Friday, April 29, 2011

Produced By Faith Book Review

Produced By Faith: Enjoying Real Success Without Losing Your True Self

Click here to order via Amazon

By DeVon Franklin

Format: Hardcover, 288 pages

ISBN-10: 1439171033

ISBN-13: 9781439171035

On Sale: May 3, 2011

Publisher: Howard Books/An Imprint of Simon & Schuster

Reviewed by Natasha Dixon

Very rarely does a book come along that can truly help give you direction for your life. The last book I read that seemed to do this was The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. Today I can add another book to the list of such greats. Produced By Faith: Enjoying Real Success Without Losing Your True Self by DeVon Franklin (Producer of Karate Kid, Pursuit of Happiness, Not Easily Broken, and Jump the Broom) is a guide for living your life fully without compartmentalizing or compromising any aspect of yourself.

Produced By Faith parallels the steps of producing a film with the reader’s life. It is divided into two sections, development and production. At first glance the table of contents seems impersonal: What’s the Big Idea, Selling It, Writing the Script, Getting Notes, Development Hell, God’s Budget and Production Schedule, It’s All About Casting, and God’s Green Light. However, these chapters do more than just tell you what goes into producing a movie. They guide you through the most important production you will ever be involved in, your life.

Produced By Faith is a very personal book that encourages the reader to review how they have been doing life. It gives practical steps to help you through the process. At the end of each chapter there is a list of questions that everyone should ask themselves at some point in their career; Making this more than just another stagnant book that goes on the shelf after its read. It has somewhat of a workbook or reference book quality, with a very conversational style. There is also a transparent quality to this book, because of the personal accounts of Mr. Franklin’s experience that have been weaved throughout. He gives insight into his journey from intern to Vice President at Sony Pictures.

This book comes from a faith based perspective, but it is also a practical guide for those who may not be believers; going as far as to say it is a good beginner’s manual for someone interested in producing alone. This is a book that should be handed out at airports, train stations, and bus stations to every bright eyed and bushy tailed artist coming to make it in Hollywood. At the same time it is a great read everyone, in any line of work, can enjoy and implement. When you finish reading this book you will have a renewed faith; faith in God, faith in yourself, and faith in the unlimited possibilities for your life.

Meet the Author:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Are all creative minds created equally?

I am getting my creative itch once again. It lay dormant for two years. Which anyone who knows me, they know that is a rarity in my world. Actually, it didn't lay dormant. I suppressed it for two years. The wheels of my mind are always turning. Actually, more like spinning out of control. It is constantly creating new ideas. I can't keep up with it and in most cases it creates so fast I am paralyzed by not knowing where to start.

My dad always tells me "How do you eat and elephant? One bite at a time." I know we've all heard that at some point in our lives. I've taken that advice, and on many occasions it works. But it would be better if I could clone myself or days were actually 36 hours long rather than 24 hours, but that would be defying creation. I know, it was perfectly made and by no means am I saying God made a mistake. But I have to ask God, "What the heck did you do when you created my brain?" Not that its inferior or I'm not proud of it. "Just how do you expect me to manage the seeds that you so eloquently planted in my head?" There are so many! Cause at this point I have SOOOO many seeds but no harvest. Or a couple of the seeds have harvested in a field that only I can fun.

I was talking to a friend the other day and I had the audacity to say, "Well, you know what they say, the grave yard is the richest place in the world. So many people take brilliant ideas with them to the grave because they never stepped out of their comfort zones." As those words came out of my mouth I was totally convicted. I have two film scripts, a sitcom pilot, a treatment for a reality TV show and a short film script WRITTEN and waiting to be shot or sold, and about five more scripts in my head that I haven't penned yet. I have a children's book I have written that needs illustration. A blog that is being neglected. A radio show idea waiting to find time to creep into my schedule. A coffee table book that is halfway finished (waiting for me to finish the photography section) and probably about 4 more book ideas in my head that are just sitting there. Actually this week I was encouraged to finish one of my book proposals (progress :)). Not to mention my one women show that is about 75% finished. Two pieces of artwork I've painted that need framing. And two business ideas that are just waiting for the business plan to be written. I'm sure I have missed something. The crazy thing about this, is that list is the list of things I have actually decided to do. I'm not mentioning the many other half-baked ideas that I may not ever get to in my lifetime. I get tired just thinking about all of them. If I were to die today. The grave yard would once again increase its value.

No, seriously. I will soon be starting my creative journey once again,but this time I must have a concise plan. Or I will keep juggling all these ideas, for what, just to say I can juggle? ppff..that's nothing. Juggling is not doing. Thinking is not doing. Doing is doing, and I know God's gonna do God...but I have to do my part too. Shoot even the fishermen had to cast their nets to be blessed with an abundance of fish. I guess I just have to determine which side of the boat I will cast my net first. Instead of dragging the net through the sea in a speed boat...the net will break and I will have NO fish. ...or casting so many nets they get tangled and all the fish get away...or...okay you get the point. I WILL conquer the underachieved overachiever syndrome.

The way my brain works, it doesn't just create things for me. When people talk to me, my mind spins out of control with ideas for THEM too. Oh my!!! wheeew... So I ask what am I to do? One bite at a time, right? Of course! I need a manager. Someone to manage my crazy ideas and get me focused on the straight and narrow. Or maybe I need to sit down and do a business plan for my life. Aaa haa!! That sounds like a good idea with projections and plans and schedules and budgets - I already have budgets...eeerrgghh!! see I'm doing it again. Creating something more for me to do. My mind is like Tetris constantly moving, creating, running, flying, soaring, thinking, ticking, conforming, transforming, arranging, and re-arranging pieces of the puzzle of my life. Oh me oh my!! I must tame this dragon. I am determined to get this creative monster by the horns and ride it off into the sunset of completion.