I'm Rick Linklater here to talk about my new film "Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood" out on Netflix. For a little background, eighteen years ago, I was pulling out memories of 2nd grade to help me construct the narrative of Boyhood's second year. Even though that movie is a celebration of the non-extraordinary, it became clear to me I had lived through and close to something truly extraordinary - the grandest and most enduring engineering feat in human history. I think it took decades for us to fully process that the Apollo program and walking on the moon was the apex because we'd all believed it was just a great beginning.  My "who but me?" thinking kicked in when I realized I was probably the only filmmaker that remembered how exciting it was to be a kid at that moment and was geographically that close to NASA. When I remembered an actual kid fantasy I had at the time, I stumbled upon my way to tell the story from both the astronaut perspective and from the bottom-up, public, TV-consumer perspective. Check out the trailer HERE.

Thank you for all the questions. Check out "Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood" on Netflix.

Comments: 385 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

ryantheterrible226 karma

When did you switch from Richard to Rick!?

netflix208 karma

At the end of first grade. I was tired of being Ricky. There's only one person in this world who still calls me Ricky - a friend from way back then. I let him.

Michael__Pemulis65 karma

He is credited as Richard Linklater but everyone refers to him as Rick almost exclusively.

Source - I’m currently reading the Dazed & Confused oral history.

netflix191 karma

Everyone knew me as Rick, but I switched to Richard because it's easier to say aloud "Richard Linklater" than "Rick Linklater". Richard Linklater flows off the tongue better. Rick would always come off sounding like "Rink Linklater".

madamemidnight184 karma

Say, man. You got a joint?

netflix237 karma

Maybe gotta gummy.

Michael__Pemulis165 karma

Hey Rick! Big fan of your work!

I like to say that Before Sunset has possibly the greatest ending in film history. It’s the pinnacle of romance cinema. The final exchange sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it. But the entire final sequence from the car ride on is pure magic.

My question is: What was it like shooting those final setups? Could you tell at the time that something special was happening?

netflix127 karma

That whole film felt special. I had that ending pretty set from the beginning of the process so we were working towards it. I had no doubt Julie and Ethan would come through as always.

dosangst124 karma

How much of Dazed and Confused was based on your actual experiences. Would you ever consider a sequel that revisits some of the characters in the 90s?

I have always enjoyed your movies, thank you for the many hours of entertainment!

netflix183 karma

Certainly it was based on my high school experiences. But that was 30 years ago. We would be picking up those characters in 2006. I have no idea what they'd be doing and doesn't sound too compelling to me. It would be a funny skit or something. Thanks for checking out the movies over the years.

PeanutSalsa119 karma

What kinds of obstacles did you encounter when making Boyhood, given its unorthodox nature?

netflix228 karma

The obstacles were more theoretical, like what if someone didn't continue making the movie or if we something bad happened and we couldn't finish. None of that ever happened and I didn't think it would - but you never know.

notprettygood115 karma

Was there ever a discussion regarding a fourth Before film? If so, why didn't it happen?

netflix198 karma

Well, we missed our nine year cycle. We never wanted to just do the films to do them. Have to have a compelling story and reason. That just hasn't happened quite yet. Who knows the future but you gotta think Jesse and Celine are still out there.

NBplaybud2299 karma

Loved 'A Scanner Darkly'. How did you decide to give it the look of an animated comic rather than with live figures ? It worked brilliantly though.

netflix123 karma

We were going for a graphic novel come to life look and because of it's unstable, druggy mindset the animation felt like the right headspace to be in for the viewer.

Pillens_burknerkorv74 karma

Have you ever played the Dazed&Confused drinking game when you take a sip of beer whenever someone says ”Man”?

netflix119 karma

Hell no. My tolerance for that kind of thing has dropped off steadily since high school. I'd be drunk ten minutes in.

Modal151 karma

Hey Rick! Love all of your work, especially the Before trilogy. How did you find your craft in creating dialogue for your films? Many struggle in creating authentic conversation in their scripts, and I believe you are one of the best in this department.


netflix59 karma

I always had a knack for dialogue and was writing stories & plays even as a youngster that were dialogue heavy. As a director, I want it to feel very natural and part of my process is a lot of rehearsal and re-writing to get it to be as good as it can be with a particular actor, which can include a lot of collaboration with them. Whatever makes the best movie.

Infamous_Feature268332 karma

How did you decided on the look of the animation of Apollo 10 1/2? It looks different from your past animated films.

netflix52 karma

We had been developing the animation quite a bit since A SCANNER DARKLY. We felt we left it "all on the field" with that movie. The technique had been evolving quite a bit ever since then and I was excited to be utilizing more traditional 2D and 3D techniques on this film. It was very helpful in telling the story. Every film should look different and elevate the story. We were trying to make, in a digital world, something that would look very period piece and analog.

GCRMK32 karma

Any chance for more anti Ted Cruz commercials?

netflix97 karma

My head lives in an anti Ted Cruz commercial, unfortunately.

mizzyz31 karma

Do you have lucid dreams?

netflix57 karma

Every now and then. Not as much as I used to because it's not a discipline I am currently pursuing. I'm a natural lucid dreamer and of course Waking Life is an exploration of this. The movie is kind of a how-to manual in a way so one can train themselves in lucid dreaming. I'd suggest it.

