happynewyear

2017 A Year in Review by Reuben Hernandez

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! 

Photo by Nathan Smith

Photo by Nathan Smith

Grotta del Soffio, Italy

Grotta del Soffio, Italy

Grotta della Poesia Grande, Italy. One of our favorite spots.

Grotta della Poesia Grande, Italy. One of our favorite spots.

Matera, Italy

Matera, Italy

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,
Reuben

2016 A Year in Review by Katherine Yaksich

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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,
Reuben