By Sarah Sutton, Message Summer Staff Writer
SHREVEPORT – Luke Lee began making short films in high school as a fun, on the side hobby. He said he never planned on making it a career.
Lee works full time as Media Associate, overseeing the video portion of the media ministry, at Brookwood Baptist Church in Shreveport. However, the 22-year-old filmmaker started producing videos for the church long before he was listed on the payroll.
In his junior year of high school, Lee finally felt confident enough to produce videos with his friend, Chris Lyon, who introduced him to the idea of filming in eighth grade.
The video director at the time, Bruce Hennigan, and Pastor Mark Sutton would come to them with ideas or requests.
There were no obligations, Lee said, and it was very “free form.” He thought it was over once he graduated and left for Louisiana Tech.
Lee went to Tech to major in Graphic Design, not planning on making filmmaking anything more than a hobby. He said it was over Thanksgiving break he realized exactly what opportunities in film were available.
“The number of people needed for media is outrageous,” Lee said. “From the time I was in eighth grade to very recently, that opportunity opened wide.”
The next year he transferred from Tech to the Bossier Parish Community College, graduating in two years with a major in telecommunications and a concentration in film.
Lee’s skills include editing, camera operating, electrical work, animation, 3d animation and graphic designing. He said he also enjoys writing quite a bit.
“From start to finish, I love the filmmaking process,” Lee said. “The time I get the most satisfaction is when I’ve worked fifty hours on a one minute piece and see the finished product.”
In between Lee’s time at Tech and BPCC, Brookwood hired him for part-time work.
“They’d say, “We need this video. What can we do?” And I’d do it,” Lee said. “Once on payroll, I had an obligation to produce when I was asked to produce, but at the same time I wasn’t really integrated into the process.”
Lee said he did not go straight from part-time to full time work for the church. After a year at BPCC, he went through some hard times and temporarily parted ways from the church in video.
Five months of downtime later, staff member Mike Smith approached him with the job offer of Media Associate.
“I walked away from that initial meeting thinking about it, but not really seeing it as a possibility,” Lee said. “Over the course of three or four days I went from thinking about it to “I want to start today.””
He said he was at first hesitant of taking the job because he grew up in the church. His father works at Brookwood as the Minister of Missions and Outreach. Brookwood was what he knew.
The more he prayed about it, he said, and considered taking the job, the more he “felt this peace.”
Lee said he studied what Brookwood was really about to “make sure he was on the same page.”
“Some churches are more worried about what people will do for them and what people will think than what God will do for them,” he said. “Brookwood is not like that.”
December 2008, he came on full time.