The movie is based on the December 12, 1997 death of 19-year-old punk musician Brian Theodore Deneke, who was killed in a deliberate hit-and-run attack in Amarillo, Texas, by 17-year-old jock Dustin Camp. Camp was convicted of manslaughter and received 10 years probation. In 2001 he was imprisoned for parole violations, and was released in 2006. Deneke's death led to national attention for the city of Amarillo and its apparent intolerance for alternative lifestyles.
Actor Ron Lester died during filming on June 17, 2016, apparently of kidney and liver disorder.