Customer Reviews: Produced by Faith: Enjoy Real Success without Losing Your True Self
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VINE VOICEon May 2, 2011
Full disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book but was under no obligation to give it a favorable review. As a freelance writer, I receive a lot of books to review, and I was initially going to pass on this one due to a very busy schedule. I put it away in a stack of books, but I kept receiving signs that I should read it. I'm so glad I did because I couldn't put this book down.

DeVon Franklin has written many compelling reasons why placing your career in God's hands will actually give you a competitive edge in business. The book is well-organized and easy to read. Franklin parallels a typical career path with the making of a Hollywood movie. As he educates the reader on the fascinating process of filmmaking, he weaves in his personal faith journey and how it led to his success in an industry that does not exactly promote a Christian atmosphere. He also includes frequent Scripture references, showing how his faith is truly grounded in the Word of God.

Mr. Franklin had to overcome very difficult circumstances to achieve success. His father died when he was a young boy, and his mother raised him and his two brothers as a single mom who was on welfare at one point. It was during this time that DeVon turned to his church and the Word of God for comfort. He also found a type of therapy in watching movies, which led to his career in Hollywood.

Franklin never backs down on his faith, even to the point of not working on the Sabbath despite tremendous pressure to be available at all times. He views his work as serving God and his neighbor, even if it's as humble as copying, filing and answering the phone. He gently guides the reader to trust in God and to see that God wants you to be happy and successful in your career. Franklin also shows the reality of difficult circumstances and how faith and trust in God in times of difficulty can help you learn skills and lessons that will lead to later success.

Even though the book describes a Hollywood executive's career path, the advice can apply to people of all professions. Franklin quotes Martin Luther King, Jr. in a particularly relevant quote:

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, `Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'"

I have already begun applying Mr. Franklin's advice to my own career and am reaping the benefits of viewing my work in writing as well as the humble and mundane duties of wife and mother as a vocation and part of God's plan.

I highly recommend this book!
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on May 2, 2011
I was fortunate enough to get a pre-publication copy of this book through a friend in the media, and initially I was skeptical. I'm not a religious believer and this is a book steeped in the Christian faith of its author. Then I started reading it, and I was struck not only by Mr. Franklin's candor but his wisdom. He and his co-author, Mr. Vandahey, have done a marvelous job of weaving the story of a developing life into the metaphor of a film in the various stages of production and distribution; it's a brilliant literary conceit. But more than that, they have produced a warm, human, hopeful book about faith that also works for people who don't share the author's faith. This is a book that anyone with a career should read, because we all face the same questions Mr. Franklin has faced? How much of myself do I surrender to climb the ladder? Do I have to compromise my values to be a success? Can I dedicate myself to my work and still be a good person, or is selling out the only choice? Believe me, if DeVon Franklin has been able to walk the straight and narrow road in Hollywood, of all places, we can all do it. I am not a Christian, and I loved this book. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on April 29, 2011
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 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.
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on May 20, 2011
In a culture where instant celebrity and mediocrity have become the accepted norm, I ask myself where in the world has DeVon Franklin been all our lives? Not only is the man a gifted studio executive, he has a way with the written word! In "Produced by Faith," DeVon uses the moving-making process to demonstrate how God works in our lives from the "Big Idea" to "The Sequel." After reading "Produced by Faith," a well-written book featuring many of DeVon's personal life experiences, you will want to read it again and again. It's not just a book; it's a road map to success that's based on integrity and character. DeVon shows how an individual can boldly proclaim their religious beliefs and still climb the corporate ladder gaining the respect of others along the way. He encourages individuals who are unhappy on their jobs to ask God for guidance and to take that much needed leap of faith to truly live out one's purpose in life. He not only encourages the aforementioned, but he points out how to do so step-by-step within each chapter of the book. I came away from "Produced by Faith," renewed and ready for lights, camera, and action! It's definitely a must read.
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on April 30, 2012
I got this book thinking that I would be reading a memoir. The book is actually a self-help book, which is fine. I would recommend this for young people graduating from high school or college who are embarking on their careers. It also could be useful for people considering second careers. The author makes good use of Scripture to back up his testimony of how he trusted in God to succeed in the movie business. He made me want to pull out my Bible and do more intense study. He is truly devote in his faith, refusing to work on the Sabbath. I would prefer to give the book 4.5. My only disappointment is that the author did not use enough examples of how his Christian faith was tested regarding moral issues that arise in hollywood. Are there certain types of movies he is not willing to produce based on his Christian values? Still it was worth reading. Produced by Faith as the topic at my church's book discussion. We had a great conversation.
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on May 16, 2011
A classic book that fulfills five practical and inspirational purposes: (1) It's an autographic study of Devon's rise within the Hollywood Studio system (always interesting, especially for a outspoken Christian); (2) It uses the difficulty of development and production of a movie as a metaphor for pursuing one's life goals and career; (3) It integrates time-tested advice for knowing God's (practical) will for an individual life; (4) It describes the path that a story idea must follow to get made and be successful at the motion picture box office; and (5) It admirably demonstrates with many examples how to be a witness for Christ in the midst of a world that seems anti-Christian. Not sure he set out to do all that, but that's what it does, admirably.

