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Watch: ‘Boyhood’ Director Richard Linklater and Star Ellar Coltrane Discuss Their 12-Year Collaboration

Watch: 'Boyhood' Director Richard Linklater and Star Ellar Coltrane Discuss Their 12-Year Collaboration

Earlier this week at the 92Y in New York, Indiewire chief film critic Eric Kohn moderated an hour-long conversation with “Boyhood” director Richard
Linklater and star Ellar Coltrane for a packed house ahead of the film’s New York premiere later that week. Over the course of the discussion, the pair contemplated the themes of the film, which was shot over the course of 12 years and tracks Coltrane’s character as he grows from adolescence to college age. They also discussed  the psychological and logistical
challenges of filming over such an extensive period.

After completing the project, Linklater said, he gave Coltrane a DVD of the film and told him to watch it alone. “Build your own relationship with this thing,” Linklater told his star, who was seven years old when production began and 19 when it was completed last summer.

READ MORE: Sundance Review: Richard Linklater’s Ambitious ‘Boyhood’ Starring Ethan Hawke & Patricia Arquette

You can see excerpts from the conversation, which also included Linklater’s explanation for how he managed to finance the unlikely production, in the clips below.

“Boyhood” opens in theaters on July 11th.

Contemplating notions of point-of-view

Linklater on keeping the cast engaged over a 12-year period

Introducing the film at Sundance and delving into production history

Coltrane on what it was like to “be along for the ride”

Mirroring the maturation process

Coltrane: “I saw ‘Waking Life’ early on.”

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Thank you for posting this! As other commenters stated, the audio on the interview clips is extremely low — to the point that I could barely hear what they were saying — and the Signal trailer is extremely distracting. That said, Linklater is one of my favorite filmmakers and I am so thrilled that this project is being released. I am very surprised, considering the sheer audacity and ambition behind this large-scale project, which would be nearly inconceivable or at least highly risky for any filmmaker. I will try not to overstate my appreciation for this film given my fandom for Linklater, but Linklater's films are sort of an experiment with time and the space between fiction and reality. This started with his earliest feature-length films, which all unfold in real-time. I think Before Sunrise was astounding for me (and others) to watch because I felt like I was there with them the entire time (and, to at least a certain extent, I was!). This builds a sort of new type of relationship between characters and audience. The ten and twenty-year follow up of this story (still in real time) is such an interesting way to "document" a fictional story and allows actors to ponder the situation of their character in the future. And now with Boyhood, Linklater is really testing that concept. This is sort of his "niche", and he's seeing how far he can take it. I'm very excited to see the product.


#1 – the sound on these clips is way down.
#2 – the tank explosions at the beginning of each clip are extremely annoying.

I didn't play the last two because of these issues, but I like the idea of a movie made over time – documentaries do this frequently over five to 10 years.


Totally random, but I went to the SFIFF Q and A with Richard Linklater, his daughter Lorelei and Parker Posey. I'm fairly certain Linklater was wearing the exact same shirt, saying he was supporting the Giants' bid that weekend. I guess this is his good luck interview shirt.

Jeff Jackson

Irritating as hell trying to watch the Linklater interview on you site with that damn Signal ad running every minute or two. Impossible to watch the interview.

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