In the beginning ... there were only short films. Randy Olson cut his filmmaking teeth on short films while still a professor of marine biology at University of New Hampshire. These includes such non-classics as "Lobstahs" (reviewed as, "decidedly lame" by the Boston Phoenix) and the enduring classic, "Barnacles Tell No Lies" (a music video about the sex life of barnacles, produced in 1991).
In a more serious vein he wrote and directed a film about three lobster fishermen on the coast of Maine ("Salt of the Earth: A journey to the heart of Maine lobster fishermen" which will be honored at the University of Maine in September, 2010) and a film about three women scientists who work in the deep sea submersible, "Alvin" ("On the Surface").
In film school he wrote and directed the musical comedy short film, "You Ruined My Career," which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and earned numerous awards including a Gold Plaque at the Chicago Film Festival, then began his filmic exploration of science communication with the twenty minute short, "Talking Science: The Elusive Art of the Science Talk." This was followed by three short films for Rutgers University's COOLRoom project in 2000.
Since 2002 Randy Olson has been the Director of the Shifting Baselines Ocean Media Project. He has created a library of short films working with comic actors including Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Jennifer Coolidge, Ben Stiller, Henry Winkler, and members of the famed Groundlings Improv Comedy Theater.