The most talked about movie of the year is now available on Blu-ray.
has wound up on a number of Top 10 lists for 2014 and earned many nominations from various guilds, and a healthy amount of criticism debating whether its conceit was aesthetic or just a gimmick. Director Richard Linklater filmed young actors Ellar Coltrane and his daughter Lorelei Linklater, along with Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as their divorced parents, every year for 12 years to complete the portrait of growing up. Boyhood
The Blu-ray makes a good case for continuing to shoot on film. The picture is able to display bright colors and lush green outdoor scenes. It may also make a case against shooting on film, as some of the nighttime scenes or dark interiors suffer from a bit of digital noise. That may be more of a comment on how technicians can no longer transfer film to HD in the optimal quality.
We covered the film a lot in its release, interviewing
, Ellar Coltrane , Lorelei Linklater and Ethan Hawke , but with 12 years of material it should be no surprise that there is plenty more to discover on the Blu-ray, and DVD edition of Patricia Arquette Boyhood. Here are 12 more things we learned about Boyhood from the bonus features on the Blu-ray.
12 Things We Learned From The ‘Boyhood’ Blu-ray:
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12 Things We Learned From the Boyhood Blu-ray
Richard Linklater Shot DVD Extras for 12 Years
Here’s a testament to how prepared Linklater was to start a film 12 years before it would be finished. He also foresaw the value of having behind the scenes materials along the way. So one of the extras on the Blu-ray and DVD catches up with the stars and filmmakers every few years to capture thoughts they’d probably forget by 2014, and that’s how we got some of the following tidbits.
The French Movie That Inspired Boyhood
Shooting with a young actor from age six to 18 seems like a crazy idea to begin with. In a Q&A at Cinefamily recorded for the DVD and Blu-ray, Linklater revealed the real inspiration for it. The film
My Little Loves tried aging a child actor rather than recast an older actor, and Linklater didn’t buy it. He felt the kid still seemed too young to be playing older, so he thought you had to let the same actor actually age to convey maturation.
There Were No Contracts for Boyhood
In the Cinefamily Q&A, Hawke reveals that you can’t legally contract an actor for more than seven years, so there was no way to officially sign the cast for a 12 year shoot. Everyone who stuck with
Boyhood did it out of love, and never demanded extra money to finish the film. Hawke did insist on having his flights covered after a certain point though.
Young Ellar Coltrane’s Favorite Movie
Coltrane may have become a cineaste spending his 12 formative years with Richard Linklater. When the behind the scenes crew caught him, he said his favorite movie was
Dark City. We’ll have to assume he means Alex Proyas’s Dark City, unless he was already delving into the 1950 Charlton Heston movie called Dark City. Lorelei Linklater also said she thought Waking Life was boring, and apologized to her father who directed it.
Richard Linklater Had a Single Mom Too
During the Q&A, Linklater revealed some of the family dynamics that inspired the family portrayed in
Boyhood. Most notably, Linklater also grew up with a single mother, which in turn inspired Patricia Arquette’s character attempting to raise her children while bettering herself with school and work. Some of the dialogue of each character came from Linklater, Hawke and Arquette’s own parents and children, worked into the script.
Samantha’s Near-Death Revealed
From film festival Q&As to our own interview with her, Lorelei Linklater repeatedly said she wanted her character, older sister Samantha, to die so she could get out of the film. Thanks to the behind the scenes extras interviewing her in year seven, they captured Lorelei’s suggestion that little Samantha die of swine flu. This matches up to the swine flu scare of 2008/2009. That would be seven years after they began filming in 2001.
Ellar Coltrane’s Sophisticated Music Taste
Music plays a vital role in
Boyhood signifying the changing times. When Linklater was looking for music that kids might have been listening to in the early 2000s, then seven-year-old Ellar Coltrane already had intense musical taste. At the Q&A he said he was already listening to Rage Against the Machine and Tool, so Linklater had to look elsewhere to find his dorky kids music.
A Crew Member Chose the Final Song
Speaking of music, the film ends with the song “Hero” as the screen cuts to black on Mason’s unknown future. Richard Linklater said that a crew member named Ben brought him the song, saying that it got him through a breakup. Linklater liked that the song meant something to him, so used it to end the movie.
Boyhood is the Reason 'Before' is a Trilogy
Boyhood came out the year after Before Midnight, we tend to look at it as a variation on the Before trilogy, catching up with Jesse and Celine every nine years. Remember, Boyhood began before they’d even considered a sequel to Before Sunrise. It was actually shooting Boyhood piece by piece every year that inspired Linklater and Hawke to revisit Before Sunrise, and they managed to finish a trilogy before Boyhood wrapped.
No One Watched Dailies For 12 Years
It’s normal for actors to avoid seeing dailies. It can make them self-conscious and get inside their own heads. However, most normal movies are finished within a year of filming. For the
Boyhood cast to avoid dailies meant they didn’t see any of their work for over a decade.
The Plot Was Clear, The Timeline Was Flexible
Arquette and Hawke discussed at the Q&A how Linklater told them the plot early on, but didn’t specify the timing. So Arquette knew when her character would have new boyfriends, and that one would be an alcoholic, but didn’t know in which years those would take place. Hawke knew that his character would sell his GTO and get a family friendly minivan, but not exactly when. Then as the years got closer, Arquette said Linklater would have more specific information, like where this conversation would take place.
They Would Have Called It '12 Years'
Richard Linklater revelaed in the Q&A that he thought of the title
12 Years early in production. However, when the film was nearing completion, 12 Years a Slave came out and he felt he couldn’t call another movie 12 Years.