List of Films Shot Over Several Years
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List of Films Shot Over Several Years

Ellar Coltrane portrayed Boyhoods protagonist from ages six to eighteen.

This is a list of films shot over three or more years. The list excludes projects comprising individual films not shot over a long period, such as the Up Series, The Children of Golzow, or the Harry Potter film series.

List of films

Film Release year Number of years Notes
Bad Taste 1987 4 Shot primarily on weekends over the course of four years.[1]
Begotten 1990 3 An experimental film by director E. Elias Merhige, the director worked mainly alone and had to act as uncredited roles in the film.[2]
Blood Tea and Red String 2006 13 A stop-motion animation film. Director Christiane Cegavske worked primarily alone.[3]
Boyhood 2014 12 Filming took place once or twice a year, starting in summer 2002 and ending in October 2013. The cast and crew gathered to film scenes for three or four days annually.[4]
Coffee and Cigarettes 2003 18 The first segment filmed in 1986, while the final six were completed in 2003.[5][6]
Dimension 2010 7 Filming took place in three-minute segments from 1991 to 1997. The original plan was to film once a year, from 1991 until 2024, but director Lars von Trier abandoned the project in the late 1990s. The finished footage was released on DVD in 2010.[7][8]
Eraserhead 1977 6 Due to the minimal length of the script, director David Lynch struggled to finance his debut film.[9]
Everyday 2012 5 Filming took place twice a year, once in summer and once in winter. The cast and crew gathered for a few weeks each time, whenever they had gaps in their schedules.[10]
The Evil Within 2017 13 Originally titled The Storyteller, filming began in 2002, with director Andrew Getty constantly starting and stopping the film's production. Getty died in 2015, two years before the film's release with only editing and color correction remaining, leaving editor Michael Luceri to finish the film on his own.[11][12]
The Fall 2006 4 Shot in 24 countries.[13]
Hard to Be a God 2013 7 Filming took place on and off for a period of seven years, beginning in the autumn of 2000 and was followed by an additional six years worth of post-production.[14][15]
Hell's Angels 1930 3 Howard Hughes' fighting plane film, referenced in The Aviator. A long shooting schedule, made longer when Hughes decided to add sound at the advent of "talkies".[16]
Hoop Dreams 1994 5 Filming included over 250 hours of footage. Originally planned to be a 30-minute piece for PBS, Hoop Dreams developed into a 170-minute documentary that took three years to edit.[17]
Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam 2002 6 It took six years to make, with huge sabbaticals between shoots due to production problems.[18]
It Happened Here 1964 7 Filmed by Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo, who began work on the film as teenagers, with a cast that mostly consisted of amateur actors.[19]
Jet Pilot 1957 8 Howard Hughes' other fighting plane film which was shot between 1949 and 1951.
Lake of Fire 2006 16 A documentary film. Director Tony Kaye filmed this documentary over a period of 16 years; he funded it by spending $6 million of his own money.[20]
Marketa Lazarová 1967 7 Works started in 1960 and finished in 1967.[21]
Meru 2015 3 The first portion of the documentary film took place in 2008, while the final portion was shot in 2011.[22]
Movie 43 2013 4 Filming spanned four years in order to work around the ensemble cast members' schedules.[23]
Mughal-e-Azam 1960 14 From its beginning in 1946 to its release in 1960, several crew members including the producer and cast were changed. The film was also abandoned briefly during the Partition of India.
On the Silver Globe 1988 12 After production was shutdown by the Polish cultural authorities in 1977, the film's director, Andrzej ?u?awski, returned to Poland in 1988 and smuggled the remnants of the film to the Cannes film festival where it was screened for the first time. The missing segments of the film were filled in with shots of modern-day Warsaw while Zulawski's voice-over explained which segments were missing.
Othello 1951 3 An adaptation of the Shakespeare play directed by Orson Welles. The total production time stretched from 1948 to 1952.[24] Welles also produced Filming Othello, a documentary about the making of this film, from 1974 to 1978.[25]
The Other Side of the Wind 2018 48 Principal photography began in 1970 and concluded in 1976. After four decades of difficulties that interfered with the editorial and post-production processes, the film was finished earlier in 2018 and is scheduled to be released in November 2018.
Pakeezah 1972 14 Filming began in 1958 and continued until 1964 when lead actress Meena Kumari separated from director Kamal Amrohi. The film was put on hold for five years until fellow actors Nargis and Sunil Dutt convinced Kumari to finish it in 1969.
Perspective 2020 9 A Canadian feature film wherein each of its nine chapters was completed a year apart over a nine-year period. The first six of the nine chapters were completed in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively, while the last three chapters are to be completed in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively.
Redline 2009 7 Animated over seven years using 100,000 hand-made drawings.[26]
Samsara 2011 4 Filmed on location in 25 different countries.[27]
Shoah 1985 11 The first six years were devoted to recording interviews conducted in 14 different countries.[28]
Sh?jo Tsubaki 1992 5 Work on the film began in 1987 and was finished in 1992.
Sleeping Beauty 1959 7 Disney animated film; production spanned 1951 to 1958.
The Thief and the Cobbler 1993 29 Work on the film began in 1964 and was finished in 1993.
Tiefland 1954 4 Work on the script began in 1934, shooting lasted from 1940 to 1944, and the film was finally shown in 1954.[29]
Train Station 2017 5 Filmed in 25 countries, 40 filmmakers collaboratively wrote and filmed it over a period of five years.[30]
Twenty Years Later 1984 20 Work on the film began in 1964 and was finished in 1984.
Voyage of Time 2016 13 Although the actual production for this documentary began in 2003, Terrence Malick has been filming footage since the 1970s and the film features scenes that were filmed in the 1970s, such as the scene featuring Aboriginal Australians.[31]
Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East 1989 7 Bae Yong-kyun, a professor at Dongguk University in Seoul, spent seven years making this film with one camera and editing it by hand.[32]


