On yesterday’s (June 12) episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sat down with producer, author, actor, motivational speaker, and brother in Christ DeVon Franklin. Franklin has produced multiple films and published books with the intent to help people find inspiration in different outlets.

Samuels began the dialogue by asking the media mogul to take it back to where it all started. DeVon Franklin grew up in Oakland, CA and was raised in a religious household. One moment that stood out from the rest was Franklin experiencing a tremendous loss when his father passed away from a fatal heart attack. The producer was just 9 years old at the time.

“Losing him at that age was very traumatic. My mom was raising my older brothers and I. She was figuring out what she was going to do. Then she went and got help from my grandmother. My grandmother had seven sisters. So that village surrounded my brothers and I and really made up the difference of not having a father. Growing up, the two things that got me through that time was going to church and entertainment,” Franklin expressed.

The film and TV producer later opened up about how watching movies and shows like The Color Purple, the Rocky franchise, “A Different World,” and others helped inspire him and sparked his dream to work in the entertainment industry. While a young Franklin stayed hopeful about his future, he also wanted to focus on how to become a man after such a traumatic event.

As Franklin grew older, attending church and watching films and TV shows were also a form of therapy. On one side, the budding star became very involved in his uncle’s church, where he would learn how to truly deepen his relationship with God. On the other side, Franklin couldn’t shake the feeling of being empowered to step into an industry that could possibly deter him away from a religious way of living. “A lot of people really wanted me to go into ministry, become a pastor, and go that route. I just said, ‘That is not what God is calling me to do.’ I do have the gift to preach. I started when I was 15. But even with me preaching, I always knew that entertainment was the path,” he said.

Later in the conversation, Franklin reflected on the moment when the door to his career finally opened. From working at a nonprofit in high school, he was connected with Takashi Bufford. Bufford, well-known writer and producer, suggested that he apply to an internship and work for Benny Medina.

After landing the internship, the young go-getter noticed during his first day on the job that he would have to be proactive in order to make a name for himself. “The first day I got there, there’s no instruction. So I’m sitting there and I’m thinking, ‘I have one or two choices here: Either I can get up and take some initiative or I’m going to sit there for the rest of the day,’” Franklin explained.

He continued, “What I learned in church is [service]. We would go out and serve the community, pass out flyers, and give out food. So I decided to serve. I went to all the assistants, introduced myself, and asked if anything needed to be faxed or filed. People started giving me their papers and I reorganized their system. I would also ask their Starbucks orders or lunch order, and I would get their lunch, too. It was really about applying that service mentality. That is how I got on the radar of Benny Medina, James Lassiter, and Will Smith.”

From this unpaid internship, DeVon Franklin was able to pave the way for future opportunities. He moved on to becoming the second assistant to Lassiter at Overbrook Entertainment. But within a year, everything changed. “I was coming into the office depressed, down, and frustrated. I could only see my life through that one opportunity. The more that opportunity seemed to evade me, the more depressed I became. This went on for months,” Franklin voiced.

He continued, “One time, I opened my computer and I said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I went into the bathroom, closed the stall door, and God and I had it out. I said, ‘God, if you are who you say you are, I need you to move on this job today.’ Later that night, my boss and I are the only two people in the office. [Lassiter] brings me into his office and says, ‘Will and I, we love you, you’re great, but we know you’ve hit a wall here. We want to help you find a new job.’ I left that meeting thinking, ‘Wow, God, you heard my prayer.’”

From there, Franklin was able to climb the ladder and received an offer as a studio executive at MGM. While at the company, Franklin worked on the films Be Cool and Beauty Shop. However, after six months, MGM was being sold to Columbia Pictures. Once at Columbia/Sony Pictures Entertainment, Franklin worked at the same studio that funded Overbrook, which allowed him to work on The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, Hancock, The Karate Kid remake, After Earth, and more.

On “The Blackprint,” the creative highlighted that there have been so many lessons along the way. He noted that throughout his journey, there has been proof to believe in God’s plan. Samuels and Franklin agreed that when it comes to working toward your goals, you are only able to control what you can control while still having faith in the face of adversities.

What ultimately allowed Franklin to start his own production company was the success of Heaven Is For Real. The film ended up making $100 million at the box office and the company made $14 million. The chairman of Sony gave Franklin a lot of praise for his efforts and wanted to promote him. However, Franklin said he would quit unless she gave him a deal to become a producer. “At that point of time, when I asked for my deal and to quit, I had been at the company for nine years. Nine years of showing up. Nine years of delivering. Nine years of service. Nine years of excellence. I had equity,” Franklin conveyed.

He added, “I knew what I had put into that job. So whether she said yes or not, I knew this was the time. We negotiated the deal and that usually takes about six months. Almost two months to the day, we close the deal and Sony’s computer gets hacked. All of this confidential information got out and the chairman lost her job. If I would’ve delayed, I would have never had the opportunity to start my company when I started it.”

The businessman launched Franklin Entertainment in 2014 and produced his first film, Miracles From Heaven. In the beginning stages of having his own multimedia company, the multihyphenate knew he needed to rebuild and was starting from scratch. This meant that the CEO had to put in more work and make the right phone calls to get things up and running. In order to pitch the best ideas to potential collaborators, Franklin also had to identify the type of movies he wanted to make.

While getting Franklin Entertainment off the ground, he was preaching at his home church once a month. Throughout his career trajectory, DeVon Franklin has always stayed consistent with incorporating God into his life. So much so, that he was approached by a book agent to write about his faith. Franklin went on to write his first book, called Produced by Faith, in 2012.

“For me, one of the biggest aspects of this journey has been to navigate the different opportunities I’ve been given. Out of all the verticals I’m in, the biggest challenge for me was to not associate my values with any vertical. To just feel and know that I am who God created me to be. Whether I am in that pulpit or I am on that set, I must feel the value of myself. That has been the journey,” he signified.

Samuels shifted the conversation and asked his guest what is next for him. The producer responded sincerely with, “I don’t know. I cannot sit up here and tell you that I know what things will look like in the next six months to a year. I have no idea,” the entrepreneur admitted.

He concluded, “I am getting way more comfortable than I was with embracing that. What I know now is that there is so much peace and joy in not being so locked into ‘This is how something has to look.’ No, let’s just be open. So right now, I am just open. I am exploring. I am listening. I am moving by faith with the intention of using this business for good.”

If you liked this recap, tune into new “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels” episodes every other Monday at 5 p.m. ET on the REVOLT website, YouTube channel and app. You can watch the latest installment with DeVon Franklin here.