“Keep working, keep practicing, keep getting better.”
In May, Daniel Pitts graduated from Calvary University with a Bachelor’s degree in Ministry Studies and Business Education. Daniel began experimenting with filmmaking at just nine years old; since then, it has become a passion and a ministry opportunity for him throughout his life. He reflects: “When I was a kid, my family got an iMac computer with iMovie on it, and from there I began making video after video. While I did not realize this as my calling at first, over time, I began to push myself further and further in what I could do in filmmaking, which is a process I still avidly pursue today.” After coming to Calvary, Daniel absorbed himself even deeper in his craft. While he claimed that his first film “turned out horribly”, it launched a desire in him to continue his pursuit into the filmmaking industry: “Throughout the rest of my college experience I continued shooting photo after photo, video after video, and taking opportunities to share my work with others and improve my skills.”
In the summer of 2020, after Daniel created a short film and used it in an application to a video internship in Colorado, he was accepted into the program and was taught through it “many of the aspects and rules of filmmaking and how to make the highest quality videos possible.” After this experience, Daniel says he began working at Fellowship Church as a professional videographer. Over time, he began taking on freelance and passion projects, which have deepened his understanding of filmmaking and business. Today, Daniel believes that he is called to use his filmmaking as a ministry: “I believe I am meant to take my God-given and God-developed passion to share the good news of the Gospel through filmmaking.”
Daniel also believes that his education at Calvary University has played a crucial role in preparing him for the future: “It’s given me a context to practice my art, it’s helped me learn how to build a business of my own, and it’s given me a spiritual basis for the work that I do.” In Daniel’s free time throughout his education at Calvary, he continually practiced his craft, created short films and other creative content, and his professors, RDLs, and peers supported him along the way. He states: “Being a freelance filmmaker and photographer is more than just doing the craft itself; it’s a lot of business work. Calvary’s business classes helped me understand how to build a brand for myself, how to do accounting, and how to develop other necessary skills.” Ultimately, through Calvary and other experiences, Daniel says he has learned how filmmaking can be used to “further the kingdom of God,” and that his passion is “not just a secular job, but can be used to bring God glory.”
One story of impact Daniel had in his professional development was during his internship at Summit Student Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There, he was tasked with the job of creating a highlight film over an online worldview conference: “This meant I needed to be able to capture a week of the student’s experience and transform it into a short three minute video. Being entirely online and never meeting a student in person created challenges for me because I couldn’t witness the students’ experiences face-to-face.” After working almost seventy hours in one week on the project, in addition to interviewing eight students via zoom to hear testimonies on how the conference impacted them personally, Daniel states that “All this work came into one video to be shown at the end of the conference–one that truly captured the experience of the students–and even brought tears to the eyes of many small group leaders because it was an authentic representation of their experiences.”
Daniel states that the “main lesson” he learned as a child about his craft is the same lesson Calvary instilled in him: “Keep working, keep practicing, and keep getting better.” Through classes that taught biblical principles, experiences at Calvary, and other situations that simply demanded hard work, Daniel has grown personally and professionally.
Daniel is excited about future possibilities in his filmmaking career, but says that he is already excited about the opportunities he has gained through Calvary: “Throughout my schooling here, I’ve built connections through Calvary and personal experiences that I’m excited to pursue in the future for all different kinds of potential projects.” He further states: “Much of my work now and in the future will be freelance filmmaking and photography work, which is something that’s always new and different. One of these potential future projects is editing a promotional film for a ministry in Colorado. The variety of possibilities and means of sharing my God-given gifts is exciting, and there are many paths to embark on today, and in the future.”