  1. ^ "Bad Taste". NZ on Screen. September 19, 2008. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ Essman, Scott (September 20, 2010). "Interview: Elias Merhige (Begotten)". HorrorNews. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ Kernion, Jette (September 30, 2006). "FF Review: Blood Tea and Red String". Moviefone. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ Stern, Marlow (July 10, 2014). "The Making of 'Boyhood': Richard Linklater's 12-Year Journey to Create An American Masterpiece". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ "Interview by Cate Blanchett". Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ "Jim Jarmusch". EBSCO Information Services. Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ Christensen, Claus (August 17, 2010). "Verdenspremiere på ufuldendt Trier-film". Filmmagasinet Ekko (in Danish). Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ "Unfinished Lars von Trier film Dimension headed to DVD". Screen International. August 19, 2010. Retrieved 2015.(subscription required)
  9. ^ "I See Myself: Eraserhead". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 2015.
  10. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (November 14, 2012). "Michael Winterbottom's 'Everyday' is a prison drama that was worth doing time for". The Independent. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ Ritman, Alex (March 6, 2017). "Late Getty Heir's Directorial Debut 'The Evil Within' Lands After 15 Years". The Hollywood Reporter.
  12. ^ Fernandez, Alexia (March 14, 2017). "Inside the Dark Secrets of Tragic Oil Heir Andrew Getty -- as His 'Macabre' Horror Movie Is Released After His Death". People. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (June 26, 2007). "A `Fall' no one wants to take". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015.
  14. ^ Möller, Olaf. "Hard to Be a God (Aleksei German, Russia)". Cinema Scope. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ "Hard to Be a God". Electric Show. October 9, 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  16. ^ Hunter, Stephen (December 19, 2004). "Howard Hughes, Spreading His Wings". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016.
  17. ^ Shwiff, Kathy (June 7, 2012). "What Ever Happened to the Stars of 'Hoop Dreams'?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ Singh, Kuljinder (May 31, 2002). "Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam (2002)". BBC. Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^ Pfeiffer, Lee (July 14, 2014). "It Happened Here". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  20. ^ Ertelt, Steven (February 20, 2007). "FF Review: Tony Kaye Abortion Documentary "Lake of Fire" Hits Theaters in October". Lifenews. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  21. ^ "Marketa Lazarová -- ?eská televize". ?eská televize (in Czech). Retrieved 2017.
  22. ^ "For 3 Climbers, Summiting Meru Was An 'Irresistible' Challenge". NPR. September 4, 2015. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  23. ^ Ford, Allan (January 25, 2013). "How Movie 43 got made". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015.
  24. ^ Keough, Peter (June 26, 2014). "Orson Welles's 'Othello': Moor! Moor! Moor!". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015.
  25. ^ Brody, Richard (April 25, 2014). "Orson Welles's Shattering "Othello"". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2015.
  26. ^ "Crew: Subbed Redline to Open Throughout U.S. in 2011". Anime News Network. October 6, 2010. Retrieved 2015.
  27. ^ Hayes, Dade (May 18, 2007). "Fricke directs 'Baraka' sequel". Variety.
  28. ^ Austin, Guy (1996). Contemporary French Cinema: An Introduction. New York: Manchester University Press. p. 24. ISBN 0-7190-4610-6.
  29. ^ Rowan, Terry (2012). World War II Goes to the Movies & Television Guide. p. 476. Retrieved 2015.
  30. ^ Rechtshaffen, Michael (February 2, 2017). "Experimental drama 'Train Station' can't bear the weight of dozens of directors". Los Angeles Times.
  31. ^ Thompson, Anne (September 11, 2016). "Enabling Terrence Malick: What It's Like To Be His Producers". IndieWire"".
  32. ^ "Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (1989)". Korean Film.

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