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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.

Despite being necessarily collaborative, filmmaking can be lonely. And that loneliness can start to affect you — not just personally, but creatively as well. It’s hard to do good work when you don’t have people behind you.

“Ignorance is bliss,” Isaac Testerman says. “Everything we did was taking the bull by the horns, not knowing if what we were doing was the best way to go about it. We were just doing things the best we could.” After making his first short film with zero filmmaking know-how, Isaac went on to cofound Delve, one of Facebook’s lead creative agencies. Now, seven years later, what Isaac and his team lack in formal training, they make up for with gusto and experience.

Commercial filmmaking is experiencing a tectonic shift. Clients are expecting better projects for smaller budgets, and if you’re part of the old guard, you may get a few cold sweats thinking about when or where the next project will come from. If you’re an up-and-comer, though, the outlook is a bit brighter. Just take it from Dan Walser, Executive Producer at Neighborhood Film Co., and Ryan Smith, Creative Director at Counsel, who just wrapped up our commercial Find the Music You’ve Been Missing.