I've spoken a lot about my latest short film "Docket 32357" whether it be a festival announcement, our experiences in LA or why I made it. I think it is time to discuss how important this film really is. The film was adapted from a feature length play of the same title. It is the opening scene to a great story. The film and play are written by the talented Eljon Wardally. The beauty, depth and strength of Docket not only comes from the words, but also from the context it was written in. Eljon suffered a stroke at the age of 29. Docket 32357 was written out of sheer determination to prove to herself that while her life had altered forever; pieces of her could never be changed. It is a victory that exceeds any award, festival screening or distribution deal. I won't go into great deal about it because Eljon discusses it beautifully in her own blog post, but I thought it was worth mentioning on here. Sometimes the best stories are the ones that exist beyond the film.
I'm proud of myself. And it is probably for a reason that you wouldnt initially expect. I'm proud of the film. I'm proud of Eljon's writing. I'm proud of Tara, Ashley and Kiel. I'm proud of Jessica's hard work and commitment. I'm proud of our awesome production and post production crew. But that isn't what I'm talking about here. I'm proud because I was pro active in representing my work. I've visited different festivals around the country in the past, but for some reason this trip stands out. I think one of the main reasons is because I feel like I'm closer to one of my greater goals. It is more important than ever that I connect to people that I intend to entertain, educate and engage with my stories in the near future. This trip out west is some ways a symbol for what lies ahead of me. One of the most critical things an independent filmmaker must accomplish is connecting with his or her audience. Making yourself available to the people who will be coming to see your stories. I was a little hesitant to make the trip because of the travel and the costs, but it was all worth it. I got to experience people invest in Docket 32357. I got to live the film with the audience. I had an opportunity to meet some really good filmmakers who share the same goals as I do. I made pretty significant connections and also realized that in order to make this thing work I have to have a presence everywhere. I feel like I grew in some ways and I wasn't anticipating that at all. I made the right decision. I'm pretty proud of that.
So earlier this morning I had the pleasure to see the final installment of Chris Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. Before moving forward I have to admit that I am a comic book and Batman fan so I come from a specific perspective. I thought the movie was amazing and was the best of the three films. In my eyes, the strength of the movie lives in the emotional arcs Nolan allows his characters to experience in the context of a social/political/action film. He is able to do this while making his protagonist appear real and grounded. Bruce Wayne isn't a cartoon character, but rather a man. This is a difficult thing to pull off for a director when you're at the helm of a highly successful Hollywood franchise. This got me thinking about the state of opportunities for independent filmmakers. I've read social media conversations, interviews and articles where independent filmmakers, both aspiring and established, talk about the saturation of comic book movies in hollywood and the seeming connection to fewer chances for filmmakers to create varying content. The director in me tends to generally agree with this sentiment and I do believe it is valid to an extent. But the fan in me has a problem with this assessment. Although I didn't have any intention of being a director when I was a kid; I LOVED going to the movies because it took me to places I wouldn't be able to go to in real life. I was and still am an avid reader and enjoyed being taken to Narnia or Cybertron or Gotham City as a child. It excited and inspired me. This was important for my development. I think the world needs films like The Dark Knight Rises. It reinforces the fact that everyday people can be heroes. That we don't need superpowers to make the world a better place. It is ok for everyday people to see themselves as heroes from time to time. And while these films dominate one particular market, the super hero/comic book genre isn't a monolithic entity that renders it impossible for other types of films to be seen by the world. I think there is room for all types of films and the stories they are depicting. In my mind, the more great storytelling audiences can choose from the better off we all are.
I'm proud to announce that Docket 32357 is an Official Selection of the 8th Annual Hollyshorts Film Festival in Los Angeles, California! Hollyshorts is a fantastic festival and I'm really excited the film is a part of it. The dates are August 9th-16th and we will announce the screening dates and times when they are available. I hope to see some of you in LA!
