In Fall of 2011, Nuance Marketing facilitated DeVon Franklin’s participation as a featured presenter at the 2011 Savoy Women’s Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia . DeVon was a highlight of the conference as a speaker. Prior to the conference DeVon visited Atlanta on a whirl-wind book promotional tour and he was gracious enough to squeeze in a face to face interview for the next issue of Savoy over breakfast before he returned to Los Angeles. He has an incredible work ethic. Before I met him for breakfast, I watched him ace an early morning television interview from home as I got dressed to meet him for breakfast. DeVon’s cool confidence is coupled with a gentlemen’s civility and graciousness.
After the interview I was struck by the contagious positivity that he shares, the brilliant career to date and blinding bright future ahead. Recently Oprah Winfrey featured DeVon on her Super Soul Sunday show and was excited to see Oprah dazzled by the poised, balanced and faith centered life he leads. DeVon’s work in entertainment has touched millions globally. I hope his literary work continues to reach as many.The following is a reprint of my interview with DeVon Franklin published in Fall 2011 by Savoy Magazine.
Carving out a successful career path and having faith in today’s work environment can seem challenging to navigate. The book Produced by Faith:
Enjoy Real Success Without Losing Your True Self (Simon & Schuster) by DeVon Franklin is a dynamic guide for powering a faith guided ascension up the corporate ladder. DeVon is Vice President of Production for Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Entertainment and one of the youngest and highest ranking executives in the entertainment industry.
“In my heart of hearts, I want this book to inspire a generation. When you’re young in your career and trying to find your way there isn’t a handbook to help you do it,” said DeVon. “My aspiration is that it will be a handbook for a generation to see how they can navigate their career without compromising their integrity and become better for it. I want people to feel empowered and get a new lease on life and their career.
Before becoming a studio executive DeVon worked with entertainment heavyweights Benny Medina, Will Smith, James Lassiter and Tracie Edmonds. As a film executive he has been behind the production of some of Hollywood’s biggest hits such as The Pursuit of Happyness and Hancock starring Will Smith, Not Easily Broken produced by T.D. Jakes and Jumping the Broom starring Angela Bassett and Paula Patton and The Karate Kid starring Jackie Chan and Vaden Smith which grossed over $350 million worldwide. A former studio executive at Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), he also worked on Be Cool starring John Travolta and Queen Latifah’s Beauty Shop. DeVon is also an accomplished preacher and motivational speaker.
Produced by Faith artfully parallels creating a faith anchored career and life with the stages of producing a blockbuster film. With chapter titles such as “You, the Movie”, “Writing the Script”, “Development Hell “and “Cutting it Together” he shares exclusive industry insights and professional experiences with relatable transparency and Christian perspective.
“Cutting it Together is my favorite chapter because it exposes the supernatural power of faith at work in our career,” adds DeVon when asked which chapter means the most to him. “This chapter talks about how footage for a film is shot out of order and sequence. But the director and editor come together to piece it all together to form a story. It’s very similar to how God works in our lives taking scenes from here, characters from there to set up opportunities that are coming in the future.”
DeVon literally practices what he preaches as faith drives his personal and professional life. “Our faith is more powerful than we give it credit for. We look at the down times and say where is God? He’s here all the time. The down times are a part of life. It just is. It doesn’t mean God isn’t.”