My buddy Jon, who has worked on some of the best brands in the world and done some great, award-winning work, has been creating short films for things he's passionate about for the past couple years. They're not really "side projects" anymore, though they started out that way. He learned by watching people work, then messing around himself.
His latest is a short film to help a young boy who was born with all kinds of health issues. Give it a watch. Sharing it helps.