Director Filmed 3 Actors Over 12 Years For Incredible Coming Of Age Movie

In 2002, director Richard Linklaterbegan filming then-six-year-old actor Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, and Patricia Arquette — and then periodically shot scenes over the next 12 years.

The result is an incredible coming-of-age film in which we actually see the main character grow up — and his parents age — on screen.

Watch Coltrane transform below:

Linklater, who is the director behind the somewhat similar “Before Sunrise” trilogy, explained his unorthodox process to Indiewire:

“You know, every year I had a year to think up the next part, based on everything that had gone before. So by year four, I’ve got three years that I can look at, that are edited, that we’ve been working on, and I can feel where it’s going and where it wants to go. I was stuck with this kind of architecture but yet within that the décor, the details were always being reworked, being found. That’s kind of how I work on any movie, there’s always a strong outline, a structure and then within that structure, a certain looseness to work with the actors,” he explained. “It makes you keep working — the night before, I want to have the great idea that keeps the scene interesting. I want to leave myself open to that.”

“Boyhood” opens on July 11th.

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