Douglas Miller, The Legendary Street Photographer of Laguna Beach

You may not recognize the name, face, and photos of Douglas Miller, but many people living in Laguna Beach, California, do. He’s a street photographer who has been shooting a roll of film per day for 44 years, creating a remarkable photo archive of 350,000+ spontaneous snapshots that tell the story of his town.

Filmmaker Jason Blalock decided to shoot a documentary of this prolific local artist from his hometown, and what resulted is a new documentary titled “Sawdust and Sand: The Art of Douglas Miller.” Above is a 3-minute trailer.

The documentary “examines the five-decade relationship between photographer and hometown,” Blalock writes. In addition to footage of Miller roaming his city’s streets and showing glimpses into his personal life, we hear interviews from local residents who have high praise for Miller, both as a man and as an artist.

He’s referred to as the ultimate “renaissance man” of Laguna Beach: he’s an painter, a violinist, and a photographer. Others say he has a heart of gold — the type of person who will give you his shirt off his back.

“I kept taking pictures of things that wouldn’t be there anymore,” Miller says, “and that’s what I stuck to for 30, 40 years.”

Blalock is trying to raise money for the final sound mix and color correction. The film just finished its 2015 festival run, and Blalock is working to get it into the PBS series “Truly California.”

Doug and friends post screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival

Posted by Sawdust And Sand: The Art of Douglas Miller on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

If you’d like to watch “Sawdust and Sand,” you can do so for free over the next 2 weeks: Blalock has uploaded a near-final cut of the full documentary to Vimeo. We highly recommend that you carve 30 minutes out of your day for this great dose of education and inspiration. Enjoy!