James Smith was born in Surrey, England and brought up in the USA and South Africa before his family returned to Essex in the late 1970s. Following college stints at Chelmsford and Leicester, he embarked on a career in the computer business. This, however, was short-lived as he spent much of his time indulging in travel, outdoor sports, and creative pursuits, including music, painting and stills photography.
Taking advantage of the digital video revolution, Smith began making sports promos and documentary films in 2004, developing a mix of hand-held techniques melded with evocative static compositions that hallmark his style today. When directing actors, he often employs improvisation to add realism and dynamism to his work.
His award-winning documentary 'Gentlemen of the Night' was screened theatrically, the latest on its tenth anniversary to packed venues. His short film 'Keep Up If You Can' was selected from 3500 entries for Rutger Hauer's "I've Seen Films" International Internet Contest in Milan, whilst his début feature 'Do Something, Jake' is due for release early 2018.