Richard Linklater’s magnus opus, Boyhood, has already climbed to the top of numerous Best Of 2014 lists, but the 12-year-long shoot would never have been possible if it were to begin production in 2014. The first major roadblock is Hollywood’s standard 7-year contract. Once an actor hits the 7-year mark, they are legally allowed to walk away, forcing producers and studios to shell out major cash for contract renewals. This is why Linklater chose close friends Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as the leads — he trusts them more than he trusts any other actors. The second major roadblock is studio financing. When Linklater and his producer approached IFC, the pair were over the moon when the network decided to fund the film which would postpone profits for twelve full years. The contract allowed IFC 12 renewable annual options, but Linklater’s team included an incentive for IFC to stay in for the long haul — an option which would allow Linklater and his team to sell the film to any other studio if IFC pulled out. The deal worked, and the end result is nothing less than superb. So far it’s FEELguide‘s #1 movie of 2014.