Calling a movie mundane would be an insult to many people in the film industry, but the makers behind “Boyhood” set out to make a movie that reflected the not so glamorous or exciting lives most middle-class Americans lead. Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” has resonated with people all over the world. With over 200 award nominations and 144 wins “Boyhood” small budget and alternative production shows that it pays to go the road less traveled.
Rodney Becker, worked as the set designer on the movie. Becker had an interview with Richard Linklater over a decade ago to talk about a few projects they might be able to collaborate on. Before the interview was over Becker had signed on for an “experiment” in filmmaking that Linklater said would last a span of 12 years.
“He asked me if I wanted to get married and if I was going to have kids,” Becker tells WEBN. ” I said yes but I don’t know when. Then he asked, could you commit to 12 years because I want it to look the same so it could be edited and flow. I took a second and said absolutely.”
Linklater set out to make “Boyhood” as authentic as possible.
“Lots of people have normal lives, and we wanted to show that that is okay,” says Becker. “People make mistake in life and people can change, people can better themselves, you can take two steps back and still move forward. We wanted to literally show that on film in the most authentic and original way.”
Becker worked hard to make sure each home looked like an actual home and not a movie set. “We would go into Ellar Coltrane’s [who plays the main character] room and Rick would say just pay attention to what’s here and lets recreate his environment on to the set,” Becker tells WEBN. While gathering props he shopped at thrift stores, Goodwill and garage sales. Becker also used many of his personal items in the film, including his home.
Becker was mindful of the technology they used during each taping. The iPhone had been released but the crew did not include it in that taping – they waited until the next taping, when the characters would have then been able to afford it.
After spending months at a time together for 12 years the crew and cast became more of a family. “I would have never thought that it would have been such an amazing experience it was like we were gathering for a family event like Thanksgiving or Christmas,” Becker tells WEBN.
The acclaim of the film has not changed crew and staff. He beams with pride as he tells WEBN “I never thought I would be here on my way to the oscars. I feel completely excited and thrilled, the outpour of praise for this movie is more than we ever imagined.”