Films are a versatile art form. They can elevate a piece of storytelling by pairing it with a visual language, a form of cinematic grammar that can only be enjoyed through the medium of film. Stories are often better told through this specific medium, and it takes a seasoned filmmaker to tell a powerful message and captivate an audience. One such filmmaker is none other than John Wayne S. III. He is a storyteller, filmmaker, producer, and director of several critically acclaimed indie films.
John Wayne S. III is adept at multiple aspects of both the film and music industries. He has gathered experience in both fields throughout his booming career that has lasted over two decades. Much of his storylines in film, music, and television draw from realistic and relatable experiences, allowing him to capture a wide audience.
He established his production company Londyn Town Pictures, so that he could produce media that encourages, educates, and entertains the masses. John Wayne S. III has always pushed for giving opportunities to filmmakers of color. As a person of color himself, he sought to break the boundaries and give back to the people within his community.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, he spent a lot of time thinking about the films that he wanted to produce in the future. He was then reminded of a time during his last press tour for his film “Red OverAll.” A young filmmaker approached him to get some insight into filmmaking. John Wayne explained that he needed to utilize the resources in front of him to create his vision. He told the young filmmaker that Google was a powerful tool. If you ask the right question, it will give you the right answer. The young filmmaker paused and simply responded that he didn’t even know what questions to ask.
The stark reality of the experience made John Wayne S. III really think. He wanted to assist the young filmmaker and help others formulate the right questions and find the right answers. So he sought other creatives to collaborate with. He eventually connected with a filmmaker from Chicago named Jamezz Hampton. Jamezz had prior experience in music videos and local commercials but lacked the opportunity to direct feature films.
John Wayne S. III then partnered up with Maverick Entertainment, and thus “Ebony Hustle” was born. Ebony Hustle stars up-and-coming Atlanta actress Michelle Lamb. It is a film about an ex-stripper turned private investigator. Now with a completed script, casting all done, and the entire project on its way to production, something was still missing. John Wayne thought of a brilliant idea to incorporate products owned by people of color into the story. He found a way to seamlessly blend products into the film’s narrative. It was a stroke of genius that only a veteran filmmaker could ever conceptualize.
Many black-owned companies offer products and services that are a cut above the rest, yet they lack the right amount of exposure or appropriate placement fee. John Wayne S. III decided to eliminate the fee and find companies that are rising stars within their industry and were owned by people of color.
He was able to secure nine companies to work with; namely, Kamica Hampton Luxury Italian footwear, Bomade Lemon flavored Vodka, Meme Bete Handmade Luxury Bags, Guidance Premium Whiskey, Pro Blk Health Vitamins and Supplements, Stuff’d Chicken Wings, Wachira California Kenya Inspired Wines, VOMA Publications, Rhythm Brewing Company, Wave Check Durags and head coverings, and We the Hype Gaming Headphones.
The product placement is not just about getting products from these partners. It follows an extensive marketing campaign that ties the product to the film and identifies the brand in the movie. This way, everyone benefits from the placement.
Ebony Hustle completed principal photography this past December, and it is set to be released in 2021. For more information, to sign up for updates and product giveaways, please make sure to visit the film’s official website.