I came across this quote when reading Tim Kreider's New York Times blog post entitled The 'Busy' Trap. I don't think I've read a more impacting article in years. Kreider is suggesting that the whole "I'm busy" phenomenon is a result of people privately fearing that most of what we do in life doesn't amount to much and we don't want people in on that secret. After reading, I'm ready to admit that I fall victim to this. I'm not sure it's because I don't value what I'm doing, but I don't want people to think I'm not working towards my big goals. In general, I'm not really concerned about what people think about me, but for some reason I do care if people know that I'm working my ass off. I worry that I'll lose the respect of people that I care for and appreciate if I actually told them "I'm not doing shit but watching TV and playing softball all day." I wanted those people to be comfortable knowing that I put in a full day's worth of writing, planning, executing and growing. And the reality is that ain't happening every day. Kreider's article showed me that I was projecting way more than necessary. There are days where I am literally doing nothing and privately don't feel bad about that. Then I realize that in those moments great ideas pop up. I've made discoveries about ways to improve my script, new ideas for films or other projects and oddly found things that make me productive (like blogging more). I guess what I'm trying to say is that allowing yourself the opportunity to be idle at times is actually a form of being productive much like what Kreider suggests. Making headway in your own production doesn't have to be found in the projections you give others, but rather what actually works best for you. It's OK to enjoy life and in turn life rewards you with new things to work on.
I feel liberated in a way.
Now let me get to this damn script.
I am proud to announce that "The Chase," a promo for PIX 11 that I served as cinematographer, has earned the Promax Gold award! The spot is directed by the talented Jeff Pinilla. Here is some info on Promax:
The 2012 PromaxBDA North America Promotion & Marketing honor outstanding promotion, marketing and design content in the entertainment industry throughout North America during the eligibility period of January, 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011.
I would like to congratulate Jeff, PIX 11, the cast and visual fx crew that brought this spot together. I'm proud of how it turned out.
The spot can be seen on the Promos page of the site.
I had the privilege of attending a rough cut screening for Spike Lee's documentary on the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson's "Bad" album. I bumped into an NYU classmate, the talented Kiel Adrian Scott, and we were discussing current projects that we were working on. I am generally leery of this type of conversation because at times it feels like people are trying to out-do one another. Luckily, that is never the case with Kiel so it was more of a catching up thing than anything else. I mentioned I was working on "The Gunnery" (my feature script for those that are unaware, but will be in the future) and how I am taking a deliberate approach to the screenplay. When I heard those words coming out of my mouth I questioned myself for a minute. Did it make sense to take my time with the script? Should I be trying to hop on the wave inspired by Cary Fukunaga, Dee Rees, Rashaad Ernesto Green and some of my other NYU classmates right this very second? Should I fly through this draft so I can yell to the world I have a semblance of a script in my hand? I walked into the screening doubting a strategy that up until that moment was working well for me. So the screening starts and I find the answer to those questions. The legendary Quincy Jones, when discussing the demos for all of MJ's solo albums, had a saying that goes: "you can't polish poop." I realized the reason I'm being slow in this process is so I don't produce some "poop" that no one wants to waste their time on. Despite the prevailing notion that you should fly through a draft or just get something on to paper, it is important that you have a strong starting point. It only maximizes the potential of the idea. It made me feel much better about how I was approaching a project that I care DEEPLY about. I'm entering that no-poop zone and feeling good about it.
Hello Everyone! Here is the info for the SFBFF screening of Docket 32357. The film will be screened SUNDAY, June 17th at The Jazz Heritage Center (1330 Filmore Street) at 6pm. If you are in the area please come out and support the film and please spread the word! Thank you!
My NYU classmate, Luke Matheny, won the oscar for his live action short film "God of Love" last year and now he will be making his feature directorial debut with "Lovesick." The film stars Matt LeBlanc of "Friends" and "Episodes" fame. Bobby Webster, another NYU classmate of mine, will be the director of photography. I am excited and proud of these two guys and I wish them success with the project. You can check out the Variety article here.
