AMERICA AT HOME is the latest project from Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt, founders of Against All Odds Productions. Their company specializes in the design and execution of large-scale global photographic projects that combine compelling storytelling with state-of-the-art technology. Smolan is a former Time, Life, and National Geographic photographer, best known as the creator of the Day in the Life book series; and Erwitt has served as the director of many of those projects.
Many of Smolan and Erwitt's books have appeared on the New York Times best-seller list as well as on the covers of magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Fortune, and US News & World Report. Their books include UK AT HOME, Blue Planet Run, 24 Hours in Cyberspace, One Digital Day, Passage to Vietnam, From Alice to Ocean, The Power to Heal, and America 24/7. Fortune magazine described Against All Odds Productions as "one of the coolest companies in America."
Their projects include:
AMERICA AT HOME and UK AT HOME will be published in April 2008. For these books, 150 of the world's top photojournalists—and tens of thousands of amateur shutterbugs—fanned out around the United States and the United Kingdom to shoot digital photos of the most important place in their lives: home. These two projects captured the emotions of home: the distinctive rituals, the intimate moments, and all the myriad ways in which we work, play, learn, conduct our lives, and interact with friends, family members (and pets!) as we transform our dwellings into our homes. AMERICA AT HOME and UK AT HOME were sponsored by IKEA.
Blue Planet Run: The Race to Provide Clean Drinking Water to the World was released in November 2007. The book provides readers with an extraordinary look at the water problems facing humanity and some of the hopeful solutions being pursued by large and small companies, by entrepreneurs and activists, and by nongovernmental organizations and foundations. The book is a showcase of powerful, inspiring, disturbing, and hopeful images captured by leading photojournalists around the world who documented the human face of the crisis and its possible solutions. One hundred percent of the royalties from this book are being used to provide clean drinking water to people around the world who desperately need it.
America 24/7 was the largest photographic event in U.S. history. Smolan and his partner, David Cohen, sent 1,000 top photojournalists (including 36 Pulitzer Prize winners) across the United States for a week to create an extraordinary snapshot of American life. Some 25,000 stringers, students, and amateurs also submitted images to the project Web site. America 24/7 hit #5 on the New York Times best-seller list. The Wall Street Journal featured the America 24/7 project on the front page of its MarketPlace section because the book represented the first New York Times best-seller to be mass-personalized by readers: More than 21 percent of book buyers made Custom Covers featuring photos of their families, friends, or pets.
The Planet Project: Your Voice Your World was the largest real-time online poll in Internet history. Three thousand pollsters were sent to the most remote places on Earth armed with Palm Pilots containing 220 questions in eight languages, aimed at determining what it means to be a human being at the dawn of the millennium. The eight-language Web site was visited by 1.6 million people from 241 countries, who cumulatively answered more than 28 million questions. The Planet Project generated 781 million media impressions worldwide.
One Digital Day: How the Microchip Is Changing Our World was published in conjunction with Intel's 30th anniversary. The book was featured in a 31-page cover story in Fortune magazine. CNN also aired a half-hour TV special about the project, which was then shown on the United Airlines in-flight entertainment system for three months. The project generated over 300 million media impressions worldwide
24 Hours in Cyberspace: Painting on the Walls of the Digital Cave was the largest online event ever to take place in a single day. The goal of the project, which was sponsored by AOL, Kodak, Sun Microsystems, Adobe, Cisco, and HP, was to tell compelling human interest stories about how cyberspace is changing people's lives—to create a global portrait of the human face of the online revolution. The project resulted in an illustrated book, was featured on ABC-TV's Nightline, and appeared as a cover story in US News & World Report. A photographic exhibition of 24 Hours in Cyberspace was unveiled at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History by Vice President Al Gore. The project generated over 250 million media impressions worldwide
Passage to Vietnam: Through the Eyes of 70 Photographers, a large-format illustrated book and CD-ROM, was created in partnership with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Interval Research. Project sponsors included Motorola, Nestle, Thai Airways, Kodak, and Apple Computer. The New York Times described Passage to Vietnam as "the most beautiful CD-ROM ever."
From Alice to Ocean: Alone Across the Outback, the first illustrated book ever to include an interactive CD-ROM disc, was described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a stunning, addictive and mesmerizing experience that may well change the course of publishing forever." The project was sponsored by Apple Computer, Eastman Kodak, and FedEx.
Against All Odds' next project will be Sixteen in America, a one-week documentation to be shot in the spring of 2011 by 10,000 16-year-olds using photography to capture what it is like to be "coming of age" in America at the dawn of the millennium.
Against All Odds Productions is located in Sausalito, California.