To the skeptical reader, many of Devon's anecdotal examples where God miraculously guided his career decisions may sound far-fetched. But I'm here to tell you they're not. I've experienced many of the same miraculous anecdotes in my life. The key I believe to living such a a purposeful, mission guided life is found in these five Bible verses, some of which Devon uses: (1) "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness...and all these things will be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33). (2) "Trust in the Lord with all of your might, and lean not (solely) unto your own understanding..." (Proverbs 3:5-6). (3) "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it...they will be blessed in what they do." (Joshua 1:8). (4) "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says...they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:22-25). (5) "Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither--whatever they do prospers." (Psalms 1:1-3).

Devon's life gives strong evidence that such promises work. This is why I say that the Christian life can be tested scientifically. Apply the theory, and measure the results -- not in money, but in purpose and fulfilled joy.
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on December 26, 2012
My mother first told me about this book after watching an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show. I decided to purchase on my kindle fire and have read this book more than 3 times. The book is soo user friendly and helpful, I am soo thankful that I learned of this talented young man. His work ethic really made me think about being better organized in my life. Go for your dreams without giving up ideals or virtue. It is an amazing book and I would suggest everyone read it. This book is real and genuine and an overall good read. Thanks Mr. Franklin for such a wonderful and inspiring story, continue to be produced by faith.
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on July 7, 2011
I was browsing Amazon looking for information about a different book and I kept being drawn to DeVon Franklin's Produced by Faith. Now I left Christianity over 20 years ago and the title Produced by Faith and Devon's devotion to Christianity had me skeptical, but for some unknown reason I bought it. When I started reading it I felt as though he was talking to me directly. You see I had recently started writing a book and screen play and been wondering about the whole God thing.

I truly believe that the way DeVon uses the creation process behind producing a film and turns each stage into a metaphor for how to succeed in your life/work truly unique. I loved the WiMO video at the beginning of each chapter giving us a personal introduction into the chapters and the questions for the readers to consider at the end of each chapter.

Those of us who want to succeed in the movie industry, but just don't know how to get a foot in will find this book invaluable, as it helps you through every stage.

If you are religious, but felt that there was no room for God at work, as bring God into your workplace would hold you back, DeVon is a walking, talking testimony to the reverse.

Thank you DeVon for writing this book, as I went to church for the first time in twenty years after reading your book and my life is changing for the better, as I now realise God is with me every step of the way through the good and the bad times. I'm more focused and determined now and don't feel the need to hide what I believe in just to get on in life/work. I truly believe that as long as you are true to yourself and do that which you believe in your heart to be honest you will succeed.

I would definitely recommended Produced by Faith to everyone irregardless of your view on Christianity, as there is something for everyone wishing to succeed in life.
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on July 11, 2012
AWESOME!!! You can see the value DeVon has in being in the movie industry when you read this book. It reads so smoothly, just like a movie. He does an awesome job with mixing three key elements: He talks about the movie industry (I've never learned so much about the industry till I read this book), he talks about his life lessons and experiences, and finally he gives you practical spiritual guidance. He does it in such a way that makes this a very inspiring book. He isn't overly "preachy" or even overly spiritual. He tells you what he thinks from his own personal spiritual lessons.

I also like how this is more than just a good book. It is a workbook. At the end of each chapter he lists several questions that allow for you to take what you just read and apply it to your own personal life. So it's more than just good information but it lets you evaluate where you are and make your own sound decisions.

I love the analogy he uses with the whole "movie theme". IT's amazing how our lives are truly a full movie production by God and he really builds that scenerio in this book. I have recommended this book to everyone I know. It was well worth the investment. I normally don't re-read books but I am going to read this book again. So much meat!
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on June 24, 2012
Devon Franklin cleverly weaves the filmmaking process with God's plan and purpose for our lives. It's fascinating to learn how movies start from scripts (or books), proceed through the lengthy--and sometimes terminal--development process, and (hopefully) are finally produced as movies.

The beauty is how he began and continues to navigate his way through the "worldly" waters of Hollywood as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. He parallels a film's journey to fruition with his career's various stages of development and production, while simultaneously living and balancing his faith. Openly declaring his adherence to the biblical Sabbath during a job interview, and leaving the Beijing set during the remake of The Karate Kid one Friday at sundown are examples of his steadfast allegiance to God, while allowing his commitment and work ethic to vouch for him. The reader is continually encouraged to put God and faith first and foremost in every facet of life.

An ordained elder, Franklin remains grounded by preaching at his uncle's Wings of Love Maranatha Ministries church in Oakland, CA, and elsewhere. Once, following a speaking engagement, a man prayed with Franklin and told him to write down 12 things he was trusting God to do in his life and to sign the document. "This will be your contract with God. You do your part and He'll do His," the man prayed. According to Franklin, almost half of the items became realities before the book was published. Produced By Faith is equally informative and inspiring. I've just written and signed my first contract with God!
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