Homage to Bela

We Are Dealing With An Epidemic and Not Isolated Incidents

When I was 16 years old I was playing basketball at the "E-3" courts in the Parkchester section of the Bronx. Parkchester is the neighborhood in which I was raised. It was around July 4th so hearing the sounds of firecrackers was pretty routine. There were a bunch of us playing on the court that day as my play cousin and his boys were practicing for a big tournament. Now envision a basketball court that had one entrance/exit and was enclosed by a singular high chain link fence that formed a semi circle opposite of a brick wall. One way in and one way out. There are benches along the gate. On this day, one of my friends was sitting on a bench and seemed to get into a random verbal altercation with three teenagers. I was sitting on a separate bench that was on the opposite end of the exit. I looked away not worried about the argument because we far outnumbered the three guys outside of the fence. A couple seconds later, I hear what sounded like firecrackers. Then I saw people running out of the courts for dear life. Finally, I saw my play cousin's coach on the ground, clutching his face and screaming. The three guys were trying to shoot us. I had to run across the line of fire to make it through the exit. This was my introduction to gun violence. As I have stated on this site in the past, this topic is near and dear to my heart and that incident was the genesis. In light of the horrific tragedy in Connecticut, I have seen countless opinions, ideas and suggestions on how to tackle these events. I don't want to use this space to debate gun control laws or the second amendment. What I do want to shed light on is that gun violence cannot be limited to these heinous mass shootings. The problem extends far beyond one person deciding to inflict havoc in a contained space. This past weekend, there were multiple shootings in Chicago. Again. There were shootings in New York and Baltimore and Washington DC and Atlanta and Indianapolis and Oakland and many other places in America. It is time to acknowledge that we are experiencing a social and public health epidemic in the form of gun violence. This is an everyday occurrence that the media, politicians and too many citizens are failing to recognize. A conversation on banning assault weapons is not addressing the reasons, factors and results of everyday gun related incidents. There are too many people who have stories like mine. There are too many people who live in an environment where a situation like Newtown can happen to them literally at any moment albeit on a smaller scale. The national conversation cannot ignore this aspect. If we are to really make a difference we have to honestly discuss why gun violence is too normal in too many neighborhoods and then devise a multi-platform plan of concrete solutions. I sincerely hope we can use last week's tragedy as a springboard for improved safety, but I also hope we don't forget to bring the everyday tragedies into the conversation as well.

P.S. My play cousin's coach faked getting shot so the shooters would flee the scene quicker. It wasn't his first rodeo as they say.

P.S.S. I would really welcome comments on this topic. We have to figure out solutions to improve our way of life. Thank you for reading.

Pam Son Logo Black copy

Homage to Bela, A Prelude screening at Arts to End Violence Festival


Hello everyone, 

I want to let you all know that Homage to Bela, A Prelude will be screening at the Save Our Streets annual Arts to End Violence Festival in Crown Heights Brooklyn. The film will be showcased at the Ron Taylor Gallery on May 23rd from 6:30 to 9pm. The gallery is located at 1160 St Johns between Kingston and Albany. On May 24th at 7pm, Homage will screen with other anti-gun violence films at the Launch Pad located at 721 Franklin Avenue between Park and Sterling. S.O.S. is a wonderful anti-gun violence organization dedicated to removing guns off the streets in our communities. You can find out more about them at 


Hello and welcome to the brand new Pam's Son Productions website! I am beyond excited to finally have an official presence on the World Wide Web. I will keep the introduction short so you can view all that the site has to offer. My name is Randy Wilkins and I am a New York based filmmaker. I honed my craft at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and was raised professionally under Spike Lee and the legendary 40 Acres and A Mule  Film Works. I have been fortunate to be a part of some wonderful projects as well as enjoy some exposure for my own work. My most accomplished film to date, "Osvaldo's," earned a broadcast deal with HBO and enjoyed numerous festival screenings and awards. I am currently developing my first feature script.

You will find my previous work as a director, cinematographer and editor in the left hand column. Each category of work is headlined by a tab with a list of titles. You will also find my bio, which features a downloadable PDF version of my resume. Two things that I am excited to share with you are the "Spotlight" and "Look Book" pages. The Spotlight will focus on an artist from the arts world including a sample of their work. It can be someone from film, music, photography, spoken word or the visual arts. The Look Book features inspirations, references and thoughts regarding my feature script. These two pages are in development, but will be available soon.

