Adam Smith’s remarkable, possibly unique career path has taken him from making club and concert visuals via documentaries to award winning music videos and television drama (Skins, Little Dorrit & Dr Who). His current film project with writer Polly Stenham (That Face, Tusk Tusk) and Film Four is the next stage in this diverse body of work.
Most recent work has been the critically acclaimed first episode and a special two-parter for the new series of the BBC’s Doctor Who which gained special praise in both Variety and the Hollywood Reporter with The Guardian describing one episode as able ‘to lay credible claim to being the greatest episode of Doctor Who there has ever been’.
He has also completed the new visuals and music videos for the Chemical Brothers latest album “Further” (co directed with Marcus Lyall).
Smith studied film and video at London College of Printing before co-founding the visuals company “Vegetable Vision” and launching himself into designing visual shows and installations for bands (including Chemical Brothers, U2, Beth Orton), clubs, raves and events.
He has worked with The Chemical Brothers since their first gig back in 1994, producing ever more elaborate visuals, which have provided backdrops for their shows worldwide. This long-term collaboration prompted The Independent to hail him as the “the third Chemical Brother”. The synapse frying, brain-melting visuals were once described as if ”Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso did animation for MTV " (The Dallas Morning News). He won the Grand Jury Prize Award for Best Music Video for the Chemical’s single Galvanize at Resfest 2005.
Another long-term collaborator of Smith’s is Mike Skinner of The Streets for whom he has directed several music videos, concert visuals and most recently persuaded to appear in one of his Dr Who episodes.
The video for ‘Blinded by the Lights’ won the DMA Best Video and was nominated for the D&AD Silver Pencil in 2005. It was deemed “too shocking for TV” by The Sun and praised for “skilful direction” by Creative Review.
His “brilliant comedy short film-cum-video” ‘What Goes Up Must come down’ stars actor Charlie Creed-Miles’ and features a priceless cameo by Kathy Burke. Dazed and Confused called it an “hilarious taxi romp” and it won the Golden Falcon Award at the 2007 Ibiza International Film Festival.
For his music video work Smith was described by ID Magazine as “the Hype Williams of grime videos, well kind of… if ‘What Goes Up (must come down)’ is anything to go by then perhaps he’s more like the Mike Leigh of hip hop and reggae”.
Smith’s documentary looking at the musical genre now described as ‘grime’ (Wiley-Wot do u call it?’) was the TV choice of The Guardian Guide and Time Out on its release on Channel 4 in 2005. His film ‘Ghetto On Sea’ (part of the Tower Block Dreams series for BBC3) charted the trials and tribulations of running a pirate radio station with Smith gaining unprecedented access to this very closed world.
A.I.P.S.’ (American Infantry Preservation Society) followed a group of extraordinary Englishmen who re-enact the Vietnam War in the Kent countryside. Broadcast on Channel 4 in 2003 it was The Telegraph’s Pick of the Day and described by The Times as “a surreal start to the weekend”.
His diverse work in Television drama began with the first series of Channel 4’s multi award winning show Skins. Episode four directed by Smith and written by Jack Thorne was described by The Times as “TV at its best”.
A major six-episode foray into costume drama followed with the BBC1 adaptation of Charles Dickens’s ‘Little Dorrit’, which won multiple Emmy awards in 2009 including Best Mini Series.