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Question: Are you the type of person who carefully checks the temperature of a swimming pool before slowly, over the course of an hour or so, working your way into the water? Or are you someone who dives into the deep end headfirst like a lunatic? If you’re the second type, then you might have a bright future in film.

T. S. Eliot once said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” It’s as true in life as it is in creativity. Like in any great story, we only find out who we really are when we’re put to the test. The catch is, as filmmakers we often have to put ourselves to the test. Nobody else is going to do it for us.

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.

You realize pretty quickly in life that you are working with limited resources. Limited time. Limited money. Limited talent. One way or another, we are all forced to make the most of what we’re given. We invest what we have and hope something pays off — and every once in a while, something does.