Richard Linklater cast his daughter Lorelei Linklater as Samantha because she was always singing and dancing around the house and wanted to be in his movies. At about the third or fourth year of filming, she lost interest and asked for her character to be killed off. Linklater refused, saying it was too violent for what he was planning (Lorelei eventually regained her enthusiasm and continued with the project).
Ellar Coltrane, who plays the boy of the title, was 7 years old when the movie started filming and 19 when it finished.
The film was shot over 45 days from May 2002 to August 2013 which, roughly speaking, is spanning more than 4,000 days.
Ethan Hawke presents his fictional son with the gift of the Black Album on his fifteen birthday. In real life, Ethan Hawke compiled the individual Beatles songs into the Black Album to help his daughter Maya deal with the breakup of his marriage with Uma Thurman.
Boyhood (2014) is one of only 11 movies to receive a Metascore of 100, the highest possible score that can be attained from professional movie critics on the review aggregate Metacritic, and so far the only film to receive this score upon its original release.
Each year of Mason's life is covered in an average of fourteen minutes of screen time.
None of the actors were contractually obligated to return to the film each year due to the De Havilland Law under California Labor Code, which makes it illegal to contract employees for more than seven years of work.
According to Patricia Arquette, Richard Linklater asked her not to have any plastic surgeries, since it wouldn't make sense for her character.
The precise timeframe of the film is never made completely clear. The constantly changing time setting can only be identified by pop-culture references, the soundtrack, and advances in the technology used by the characters. The production staff was careful to only use songs in scenes which took place in or soon after the songs, respective years of production.
The film began production as "The Untitled 12 Year Project" and then became just "12 Years". But when the film was finished, Richard Linklater changed the title to Boyhood (2014), to avoid confusion with the similarly-titled, Academy Award-winning 12 Years a Slave (2013).
Linklater has said that due to the fact that Patricia Arquette had been a mom in a very young age, she was the only actress he ever thought of for the part of Olivia.
Richard Linklater and his crew got together annually to film Linklater's script about a boy who will eventually grow up into a college freshman. Linklater's method behind production was essentially to make several 10- to 15-minute short films over the course of 12 years, each depicting a year in the life of the boy, and then edit them together as a feature film.
Longtime friends, Linklater and Hawke both grew up with divorced fathers from Texas who worked in the insurance business, assessing risk--exactly the career Hawke's character, Mason Sr., eventually takes on in the film.
According to Richard Linklater, Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) is a continuation of Boyhood in terms of beginning right where it ends with a guy showing up at college and meeting his new roommates and a girl.
The guitar-playing street performer is Ellar Coltrane's real father, Bruce Salmon. He is a musician based in Austin, TX, where his cameo scene is set.
Scenes that take place within Pedernales Falls State Park (Johnson City, TX) were shot illegally. Permission was granted to shoot, but no filming fees were ever paid and the portion of the river in which the actors are seen swimming has been closed to the public for swimming since 1977 (due to approximately 25 drownings that occurred in that area between 1971 and 1977).
Lorelei Linklater is only three months older than her on-screen brother Ellar Coltrane. Richard Linklater jokes that he didn't so much cast her in the movie, as give in when she insisted on playing the part after hearing about the project.
Mason is in all but two scenes in the movie. First when Mason Sr asks Samantha if she brushed her teeth and if she planned on going to sleep with her headphones in during a weekend visit. Second when Samantha doesn't pick up Mason from school and Olivia is lecturing her.
Christopher Nolan revealed this film was his favorite of 2014, despite himself directing "Interstellar (2014)" the same year.
Mason Sr.'s roommate Jimmy is played by Charlie Sexton, a real-life musician who toured with Bob Dylan for many years. Several pieces of Dylan-themed artwork can be seen on the walls of Mason and Jimmy's apartment.
David Blackwell played Liquor Store Clerk in director Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused (1993) and again here in Boyhood.
The film has no original score; its soundtrack is made up completely of previously published material.
President Barack Obama's favorite film of 2014. Coincidentally, President Obama's first presidential campaign is explicitly referenced during the 2008 portion of the film.
In the film's first line of dialogue, Mason talks to his mother about wasps. Later his digital photography project in high school contains a series of images of wasps.
In the scene where Mason and his high school girlfriend are at the diner eating there is a man acting insane and talking to no one. In Richard Linklater's film Slacker (1990) there is also a scene where a man is in a diner and a crazy woman is talking to no one.
The film took 13 years to make, with each scene being filmed in one week increments.
In the campfire scene, the movie showed Dad and Mason talking about the possibility of another "Star Wars" movie. The campfire scene and the previously shown Obama/Biden campaign scene set in 2008 showed Mason at the same age. The real plans for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) were first conceived after the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney in 2012. Eventually, this movie was released in the same year that Episode VII started filming.
