My first film was TEN years ago??! Time flies when you're busy being a Dill
"Alden, why do you have to write so small?!"
Most of my teachers agreed, not only was my writing tiny but homework frequently included characters and storylines along the margins of my assignments. Fortunately some handicaps open the door to new possibilities, so it was that my nearsighted condition has resulted in a line of local art cards beginning with Sonoma and now covering more than five states and closing in on 30 cities. Each design is available as a Postcard, Notecard, Glass Magnet, and Poster.
Each map is drawn actual size and all attempts are made to create a map that both visitors and locals alike can enjoy, featuring iconic spots, local legends, and the overall lay of the land. If you are torn between sending it and keeping it for yourself, then I've done my job.
Northern California Locations:
Southern California Locations:
and many more!
Follow the progress of each map on Tumblr - more cities and states coming very soon!
Any questions find me on etsy.
I've llustrated my first children's book, written by Richard Barna, about the legend of
'Elmer' in Yosemite!
The legend of 'Elmer' in Yosemite Valley goes back all the way to the 1930's - and though many dispute the exact origin, the calls of "Elmer" around dinnertime can be heard even today in Yosemite campgrounds. Follow Elmer's journey - and ours as we promote our book at http://facebook.com/elmerstory
"I need to get out more.." is one of the best compliments I hear from someone who's moved by a photograph I've taken. My distant cousin Frederick Law Olmsted, as well as my father, California naturalist John Olmsted, both believed that time spent in nature directly affects ones' health and body, and so do I.
An old camera found in a closet led to a slow education, but convinced my dad to gift me a Beseler Topcon camera kit, complete with Bond-like metal suitcase. My pictures got instantly better, having multiple and high quality lenses to play with, but the shutter wasn't up to my number of shots, and began to fail on a cross - country trip to Indiana to purchase an old Chrysler convertible.
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Fate smiled though, when by chance I popped in to a random camera shop in Scotts Valley Ca and the store owner recommended what is now my favorite camera of all time, the Canon F-1. Since then it's been game on.
25,000+ photos in heat and cold, sun and rain, it's been held above my head on the Yuba River, huddled with me under a crevice opposite Half Dome in Yosemite, stored in the trunk of said Chrysler on too many occasions, dangled over the edge of Havasu and Mooney Falls in Arizona, accompanied me to England and Wales, and, I hope, on many more adventures to come.
Questions about print sizes and mounting options? - Just ask!
I have been shooting and and editing video and Super 8mm since my late teenage years, and in 2006 shot my first feature film Dill, California on a 16mm Arriflex Camera that I bought on craigslist four days before. It was an amazing experience, and I have since made two documentaries, written six screenplays, and pitched television pilots to alcoholic producers.
Director of Photography on Convinced (2015), a feature documentary exploring 'Why would anyone become Catholic? Trailer on Vimeo
Press and Comments
Five Stars *****
Olmsted Film receives standing ovation ~
Alden Olmsted's film My Father, Who Art in Nature receives standing ovation at Wild and Scenic Film Festival https://lightcapfarm.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/alden-olmsted-receives-standing-ovation-for-my-father-who-art-in-nature/
Thank You so much! ~
I just wanted to let you know how much our boss LOVED the map that you created. She was so touched and could not stop staring at it, looking for the places she knows. Also, I cannot recall if I said this but when our team took a look at the map prior to giving it to our boss, we were all so impressed and thrilled. It looks awesome!
Thank you so much for working with me (us) to create that wonderfully personal, custom map! The map and my boss' reaction were better than we had hoped for.
- Rosemary K
I was born in a small town (cue opening music) in Northern California. While my Muir-inspired father John D. Olmsted was off stopping bulldozers and saving state parks - like Jug Handle State Natural Reserve in Mendocino, and building wheelchair trails out of old mining ditches - like the Independence Trail in Nevada City - my history-major mother was teaching my brother and I about California history and driving the neighborhood after dark.. looking for her youngest son.
I made it one and a half semesters through college, dropping out to start a bmx bicycle company at age 19. Summer camp employment in the Santa Cruz Mountains, missions trips to Mexicali, screen printing classes and a different car nearly every year, my twenties were a wide mix of almost-successes and lots of lessons learned.
In 1999 I made a simple but important journey - saving up and flying to Indiana to purchase a 1966 Chrysler convertible. I knew I needed to buckle down and get my life together, but I also realized I needed to enjoy the present, and the convertible was the perfect choice. It's since been featured on television and in films like Catch Me If You Can, and every time the top goes down is a reminder to me to slow down and enjoy the ride.
In 2001 I would return to college, working full time and taking night classes to finally graduate in 2003 from BIOLA University with a bachelor's degree in business and organizational leadership.
Until 2008 I had a mostly normal life, enjoying the fruits of a good job, summer house parties, traveling abroad, buying a new car, and even filming a movie, Dill, California. I knew however, that if I wanted to write or direct films I'd better dive in sooner than later so I left my stable but predictable life and headed back to Hollywood, for the third time for those keeping count.
After writing three screenplays and going to lots of networking mixers and events, I was wondering if I'd made the right choice. That was when I got the phone call that is still having an effect on my life - my father had six months to live.
A hurried trailer and a whirlwind experience of becoming my father's caregiver resulted in my feature-length documentary My Father, Who Art in Nature (2012), which showed at Nevada City's Wild and Scenic Film Festival, and to my dad, five days before he passed.
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Five years have passed and though I've made another documentary, The Story of Jug Handle, shot another as Director of Photography Convinced (2015), launched a successful kickstarter campaign for my road trip web series Life is a Highway, life is still very much "in progress."
~ May 2016
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