Typically, promotional featurettes are deadly boring. But Boyhood is not a typical movie. This is probably why I found myself moved all over again watching this nine-minute short about the making of Richard Linklater’s transcendent movie. As good as the movie is, the movie behind the movie—the one that shows not Mason and Samantha and “Mom” and “Dad” but Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater and Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke—is almost as powerful to watch.
So while most of the information here isn’t new—we wrote our own FAQ about the making of the movie back in July—it’s different to actually see the director age 12 years while making the movie. We also get interviews with him and the rest of the cast that were filmed at the very beginning of the project, when they were just setting out. The two child leads, Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater, were asked what they thought they’d be doing 12 years later, and they didn’t know. But we get to glimpse what it was like for Coltrane, at the end of this journey, in the moment when they wrapped this project that spanned his childhood.
FAQ: How They Made Boyhood
Richard Linklater on Boyhood, the Before Movies, and Cinematic Storytelling