The baseball game that Dad brings Mason and Samantha to is a combination of two different Brewers / Astros contests filmed eight months apart. The footage of Roger Clemens is from a game held on August 18, 2005. The game that Dad, Mason and Samantha actually attended was filmed on April 17, 2006, when The Astros' Jason Lane actually did hit a home run precisely where the camera was pointing.
When the Astros player hits a home run during the scene at the baseball game, Ethan Hawke can be heard asking "You got that?" before cutting himself off before the camera pans to him, presumably asking Richard Linklater if the cameras are rolling.
The horror film, that Mason Sr's roommate Jimmy is watching when he returns home with his kids is Hostel. This is a good clue to what year it is considering Hostel released to theaters in Jan of 2006.
Although Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke's characters are billed as "Mom" and "Dad", respectively, their characters' real names are revealed to be "Olivia" and "Mason Sr." in the film. In real life, Arquette's mother was also named "Olivia".
During the scene at the baseball game, Mason's dad, played by Ethan Hawke, reveals he has passed his second actuarial exam. This could be a reference to Ethan Hawke's father, who was an insurance actuary himself.
The 35mm film used in Boyhood was bought from the Eastman Kodak company and Boyhood was promoted in Kodak's FilmWorthy program, a program set up to keep traditional film alive in the digital age. On the Kodak Motion Picture Film's website main page, the poster and trailer for Boyhood were both featured.
During the 12 year filming period actor Ellar Coltrane was also involved in the filming of 'Fast Food Nation' which was released in 2006
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
The film features two songs by Arcade Fire ("Suburban War" and "Deep Blue"). Coincidentally, two of the film's actors (Sam Dillon and Zoë Graham, who played Nick and Sheena, respectively) also appear in Spike Jonze's Scenes from the Suburbs (2011), a 2011 short film based completely on Arcade Fire''s 2010 album "The Suburbs," and featuring numerous songs from the album. Both Boyhood (2014) and "Scenes" were filmed in Austin, Texas.
The cartoon which Mason was watching as a child was Dragon Ball Z. Specifically DBZ Season 8 The Majin Buu Saga. This particular season was not translated into English until 2001.
In the scene when the Dad takes Mason to a band practice after his graduation, a poster behind on the wall reads the name of one of the producers of the film, Cat Sutherland.
Ethan Hawke's character mentions the September 11th attacks twice in this movie, alluding to the fact that invasion of Iraq was carried out under false pretenses.
Near the end of the movie, while talking to his father about relationships and girls, and in the next scene with his mother and sister, Mason wears a t-shirt with a painting "Collective Vision" by Alex Grey, an artist known for his artwork for the metal band Tool.
The game of catch Mason and Samantha play with their father was filmed at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston. The pavilion of the theatre itself can be seen at the top of the hill.
Despite playing the role of Mason's older sister, Samantha, Lorelei Linklater is only 3 months older than Ellar Coltrane in real life.
The scene where Mason goes off to college and moves into his dorm room was filmed in Fletcher Hall on the campus of Sul Ross State University. Fletcher Hall has long thought to have paranormal activity.
When Mason Sr. is talking to Samantha about condoms in the bowling alley after finding out she has a boyfriend, the two of them laugh when the conversation is over. That wasn't in the script. Lorelei Linklater (Samantha) and Ethan Hawke (Mason Sr.) had a genuine laughing reaction about how awkward the scene was. The director, Richard Linklater kept the moment in the movie as he felt it was extremely touching.
David Blackwell plays a liquor store clerk in this movie, as well as Dazed and Confused. Another movie also directed by Linklater.
When Mason and Sheena go to Austin, they see a show at the Continental Club. Director Richard Linklater also shot a scene from Slacker (1990) at the same club.
In a scene about two-thirds through the movie, Mason's DVD collection is visible in the background. If observed closely, most of the movies featured were appropriately released in the mid-to-late 2000s, around the time the scene was actually filmed. It includes two movies mentioned by Mason earlier in the movie, 'The Dark Knight' and 'Tropic Thunder', in addition to 'School of Rock', which was also directed by Richard Linklater.
When Mason is asked if he had ever been to Austin, TX, he says that he hasn't while the actor playing Mason was actually born there.
Sam Dillon, who plays Mason's high school friend, and Zoë Graham, who plays Sheena, both appeared in Scenes From the Suburbs, a short film featuring Arcade Fire. Arcade Fire's song Deep Blue off their album The Suburbs plays over this films credits.
Boyhood (2014) is the third film in three years by director Richard Linklater whose title starts with the letter 'B.' Linklater previously directed Before Midnight (2013) and Bernie (2012).