For each day in the month of February, the African American Steering Committee will be highlighting Local 700’s African American members, both past and present, and their accomplishments. We look forward to showing the contributions and influences African Americans have had on the industry.
Name: S. Robyn Wilson
What’s your job? Picture Editor
List the credits you’re most proud of. “A Black Lady Sketch Show, “TabTime, “Blindspotting
Who and what are your influences and/or mentors? Angela Wheaton. When I applied to the American Film Institute Conservatory, I was placed on the waiting list for about six months. I didn’t know if I’d been accepted even a few weeks before I arrived at school. Angela was working in the Administration Office at the time. I’d call in and she’d say, “You’re still on the list. I don’t want you to give up. You need to hang in there just a little while longer.” And so forth. I don’t think I would have stuck it out for so long without hearing her words of encouragement.
Farrel Levy. I had been working in reality since I left grad school. I was getting burned out. Farrel had been my Teacher at AFI and I reached out mostly for a shoulder to cry on. She got me my first scripted job as the Night Assistant Editor on Nashville. That was how I got into the Union.
Lynzee Klingman. I was working on an especially rough piece of material. It had to do with child abuse and I really was having a hard time separating myself for the work I was doing. I got in touch with Lynzee who had work on, among other things, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which has some seriously brutal scenes in it as well. We had lunch and she shared her ideas on why it was important for me to hold on to those initial feelings of disgust. “You have to be able to feel that as an Editor. Otherwise, no one in the audience will. Otherwise, you do a disservice to the footage. Now shape it so there’s no way an audience won’t feel the same thing.”
What books are you reading and/or movies you’re excited about? “Kill the Dead,” Tanith Lee. It’s a Fantasy/Ghost. “Story Novella.” I like my family drama with some supernatural elements to them. shows are you watching “The Last of Us.” I’m also waiting for the new season of “Yellow Jackets.” Season 01 was fire! I’ve seen “The Woman King” and I loved it. And honestly, “Puss and Boots,” “Last Wish” was really great. Really, everyone should watch it. The only one I haven’t seen is “Triangle of Sadness.”
What would be your superhero name? Squarepot Clemons. This is actually my Great-Great Grandfather’s name. Or rather his nickname. I think his real name was Squire. He must have been the OG comedian in the family and the name makes me laugh. My superpowers would be that I could make everyone in a 20 mile radius, sit calmly drinking tea and going through a 3 minute period of self reflection.
What are your black history month memories and any cultural or historical impacts on your life? 1992 was a weird year in total. The Rodney King trial was moving forward, Mae Jemision was preparing to go into space. Lots was going on. It was also the year that “Boyz n the Hood” Director, John Singleton was nominated for an Academy Award. I was really shocked. It just wasn’t something you’d expect. Even now. As an actor, ok, maybe. But a Director? That’s one of the things that made me want to get to Hollywood. He was a writer and director. That’s what I wanted to be.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? This is a Creative Job. You’re not a lawyer, or an accountant. You are an Artist.
If you could time travel, when would you go and why? Forward in time a good 200 years. Hopefully we will have learned how to live with one another. Or not. Either way, I hope it’s peaceful.
What’s a little known fact about you? I am an ordained Buddhist Priest.
What are your hidden (or not so hidden) talents? I used to write code, build security apps and run software development teams. Boring but incredibly lucrative work. It’s funny to look at the code folks are writing now and know, in my heart, there’s no going back.
What’s your favorite (Black) television/movie moment? Does the “Watchmen” TV series count? The pilot episode was just so amazing. The transition from a B&W film to the theater, to the all out hell happening outside on the street, it was some of the best cinematic storytelling I’ve seen in years. Then there’s “Eve’s Bayou,” “The Color Purple” and the Original TV Mini Series of “Roots.” I remember where I was, who I was with and how each of these pieces seemed to leave a mark on me for different reasons.
Was there a television show/movie that inspired you to pursue your career? “Star Wars” – Original Trilogy. I was seven. We’d barely gotten to the moon. Now there were folks out there? Whole other planets and animals to experience? It made the idea of exploring space interesting.
What’s your personal/professional mantra? I live by Ma’at; Truth, Justice, Harmony, the order of Nature.
What’s the last show/movie that left you speechless? “Bardo.” Salamanders on the subway? I mean, wut?
What would be your dream project to work on? My own. Manifesting being a showrunner, Summer 2025.