As a 12-year-old, he started making funny videos with his mom’s camera. Then, in his junior year of high school, he started acting in theatre and fell in love with it. When he was 18, he began making short films with his theatre friends.
Rankin first considered transferring to ACU from Texas College in Snyder when he moved to Abilene to live with a friend. The duo was working on creating a long film and decided to host auditions for the cast. Most of the cast members were from ACU, and Rankin said he was impressed with their dedication.
“Hearing them talk about ACU made me want to consider the university,” he said.
In 2017, a close friend, Haley Cobb, invited Rankin to ACU’s FilmFest to watch a series of short, student-created films. From that moment, he knew he wanted to join the ACU community.
FilmFest is is designed to give students interested in film production and the motion picture and entertainment industries a creative outlet at ACU. Students also are able to make connections through alumni and industry professionals who serve as judges for the event.
Not only was Rankin drawn to ACU by FilmFest, but also by the opportunity theatre students have in their senior year to attend a semester with the Tepper program in New York or LA Film Studies in California.
“I want to be able to make movies for a living,” Rankin said. “The best thing in LA would be finding an agent that could help get my foot in the door with production companies.”
“It really made me happy to win, but even before knowing about the awards, I was just happy to be part of it,” he said.
Rankin started his own company in 2015 called Beyond Star Films. Starting the company was a step in the direction of integrating his profession and faith.
“I settled on the name Beyond Star Films wanting to give all the glory and praise to God through all I do with filmmaking,” Rankin explained. “It’s a reminder that our talents and gifts are blessings from God whose love and power goes beyond the stars. And it’s a perfect opportunity to share God’s word with others when they ask about the name.”
Rankin said the ACU community has helped him deepen his relationship with God.
“It’s helping me figure out how to continue in my career and my passion, while staying in my faith and not veering off from the path God has for me,” he said. “I want to surround myself with people like this.”