INTERVIEW: A DOMINICAN ADVENTURE
A few months ago, we came across one of the most exciting and thrilling short videos we’ve seen on Instagram. Immediately we thought the video publisher was a well known magazine, but we were surprised yet again. The video was filmed and published by a small filmmaker and skater, Alberto Fernandez. Later on we watched the full video on his Youtube channel. His instagram post was only but a small window to a one of kind expedition.
Amazed at what we saw, we wished more than anything that we could have been there, but the adventure had already passed. So, instead we reached out to Alberto and asked him a few questions about his adventure and film. Luckily, he was kind enough give us as much detail as possible:
What was your favorite thing about the Dominican Republic? How are the vibes? How are the people?
The place was beautiful, traveling on motorbikes was the best way to be amazed by its landscapes every few miles.The vibes are super chill, everybody has a smile for you and the locals were both curious and friendly with us. It is definitely a place everyone should visit once in their lifetime.
Any skaters out there?
There is a solid community there. We travelled to Lalomota Dh Race and we met there a lot of really nice and talented shredders like George Jose Gomes Semerene or Pamela Diaz among others, we were lucky to meet them and skate with all of them. If you ever go there make sure to hit them up, they will show you the best spots in the island.
What was the inspiration behind your travel to DR? What inspired you to take this trip?
Bruno, one of the riders featured in the video is living there right now is involved in a very cool project. He wrote me on facebook and suggested that I go there to make a video, I said okay, and two weeks later we met there. It was very improvised, like most of our adventures and that makes them fresh and awesome.
Tell us about your friends, how long have you known each other? How'd you meet?
I met them both through longboarding. I met Bruno 6 years ago, I found some footage of him on Youtube and wrote him there, the next day he was in the spot I always skate and I asked him to do a video. He was 14 at that time, since then we have been traveling around the world on some epic adventures.
With Camilo was different, we both skate for the same brand, Loaded Boards and Orangatang wheels and we followed each other through facebook. We finally met two years ago in the canary islands filming a project called Greener Pastures Offshore. It was great to finally film with him on a more personal project.
We heard Bruno is doing some ecological stuff to help the environment, what do you know about that?
I don't know very deeply how the project works, what I know is that they are working to create a model of a town that is respectful with the environment, giving back to earth more than we take from it. It will be a great example for the world and hopefully a step towards saving our planet from global warming.
What's it like filming your friends bombing hills at full speed?
It is so much fun, I feel lucky to be able to be part of it and witness such amazing and unique happenings. It is also dangerous and it requires a lot of concentration and a big sense of safety. Downhill skateboarding is no joke.
Any other crazy stories from the trip?
Us being there is a crazy story itself, most of the craziness happened in front of the camera, like Bruno going down the dam or Camilo crashing his motorbike a couple of times in the bonus footage video. The day of my 30th birthday we went down a dirt road that ended on a wild beach that was empty for miles. The places felt very remote. When we headed back to the motorbikes, Bruno realised that he had lost the key and Camilo’s bike had no light and it was already dark. We found some locals that were able to start Bruno’s bike but his light was broken too, so we followed a guy with a motorbike and a flashlight up this stupidly steep dirt road to the nearest town where some locals fixed the bikes for a few bucks. That was pretty crazy.
Who's idea was it to drop into the dam? Pretty wild! haha
It was Bruno's idea, he had that spot in mind before we arrived to the island. During the trip I was always telling him that we should do it but he was not fully sure about it, mostly because we still had a lot to film and he did not want to get injured in the middle of the trip. The last day when we drove by I told him it was his last chance to do it and he agreed. It took him a bit to go for it, he had to visualize it and make sure it was safe. We never checked how deep the water was, Bruno threw big balls there. It was impressive to watch and amazing when he came out all good without a scratch.
Anything else you would like to share with us from your trip?
We just hope the video encourages people to get out of their comfort zone and that they enjoy it as much as we enjoyed the process of making it. Use what you like to go out there and connect with different cultures.