We had the good fortune of connecting with Devone King and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Devone, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I am a firm believer in taking risks for your life or career. Many people think of “risk” as a scary step, with “too much on the line” to not have a guarantee in their efforts. I found that this fear of failure, will keep you stagnant or ultimately hinder your progression. When you take a risk and fail, you learn something valuable about your decision and circumstances; You become more confident (since you see that failure doesn’t mean the end of the line). When you take a risk and succeed it’s often exactly what you need to grow, as a person and as a business. In my early 20s with the support of my wife, I decided to quit my fulltime, “stable” job as a front desk concierge in New York, to follow my dream of becoming a film director for the entertainment industry. Without any leads, a promised job or outside help, we drove from New York City to California. Within the year, I landed multiple freelance contracts with DefJam records, a year after that I can add “media specialist” for Power 106 and 93.5Kday to my resume. One Year after that, i became a Producer for FoxSoul and co-owner of my own film agency. This all came with consistent, hard work, determination, self belief and of course, taking risks.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started as an animator in CCA and found my way to becoming a film director, film agency co-owner and television producer. I believe my experiences as a fine artist and then in all aspects of film production, helped hone the skills that set me apart. I can confidently say, I specialize in storytelling and bringing visions to life. The thing I’m most proud of in regards to my company and my work in general, is that I got the chance to work with clients from all over the spectrum. From upcoming artists and small businesses to large corporations like Def Jam records and vice media (to name a few). No, it has absolutely not been a smooth or easy road. Like many entrepreneurs know, it was very difficult supporting a passion, with no “consistant pay” or basic security for life necessities. It also doesn’t help that, in the entertainment industry, you need to make a name for yourself before larger clients can take you seriously. Not to mention filmmaking generally, isn’t a cheap passion. Luckily i overcame these challenges with my equally determined team, personal discipline, dedication and luck, to be frank. Through my journey as a film director, my biggest lessons learned was how to perfect communication. Not just between two people in a meeting but between people and departments totalling in the hundreds. And how to think quickly on my feet, so that no matter what, the project gets completed. You’d be surprised how much can go wrong with bad communication and last minute issues on set. What i’d like my business – and by extension myself – to represent to the world is that with talent, creativity, vision and hard work, the possibilities are limitless.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you’re coming to LA for week, you have to try “Bucco de Peppo” – traditional Italian restaurant that serves everything family style and “In & Out burger” – a staple of california. You should also try “Urban press winery” for some great wine selections. I recommend visiting “fun time ATV rentals” in Cantil, CA and “Westside riding school” in the Palisades for some fun. There’s tons of interesting places to check out but some of my favorites are the Buddhist temple by Mojave, CA, Saltdale CA, Red rock canyon, the abandoned LA zoo and museums of course.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d love to give a shout-out to everyone who had a hand in supporting my dreams. This included my wife, my business partner Wooyeon Cho, my mother and my mentor Greg Conde.