Brian Trenchard-Smith is an Anglo-Australian film and television director, producer, and writer, with a reputation for large scale movies on small scale budgets. Quentin Tarantino referred to him in Entertainment Weekly as his “favorite obscure director.” His early work is featured in Not Quite Hollywood, an award-winning documentary released by Magnolia in August 2009.
Born in England, where his Australian father was in the RAF, Trenchard-Smith attended UK’s prestigious Wellington College, where he neglected studies in favor of acting and making short films, before migrating to Australia. He started as a news film editor, then graduated to network promos before he became one of a group of young people that, as he recalls, “pushed, shoved, lobbied and bullied the government into introducing investment for Australian made films.” He persuaded Australia’s largest distribution-exhibition circuit at the time, the Greater Union Theater Organization, to form an in-house production company that he would run. The company made three successful films in a row, and his career was underway. In parallel careers, he was also founding editor of Australia’s quarterly Movie magazine for 6 years, and has made over 100 trailers for other directors in Australia, Europe, and America.
Among early successes were The Man From Hong Kong, a wry James Bond/Chop Sockey cocktail, the Vietnam battle movie Siege Of Firebase Gloria, and the futuristic satire Dead End Drive-In, a particular Tarantino favorite. BMX Bandits, showcasing a 15-year old Nicole Kidman, won the Prix Chouette in Europe, as Best Saturday Matinee Movie. Miramax’s The Quest/Frog Dreaming, starring ET’s Henry Thomas, now on Blu Ray, won a prize at Montreal’s Children’s Film Festival. He has directed 43 episodes of television series as diverse as Silk Stalkings, Time Trax, Five Mile Creek, The Others, Flipper, Chemistry, and the Showtime docu-drama DC 9/11: Time Of Crisis, one of five movies he made for the network.
Among Trenchard-Smith’s recent films are Long Lost Son, starring Gabrielle Anwar and Chace Crawford for Lifetime, and the family drama disaster movie Arctic Blast, starring Michael Shanks and Bruce Davison, which premiered on Spanish television as the number 1 movie with a 15.6 market share, and more than 2.5 million viewers. In Dublin he shot The Cabin, a rom-com starring Lea Thompson for the Hallmark Channel. He produced and directed Absolute Deception, a thriller starring Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding Jr. Recently released through Image is Drive Hard, an offbeat action comedy with John Cusack as the bank robber and Thomas Jane as his reluctant driver.
His body of work has been honored at the Paris Cinema, Karlovy Vary, Melbourne, Brisbane and Toronto Film Festivals. In 2016 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival. The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia recently hosted a three city retrospective of his films. He is a member of the Masters of Horror Circle, and is a contributing guru to Trailers From Hell. He is married to Byzantine historian Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith, and lives in Portland, Oregon.
His debut novel Alice Through The Multiverse was published in 2018. His new book Adventures in the B Movie Trade is now available on Amazon and Kindle.