TheKoi30 karma

For your next meal you can have it with anyone living or dead and can talk about anything except the afterlife. Who do you choose and what do you talk about?

netflix86 karma

Questions like this send my ADHD-tinged brain into meltdown. So many avenues - the sincere answer, the smartass answer, the scholarly answer. I'm overwhelmed.

malachixb19 karma

What was your favorite part about directing this film?

netflix25 karma

I loved every element of it - the historical research, the writing of it, and collaborating with the animators for a couple years. But probably the most fulfilling was the actual production, working with the actors. It was an intense sprint but they were great.

heraionef19 karma

Hi Rick I'm a big fan of your work and I sometimes wonder what type of books you read/like. Can you name some of your favorite (fiction or non-fiction) books?

netflix44 karma

I'm a transcendentalist. Read Walden immediately if you haven't already. The great American novel.

malachixb18 karma

What were some of your favorite animated films from your childhood?

netflix50 karma

When I was a kid, they were always bringing back Disney films into the theaters: 101 Dalmations, etc. There weren't a ton of animated films for kids then as there are today. The one I enjoyed the most from my childhood by far was Yellow Submarine. Apollo 10 1/2 was as much influenced by the great Saturday morning cartoons of the era as by classic animated films.

matterpink117 karma

was this a story you ever explored making as a live action film, or did you always have this specific vision for it?

netflix35 karma

For the many years I thought about it, it was live action. As I got closer to making it, I realized the live action version in my head wasn't quite working. Didn't feel right. Too literal or something. This film is a memory, a fantasy, and kind of a cultural document of its time. I realize with this animation technique all that would blend in the mind of a viewer in a much more satisfying than live action. To me, it's all about story telling and how the viewer takes in your movie.

Suspicious-Rip92016 karma

Hello Richard,

So my question has to do with your preference towards animation and live action. Do you believe that animation is something that is easier to create or is live action filmmaking something that you believe is better in general? And how does making animation differ from making live action films?

netflix29 karma

I don't really think in terms of "easier", I just think of what's the right way to express a story. I feel very fortunate as a storyteller to understand and like animation enough to have made three animated movies and I hope to make more over the years.

malachixb15 karma

Can you describe Apolo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood" in one sentence?

netflix82 karma

There's too much going on in the movie to capture in one sentence. It would be what my English teacher called a run on sentence and I would get a C.

paulthomasking15 karma

Are you still in good terms with Mike White? I heard he disowned his credit on School of Rock

netflix36 karma

Of course and Mike loves School of Rock in the same way we all kinda do. It was a fun time and we rocked it. Mike is brilliant, obviously.

Queasy_Aside62914 karma

You have explored childhood in your films before, like in BOYHOOD and SCHOOL OF ROCK, what drove you to make this particular film-APOLLO 10 1/2?

netflix28 karma

I think it was more the Apollo history of it than it was childhood. At some point I realized I had grown up near NASA at the time we were walking on the moon and I thought that would be an interesting story to see from a bottom up public perspective, less so the astronaut perspective. Apollo ends up having it all ways, both what it was like to be a kid in that era and what it was like to be an astronaut on a mission.

johntwoods12 karma

Hey Rick, really appreciate all the work you've done.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received in your life that comes up more often than any other piece of advice you've been given?

netflix59 karma

A producer I crossed paths with early on when things weren't really happening fast enough for me in my twenties, when I was pondering a move to LA, NY, etc, told me to double down where I was and really try to make it happen and then if it didn't happen to move. Don't blame my geography for my lack of progress. It's up to your own development. What I took away was to keep working on yourself and don't bail out too easily.

Tough-Reading-30329 karma

Ever think about going back and ‘painting’ over a previous film the way you did with “Waking Life”? Perhaps “Slacker” or “Dazed and Confused”. That would be a trip.

netflix31 karma

Hell no. While it would be trippy, it would be too much work and expense. Just paint over it in your mind and have fun with it.

FamousComb36499 karma

What is your favorite film and series of all time and why?

netflix37 karma

I have a top 200 favorite films and any one of them could be at the top at any time. I hate top tens because they're too confining. Favorite TV show of all time is easy for me - The Twilight Zone. As seen in Apollo 10 1/2!

vinylsquares9 karma

If you were an average Joe but had a fantastic idea for a movie, what would you do?

netflix24 karma

Well, I would find if average Joe is a better than average screenwriter. If so, maybe there's a movie there.

FloridaFlamingoGirl2 karma

Hey there Rick! Apollo 10 1/2 was easily in my top 5 movies of the year, and possibly my favorite Jack Black performance ever. What really made me fall in love with it was the nonlinear plot approach, which just felt like such an authentic reflection on what the 1960’s were like to experience as a child. It felt like a documentary turned inside out. I appreciated all the details like what particular music artists and TV shows the kid enjoyed, and what it was like to visit Astroworld. So my question for you is, what was the process like of narrowing down which cultural details to include? What kind of research did you have to do beforehand, and how did you decide which cultural references would add the most to the movie experience?

netflix8 karma

Great question. The movie is all about specificity isn't it. It started with my own memories of the time but the film also included a ton of historical research, particularly the Apollo mission and the way it was treated on TV, etc. I felt like I got a Master's degree in late 60's culture, all the stuff I missed because I was a kid at the time. The film is obsessively exact. Everything you hear from the mission standpoint was from an actual transmission from mission control, etc. If you were to look up what film's were playing at the drive in that night or which episode of the Beverly Hillbillies, you would find the same films and episode in Apollo 10 1/2. Janis Joplin was on Dick Cavett. The Monkees were on the Johnny Cash show, etc. I actually had to cut more of the TV section than anywhere else. It was just too much - Saturday morning cartoons, Houston wrestling. All fun but we had maxed out on our TV and movies.