Super Soul Sunday
Sundays at 11 a.m. ET/PT
Posted: Thu 09/20/2012 08:00 AM
In the Bible, it says, "All things work together for good." There couldn't have been truer words to describe the incidents that put me on a crash course with no one else but one of the greatest inspirational leaders in the world—Oprah Winfrey.
It all started with a mistake...a senior agent at one of the most powerful agencies in Hollywood called my office at Sony Pictures and left word that she needed to speak to me about a project. Because I was caught up in whatever seemed like a priority at the time, I didn't call her back until two days later. Big mistake. When someone of that stature calls you, you return the call ASAP. Well, when I did return the call, she quickly pointed out the error of my ways. I felt horrible because my intention was never to be disrespectful. I immediately went into damage control and sent an apology to her office along with an advance copy of my book, Produced by Faith, just to say I'm sorry.
God has a funny way of turning our worst mistakes into our biggest blessings. Months later, I get an email from this same agent saying she loved the book, and she thought it would be something Oprah would love too. She sent the book to one of the agents on Oprah's team, and almost a year to the date after I made the mistake I thought would damage my career, I was sitting down with Oprah Winfrey and Sheri Salata discussing my book and receiving the invitation to tape an episode of "Super Soul Sunday." Mind-blowing.
Posted: Wed 09/19/2012 08:00 AM
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
—Proverbs 3:5–6 NKJV
I was deep in the heart of Beijing, People's Republic of China, in the summer of 2009. For the first time in my career, I was the lead studio executive on a feature film—the remake of The Karate Kid, starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, son of actor Will Smith.
It's important to understand that Beijing—the ancient capital of China—is huge. The urban area alone contains about 13 million residents; that's four cities of Los Angeles. Beijing is also complex on a Byzantine scale, and with the producers, entire crew, and cast there, we had ventured far into some of the oldest parts of the city, into ancient neighborhoods called hutongs where the living style was more communal and we could find the character and feel we were looking for.
Getting cast, crew, and equipment there was a major undertaking, the shots were taking a long, long time to set up and complete, and as I stood there, we were running out of daylight.
Sunset is usually panic time for a film crew. Unless you're shooting night scenes, you try to work in every last shot you can, using reflectors to capture every last bit of natural light. The crew was working as quickly as they could to maximize what was a very expensive day of production. But I had other concerns. I glanced at my watch, shot a look at the disappearing sun, and knew that even though I was the sole representative for Columbia Pictures on set, I had to leave.
Read more of Produced by Faith
Posted: Tue 09/18/2012 08:00 AM
In just 15 years, DeVon Franklin has rocketed from being Will Smith's intern to the position of vice president of production for Columbia Pictures. But his star-studded studio career is only half the story. On "Super Soul Sunday," Oprah sits down for a soul-to-soul chat with the Produced by Faith author. Read on to find out more about the man Oprah calls "a different kind of spiritual teacher for our times."
1. DeVon is a Seventh-day Adventist. He found solace in the church at age 9 after his father died from a heart attack, and gave his first sermon at the age of 15. He says he uses his background to produce faith-based films, like The Pursuit of Happyness and Jumping the Broom. He also oversaw the upcoming release of Sparkle, starring Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks.
2. He was named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the top 35 entertainment executives under 35 and one of the top 10 industry impact players by the NAACP—but way before all these accolades, DeVon was an intern. He had a humble start interning for Will Smith and Will's business partner James Lassiter. Watch DeVon reflect on the spiritual request he made during that interview. Watch DeVon reflect on the spiritual request he made during that interview.
3. DeVon puts faith before his career and makes no apologies for his priorities. Even on set, he unplugs from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday to observe the Sabbath. "I have put my faith front and center for everyone to see," DeVon writes in his book, Produced by Faith. "Not only has relying on my faith not harmed my career prospects, it has actually enhanced them."
Posted: Mon 09/17/2012 03:00 PM
Coming up Sunday, DeVon Franklin—a Hollywood executive who does double duty as a preacher—reveals his thoughts on how to achieve success without losing yourself. The Produced by Faith author talks with Oprah about how he balances his Hollywood life with his faith. Watch a preview today!
Posted: Sun 06/17/2012 11:00 AM
In his book, Produced by Faith, DeVon Franklin says the movie of your life has no story without great characters. He says he's always had a strong supporting cast, and it's about to get bigger when he weds actress Meagan Good. Watch as he opens up about how they worked to create a solid foundation for their marriage with counseling from Bishop T.D. Jakes.