DeVon Franklin: He’s Produced by Faith
- Tuesday, May 24, 2011
In your career and your vision, you say you want to use film to inspire and bring hope to people. Is there a specific example of a film you’ve worked on where you’ve seen that happen?
The three movies that come to mind are Jumping the Broom, The Karate Kid and The Pursuit of Happyness. I saw firsthand the impact that Pursuit of Happyness had on people all across the country and not even the country, the world. It’s one of the movies that people ask [Will Smith] the most about and was one of the reasons why we were able to do [The Karate Kid] in China, because the head of the China Film Group loved that movie and was inspired by that movie so much. But even on a more local level just seeing that movie play in front of audiences and the tears and people coming out and talking how they had moments in their lives when they were challenged and to see this story gave them hope you know to keep pursuing that dream. The movie I just finished, Jumping the Broom, that’s another film where it’s just a blessing the way that God brought that whole project together. I mean one of my best friends came up with the idea for the movie when he was unemployed years ago and people told him to give up on his dream and while he should have been giving up, he thought of this idea and had he given up on his dream I would’ve never had a movie to buy. We would’ve never had a movie to release and millions of people would have never had a movie to see. So not only does the inspiration go with the movie that people see but also inspiring is the internal, the idea that I can be in a position to help validate my friend. This is the first movie he’s ever produced. So that’s inspirational in and of itself.
What advice would you give someone who’s just graduated from college this month or is going to this summer and is just starting off on his or her career path?
The number one piece of advice is that you have to put God first and you have to pursue his will above your own. Whatever industry you’re pursuing, whatever you got your degree in you need to make sure that that is what God called you to. Please, please, please don’t negate the importance of keeping God front and center in your career and life. The second thing is take some time, relax, breathe a little bit. I know people try and scare you and tell you you’ve got to have a job … listen, life is a marathon, not a sprint. Trust me, it will come to you. Just relax and enjoy this time. You just finished a major accomplishment; don’t diminish the accomplishment by putting this pressure and these expectations that you have to be somewhere in life and then when you’re not you get disappointed by it. So enjoy the moment and don’t let anyone take that from you. You just graduated. It’s a huge accomplishment. Pat yourself on the back and relax and just enjoy it.
The third thing I would say is make sure that whatever job you take, whatever company you’re going to, pay attention to the details and details are the things that ultimately matter. It’s the small things that you do. It’s the little things that you don’t overlook that will ultimately help position you not to go as far as you would like to go in your career. If you get in and start looking at the big things and overlook the small things, your career will stutter. And the last thing I would say is you have to be focused on connecting with people. You just have to be. So much of your career and managing your career will be dependent upon how you manage people. So don’t overlook people regardless of their position. Make sure that you are connecting with people and building relationships, because those relationships will ultimately be the things that will help you find and achieve the dream that you have.
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