Richard Linklater’s critically acclaimed Boyhood was filmed like almost no other film before it (though Francois Truffaut’s Antoine Doinel series certainly comes to mind, as does Michael Apted’s 7 Up documentary series). It was written and shot over the course of 12 years, capturing a boy and his family aging naturally.
“This whole project was a huge leap of faith, obviously,” Linklater tells American Film. “You can’t legally contract someone to be in it for the whole run. You just have to hope that it’s worth it to them. I think artists have less trouble jumping into commitments because that’s what they do all the time.”
As with many of Linklater’s films before, most obviously his Before Sunrise trilogy, Boyhood becomes a profound reflection on the passage of time, “Time was the wild card in all this,” he declares. “There was so much time involved that I wanted to use it for my ultimate advantage. I knew the plot would drift. It was part of the design. I didn’t have to have it figured out in 2002, but I knew somewhere along the way it would work. It was a great luxury to have a year — every year — to think about it, to mold it, to have that gestation time, to watch last year’s footage and to watch the whole film so far.”
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