Lighthouse International Film Festival was an incredible experience and is hands down one of my favorite film festivals. I had the opportunity to meet and learn from Guy Nattiv, Oscar winning director of Skin, and numerous other talented filmmakers and industry people. Some friends and fellow Filmshop members screened at LIFF and it was fun seeing so many familiar faces. My family also enjoyed attending the festival and my 8 month old daughter ate lobster for the first time, thanks to Charlotte and the rest of the crew at the hospitality house. I highly recommend the festival and will definitely be coming back. Thanks to the entire team at Lighthouse Intl FF for such a memorable and wonderful experience!
We just wrapped the latest narrative short film I directed starring Barbara Miluski and Isabelle Pierre. We were fortunate to have Jackson Eagan as the director of photography, and this was very much a Filmshop collaboration. Hats off to our talented and hard working cast and crew. Below are some behind the scenes photos by Monica Kapoor and we look forward to sharing our film soon. Stay tuned…
I was a DP for these short videos directed by Adam Sjöberg showcasing the making of WAVE. PARTICLE. DUPLEX. by Studio SWINE at A/D/O by MINI. It was challenging lighting the red and yellow rooms, while maintaining the integrity of the exhibit.
”From August 2018 through January 2019, acclaimed designers Alexander Groves + Azusa Murakami -- aka Studio SWINE -- participated in a design residency at A/D/O by MINI. This film by director, Adam Sjöberg, documents their research and exploration that culminated in a site-specific exhibition of their works entitled Wave. Particle. Duplex. at A/D/O in Brooklyn, NY.”
Read more about the making of WAVE. PARTICLE. DUPLEX. here and here.
Directed by Adam Sjöberg
Cinematography by Adam Sjöberg and Reuben Hernandez
Gaffer John Hudak
G&E Swing Milton De La Cruz
Produced by Loose Luggage Media
2018 was a life changing year because I became a father and embarked on one of my greatest adventures. Leuca Louise was born on September 30th, 2018 and it was the most remarkable experience I have ever had. I couldn’t help but cry the moment she was born. We’ve experienced so much love and beauty with Leuca. Yesterday she turned three months old, and I cherish every moment I spend with her and can’t believe how fast she’s growing. Being self employed has allowed me to spend quality time with her almost everyday, and I’m absolutely grateful for that. I love taking her to the movies and taking her for walks around the neighborhood in her carrier. She usually passes out from the body heat. Time is finite and something that I can’t make up, so I want to be intentional about how I’m spending and prioritizing it.
Earlier this year I was commissioned by BBC Travel to do a photo and video story for their To the Ends of the Earth series. I had the opportunity to visit Supai, the only US town that receives its mail by mule train and is only accessible by hiking eight miles into the Grand Canyon or by helicopter. I hiked more than 20 miles off the grid carrying 40 - 50 lbs of photo and video gear, food, and camping supplies for this story. It was an adventure to say the least, and the Havasupai Falls are one of the most beautiful natural wonders I have ever seen. Check out the full story and interview with tribal elder Rex Tilusi here.
I traveled to Yellowknife, Canada near the Arctic Circle and photographed the Aurora Borealis for the first time, which has been at the top of my bucket list for quite a while. I was absolutely mesmerized by the aurora and seeing the green, magenta, red, and blue colors dance above me for several days was transcendent and beyond description. Photographing in 0 degree temperatures was challenging and much colder than the temperatures I experienced in Antarctica! I am currently developing a big project related to this and more on that to come…
I joined Filmshop, a film collective committed to developing new work through peer support and collaboration. We meet weekly to workshop works in progress and to help bring each other’s projects to life. It has been invaluable being part of a community of like minded creatives and has forced me to be productive creatively. I directed a narrative short film, which was very much a Filmshop collaboration, and it will premiere on the big screen next year. Leuca even made it to one of our Filmshop meetings!
My biggest takeaway this year is that life is beautiful and miraculous in a way that I have never experienced. Seeing Leuca being born and spending time with her has been extraordinary and wonderful. It's hard to believe that a year ago Leuca didn't exist. Now that she's here, my priorities have shifted and I must live in the present moment more than ever. I'm learning to be patient and focus on the big things that matter in life. According to my Dad Day instructor, being patient with Leuca is one of the most important things I could do for her development (patience is also required in many aspects of my work). He also said to be on time and I could definitely work on that. Our time is valuable and finite, and some would argue it's the most valuable thing we have to give. I don’t want Leuca to look back and wish I was around more. Going forward I'll have to live a more structured life to prioritize my time between family, work, personal projects, and exercise/dance/self-care.
Much love, peace, and Happy New Year to you all.
All My Best,
It's been a bit hectic lately with various projects in the pipeline (more about that in the next post) and I actually just flew back from Aspen tonight. Above is a video my team and I filmed, edited, and produced of the 2018 NBC Upfront, and a funny video of me accidentally photobombing the red carpet (video up top). It's a blast interacting with the NBC talent on the red carpet. Executive produced by Jeff Smith and HudsonGray.
Today was nearly 100 degrees in NYC so we hit the beach. Here's a foggy seascape from our ferry ride over to Rockaway beach. It got quite lively today during the Colombia and England round of 16 World Cup match.
GHOST DANCE 3.14.18
My first aurora image, out of 6,400 total images. I'll never forget this night, and the following several nights after. I looked up towards the sky, and the green, magenta, red, and blue aurora danced above us for several hours. This image is meaningful because it has been on the top of my bucket list to see and photograph the aurora for quite some time. The aurora is one of the most beautiful, surreal, and bizarre things I've ever seen. I'm excited to pitch a big project...
