About Mark Brian Smith
Mark is a Los Angeles based screenwriter, cinematographer, producer, director, and photographer with a film degree from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. He’s a Sundance filmmaker, specializing in feature documentaries and unscripted television. Born and raised on the southern rocky coast of Maine, he’s a New Englander at heart. The beauty that surrounded and stirred him was the foundation for his artistic pursuits.
In the 1990‘s, Mark started his television career in post production. He worked on David Lynch and Mark Frost’s American Chronicles, Paul Stojanovich’s American Detective, Dick Wolf’s Law & Order and New York Undercover, the sales pilot for Extra, FOX’s ’93 Rolling Stone Year in Review, ABC’s Michael Jackson Talks…with Oprah, HBO’s Michael Jackson Live from Bucharest, video tour screens for Michael Jackson’s DANGEROUS concerts, ABC’s Day One Special with the Jackson Family, the ’93 ESPY Awards, the ’94 & ’95 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremonies, and the ’98 MTV Movie Awards.
Mark’s foray into feature films was at the legendary Post Group in Hollywood. As Post Production Supervisor from 1995-1997, Mark personally oversaw dailies on such well-known films as The Rock, Boogie Nights, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Austin Powers and Michael.
He’s covered historical events, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) marches in Washington, D.C. in 2000 and the World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle, WA in 1999. Notably, his dramatic footage of the latter supplied stock material for the 2000 film Trade Off and the 2007 film Battle In Seattle (starring Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson, and Ray Liotta). He shot the closing credit sequence for the cult feature film The Boondock Saints; and he interviewed and filmed big-name musicians for MTV such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers and System of a Down.
Mark went on to co-direct, co-produce, co-write, and was the director of photography on his debut feature documentary, Overnight. The film premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, was honored as the Opening Night Film at the 2004 Austin Film Festival, was awarded the “Best Documentary of 2005” by Film Review magazine for its U.K. release, subsequently beating out The March of the Penguins, and was released domestically in 2004 by THINKFilm.
In 2009, Mark debuted Stranglehold, a narrative short film he directed, at The Action On Film Festival. It won Best Cinematography and was nominated for Best Drama.
Currently he and his buisness partner, Greg Phelan, have co-created numerous unscripted documentary series' that are in different stages of development and production. Transition, a chronicle about the life-altering and monumental transitions in people’s lives from all corners of the globe, is one of them.
An avid writer, Mark’s first original screenplay, Listen to the Calm, was a semi-finalist in 2003 in the Academy’s prestigious Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. Both his second and third screenplay outings, Newbury Street and Imprinted, have placed in the Top 10% of numerous screenplay competitions, and both are being considered by Creative Arts Agency. Mark is attached to direct the latter and Connie Britton of Friday Night Lights & American Horror Story is attached in a lead role. His latest high-concept holiday comedy, Birthday Boy, is currently being read and shopped.
In 2007, Mark was selected as a member of The 4260 B&W Photographers Guild. The only one of its kind, this Los Angeles-based guild is devoted to the preservation and exhibition of black and white film photography and was highlighted in Los Angeles Magazine’s “2008 Best of LA” issue. Mark’s first solo exhibition PHOTONICITY debuted in 2008 for a successful five-week run at Frank’s Custom Gallery in Studio City, CA.
He professionally photographs portraits, weddings, pregnancy & births, and industrials on both 35mm black and white film and color digital formats. An avid explorer and photojournalist, he’s documented his travels in photographic essays in locations such as France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Austria, Greece, Tahiti, Hawaii, The Bahamas, and all parts of the continental United States.
To balance all his artistic pursuits, Mark is an Event Coordinator in Southern California. He's overseen awards ceremonies, celebrity birthdays & weddings, fund-raisers, silent auctions, holiday parties, and every private party imaginable.