I am pleased to announce that Docket 32357 is an official selection of the San Francisco Black Film Festival! The festival runs from June 15-17. I would like to thank and congratulate the cast and crew of the film for all of their hard work and talents. You can get more info about the festival here. I will post more details about the festival screening as it comes in.
I came across a blog post this morning and I've been thinking about it's message ever since. It asks all of us what is the one thing that makes you stand out. The one thing that allows you to connect with a large contingent of people. The blog uses Kevin Clash, the creator of Elmo, as the starting point and works from there. The thing that stands out to me is these qualities or "one things" are simple as hell. For Clash, it was love. Granted love can be complicated and confusing, but at the end of the day we know it when we feel it. If I was honest with myself I think I am still trying to figure out what my one thing is. It has helped a great deal that I know I want to be a filmmaker for the rest of my life but how do I connect with people? How do I build a relationship with my audience so that it is a union of growth and give and take. I'm not just interested in entertaining. I'm interested in becoming a stronger contributor to the global community. That blog post has made me realize that the process is both complex and simple at the same time. Check out the link when you get a chance. What is your one thing? Source: Twisted Image
I'm very excited to announce that my new short film Docket 32357, written by Eljon Wardally and produced by Jessica K. Brown, has been accepted into the 2012 Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival! The festival takes place August 7th-11th on Martha's Vineyard (obviously). I was a part of the festival a couple of year's back with Osvaldo's. I'm excited to bring the new film to the island. I would like to thank the hard working cast and crew who helped make the film a reality. They were awesome. Please come back to the site for more information as it comes in. Here is the teaser for Docket 32357.
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
Osvaldo's will be a part of the NY Short Buzz Screening Series Thursday, May 3 at 7pm in the Legendary Nuyorican Poet's Cafe! The address is 236 East 3rd Street. There will be seven films screening and there is a $10 cover charge with the proceeds going to the Orphaned Starfish Foundation. You can find out more information about the charity at http://www.orphanedstarfish.org/. Please come out and enjoy the films!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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]
UPDATE: THE SHOOT WILL BE FEBRUARY 20th not the 13th. Part of the great thing, I think, about this short film I'm gonna shoot is that it features every day people. In fact, the presence of every day people is critical to making the film an impactful one. And even better than that, nobody has to be an actor to be a part of it. I'm looking for 100 extras to be a part of the project. We are shooting SUNDAY FEBRUARY 13TH IN WILLIAMSBURG BROOKLYN. I am looking for ALL SHAPES, SIZES, RACES, GENDER, AGE AND LOOKS. The diversity of new york city should be on full display here. The shoot will take place outside (yes in the cold) and will only be for the day. And I promise that all of you will be seen in the film. There will be no edits in this piece so no one will be taken out. So if you would like to spend the day watching and participating in a film please come on down. If you're interested please email email@example.com. We would love to have you.
So at some point I'm gonna merge my two biggest passions, sports and film, together on a couple of blog posts. In honor of starting that trend I present you with the early favorite for sports interview of the year. http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6028527 This took place immediately after the Jets "shocking" (I picked them to win) victory over the patriots yesterday in the NFL division playoffs. His name is Bart Scott and he is one of the many vocal members of the New York Jets. Outside of the obvious comedy of the moment, I love this interview and respect this team because of the confidence and bravado. The belief that they can accomplish things while others doubt. I also admire the focus, concentration to detail and commitment to accomplish the stated goal which is to win. These are qualities that I try to incorporate in my own journey in becoming a successful filmmaker. Now success is obviously relative but I am basing this off of my own personal definition and expectation. I have an athletic background so I'm drawn to these examples to serve me in my endeavor. Its refreshing to see such unabashed and raw confidence on display . It reminds me that its ok to be the same way as long as its respectful. You have to believe and not be afraid to believe. Bart Scott and the Jets were unafraid and now they're one step closer to achieving their ultimate goal. I plan to follow in their footsteps and be one step closer to obtaining my ultimate goal.