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Launching your first feature is no small feat. Some will say the hardest part is finding an idea worth pursuing, or that the real roadblock is convincing other people that your idea is worth pursuing. Others point to the logistics of production as the real challenge. One thing is for certain: well-informed preparation goes a long way towards making the process smoother—helping you bring the film you’ve envisioned to life.

When you’re relaunching a brand as iconic as the Ford Bronco, there’s more than a little bit of pressure. It’s almost like remaking The Godfather. In other words, you better not screw it up or you’re going to have an army of angry fans at your door. Wieden+Kennedy’s team was facing this pressure head-on, and so much of their brand reveal hinged on the creative—specifically the director’s vision and the music.

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.

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.

On certain levels, developing a production budget is the same regardless of the type of film, whether you’re diving into a personal project or developing branded content for a client. We’ve already tackled a few notes on developing a production budget on the personal side, but after speaking with producers Sarah Schutzki (Feral Creative) and Zanah Thirus (BBDO Atlanta), we decided the commercial side deserved its own article.

We’ve been fans of Diego Contreras since before his breakthrough film Islands nabbed a Vimeo Staff Pick in 2013. Since then, his career has been on the rise, taking him briefly through one of the most well-respected ad agencies in history (BBDO), and more recently into the realm of professional filmmaking. Not long ago, he directed two stunning short films for The Lincoln Motor Company, Bloom and Open Your Eyes. And he’s done it all within two years.

It’s very hard to tell what makes a film great. Students spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to learn the secret. Critics write hundreds of thousands of words trying to explain it. And still, it usually remains a mystery. But we had a revelation recently while talking to Diego Contreras about his “Unimpossible Missions” series for GE, an ad campaign meant to show off GE’s ingenuity by accomplishing seemingly impossible tasks. What makes Diego’s work great is how he invests a staggering amount of meaning into even the smallest details of his films. There is nothing trivial in his work. Even the snowballs have backstories.