No script. No actors. No budget. That’s what Beltzhoover native James “Ruff Bone” White was working with when he created, directed, and produced the film, “Everyday Hustle.” White stars in the movie as a single father who fights the pressures of returning to the drug game. His criminal record haunts him at every job interview as he tries to live life right, all while taking care of his 6-month-old daughter, Kimora.
“Everyday Hustle came about from me being at home watching my daughter. I was just filming myself feeding her, and then I thought about making a documentary about single dads. I started making up scenes and calling friends to be a part of it,” said White.
White takes “keeping it in the family” to a whole new level when his family and friends chipped in to serve as characters in “Everyday Hustle.” His wife, Quaila, plays his deceased wife and she is co-executive producer of the movie. Baby Kimora brightens the big screen with her beautiful smile, starring in the movie as his daughter. White’s children, Jadyn, Nason, Nasyr, Jayda, Norah and Jiana, serve as executive producers. Von Madden Tiffany “Fya” Lucas, Joe “Owey” Gales, Chevar “Fat Mac” Simpkins, James “Pwee” White, and Kizzl lent their talents as well. The institution of family is clearly a premise to the film.
Netflix is in Homewood filming the second season of their series, “Mindhunter.” Tom Hanks is in Squirrel Hill recreating the life of Mister Rogers. Denzel Washington keeps visiting the Steel City after paying homage to August Wilson with his 2016 rendition of “Fences.” People are coming from all around the world to make films here, and while they are generating revenue, it is refreshing to see a local film production company.
“I’m from Pittsburgh, and I love my city, so I’m building it up with film and creating our own market,” said White, 39.
Ruff Bone, as his friends call him, should be applauded for artistry, perseverance, and risk-taking because making a movie is hard work. He completed a strong project that others would have abandoned at infancy.
I thoroughly enjoyed the film’s soundtrack, mostly filled with local artists. I haven’t heard S-Money’s “I’m The Man” in years, so when the film opened with the song I was ready for the next 65 minutes. Each song seemed to represent every hood, and their favorite local rapper. The film also featured music from the late Pittsburgh rapper Jimmy Wopo with a tribute at the end.
“Everyday Hustle” captures all of the Black Pittsburgh staples—the ladies getting your hair done on Saturday mornings, men cutting up in the barbershop, flagging down your local jitney, the infrequent negotiations with the local booster, and the “everyday hustle” of making it day to day.
Most importantly, the film reminds you that there are certain familiar amenities that you can only experience in Pittsburgh, like Dreamz Hair Salon (Tenel Dorsey) and Big Tom’s Barbershop (Thomas Boyd Sr.).
Next on the docket for Jay White Digital Media is “Everyday Hustle Part 2.” He also plans to launch the Pittsburgh Black Film Festival “to give local filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their talents.”
The film premiered on Oct. 21 at the August Wilson Center. The second premiere will be held at Penn Hills Cinemas on Nov. 9. “Everyday Hustle” is available for digital download and hard copy at www.jaydigitalmedia.com.
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