40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks

From Audiovisual Identity Database


This is the production company of director and actor Spike Lee that was formed in 1979. It was named after a historical event where in 1865, General Sherman ordered the distribution of 40 acres of lots to some freed black families on the Georgia coast, and also distributed some army mules.

1st Logo (August 8, 1986-November 18, 1992)

Logo: On a black background, we see a circle with a "4" inside, an "o" up right to the number, and an "a" down right to it. Below the logo are the words "A Forty Acres and A Mule Filmworks" and "Production".


  • Later, "Production" was replaced with "YA-DIG" and "SHO-NUFF".
  • On Jungle Fever, the logo is absent.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Uncommon. Can be seen on Do the Right Thing, She's Gotta Have It, School Daze, and Malcolm X, among others. The version without the logo appears on Jungle Fever.

2nd Logo (May 13, 1994-)

Logo: This is a parody of the Mark VII Limited logo. On a wooden background (either gray or brown), a hand holding a stamper places it on the surface. With a hammer, it knocks the stamper and pulls it away, revealing the same logo from the previous logo. The company name, "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY", "YA DIG" and "SHO NUFF" wipe in later.

Technique: Live action and the animation of wiping.

Music/Sounds: Robot-like sounds, followed by a loud "BANG!". Sometimes, the wiping of the texts have "freezing" noises.

Availability: Common. Appears on films by Spike Lee, like Bamboozled, Crooklyn, He Got Game and Love & Basketball.

Legacy: This logo pays a nice homage to the Mark VII Limited logo.