Smith was a native of Monterey, Calif., and was raised in the Midwest. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Smith began his career in entertainment working for commercial and music video director Bob Giraldi. He spent four years learning production in New York before leaving Giraldi Productions to pursue his screenwriting career in Los Angeles.
When Smith first arrived in LA, he joined Panavision Hollywood, where he supplied cameras to Quentin Tarantino and Emmanuel Lubezki. In 2000, Fox made “Men of Honor,” starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. and directed by George Tillman Jr. Smith was the sole credited writer on the screenplay.
Smith also was also credited as a writer on Paramount’s “The Score,” starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando and Angela Bassett. Soon, he left corporate life to begin writing full time. Smith performed assignment work on more than 40 screenplays for every major studio and received writing credit on the 2014 drama “When the Game Stands Tall.”
His long-time passion project, “Camera Store,” also marked his producing and directorial debut. It was released theatrically in East Coast markets in 2016 and premiered at the Palm Springs Film Festival in January 2017.
In recent years, Smith travelled the world scouting and writing. He was a mentor for the National Film Development Corporation of India and in the London Screenwriting Festival in 2019 and 2020. He was finishing his latest psycho-thriller “Wasatch” before he suffered a stroke.
Smith is survived by his children Dylan, Lauren and Carly.