Aron Ralston filmed a daily video diary while he was stuck in the canyon; the footage has only been shown to close friends and family and is kept in a bank vault for safety. Before shooting began both James Franco and director Danny Boyle were allowed to view the footage in order to accurately portray the events in the movie.
In the last scene, it's Aron Ralston's real-life friends and family by the swimming pool.
For the moment when Aron falls down the canyon and gets his arms stuck under the rock, Danny Boyle filmed James Franco for 20 minutes straight going through all kinds of emotions. He then cut the material the way it ended up in the movie.
James Franco hid his textbooks in the crevices in the "canyon" set, to help keep his mind off of the claustrophobia factor of the teeny set, which he would be in for hours.
Aron Ralston broke into tears during a Q&A session at the Toronto International Film Festival, after an audience member asked his opinion on his portrayal on screen. Ralston said it was challenging after he was comforted by the actors beside him.
The camcorder used by James Franco in the film was the actual one Aron Ralston used when he was trapped in Blue John Canyon.
When Aron Ralston was asked how how authentic the film was, he said, "the movie is so factually accurate it is as close to a documentary as you can get and still be a drama."
Aron Ralston became a motivational speaker. He was busy in November of 2011. Some of his activities included: On November 16, 2011, he was the final keynote speaker for the 2011 Financial & Insurance Conference Planners Annual Conference, in San Antonio, Texas. On November 28, he spoke at the Fayetteville Town Center at the University of Arkansas.