Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Produced by Faith

I just finished reading Produced by Faith: Enjoy Real Success Without Losing Your True Self, by DeVon Franklin, VP Production at Sony Entertainment. I picked up the book because DeVon was the studio executive from Sony/Columbia on Will and Jadden Smith's KARATE KID (2010). DeVon also worked with Will Smith as an intern some years back during his USC days.

If you're a regular reader of this blog you know that I'm a fan of metaphors, and all successful movies use them. Produced by Faith uses the creation of a successful movie as a metaphor for creating a successful life. DeVon also recounts some of his experiences during his rise to VP Exec. at Sony Entertainment.

But the reason I'm blogging about it here is because he spends a whole page (70) talking about The Moral Premise.  In part he writes:

FINALLY, AS YOU'RE WORKING on your script, you must know your moral premise and live by it. In his book The Moral Premise: Harnessing Virtue & Vice for Box Office Success, Stanley D. Williams, Ph.D., says that a popular movie always contains a moral premise that we all hold to be true. In The Karate Kid, it might be "Live in fear and you will die, but face your fear and you will triumph."

Most good movie scripts feature a powerful, universal moral premise that audience members can identify with. Your story must be built on a similar bedrock. What virtue do you extol in your work and what vice do you condemn? What do you stand for and what do you stand against? The moral premise of your faith should be the arbiter of how you act in business.

I'd like to point out that the Karate Kid (2010) MPPS statement he articulates works for the movie quite well, although it's not one of the several possible that I mentioned in my other post on the movie, nor is it one that came up during the multiple times I interfaced with Will and his team about the movie. DeVon's insight in what the movie is about adds an understanding that successful movies are true on various levels allowing them to connect with multiple sensitivities of broad audiences. 

I highly recommend this book.... and not because it mentions TMP... although that always helps.

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