By Naomi Logan Richard
Speaking to aspiring entertainment industry professionals at the Artist Resource Center (ARC) in North Hollywood recently, author and film executive DeVon Franklin shared his journey from Overbrook Entertainment intern to senior vice president at Columbia Pictures, taking a page from his groundbreaking book, “Produced By Faith.” In it, Franklin demonstrates how life and the pursuit of one’s career goals are much like the production of a movie.
“There is a director, stars of the film, and a budget,” said Franklin. “The stars are you and whomever you allow to play a leading role, and the budget is your humility, faithfulness and sacrifice.”
Franklin told the group of young professionals that success in Hollywood does not require individuals to compromise who they are to get where they want to go. Describing his own internship experience, Franklin used biblical references to drive home that individuals should focus on improving proficiency. He noted that some people who desire to work in the entertainment industry have all the knowledge necessary for success, but lack sufficient skill-sets in business once they land the job.
“Study to show thyself approved,” said Franklin who linked the bible verse to the need for young professionals to better understand their industry, its goals, objectives and key players. “We pray ‘Lord, green light my career,’ but we don’t want the preparation. In life, so much of what you need to get to the next level is in the preparation.”
While waiting on the opportunity for career advancement, Franklin emphasizes the importance of going the extra mile in your current position. He contends that though your title may not qualify you to be a resource, you can always be of service by making the boss’ life easier.
“When you serve somebody and do it with excellence, it will set you apart,” said Franklin, who made it a point to display a level of energy and enthusiasm in the workplace, even as an intern making coffee runs and lunch deliveries.
ARC Executive Director Toure’ Roberts stood in agreement with Franklin as he acknowledged that he also experienced an increase in favor when he yielded his life to God’s plan rather than his own ideas of success.
“DeVon’s message is a challenge to remain focused and diligent while going through the preparation season,” said Roberts. “The race is not given to the swift, but to those who will endure.”
For more information about the Artist Resource Center, visit www.TheARCNoHo.com.