Bekah Ruth’s (’16) professional life is a picture of high resolution. Zoom in or zoom out, and you will see her work in thoughtful scope and detail. Her attention both to the “big picture” and “little details” of her vocation has earned her a career niche in the art departments of the filmmaking business.
Her vision began to focus early in her life: “I knew that I always wanted to do something film-related. Ever since I was a kid, I’d notice things in movies that even my parents would miss. . . I paid attention to those little details.” Ruth inherited her mother’s eye for art and creativity, and in high school, she gained experience working on stage dressing and props for theater productions. Although she had a knack for the aesthetics of production design, terms like “art department” and “production design” were unfamiliar to her before college. She examined film school options assuming she would pursue screenwriting or editing. She liked what she saw in Liberty University’s Cinematic Arts Department.
At Liberty, Ruth joined a cohort of classmates to learn the craft and business of filmmaking. They participated in the professionally produced feature, God’s Compass. One of the crew positions assigned to Ruth was in the Art Department. What she learned from the Production Designer (the department head) helped her realize her career calling: “You just don’t get that experience from a lot of other colleges, and it’s something that I feel really prepared me for the industry.” That film project also helped her establish industry relationships. Soon she was working in the art department on another feature film produced by an alumnus. By the time she graduated, she had two feature films on her resume showing art experience.
Since graduation, Ruth has traveled around the country in various production jobs. She loves traveling and loves the variety in her daily work, but she is most passionate about art: “I love doing art. I love adding those little details to films or TV shows that just add to the story. I put in stuff that you don’t notice maybe the first time you watch a show or movie but as you watch it more and more you catch those little things that . . . add a whole new depth to the story.”
Ruth credits Liberty for a comprehensive film education that teaches how every filmmaking element impacts the other elements. She believes this knowledge has helped her succeed in her set work and, when paired with her eye for detail, has even opened opportunities for promotion or new jobs. For example, one night while working on Bravo Channel’s culinary show, Top Chef, Ruth noticed the food refrigerators were turned off. She reported the problem to the culinary department head who was so impressed by her observation that she offered her a job helping with kitchen and food setup, putting Ruth closer to art department work.
Another reason Ruth gives attention to the details of her work is because she is confident in her career choice: “I felt from the very beginning that God had called me into the film industry. It was where I needed to be. I’m not sure why exactly, but I just felt that this is what God wants me to be doing. And He’s been faithful with providing jobs so I’m able to support myself doing just this.” Ruth is proof that knowing your craft and knowing your calling can enable you to succeed in career endeavors both big and small.