About Austin Smithard
Austin Smithard is a shark; (or at least attributes his career to falling in love with filmmaking after seeing JAWS) he’s constantly on the move…although he does admit to indulging in an occasional nap. Discovered at 18 when one of his short films landed on the desk of Steven Spielberg, director, cinematographer, and editor Austin cut his teeth working on films such as JURASSIC PARK and HOOK. Raised on the Isle of Wight, off the southern coast of England, Austin (better known to friends and colleagues as Chief) has directed documentaries covering natural history, medicine, science, and the military as well as commercials for clients such as AFI, American Airlines, Asics, Verizon, Coca Cola, and Audi. Creative to the core, Austin is a one-stop shop: writer, director, and visionary whose ultimate set environment is the sound of laughter.
He’s also our in-house medical liason. If someone goes into labor on set, no problem. In addition to being a commercial pilot, Austin trained at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine in the emergency medical field which led to his joining the fire department in Los Angeles where he works every week on a Paramedic Ambulance. If he weren’t a director, he’d be flying a Search and Rescue helicopter.
Favorite lens: “I only use one lens usually anyway…50mm, 1.8 .”