Richard Smith is a Scottish BAFTA award-winning screenwriter, based in Los Angeles and the UK. He’s created and written feature films and television series, his work being exhibited at Sundance, Toronto and Cannes.
Richard is writing original mystery thriller, IN HER NAME, for Nigel Sinclair's White Horse Pictures and adapting the booker-nominated, THE GARDEN OF EVENING MISTS, for HBO/Astro Shaw - a director announcement is coming. He's writing GLASGOW KISS for director Marianna Palka and Synchronicity Films, financed by the BFI, to star Marianna Palka, Jason Ritter, Peter Mullan and Martin Compston. On the TV side, his original sci-fi drama/thriller, THE VISIT, for Three Rivers/DRG is announcing a major network imminently. He's adapting HIDING IN TIME for MGM/Whalerock and wartime miniseries EAST WIND, RAIN with Picture Road (Jesse Blanco), based on the book by Caroline Paul, a re-telling of the incredible 'Niihau Incident' true story.
Richard's first feature
script, psychological chiller TRAUMA, was directed by Marc Evans, starring
Colin Firth and Mena Suvari, produced by Warner
Bros/Little Bird/BBC Films. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004,
followed by Toronto, Edinburgh and Cannes, then opened in movie theaters across the world. It
was described as "a haunting meditation on grief and self-delusion...a UK
film whose visual and aural virtuosity sets it apart" (Screen
International) and “a gripping thriller” (News of the World).
Richard's other film commissions include NIGHTWORK for Ealing Studios (based on the book by Irwin Shaw, starring Dustin Hoffman), BIG DEAL for Celador Films (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE), NIGHTFALL for Juggernaut Pictures (a re-write of a Denis Lehane script) and THE FLIPSIDE OF DOMINIC HIDE (with Colin Firth). He wrote the final draft of VALHALLA RISING, which was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (DRIVE) and produced by La Belle Allee Productions/Vertigo/Wild Side Films. It premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2009, then opened wide in movie theaters.
Richard’s TV work includes the original drama pilot, NO REGRETS, for Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment (sold to the A&E network) and the one-off drama AUNTIE RITA for SMG/ITV. He won a Best Television Screenplay BAFTA Scotland Award for his half-hour film LEONARD (which also won film festivals in Clermont-Ferrand, Cairo, Bristol, Rehoboth Beach, the Algarve, Tehran and others). He was commissioned to adapt LEONARD into a feature film by Kinetic Arts/Crab Apple Films/Scottish Screen.
In another life, Richard created and wrote the ten-part comedy TV series, RE-PLAY, for BBC Play UK and the twenty-part series, DONNAWORLD, for the same network (described by The Guardian as “an astonishing piece of television”). Whilst moonlighting as a stand-up comic, he contributed material to BBC Radio 4’s THE HUDSON AND PEPPERDINE SHOW and wrote two shows, CLOSE TO THE FUNNY BONE and TONE DEAD, for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Richard's directing debut, the short film MONO, was financed in the UK, produced by Alcoba Films and selected by festivals across the world, including in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Nova Scotia, Sweden, Ireland, England, Scotland, Brazil, France and Italy. It won the Merchant City Festival, the End of the Pier International Film Festival, Film of the Month on shootingpeople.com and was runner-up in the prestigious BBC New Filmmaker's Award. Rights were bought by the BBC. Richard went on to write and direct the 3-minute short film, SCORE, for filmaka.com. The film was designated a 'winner' by its jury. Richard won the UK-wide Six Foot High script competition with A GOOD DAY’S WORK, which he sold but never made.
Richard worked most recently on feature film CLOSE TO THE EDGE, written by Andrew Walker, produced by Finite Productions/The Film Council. He developed HIKIKOMORI (wr/dir Paul Wright), which was nominated for Best Short at the 2007 BAFTAs, in addition to three Scottish BAFTA nominations (and one award). He’s developed over 40 short films, including ROOM 9 (wr/dir Carlo D’Allesandro), which won the 2011 RTS award, UNCLE FERGUS (dir Fiona Hay, wr John Rae), which won the 2009 RTS award, BATHTIME (wr/dir Fiona Cairns), runner-up in the BBC New Filmmaker’s Award 2007, and ICE PLANT (wr/dir Kate Burton) for Digicult 2007. He mentors film students regularly, and is available for one-to-one script development/coverage and workshops.
Richard has a postgraduate degree (with distinction) in Screenwriting from the University of Salford and a BA(hons) from the University of Strathclyde. He has adjudicated on Scottish BAFTA juries. He was an advisor on the Moonstone script labs, he’s a graduate of Arista and was selected for Slingshot's Second Picture Syndrome.