A few weeks ago the Catholic Community buzzed with the launch of a video called “Confession is a Place of Victory”, part of Ascension Press’ awesome new series called The 99. Featuring the unforgettable Fr. Mike Schmitz, and the beautiful animation work of the legendary Todd Bright, the video is a stellar accomplishment from many perspectives: cinematography, animation, storytelling, and evangelization, to name a few. Here it is, if you haven’t seen it yet:
Confession is not an easy topic, in any circle, and it is probably one of the most widely misunderstood and most heavily under-appreciated means of sanctification that the Church offers. Taking full advantage of Fr. Mike’s uncanny ability to explain things in a way that is refreshingly engaging, memorable, and relatable, the Ascension team has presented the sacrament in a way that anyone can connect with.
Artistically, the project is a masterpiece. The look and feel that the crew was able to achieve, with the help of some huge lights and expert color grading, is stunning. It blends perfectly with the beautiful animations to create a work of art in the truest sense, that simultaneously enlightens, uplifts, and teaches the viewer.
While this video is obviously the accomplishment of many people, we wanted to focus in a little bit on the man who directed it, Nicholas DeRose. After working for years with Ascension Press, Nicholas has recently struck out on his own.
Anyone who has made the jump into freelancing or starting their own business, especially if they are supporting a young family, can attest to the daunting nature of that decision. It takes guts to leave the security of a steady paycheck and a regular schedule, and expand into unknown horizons to make it on your own. But the possibilities that open up in front of you when you take a step like that often prove to be beyond your wildest dreams.
I reached out to Nicholas for a bit of an intro:
I am the Founder and Director of Visual Rose Productions.
I grew up loving movies and how they were made. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Lost left huge impressions on me. My mom homeschooled my siblings and I growing up and that’s where I fell in love with Catholicism.
It’ll be eight years this September that I will have been married to my beautiful wife. Being a father of three has really changed my perspective of beauty. Before kids I thought of beauty in terms of music, lighting, art, video and I still think that’s all true but what’s even more beautiful are the small moments, the memories, the interactions I experience with my wife and children.
I love being a father to them like God is a father to me. Being a husband and father is and will always be the most thrilling adventure of my life. It’s in the home with family and God that beauty is found.
I worked ten years for Ascension and have recently jumped into doing my business full-time. I learned a lot from my time there and it’s been an adjustment for me and my family over the past few months but we are beginning to settle in to the new role / schedule. Having more autonomy over my work and spending more time with family has been huge. I love what I do and I am excited for this journey that God has me on.
I think that’s a pretty remarkable approach, and one that anyone can benefit from imitating. To me it seems evident that Nicholas is a man of God, a man for his family, and a master of his craft, and that’s a combination that is not easy to find. Oh and his demo reel is pretty fantastic, if you haven’t seen it.
If fear is keeping you from taking a leap, or even a step, in your life or career, look to examples of people like Nicholas DeRose. They are living proof that although it’s not easy, it’s worth it, and that when you expand beyond the horizon of what you know, you begin to understand the extent of your potential.