No artist has tapped in to Austin’s distinctive ethos like filmmaker Richard Linklater. His indie classic Slacker helped to define the laidback, “keep it weird” attitude of the burgeoning Texas metropolis.
Now, Pentagram partner DJ Stout and designer Stu Taylor in our Austin office have designed and produced a book of photographs by Matt Lankes that documents the making of Boyhood, Linklater’s critically acclaimed new film that has taken the country by storm.
In 2002 Linklater cast four actors—Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, and his daughter Lorelei Linklater—in the role of a Texas family and filmed them annually over the next dozen years.
Shortly after filming commenced, Lankes began shooting behind-the-scenes photographs and soulful, black-and-white portraits of the cast and crew with his 4x5 camera. The Austin-based photographer returned every year, and over the span of the film’s production he created a visual time capsule of the actors, including a series of portraits of Coltrane, the boy in Boyhood, who grows from a soft-faced child into a young man during the course of the film.
“Unlike the film, which embodies the passing of time, Matt Lankes’ stills and portraits capture something very different—single moments suspended in time,” Linklater writes in the foreword. “I have really been looking forward to the day all his work, this long-term photographic project, could be viewed as one collection. I’m so glad this book exists as a gallery of his portraits and a testament to the memories that we created in making Boyhood.”
Distributed by the University of Texas Press, Boyhood: Twelve Years on Film, presents more than 200 color and black-and-white images and features essays by Linklater, producer Cathleen Sutherland, Lankes, and actors Arquette, Hawke, Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater. The book, Lankes’ first monograph, made its debut at the Texas Book Festival in Austin last weekend.
“This is the fastest book we’ve ever done," says Stout. “Our first meeting with Rick, Cathleen and Matt was at the tail end of August. It took them 12 years to make the movie but we had to design and deliver printed books in less than two months. It was a tight schedule but we’re very pleased with the outcome.”
In addition to Slacker (1991), Linklater has directed 18 feature films including the ’70s cult hit Dazed and Confused (1993); the animated feature Waking Life (2001); the hit comedy School of Rock (2003); Fast Food Nation (2006); Bernie (2012); and now Boyhood (2014). His Before trilogy – Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight—has received many accolades including Academy Award nominations for Before Sunset and Before Midnight.