Rick Smolan in the Sausalito headquarters of his production company, "Against All Odds Productions"
|Born||November 5, 1949|
Rick Smolan is a former TIME, LIFE and National Geographic photographer best known as the co-creator of the "Day in the Life" book series. He is currently CEO of Against All Odds Productions, a cross-media organization which utilizes the skills of hundreds of the world's leading photographers, writers, filmmakers, designers and programmers to merge creative storytelling with state-of-the-art technology.
Smolan is a 1972 graduate of Dickinson College and co-created the best-selling Day in The Life Series photography series with David Elliot Cohen who are credited for creating the mass market for large-format illustrated books. Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt, co-founders of Against All Odds Productions, have produced a number of ambitious global crowd sourcing projects. Fortune Magazine selected Against All Odds Productions as One of the 25 Coolest Companies in America.
More than five million of his books adorn coffee tables around the world, many have appeared on the New York Times best-seller lists and have been featured on the covers of Fortune, Time, and Newsweek. Rick Smolan is also a member of the CuriosityStream Advisory Board.
Data Collection Projects
In 2012 Smolan and co-author Jennifer Erwitt published The Human Face of Big Data, a book in which Smolan and Erwitt used various photographs, graphics, and information to make big data easier to comprehend and absorb on a more personal, relatable level. Human Face of Big Data focusing on humanity's new ability to collect, analyze, triangulate and visualize vast amounts of data in real time. The project, sponsored by EMC, Cisco and SAP resulted in a large format Book, an engaging Ipad App, and a Tv special. The book was delivered to 10,000 key influencers in 50 countries courtesy of Fed Ex. The project won a 2013 Webby Award.
In 2000 Smolan organized The Planet Project: Your Voice, Your World, one of the largest real-time internet polls in internet history, with the aim to get answers from over 1.5 million people in more than 240 countries on how they felt about their lives at the dawn of the new millennium.
Most Recently Smolan self-published "[insidetracksbook.com Inside Tracks : Alone Across the Outback]" via a successful Kickstarter campaign. The project was released in conjunction with TRACKS North American film premiere in late 2014 and combines Smolan's Photographs, excerpts from Robyn Davidson's book TRACKS, Images from the film TRACKS, and an interactive App.
Smolan teamed up with Ridley Scott and Kevin Macdonald to "create the first user-generated feature-length documentary film shot on a single day" for Youtube underwritten project "Life in a Day”. This historic global film experiment enlists the global community to capture a moment of their lives on Saturday, July 24, 2010. Against All Odds Productions, Smolan's company, distributed "cameras to individuals in remote regions of the world in an effort to ensure that the film is as inclusive and representative as possible".
In 2009, Smolan published Obama Time Capsule, which incorporated photos of Obama's first campaign for presidential office and his first 100 days in office. It includes commentary from various notable people including Arianna Huffington and General Colin Powell. 'The Obama Time Capsule was also published in a form where each book was printed separately and readers could include their own contributions and photos to personalize the individual book they would receive.
In November 2007 Smolan and Erwitt published Blue Planet Run : The Race to Provide Safe Drinking Water to the World, a series of photos illustrating attempts around the world to bring fresh drinking water to various communities suffering from lack of clean and consistent water supply.
In 2003 Smolan and Cohen published America 24/7, a NY Times bestseller and was described as a "national family album", it was featured as one of Oprah Winfrey's "Favorite Things.America At Home , UK at Home, and America 24/7 encapsulates various perspectives on life by inviting the public to submit images, and enabled readers to place their own photographs within or on the book.
In the 1990s Against All Odds proved the storytelling powers of interactive CD-ROMs, with From Alice to Ocean and Passage to Vietnam. 24 Hours in Cyberspace took a snapshot of the Internet in its infancy. One Digital Day explored the impact of the microprocessor on civilization.
From Alice to Ocean, is a collection of photographs Smolan took of Robyn Davidson's 1,700-mile trek across the deserts of West Australia that National Geographic Magazine sponsored. Davidson's writings along with Smolan's photographs became a National Geographic cover story. An autobiographical account of her trek was later published in 1980 as a book entitled Tracks, which included some of Smolan's photographs. An Australian film based on Tracks was released in August 2013, starring Mia Wasikowska as Davidson and Adam Driver as Smolan.
