|Who is it?||Director, Writer, Producer|
|Birth Place||England, United Kingdom|
|Age||74 YEARS OLD|
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, screenwriter|
There is something you always get in a Trenchard-Smith movie: pace, a strong visual sense, and what the movie is actually about told to you very persuasively. Whatever I do, I'll still be applying a sense of pace: trying to find where the joke is and trying to make the film look a lot bigger than it cost.
He was commissioned to make a film about his school, Wellington College, for prospective parents. He showed this around once he left school, and it helped him get work as an editor's assistant and camera assistant with a French news company in London. However he was unable to get into the union so he moved to Australia in 1965 (his father was Australian).
Trenchard-Smith worked at Channel Ten as an Editor, doing news, documentaries and station promos. He moved over to Channel 9 to work as promotions Director, then in 1968 he returned to England and went to work in London as a junior writer/producer of feature film trailers at National Screen Service.
Trenchard-Smith was going to Hong Kong to make an $8,000 documentary on Bruce Lee called The World of Kung Fu but arrived on the day Lee died. He turned the documentary into a tribute on Lee, and in the course of making it met Raymond Chow who helped fund Trenchard-Smith's first feature, The Man from Hong Kong (1975). The film was successful internationally launching his career as a feature Director.
The Man from Hong Kong was made for The Movie Company, a production company half owned by Trenchard-Smith and Greater Union. The Movie Company then made the documentary Danger Freaks before Greater Union pulled out. Trenchard Smith then made Deathcheaters (1976) which performed disappointingly and spent nine months on a proposed film that never got up, The Siege of Sydney. However he then made a dramatised short Hospitals Don't Burn Down which won a number of awards and was highly successful. Trenchard-Smith then made a film in the US called Stunt Rock which he once called "probably the worst film I have made".
Among his most fondly remembered credits are the cult classic Turkey Shoot (1982) and BMX Bandits (1983), where he worked with Nicole Kidman.
In January 1990 Trenchard Smith moved to Hollywood. He says when he left Australia "I was possibly a medium-sized fish in one of cinema's smaller ponds" and when he arrived he "immediately became plankton." (In 2001 he wrote "I believe I have now evolved into a sardine. My career goal is to become a dolphin, playfully cruising through a variety of genres on adequate budgets.")
In 2011 Trenchard Smith says his passion project is to do a revisionist history of Richard III.