Through storytelling and filmmaking, actor and producer Zane Hubbard is creating a space for people of color and disabled people in the film industry. As an actor, model, producer, filmmaker, advocate, and CEO, Zane wears many hats, his range and hard work is what propels him in a number of fields and he has excelled in script writing and content creation.
“I want to tell stories that resonate and are honest, people matter and I want them to feel seen, celebrated, and welcomed,” Zane says. With film, those stories matter and people want to see themselves in a positive light. His award-winning series The Chronicles of Jessica Wu is focused on an African American martial artist on the Autism spectrum that fights crime. Creating this space for young Autistic people, especially girls, gives them a chance to see themselves portrayed heroically, valuably, and honestly and opens the eyes of others that were uneducated or didn’t understand.
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 difficult, 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 doing a lot to create a new narrative and properly represent people’s differences, abilities, or disabilities. With his years of experience, passion, and drive, he is creating space for those that weren’t allowed to be themselves or were silenced. This is challenging the status quo and opening the doors to more diversity and inclusion in what we see and hear in the narrative that the media provides.