In 1996, Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt published their next "Day in the Life" book 24 Hours in Cyberspace: Painting on the Walls of the Digital Cave, another collection of photographs from 150 photojournalists, with the intention to, over a 24-hour period, chronicle how the internet was beginning to have a profound effect on the daily lives of people around the world.
- A Day in the Life of Australia with Andy Park (1981).Collins Publishing. ISBN 978-0002151672.
- A Day in the Life of Hawaii with David Elliot Cohen (1984). Workman Publishing. ISBN 978-0894807602.
- A Day in the Life of Canada (1985). Harpercollins Canada. ISBN 978-0002173803.
- A Day in the Life of Japan with David Elliot Cohen (1985). Collins Publishing. ISBN 978-0002175807.
- A Day in the Life of America with David Elliot Cohen (1986). Collins Publishing. ISBN 978-0002177344.
- A Day in the Life of California (1988). Collins Publishing. ISBN 978-0002151634
- A Day in the Life of Spain with David Elliot Cohen (1988). Collins Publishing. ISBN 978-0002179676.
- A Day in the Life of Soviet Union with David Elliot Cohen (1991). Collins Publishing. ISBN 978-0002179690.
- The Power to Heal : Ancient Arts & Modern Medicine with Phillip Moffitt & Matthew Naythons(1990). Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0136845492.
- Medicine's Great Journey : One Hundred Years of Healing with Phillip Moffitt, Richard Flaste, and Robert Coles (1992). Bulfinch Press. ISBN 978-0821219874
- From Alice to Ocean : Alone Across the Outback with Robyn Davidson (1992). Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0201632163.
- Passage to Vietnam : Through the Eyes of Seventy Photographers with Jennifer Erwitt (1994). Against All Odds Productions. ISBN 978-1885559005.
- 24 Hours in Cyberspace : Painting on the Walls of the Digital Cave with Jennifer Erwitt (1996). Que Macmillan USA. ISBN 978-0789709257
- One Digital Day : How the Microchip is Changing our World with Jennifer Erwitt (1997). Crown Business. ISBN 0812930312
- America 24/7 with David Elliot Cohen (2003). DK Adult. ISBN 978-0789499752 (DK Adult published a 24/7 book for each state)
- Blue Planet Run : The Race to Provide Safe Drinking Water to the World with Jennifer Erwitt (2007). Earth Aware Editions. ISBN 160109017X
- America at Home. with Jennifer Erwitt (2008). Running Press. ISBN 978-0762434152
- Obama Time Capsule with Jennifer Erwitt (2009). Against All Odds Productions. ISBN 978-0615293967.
- Life in a Day : Youtube Special with Ridley Scott and Kevin Macdonald (2010). Against All Odds Productions.
- Human face of Big Data with Jennifer Erwitt (2012). Against All Odds Productions. ISBN 978-1454908272
- Inside Tracks : Alone Across the Outback (2014). Against All Odds Productions/'Sterling Distributors. ISBN 1454912944
- Official website of production company
- "Human Face of Big Data". book sales. Barnes and Noble. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
- Halstead, Dirck. "Resetting book Publishing". The Digital Journalist. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- REESE, JENNIFER. "FORTUNE VISITS 25 COOL COMPANIES".
- Campbell, Mikey. "The Human Face of Big Data app humanizes growing world of data analytics". Apple Insider. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
- "CuriosityStream Advisory Board". Retrieved 31 August 2015.
- "Rick Smolan: Reinventing the Picture Book (2009-11-17)".
- Campaign, Kickstarter. "Inside Tracks Successful Kickstarter Campaign".
- Coleman, Sarah J. "The Longest Journey: An Interview with Rick Smolan".
- Hollywood News. "Ridley Scott wants to see your "Life in a Day"".
- "The Obama Time Capsule: A Participatory Book Breaks New Ground".
- "Dickinson News 2009".
- "TED Speakers: Rick Smolan".
- "Book has photographers capturing `America 24/7' (2003-10-28)".
- Spicer, Beverly. "Book Review". The Digital Journalist. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- "Publisher's Weekly: Passage to Vietnam: Through the Eyes of Seventy Photographers".
- "Robyn Davidson on Deserts, Nomads and Writing (2012-10-22)".
- "One hell of a life, born of claypan and coolabah (2012-10-22)".
- "Mia Wasikowska stars in film of Robyn Davidson's book 'Tracks', about camel journey across Australia (2013-8-30)".
- "'24 Hours,' 8 Months and 1 Book Later (1996-10-24)".