We’re wrapping up the third season soon, with only two more episodes left till the season finale. In this episode, we’re speaking with Joe Marotta who is a cinematographer and video marketing business owner. He runs Ascended Entertainment, a direct marketing company that does film production, video production, ad marketing, and some casting services. Direct Response Marketing are videos that compel customers to buy a product. For example, YouTube video ads are direct response marketing. This is because the customers usually don’t know the brand completely, so his job is to make videos that scream: here’s the product, here’s why you need it, here’s how it will make your life better – buy it.
Joe is a cinematographer first and an entrepreneur second – or is it the other way around – he uses his video marketing work to fund his passion for filmmaking. He got started in the film and marketing world through a career in banking that didn’t stimulate him. He knew eventually he enjoyed telling stories visually. So he took a job as a security guard, which gave him time to write scripts on the job. He wrote six episode’s of a tv series script that he promoted to film companies and got some interest. This stimulated his belief in himself and gave him a good basis for building the skills for filmmaking. It took him six years to learn film and marketing. He now does every aspect of filmmaking well. From writing to filming to directing to editing, so he is a one-man videography studio. He is now a skilled cinematographer and excels at telling stories visually.
“My passion is storytelling and working with a camera, [however] The end goal for both film and marketing is to make people feel something.”
Marketing isn’t Film Magic
You know what UGC (User Generated Content) is, it’s any form of content, such as images, videos, text, testimonials, and audio, that has been posted by users on online content aggregation platforms. But did you also know that 90% of this UGC content is made by production companies with paid actors who are reading off a script. They usually don’t know the products at all, but are paid to endorse them. Joe came up with a formula for making direct response marketing and video. The framework takes iterating on the things that work and the ones that don’t. Through the testing, he takes the parts of videos that work and uses those to optimize the next videos for a product or segment of products.
Making a Passion a Business
If you know anything about what makes people-people, you can be successful in marketing. Moreover, if there is anything you are passionate about, you can start a business doing it. All it requires is committing to learn about that topic and take it through its natural route. The internet has opened so many doors for anybody to do anything. One tip for starting a business is to understand fluidity. Everything you do has many different aspects and knowing a little about each one can be extremely beneficial to your success. For example, in business, you have to prioritize your problems and knowing at least a little about each problem can help you prioritize effectively. Another benefit of running your own business that’s also a passion is you have the freedom to turn work down. Joe uses this aspect of his business life to be able to turn down business from products that are scammy and get behind one’s he believes in. In the film industry, it is most accepted to work for free till you learn a marketable skill. In that respect, most business opportunities come from some kind of foundation of learning. Joe says if you’re willing to learn, you can succeed and thrive doing what you love.