Inclusivity and advocacy is something that Zane Hubbard is passionate about. As an actor, filmmaker, and storyteller, he values people and their stories. “I really want my projects and films to resonate with my audience. I want them to feel seen because who they are and what they went through is important to show,” Zane says. “Difference and individuality are things to be celebrated.”
His transition to filmmaker and scriptwriter wasn’t difficult. Writing came naturally; his content is original and award-winning, and he is focusing on stories that open doors to celebrate people of color, and people with disabilities in the film industry. His award-winning Amazon Prime series called The Chronicles of Jessica Wu incorporated both by telling the story of an African American hero martial artist on the autism spectrum. “This is important for representation to show people that they matter and are valuable,” He says empathetically.
As a director and producer, Zane has opened a number of doors with his filmmaking. “I want to connect with people, I love that part about my job. I get to create a space where they feel comfortable and loved, this is what gets me excited about going to work, because it doesn’t feel like it,” he says. Zane’s passion for people and stories are what makes his business stand out. In 2016, he established his own production company called Ironbeard Films where his talent and expertise stands out and thrives. There is a lot more freedom to do what he loves with his own company, “We started out a bit small and had some struggles during COVID, but we made it out the other side. We are safely making films and creating once again, but I can’t say it wasn’t a struggle, we lost a lot at first.”
Ironbeard Films is “is a multi-platform production company creating original content for television, film, corporate brands, music videos, and digital networks.” They create high definition wedding videos, short films, and are expanding to documentaries that are in the works. “Viewers retain ninety-five percent of a message when they watch it in a video compared to ten percent when reading it in text,” Zane quoted. “That is why visual stories are so popular and useful for spreading a message and representing what you’re creating.” He firmly believes that his film company is going to expand, “I see myself growing my business in Atlanta, Georgia with a second office. We will work with major corporations and make feature films.”
With Zane’s impact and passion for people, he sees a lot of good coming from what he’s creating. “I see the future of my industry changing for the better with more diversity and opportunities for people of color,” he says. His art is diverse, customized, and original, much like what he promotes in his stories. His optimism and passion for what he does is his drive. “Someone told me once that if you do what you love, it won’t feel like work, and I wake up everyday working to make sure that what I do is what I love,” he says.
“I started small, but I dreamed big and now I’m here,” Zane says smiling. “This is what feels like success to me. Nothing feels like I’m working and I get to create something everyday.” He says that you really have to keep pushing yourself to keep going, build yourself up, and take up space to let people know you are here to stay. And as a self-proclaimed badass, his advice aligns with his strength, resilience, and fight for inclusion and advocacy.
Zane Hubbard is becoming the change he wants to see in the film industry. By celebrating representation across race, gender, and disability, people are seen, welcomed, understood, and supported. The film industry’s standards are being challenged by people like Zane, creating a space that allows dreamers to succeed.