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There are jobs, and then there are jobs. Take, for instance, when Rakish Director Kevin Foley landed a pitch for the International Olympic Committee’s full film campaign. That’s a job. Not only did it involve global travel, capturing stories around the world, but it also involved navigating a pandemic and an IOC that’s redefining their identity in the modern era.

We talk a lot about finding your voice, but we don‘t always talk about the consequences of doing so. Namely, once you’ve found your voice, people have to make a decision about whether or not they like it. You’re drawing a line in the sand. For Director Niclas Larsson, he’s won and lost jobs based on pushing his style: “I tend to push a little too hard, perhaps. Then again, I don’t want to apologize for pushing a product and visual style. At the end of the day, I know I’m speaking a different language. I’m talking with experience,” Niclas told us.

At the end of a project, we simply want to walk away knowing we’ve done our very best work, creating the strongest film we could make. But between the start and finish, there’s nothing that simple. There’s the anxiety of pitching your vision to strangers, the unpredictability of production, and the tension of navigating post-production expectations from multiple stakeholders.

Sometimes it pays to work in the trenches and do the DIY grind. You not only get the same experience as the film school folks, but you also get the personal experience of making it on your own. Building your own empire. Making your own mistakes. And then, one day, after this long and harrowing process, The Chainsmokers give you a call to shoot their newest video.

Ian Pons Jewell isn’t someone to mince words. As you’ll see right from the beginning of our conversation, he’ll say exactly what’s on his mind, which also says a lot about his creative work. There’s not much in the way of compromise. He’s directed surrealist music videos and short films, and translated that style into commercials that are equally as surreal, for brands ranging from Nike and Audi to Apple and Xbox.

Ego is a strange thing in advertising, or any creative field for that matter. In one way, it seems to be essential, but in other ways (like collaborating) it’s the stick in the gears. The small thing that’ll break down the entire process, and maybe the whole agency, in the end. For Danny Hunt, Creative Director at Lucky Generals and formerly at The & Partnership, Saatchi & Saatchi, and more, he’s found the right place for it.

We talk to a lot of talented filmmakers at Musicbed, but not all of them win Oscars. And we all know that you can be a world-class filmmaker and not take home the golden statue—Spike Lee, Alfred Hitchcock, Sidney Lumet, are a few great examples. In other words, not all great filmmakers have won Oscars. But, we can probably agree on something else: All Oscar-winners are great filmmakers.