards the final years of its production.

$2.4 Million Budget

Legally, the studio could not give the director all the funds for the $2.4 million budget project upfront. If they had, Richard Linklater would have been contracted for 12 years of work. To avoid this, IFC Films gave Richard $200,000 each year for one year of work. One year, they forgot to give the director the money for the project, and he had to fund it out of pocket, as they had completed their financials for that year. 

Script Written as Filming Progressed

Because of the unpredictable nature of a twelve-year project, Richard Linklater did not have a complete script when filming began. He had loose plot points and shooting ideas, however, much of the script was informed by the experiences of the actors. The father, Mason Sr., was based on Richard and Ethan Hawkes own fathers. The mother, Oliva, was based off Patricia Arquette’s mother. Hawke and Arquette both went through real-life divorces, remarriages, and had children from multiple relationships. These real-life events helped shape and form the plot of Boyhood. To properly create this film, Linklater envisioned the project as twelve short films that would be linked together upon completion. 

Directed by Ethan Hawke?

Ethan Hawke did not direct Boyhood. There was an agreement and readiness that Hawke would direct the film should anything happen to Richard Linklater. Fortunately, Linklater was able to see Boyhood and many other projects through. 

Sources: ScreenRant IMDB

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