John Wellington Ennis was born in Los Angeles in 1973. His grandfather John Ennis ran for Mayor of Los Angeles in the 1950’s, his other grandfather Col. Bruce Hinton was a decorated fighter pilot and USAF base commander. Ennis grew up in Chicago and attended the N.Y.U. and U.S.C. film schools.Ennis lived in New York for a decade, establishing a post-production company in SoHo as well as producing the award-winning cable access show Toolz of the New School
, a stunt comedy show with social criticism that was developed by Howard Stern Productions and Lorne Michael’s Broadway Video, and repped by ICM and Don Buchwald. > Ennis moved back to Los Angeles in 2001, and began working as a producer/director in Reality TV
. He produced on a FOX pilot for Rocket Science Laboratories, on NBC’s “Meet My Folks
,” on FOX’s “The Complex: Malibu
,” and TLC/BBC’s “Faking It.” Ennis’s episode of “Faking It
,” about a junkyard worker who crams for 30 days to pass himself off as a male model, was the series’ highest rated and was featured on “Oprah” for a reunion special
. Ennis worked as Senior Producer, Director of Photography, and Editor for a VH1 pilot, “Madison Rose,” produced with FremantleMedia
, Simon Cowell’s 19 Entertainment and has written and produced for MTV Series Development. > Also at Fremantle, Ennis worked in reality and comedy series development. Ennis worked as Director/Producer/D.P./Editor for a number of sizzle reels, ranging from comedy shows developed with comics from “Mad TV,” “Arrested Development,” and “Mr. Show,” to reality dating series like CBS’s “Farmer Wants a Wife.” Ennis also developed shows and formats for FremantleMedia’s mobile content division, Atomic Wedgie.
> In comedy
, Ennis directed and produced his first feature film with the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade
, Wild Girls Gone,
starring Amy Poehler.Ennis directed a mockumentary web series for Sony Television, The Writers Room,
about a fictitious late night talk show hosted by Kevin Pollack. Ennis directed Major League Eaters,
a special exploring the rivalries of competitive eaters, and Slavercise,
the first S&M workout video. Ennis was voted Mr. Lower East Side in the Mr. Lower East Side Pageant, a raucous annual event voted upon by the ladies and gays of the Lower East Side’s alternative comedy scene in New York City. Ennis has written for The Onion.
> In documentary
, Ennis edited and produced on the film Red, White, & Yellow,
about the Coney Island 4th
of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, which won an audience award at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Ennis directed the award-winning film Money Talks: Profits Over Patient Safety,
about the pharmaceutical industries improper influence on doctors’ prescription writing. Ennis was co-D.P. for A/K/A Tommy Chong,
about the comedian’s travails in federal prison, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Ennis’s second feature film, FREE FOR ALL!
, is a comedic documentary examining how our elections are subverted, and was called “engrossing, even enraging”
by Roger Ebert. PAY 2 PLAY
, Ennis’s next feature doc explores the need for campaign finance reform in the wake of the Supreme Court decision Citizens United vs. FEC.
> In music documentary
, Ennis has shot and interviewed many top recording artists for AOL Sessions
, including: John Mayer, The Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fergie
, Rhianna, Ne-Yo, Earth, Wind & Fire
, Kelly Clarkson, Maroon 5, Audioslave, The Smashing Pumpkins, Linkin Park, Interpol, Ashlee Simpson, Weezer, My Chemical Romance, Fallout Boy, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Wonder, Nickleback, All-American Rejects, Wyclef Jean
, Avril Lavigne
, the Pussycat Dolls
, Eve, Modest Mouse, Sarah McLaughlin, and many more. Ennis edited Jane’s Addiction’s “Relapse Tour” documentary Exposure,
and shot and edited a documentary about Camp Freddy, the super-group consisting of Dave Navarro from Jane’s Addiction, Matt Sorum from Guns N’Roses, Billy Morrison from The Cult, and Donovan Leitch. Ennis directed and edited the farewell concert DVD for hip-hop group 2 Skinnee J’s, Next Big Thing,
after having directed several videos for the band.
> Ennis’s production company, Shoot First Inc
., is based in Beverly Hills, and he has taught documentary filmmaking at UCLA Extension. Ennis is a co-founder of Video the Vote
, a non-partisan national group that documents and reports on voting issues. Since the 2008 elections, Ennis has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post
. In 2010, Ennis was named the Executive Director of Public Interest Pictures, Inc.
, a 501(c)3 non-profit documentary production company.