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There are a lot of conversations surrounding the Vimeo Staff Pick, but no one in the indie film community can question its importance. For many creatives that elusive badge has been the starting point for their career, the moment when they get noticed.

For many filmmakers, branded content is a tough code to crack. With variables including — but not limited to — product, budget, timelines, and internal politics, it may seem like a game not worth jumping into. But, allow Scott Ballew, YETI’s Head of Content, to simplify it for you.

At Musicbed, we’re passionate about CDDP’s cause because we get it. The commercial industry can be an intimidating place. Beyond being underrepresented, there’s a whole set of skills needed to navigate a professional career. There are clients and collaborators. There are pitches and revisions. It’s a whole different beast.

As a leader how do you motivate creatives — or even motivate yourself as a creative person? As roller-coaster rides of emotional stability and productivity, how do you bring out their best? After all, we’re willing to put up with this instability for a reason — creativity, in our book, is one of the defining attributes for meaningful work. It’s probably worth learning how to work with them.

Building a production budget is arguably the most important part of the filmmaking process. It creates the framework for the project, a rough outline for what will eventually be a film. But, it’s also one of the least fun parts of the process as well, probably just because it’s so damn difficult. There are an infinite amount of moving variables and unknowns — yet another reason building one is so important.

Micro-budget filmmaking is not for the faint of heart. You end up wearing multiple hats, taking on debt, asking friends to work for free, and toiling away on a project — likely for years — without seeing much (or any) monetary return on your investment. Not to mention it’s highly unlikely you’ll attach a star of any kind at this level, so getting press or festival attention for even a great film can be challenging.

We first heard about Joe Callander when he made it onto Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2014. His story caught our attention. After taking a dead-end customer service job at a leather company in Texas, Joe not only worked his way into a filmmaker-in-residence position, but he also convinced his company to fund a full-length documentary that is now making the festival rounds and getting a lot of attention.

Philip Bloom is a 25-year veteran of the filmmaking industry and an inspiration and mentor to thousands of followers online. Philip literally learned his craft under fire, and he has thoughts on everything from video gear to online collaboration to the perfect ratio of gin to tonic. He is both a gent and a genius: This is our conversation with Philip Bloom.

At first, Joe Simon learned things the hard way—on his own. After getting his start shooting extreme sports with a camera he bought at Best Buy, Joe started shooting weddings to make some extra cash. Now, more than a decade later, Joe has turned wedding videography into an art form all its own—treating each wedding like an independent film. He is also the owner/director of The Delivery Men, a production company that offers services from film conception to delivery. But while Joe may have started out on his own, he didn’t stay that way. In fact, finding a creative community he loved was part of what helped him turn things around.