Produced by Faith: Enjoy Real Success Without Losing Your True Self. DeVon Franklin, Howard Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, 2011, 245 pages, US$14.99. Reviewed by Alexis A. Goring of Columbus, Montana.
DeVon Franklin’s life is a testimony to Proverbs 3:5, 6. And his book is a blueprint to prove that he was “produced by faith.”
“When I thought about the movie business, and I thought about the Academy Awards and the Oscars, it dawned on me that the absolute top prize given out is for Best Picture, and whoever produced the movie is who wins the trophy for Best Picture,” says Franklin. “So I thought about my life, and at the end of my life I would want it to say, ‘produced by faith.’ ”
Franklin, who is also an Adventist preacher, started in the movie business more than a decade ago. He has since worked his way up to vice president of production for Columbia Pictures. He has produced movies such as Jumping the Broom, Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, and The Karate Kid.
“What I have discovered is that there is no more powerful force in the universe than our faith. And if we embrace it, it will actually lead us well beyond anything we can imagine,” he says.
Produced by Faith is divided into two sections, entitled (appropriately) development and production. Franklin delivers on his promise to give readers insight into how faith can help in any career, even in a place where most Adventists dare not go, Hollywood. “Owning your faith, not hiding it, not being ashamed of it, has been the thing that has allowed me to find success,” he says.
Franklin develops and makes films on a daily basis. In his book Franklin challenges readers to look at their life as a movie produced by their faith in God. He teaches readers to discover purpose in life, or in movie terms, “the big idea.” Then he shows readers how to allow God to write their scripts while taking notes and living according to God’s direction and will.
Produced by Faith isn’t all glitz and glamour; Franklin keeps it real, promising that we will go through what he calls “development hell.” But that’s part of the process; you don’t have a good story without conflict.
“Every great story is all about the highs and lows,” he says. “The conflict in the story is what makes the story good. Same with our life—because we don’t have the luxury of being able to look at our life from a script point of view where we can turn the page and see what’s going to happen next.”
After God has taught us valuable life lessons, built our characters, and restored us into whom He’s called us to be, our movie (life) is ready for production. This is the part of the story, Franklin believes, in which our wildest dreams come true and we see that the struggle was worth it.