He started in the film business working as an intern with actor Will Smith’s production company, and today is a vice president at Columbia Pictures, having worked on films such as “The Karate Kid,” “The Pursuit of Happyness” and the soon to be released “Sparkle” with Whitney Houston.
But it’s Devon Franklin’s faith that takes center stage in his life, having found solace in his church following the sudden death of his father at 9 years old. By the age of 15, he gave his first sermon.
Oprah Winfrey recently sat down with Franklin for a “Super Soul Sunday” interview about his book “Produced by Faith,” which looks at the purpose and intention of life in comparison to a play or movie.
“What I began to realize is that God is our director,” Franklin said, explaining he wanted to “help people understand how films are made and use that as a parallel to understand you are the star of your own movie. If we look at our life as a movie and God as the director then we use our faith to help to move us forward, trusting in the director.”
Just like in a movie, where conflict and drama are part of the story, the same is true in each of our lives. It’s these times of conflict when many of us begin to lose faith, Franklin said, explaining there is no story – in our individual lives or on screen – without conflict.
Reading from page 12 of the book, Oprah said: “The truth is you and I are in control of only two things — how we prepare for what might happen and how we respond to what just happened. The moment when things actually do happen belongs to God.”
When creating a movie, there is always a development phase, and the same is true in our lives when we are trying to reach a goal. The majority of our time is spent “in development,” said Franklin. This begins as soon as an idea hits. But in order for us to make the most of our development, we need to have direction or purpose.
“If my life is a story then I have to know the point of my story … we need to have clarity of what we are suppose to do. What are we called to do in this life? In that way give our whole development process more shape,” Franklin told Oprah. “Sometimes your going from scene to scene to scene with no idea of what your intention is. In development, not only do you co-write your script with God, but you are the star of your story. There is nothing worse then when you are on set and you see an actor in a scene who doesn’t know the intention, because the scene goes all over the place. So its important in life to know what our motivation is so it gives each scene that we’re in more purpose than it otherwise would have.”
Franklin spoke about his time working as an intern at Will Smith’s production company, and noted an important element of his life is observing the Sabbath, which is from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. He explained this on his interview with the company, noting he wouldn’t be on email or telephone during that time, and they accepted his terms.
“If I embrace who I am it will open doors not shut them. If your faith won’t fit in the door that opens then I argue do not walk through that door. The door that God has opened for you will fit your faith,” he said.
Watch the Preview video from the interview below: