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!
My narrative short film Settling Up will premiere Sunday, June 9th, at 1:30 pm at Long Beach Island Historical Museum (129 Engleside Avenue, Beach Haven, NJ 08008, USA) in competition at Lighthouse International Film Festival, one of MovieMaker’s “Coolest 25 Film Festivals in the World”. Settling Up will also screen alongside Filmshop short films If the Shoe Fits by Cinder Chou and Self(Ish) by Dani Tennenbaum. Oscar winner Guy Nattiv will open the festival with his narrative feature film, Skin, and Sundance documentary American Factory will close the festival.
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’m excited to announce my latest short film, Settling Up, will have its film festival premiere at Lighthouse International Film Festival, one of MovieMaker’s “Coolest 25 Film Festivals in the World.” The festival will take place June 6-9 on Long Beach Island and stay tuned for screening info. Thanks to our cast and crew for all of your hard work and we hope to see you there!
Directed by Reuben Hernandez
Written by Brady Evan Walker
Produced by Reuben Hernandez, Maryann Alspaugh, and Brady Evan Walker
Production Sound Mixer and Sound Design by Ash Knowlton / Silver Sound
Edited and colored by Patrice D. Bowman
Made in collaboration with the Filmshop collective
I’m excited to announce my short film Maddie premieres online today on Film Shortage! Huge thanks to our cast and crew that worked so hard to bring this project to life, and to all of you that supported our film. Please consider sharing, leaving a comment, and/or liking on Vimeo. After watching the film, you can read my director’s statement to learn more about the inspiration and backstory. I recommend watching the film with good sound if possible.
There once was a time when I thought making this film would be impossible. I learned so much through the process and that ultimately anything is possible with the right team, hard work, and dedication. To my talented cast and crew, it was an honor working with you and making this film together.
Thanks for watching.
All My Best,
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,
This past spring season I was accepted as a member of the Filmshop collective, a supportive community of filmmakers that regularly collaborate, workshop, and provide constructive feedback on works in progress on a weekly basis. Filmshop members actively support each other to help bring each other’s projects to life. Filmmaking can sometimes feel isolating, so joining a likeminded community of creatives has been one of the best things for my professional growth. It has forced me to do more and work on passion projects more regularly. Each week we share a creative goal and try to hold each other accountable on a consistent basis. This has been one of my most productive seasons as a filmmaker, and being part of the Filmshop community is one of the best ways to get a film completed. There are a tremendous amount of resources available through Filmshop.
This upcoming Saturday, July 21st at 7 pm, is Filmshop's yearly showcase of short films at Rough Trade NYC in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The latest film that I directed will screen this Saturday along with other Filmshop films on the big screen. Our film was written by Brady Evan Walker, and edited and colored by Patrice D. Bowman, so it is truly a collaborative Filmshop effort. Our lead, Jonathan Randell Silver, played the lead in a Sundance short film this year and it was a joy to work with him along with the rest of our cast and crew. Some behind the scenes photos are below. We look forward to sharing our new film with you on the big screen! Tickets can be purchased in advance here, and use code "Filmshop" for 20% off.
If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a Filmshop member, we are hosting an open house for prospective members tonight from 7 - 9 pm (Monday 7/16) at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP (30 John Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201) in Dumbo. Applications for the 2018 fall season are due next Monday, 7/23 and can be found here.
In other news, I am also in the middle of developing an exciting and immersive virtual reality project that I have workshopped at Filmshop. My team and I are currently applying for grants and will hopefully have some news to share soon. More on that later...
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,
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.
Maddie will screen at NewFilmmakers New York in the East Village next week:
Wednesday, 11/15, at 6 PM
Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Tickets are $7 (purchase at the box office) and include all screenings that night
Thanks for all your support and we hope to see you there.
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!
Tomorrow Maddie premieres in LA in competition at the Marina del Rey Film Festival and I'll be in attendance doing a Q&A afterwards. I just realized this is the first time one of my films will be projected on the big screen in Los Angeles. I grew up in Southern California, attended university in LA, and had no idea back then that I would become a filmmaker. Thanks for all your support and I hope to see you there!
