Antarctica by Reuben Hernandez, NYC Independent Film Festival

POSTED BY Reuben Hernandez on 2016/04/22

Last year, ILS filmmaker Reuben Hernandez left the comforts of home to spend nearly two, frigid months aboard the M/S Expedition ship in Antarctica. With a camera always in hand, Reuben captured some incredible moments, which he compiled into a one-second-per-day two minute short film. Next week, Antarctica will premiere at the NYC Independent Film Festival. We are so proud of Reuben, and excited to be sharing this sneak peek with you.

We took advantage of this opportunity to ask Reuben a few questions about his time abroad, as well as his filmmaking process.

ILS: Tell us a little about your experience making this film.

I had a strong feeling that visiting Antarctica, my final continent, would be a significant life experience. I wanted to memorialize the journey in a special, meaningful way. I was inspired by Ron Fricke’s time­lapse work in Samsara, and the one second a day sequence in the movie, Chef.  It was incredibly challenging to film every single day, especially on the boring days where not much was happening, such as travel days or days at sea. I really had to reach and try and find beauty in the mundane.

ILS: Is there a moment/memory that stands out most to you from your travels in Antarctica?

One of my most memorable/challenging moments was deciding whether to photograph a breaching humpback whale or Orcas (spotted at the same time) off the bow of our ship, two things that have been on my bucket list for quite some time. I felt overwhelmed trying to document and capture all of the beautiful moments. My other favorite moment was when I spotted a leopard seal (native only to Antarctica) eating a penguin.

ILS: In your work, have you noticed that documentary filmmaking and wedding filmmaking ever intersect? Does one ever influence or inform the other?

Filming a wedding and a documentary are similar because I have to be totally alert and ready to shoot at all times, otherwise I might miss a significant moment that may not ever happen again. 

ILS: What is your technique and/or approach to filmmaking? Does your approach change based on the situation (nature/travel vs. wedding)?

My approach is always to tell a story in the most beautiful and compelling way possible, whether it be a documentary, wedding, commercial, or narrative film. 


The Film Festival begins on Wednesday, April 27th. Tickets for the Art/Experimental Film Session (1 hour of short films) can be purchased here for $15. And before you go, don’t forget to check out Reuben’s featured wedding films.

We hope to see you there!


Film by Reuben Hernandez



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