On Friday, March 8, Daniel Evans visited Huntington University to share his experience working on the movie Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse. Evans, who is a Christian and a former Huntington University student, talked about his life in the animation industry and how his faith and school experience play a huge role in his life today.
Evans was a film major at HU who moved to Los Angeles in what he described as a crazy faith experience. He moved without having all the money he needed, and on his way to L.A., he got a job. He had to manage his resources quite a bit but, and he worked hard to “get his foot in the door,” but now he can say he has worked on an Oscar-winning film.
Evans explained the journey of ups and downs that led to his current job at Sony Pictures Animation Studio. He started out as a filmmaker, but he chose to lay aside his pursuit to be on the set making live action films because he wanted to spend more time with his family.
He entered the animation industry by being diligent and hardworking in the “little things” he was given to do. He was an assistant for a while before he was given the opportunity to work as an editorial coordinator for Spider-Verse. Evans stressed that no matter what our pursuits are, we should be diligent till the end.
“Get your foot in the door,” Evans said repeatedly.
He encouraged HU students that attended the presentation to never despise humble beginnings. He shared the story of an animator at Sony who started out as a gateman and worked his way up by being diligent.
Evans did not forget to mention the beauty of being a part of a great institution like HU. Evans explained that his experience as a student in the DMA department helped him become a useful person in the animation industry. Evans talked about how encouraging HU professors are.
“HU professors encourage you,” he said. “When they see that you are good at what you do, they champion you. You need a champion in your life.”
As an Animation student, I can say the same. Our professors really push you to be your best. They show you what they see in you and push you to be the best you can be.
Finally, Evans talked about the importance of building connections. “No one is an island,” and we all know this. We know this, but we don’t often practice what we know. There is always a lot of competition amongst us, which is good but we as HU students should cultivate the habit of forming honest bonds with people. When we truly get to know people and act in the likeness of Christ, we form lasting bonds with people. When we form bonds with people, they often end up helping us get to where we need to be. And we help them too.
I hope every HU student can learn from Mr. Evans. We must learn to appreciate what we have and stop complaining. We must work diligently, using our God-given skills while building honest connections with people all around us in humility.
“Whatever you are doing, keep doing it,” Evans said. “Work your butt off, and people will see that.”
Picture of Daniel Evans retrieved from the Huntington University website https://www.huntington.edu/news/the-spider-verse-hu-connection