Antarctica (United States | 2015, 2 min)

Directed by: Reuben Hernandez

Filmmaker Reuben Hernandez instantly draws you into his over two month long journey south to Antarctica by stimulating your senses with one second a day. See, hear, and nearly touch the people, the wildlife, and the wilderness.


Reuben Hernandez directed Antarctica, which will screen at the 7th Annual NYC Independent Film Festival. Interview by Kerby Pierre.

KP: Thank you Reuben for taking the time to answer some questions for us. Your film is very unique. What inspired you to film this exotic short?
RH: 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 time-lapse work in Samsara, and the one second a day sequence in the movie, Chef.

KP: Did you film this on vacation? Or did you travel for the purpose of filming this short?
RH: I was invited to be a Photographer in Residence on board the M/S Expedition ship in Antarctica, and traveled for several weeks throughout South America on the way down to Antarctica.

KP: We can see a selfie stick in some of the shots. What camera did you use to film?
RH: I used whatever camera I had on me at the time, which was one of the following: iPhone 5S, GoPro Hero 3+ Black, Canon 5D3, and Canon 70D.

KP: The film shows NYC, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Antarctica. Why did you choose those five locations?
RH: The film begins and ends in NYC, which is where I live now. Argentina is where we embark on the Antarctic expedition ship, and I also wanted to visit the Salar de Uyuni (salt flats) in Bolivia, and photograph the Milky Way rise above the Atacama Desert in Chile, one of the driest places on earth.

KP: Did you have any sort of crew or people help while filming or was this a solo project?
RH: This was a solo project. The people in the shots are people that I met along the way.

KP: Of all the vast landscapes of these five diverse countries how did you narrow it down to two minutes?
RH: 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, and editing it down to just one second a day was extremely difficult. There are a lot of beautiful shots that didn’t make the final cut.

KP: What do you want the audience to get from this beautifully shot short?
RH: There is beauty everywhere, even in the mundane. Antarctica, the largest wilderness area in the world, transformed and forever changed me. Never in my entire life have I been in such close proximity to so much wildlife and such raw, untouched beauty. It humbled me because it is like no other place on earth. I hope these images will have a lasting impact and inspire others to protect and safeguard the future of our planet.