About Hakim Robinson
I grew up in the rough streets of the South Bronx, where pretty much once a night gunshots and sirens were the sounds that filled the air. I remember my mother hiding me in the closet while a burglar who came in from the fire escape was taking things from our apartment. My parents made sure I and my sisters didn’t become another lethal statistic by keeping us close in sight and corralling me, the male inside when dusk fell.
When I was eight-year-old, our Mom and Dad managed to move us to a safer neighborhood in the north Bronx. On a lark, my mother sent me on an audition for a “Grape Nuts,” cereal commercial. Not only did I book it, it sadly can still be seen on YouTube, which is often the basis of jokes that my teenage kids hurl my way. Interestingly enough, at this time, I discovered my love of film. Specifically, anything my uncle Frank Adu Robinson was in I found fascinating. You could find me glued to the TV watching Kojak or Across 110th street in which he starred.
Though my parents were strict, that didn’t stop me and my friends from sneaking into the Wakefield Theater through a side entrance, to see any R-rated movies. While watching the horror blaxploitation classic Blacula, the neck sucking monster throws a man through a glass storefront window, and the loud sounds and visuals sent me bolting out of the theater, and huffing and puffing my way home. Soon after my scare at the neighborhood theatre, my father brought home a VHS player, this was a game-changer. I spent long hours fast-forwarding, rewinding, studying scenes from some Bad Boys with Sean Penn, Phantasm, and John Carpenter’s The thing. This was my Film School 101.
My love of music lead me to DJing in high school, house parties, and block parties in the neighborhood, which more often abruptly ended when cop cars rolled up and shut us down. Wanting to continue my past experience prepared me for the world of sound engineer, and this eventually thrust me into sound recording on NYU student thesis films. While on set, I noticed there was a language I was unfamiliar with, and I don’t do well with staying in the dark, so when we broke for lunch, the student directors, and cinematographers, were kind enough to answer my questions. Shortly thereafter, I wrote and directed (and, unfortunately, starred in) a narrative short suspense thriller that graced the screen at the Martha’s Vineyard African Film Festival.
The work on that film and my investment in a film camera that brought forth and honed my visual storytelling got the attention of some people shooting a film in Atlanta, so I moved south. After working on multiple independent projects and joining IATSE, I decided to go to film school at the Savannah College of Art and Design. At SCAD, I furthered honed my directing skills, one of which, the feature film, “A Family on Edge” can still be found on iTunes, Amazon Prime, and TUBI.
After graduating from SCAD, I still felt that I lacked the knowledge to bring forth my artistry and visual storytelling skills. Pursuing my MFA at Academy of Art University, brought me to another level of filmmaking.