Today also marks 8 years since I worked my last day at a full time job ✌🏽
Camera settings: ISO 1000, f/2.8, 24 mm, 15 seconds
Yellowknife, Northerwest Territories, Canada
I'm excited to share my first story for BBC Travel, featuring Supai, the most remote town in the lower 48 states. I hiked 40 miles carrying 50 pounds of gear for this story. It is best viewed on desktop rather than mobile. Enjoy!
Here are some iPhone photos I snapped while on a travel assignment for BBC Travel. I look forward to sharing the story soon once it goes live!
New Work /
Some fun projects are in the pipeline this year. And the view is not too bad from here
Tonight is our Studio 504 warming party at 67 West St. in Brooklyn, NY! Come out, celebrate, and have a drink with Reuben Hernandez Studios, Sky Pie Studio, Black Magic Studio, and Matthew Kroening
According to the Weather Channel, it feels like 2°F outside in Brooklyn right now! Mamma mia! After living in NYC for nearly seven years, it still feels like a foreign concept to have to check the weather every single day. No one ever talked about the weather where I grew up in SoCal. Despite the cold, I still love it here and enjoy experiencing seasons and continual change.
And so 2017 ends on a very cold note. 2017 is also the end of American made denim; today the Cone Mills White Oak plant, the last American selvedge denim mill, sadly closes it's doors after 112 years in operation. Cone Mills White Oak denim is my favorite denim fabric, and I ordered one last pair before White Oak shuts down for good.
As 2017 comes to a close, I look back with gratitude. My narrative short film, Maddie, premiered at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in NYC (sadly also closing it's doors for good next month) earlier this year. Maddie screened at a handful of film festivals and unexpectedly took home a few awards, including the Best Williamsburg Short Award at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival in Brooklyn last month. Maddie will screen at a few more festivals in 2018. Big thanks to everyone that came out and supported our film this year.
Another project I enjoyed working on this year was This Is Our New York, a short spot I directed for the New York Immigration Coalition, that was broadcasted on the big screen in Times Square.
On a personal note, the major highlight of 2017 was marrying my best friend Lisa in Puglia, Italy last summer alongside our dear friends and family members. We hosted a three day celebration and were intentional about spending quality time together with our loved ones over the course of several days. Afterwards, Lisa and I road tripped, swam, and ate our way around Southern Italy for a month. It was a memorable summer to say the least!
This year I really had to learn not to sweat the small things in life. Life is too short to focus on little things that really don't matter in the end. I definitely want to continue working on this in 2018 and beyond.
Next year, I will also dance much more.
I also launched a brand new website that you're looking at right now (thanks to my web guru Katherine).
Last but not least, I moved my business into a new studio this year with my friends at Skypie Studio, and have been much more productive and happier. It has been really great and invaluable to move my work life outside of the house, and constantly be surrounded by a community of creatives. I have some exciting projects that I'm looking forward to working on next year.
Much love, peace, and Happy New Year to you all.
All My Best,
Here are some of my favorites images from a recent trip to California last week. It's always great to come back and visit some of the spots I used to frequent growing up.
Maddie won the Best Williamsburg Short Award at the 8th Annual Williamsburg Independent Film Festival in Brooklyn, NY last week. This was a total shock and completely unexpected.
I want to thank my talented cast and crew for your tremendous hard work and dedication. Without you, this film never would have been possible. It has been quite a journey ever since we started production back in the summer of 2016. I'm so honored and grateful to share this award with you.
Overall I was really impressed with WillFilm. The programming was strong and the organizers did a wonderful job of making us feel welcome. It was also great to meet Neil LaBute, who won the Best Screenplay Award for his short film, Good Luck (in Farsi). I would highly recommend this film festival and look forward to coming back.
Maddie premieres tonight in Brooklyn, in competition at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival, where it all began for this project. Come out and support our talented cast and crew and share a drink with us. We hope to see you there!
Thursday, 11/16, at 9:15 PM
Williamsburg Independent Film Festival
Wythe Hotel Cinema
80 Wythe Ave. at N. 11th Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here: https://willfilmtickets.brownpapertickets.com/
Check out the full interview here
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT MADDIE AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START THIS PROJECT?
Maddie is a narrative short film inspired by a life-altering personal experience I had in NYC, that I wrote, directed, and produced.
WITHOUT GIVING TOO MUCH AWAY, WHAT IS MADDIE ABOUT?
Maddie shows how certain events can alter the course of the rest of your life. It’s a very real, raw, and honest human story. The central protagonist in Maddie is a strong, yet complex female character.
WHAT IS PERSONALLY MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU ABOUT THIS FILM?
The film is a very personal story that is close to my heart, and was inspired by actual events that I witnessed firsthand. The process of creating the film has been very therapeutic and taught me that anything is possible because making this film was an uphill battle most of the time. Bringing this project to life has really empowered me as a storyteller and filmmaker.
Reuben Hernandez Studios has moved into a new shared studio with our friends at Sky Pie Studio. We are located at 67 West St., just off of the East River in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. We love visitors so please stop by and say hi if you're in the neighborhood. We're in suite 504, on the same floor as The Greenpoint Loft, Ruby Bird Studio, and Colony Studios.
Thank you, Los Angeles and the Marina del Rey Film Festival. That was an incredibly special and unforgettable experience sharing my film, Maddie, with you on the big screen. A big thank you to everyone that came out and supported our film. I'm forever grateful and look forward to doing it again soon!