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Sure, it’s fun editing a wedding film from time to time. But, it’s a whole different beast when edit season rolls around. All of a sudden you have dozens of expectant clients, hundreds of hours of footage, and one blank timeline staring you in the face. It can be a beast, especially if you’re new to the game.

Producing a non-profit film can be difficult because the work is so important. There’s a looming social/humanitarian/environmental problem and taking a chance on a film production isn’t always in the cards. Also, words like “capital” and “budget” tend to complicate the matter, too.

Generally, the words “what did you shoot this on” are frowned upon around Musicbed. We’re generally a bit more interested in the ‘why’ rather than the ‘how’. But, when you get a film like The Lighthouse, it’s nearly impossible to separate the two. Its visuals are haunting, mystifying, and incredibly intentional according to cinematographer Jarin Blaschke.

As filmmakers, particularly documentary filmmakers, it’s our job to do the digging. It can be uncomfortable and it’s never clean, because the truth is never simple. This is why documentaries are so important—they offer the time and context needed for the truth, as long as we can extract it.

Welcome back to our second article in a series exploring The Commercial Directors Diversity Program, or CDDP. In this installation, we had the opportunity to speak with Vanessa Black and Jane Qian about the specifics of their productions and how they overcame challenges to make them a reality.

Take Stink Studio’s Executive Producer Omid Fatemi, for example. He’s behind the TUMI x Chris Pratt spot, which is simple on the surface, yet infinitely effective—a funny film about a man packing for his first trip to Hong Kong. Of course, it helps to have Chris Pratt as your talent—but, there’s so much more to this project than that. And that’s where Omid’s magic tricks come in.

Amanda is the director of integrated production at Wunderman Thompson in Chicago. If you don’t know what that title means, it roughly translates to “person who does just about everything.” Our conversation about her producing philosophies is an apt reminder that if you’re in the film industry, you’re a creative. You have to be. She’s a veteran in an industry that’s always changing—and she seems comfortable riding the wave of that change way out in front.

Iz Harris has done a lot of things. She’s created wedding videos, branded content, tutorials, vlogs, and more, which she attributes to “creative ADHD.” We attribute it to being a good creative—and her YouTube channel is blowing up because of it. Her personality, authenticity, and editing make for a compelling watch on a consistent basis, but most importantly she can tell a good story. Simple as that. And, as we discuss in this interview, that’s all you truly need as a creator on YouTube.