I hope you all enjoy the site and come back often. There will be an email subscription list available as well so please spread the word. Thank you for stopping by!

Homage to Bela, A Prelude

I have been debating whether or not to post this over the internet for quite some time now. I had this big filmmaker plan and strategy for it. But then I realized that I made this film to bring awareness to the issue of gun violence amongst young people of color and how this affects the community at large. So I will be offering Homage to Bela, A Prelude to all of you through the weekend. If you like it please send out the link to this post to as many people as you can via email, facebook, twitter, etc. If you know of any anti-gun violence or community organizations that you think would like this please contact me here on the comments or at randy@pamsson.com. This project means a great deal to me. I am very proud of it and all the work that was put into it. I would like to thank Jessica K. Brown, Christina Voros, Jonathan Altman, Joey Salim, Billy Green, Shane Duckworth, Karen Song, The Parchment Family, Peter Svarzbein and all the brave souls who stood out in the cold to make this happen. I am in debt to you all. You can also view the film at http://www.vimeo.com/27197895 Without further ado, I present Homage to Bela, A Prelude...

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/27197895 w=600&h=338]

Homage to Bela...The Visuals

Lately, I have been going through some visual references to help me construct the look for Homage to Bela. In some ways I want to be respectful of the visual integrity of Bela's film but I clearly have to make it my own. I've been wrestling with the idea of merging strong contrast of black and white with a vibrant color that makes it pop. I've actually been drawn to the H&M ads that I've seen throughout New York City over the last couple months (here's a word of advice: if you want to look for strong visuals both in classic and non classic ways, take a look at fashion ads and magazines. They're great). I wanted to post two examples of what I am going for here on the blog. Both photos are by the insanely talented LYANI POWERS and you can visit her at http://www.lyanipowers.biz/ She is very dope.

I love this picture. This was taken down in Haiti after the earthquake while Lyani was on location for a UNICEF PSA. I could go on and on about it, but for the purpose of this I want to focus on the color. The blue and red stand out really well against the kid's skin. It adds visual depth while also portraying the theme of life and hope given the context of the situation. It is a simple device (I use that term in a positive way), but very effective. I want to incorporate something like this into the film.

This picture captures the foundation of Homage to Bela. Strong black and white contrast that highlights the details of the subject's face. The weariness on his face is heightened by this visual approach. As I stated in an earlier post,  the piece is highlighting a pretty serious topic. The primary aesthetic needs to communicate the complexity of the subject in a subtle and effective manner. This picture captures that thought well.

I hope this gives everyone a pretty good glimpse into what I'm thinking. I'm doing this so people who are not in film understand the process in creating one and also for those in film maybe I'm passing along a nugget that they didn't think about.

Homage to Bela (A Prelude...)

So I'm in the process of shooting another short film but this is going to be a little different from what I have done in the past. While I've been writing the feature for Osvaldo's, I have been itching to shoot something. You can't go too long without directing something if you want to improve on your craft; especially when it comes to directing. You have to keep your eye sharp, your ability to communicate through the camera must be refined and you have to remind yourself how to deal with people and various situations under pressure. The short I'm shooting is entitled "Homage to Bela...A Prelude." I'll break down the title for you. I saw a film by the great European director Bela Tarr and was inspired to do my own version of it. I thought his film captured a very specific reality of his country but in such a simple and powerful way. I was looking to do the same thing in terms of simple direction and camera work but containing an observation that is very specific to the issue of New York City. Bela's film is a great blueprint for me to accomplish that.

Gun violence amongst young men of color by men of color is very disturbing to me. What I find equally disturbing is the casual manner in which these incidents are received, processed and portrayed by everyday people and the media. People are desensitized to it. It is an accepted practice in our society now and that troubles me. This brings me to the second part of the title. Once Osvaldo's is done I am going to focus on my next project. I won't talk much about it now but it will be my take on gun violence in urban areas. It won't be some stereotypical bang bang hood classic thing, but rather an examination and indictment of all people involved: criminals, victims, community members, etc. I really want to put a mirror up to our collective faces regarding this topic. This short film is a prelude to the larger film. A trailer of sorts if you will. I'm really excited to get this film done.

Did I mention that it is a one shot, steadicam, 4-5 minute piece with a hundred (I hope) extras?! I'm always looking for ways to challenge myself and this is a new way to do that. It's gonna be fresh. I need extras. So hit me up if you wanna be a part of it. Did I mention that I was excited to do this?