AMC Classic Marina Marketplace
Wednesday, Oct 4th at 6:00 PM
Q&A afterwards by yours truly
I'm so excited for the LA premiere of my film Maddie next week at the Marina del Rey Film Festival. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this film and many of you know that this is a very important, personal story that is near and dear to my heart. Please come out and support our talented cast and crew. We look forward to sharing it on the big screen out west and hope to see you there.
AMC Classic Marina Marketplace
Wednesday, Oct 4th at 6:00 PM
Q&A afterwards by yours truly
BTS photos by Jen Trahan and Andrew Klein
My film Maddie recently won an Award of Merit at the One-Reeler Short Film Competition and will have its LA premiere in competition at the Marina del Rey Film Festival.
Maddie will screen at the AMC theatre in Marina del Rey in October. Stay tuned for screening info and we look forward to sharing it on the big screen out west.
Maddie premieres tonight at Landmark Sunshine Cinema and I can hardly believe it.
Looking back at BTS photos from Day 1, I can’t help but get emotional. So much of this project felt like an uphill battle, and I can’t thank my talented cast and crew enough for all of their hard work and dedication.
Thank you all and see you tonight!
BTS Photos by Andrew Klein and Jen Trahan
(at Landmark Sunshine Cinema)
Maddie World Premiere
I’m excited to announce that my short film, Maddie, will have its world premiere at Landmark Sunshine Cinema on Tuesday, May 30th, at 9:55 pm in competition at the NY International Short Film Festival.
Tickets (Maddie screens in program 3): nyshortsfest.com/ny/content.asp?PageID=10
Our cast and crew did a remarkable job on this film and we can’t wait to share it with you on the big screen. We hope to see you there!
I’m excited to share this short I directed featuring JR and some NYC Ballet dancers. Thanks for watching and be sure to check out the NYC Ballet on stage.
Official Selection 2016 Paris Short Film Festival
A film by Reuben Hernandez
Featuring JR, Lauren Lovette, Megan Johnson, Taylor Stanley, and Craig Hall
Produced by Marc Azoulay
Additional cinematography by Frank Maldonado
Set photography by Jen Trahan
Music by I Am Lightyear
2016 A Year in Review
As I write this, it’s hard to believe that I’m approaching my six year anniversary of living in NYC.
2016 was an interesting year, to say the least. A lot of people can’t wait for it to be over. I learned a thing or two and some memorable experiences include:
Antarctica premiered in NYC earlier this year and screened at a handful of film festivals.
Beauty, Balance, and Grace premiered in Paris, France.
I had the opportunity to film Bono this year for a PSA for the Red Nose Day campaign. Spike Jonze randomly showed up and then thanked me for allowing him to help out. It was surreal. Bono and his crew were so gracious and kind and it was truly a pleasure to work with them. I’ve looked up to Bono for many years so it was such an honor to meet him.
This year I wrote and directed my first narrative short film, Maddie, that will premiere next year. I’m so thankful for my talented cast and crew that worked so hard on this project and gave so much. Writing is a new creative process for me, and I’ve learned that I can do it even out of necessity. It was an empowering experience to own a project completely from start to finish, and to learn firsthand that anything is possible. So many elements of this film seemed impossible and daunting at first, but we somehow pulled it off. People helped out from near and far and I’m truly grateful for all the support. We look forward to sharing Maddie on the big screen in 2017 so stay tuned for upcoming screenings.
I spent two months abroad in Europe this summer, working on post production for Maddie and recovering. Production on Maddie gave me a serious ass kicking so it was a much needed breath of fresh air to spend the summer away from NYC.
One of my major takeaways from 2016 is that if you have a creative vision/idea that you believe in, then you just need to go for it and figure it out along the way. Some people thought that making Maddie would not be possible, but deep down I believed in my vision and was absolutely determined to see it through. I also learned a hell of a lot along the way, which will be invaluable.
See you next year.
All My Best,