filmmaking and messaging for cross-media marketing
Online Filmmaking Courses

As a current or future filmmaker, it’s easy to think your only options revolve around fiction and Hollywood-esque aspirations. But as you learn new skills related to writing, editing, and producing, you can open yourself up to opportunities away from movies. These endeavors include cross-media, marketing, and nonfiction work, amongst other possibilities.

Here’s a look at different ways to apply your filmmaking abilities:

1. Cross-Media

For a few decades, brands around the world have appealed to consumers through various modes. Otherwise known as a cross-media or cross-channel tactic, this method drives content to individuals through television, print, social media and more. When it comes to cross-media marketing, a company typically applies different messaging tactics to each branch. For example, you won’t find Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on a business’s Twitter — instead, they post them on a blog.

Those who want to work with video content can capitalize on this continually growing and evolving approach. Let’s say that a children’s book publisher wishes to release a new series. They may hire you to create an animated YouTube video or an app that tells the main character’s story.

This way, people across multiple demographics can enjoy different — but still similar — experiences. Whether a brand uses this approach for cross-media marketing or storytelling reasons, it requires similar talents.

2. Television

If filmmakers don’t want to make movies, they often choose TV as an alternative. For the most part, this medium can be more flexible than film. When you think about TV, you may picture scripted shows like “Mad Men” and “Friends.” That category takes up a lot of space within TV programs, but so do commercials and broadcasts. In some ways, TV can be much more expansive than movies allow.

Though the film industry offers various jobs, from camera operators to script supervisors, television does the same while incorporating other kinds of productions. For example, you may concentrate on writing and editing segments for a sports broadcasting channel. You could even deal with live shows, like performances and celebrations. Either way, television provides many different opportunities.

Look around for internships and jobs that focus on producing, directing, and broadcasting.

3. Marketing or Advertising

When you work as a marketing or advertising professional, your job centers around consumerism and exposure. You want people to buy your product or hire your service before they turn to your competitors. You can find similar positions within almost any company — from health care to fashion to architecture, everyone needs someone to promote their brand. If you’re design-oriented, print and web-based publications are necessary as well.

Today, most of these efforts revolve around video content and social media. Many companies look to hire individuals that can express a company’s story. They also want them to relate that point to their overall vision. Much like traditional storytelling methods, this media should convey a message.

Many people with a video-related skillset end up with a marketing or advertising career, as it’s a lucrative option. Plus, it still requires the same knowledge you learned at school. By 2022, we can expect video content to be 82% of what people search online. Often, filmmaking for marketing or advertising falls under job descriptions like “Digital Content Creator.”

4. Nonfiction

Many filmmakers see the word “nonfiction” and think about documentaries. This film style encompasses more than just the investigative pieces that tend to be popular today, like “Tiger King” and “Wild Wild Country.” The term nonfiction can refer to TV shows about cheese on the Travel Channel, too. Most nonfiction filmmakers like to center their work around a specific theme.

It’s essential to remember that nonfiction creators still need to tell a story. For the most part, a nonfiction piece should follow a subject and tell their tale. The difference between fiction and nonfiction centers around purpose. When you watch “Star Wars,” you want to entertainment — but after a true-crime documentary, you feel informed. Usually, nonfiction can overlap into other mediums, like television and radio.

People who pursue nonfiction filmmaking careers often seek out other roles to supplement their income as they get started. These gigs could include teaching, marketing, editing, and more. That said, it’s entirely possible to make money from your films.

Numerous Career Options Exist for Filmmakers

With a film-related degree, you can make all kinds of content. From cross-media marketing to live television, there’s so much to consider.



Alyssa Abel is a college and career writer who helps students of all interests pursue their passions. Follow along on her blog, Syllabusy.