by Lynn Aldrich & John Schmidt, filmmaker
Lynn Aldrich: Uncommon Artist is a documentary film that provides a poetically rendered portrait of Los Angeles-based sculptor Lynn Aldrich, an artist who attends to the most commonplace objects of consumer culture in the most uncommon ways. Her artworks traffic in the readymade materiality of items purchased in hardware, craft, and office supply stores, but Aldrich’s handling and re-presentation of these materials consistently evoke and explore the possibility that transcendent orders of meaning are always shining through even the most trivial aspects of life. Beautifully shot and edited by filmmaker John Schmidt, this film opens a window into Aldrich’s studio in the months leading up to her 2015 exhibition at Edward Cella Art+Architecture, Los Angeles.
A graduate of the UCLA film school, John Schmidt has worked in the film industry for the last 30 years. As founder and president of Dean River Productions, he has worked on nearly 30 films in various capacities: director, writer, producer and editor, having won numerous awards in the process.
His greatest joy is as husband and father, but he has major dreams and goals for his role in the film industry. “I want to be part of projects that matter”, he says. “Each of us in the film industry have a limited amount of time on this earth, and a limited number of films to work on. At the end of the day, I want the ones on my filmography to have mattered, to count for something. Faith affirming, with values, the triumph of the human spirit, etc., films that have something to say and contribute to the good in this world. It’s what I care about; what drives me”, John says. “I have very little interest in working on something that just fills up the screens and airwaves for programming sake. Life’s too short.”
One of his most rewarding projects as of late has been a series of documentaries on a ministry near to he and his wife's heart--on the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. He also directed a documentary this year on the life of a deaf orphan boy from the slums who has surgery to allow him to hear. He's now gearing up to direct a feature comedy entitled Mulligans. John teaches cinematography, editing, screenwriting, pre-production, production, post-production, and intro to mass media.
John Schmidt's Vimeo Page: https://vimeo.com/johnschmidtfilms
Dean River Productions: http://www.deanriver.net/