WHO HE IS: The new GM/EP at Digital Kitchen production house since March 12 is relocating to Chicago from Indianapolis where he’s freelanced as a producer for some 18 years.
HOW HE VIEWS HIS JOB: Helping to coordinate the production; seeking the work; getting projects in the door and then determining the most fitting music and settings.
PROS: “The opportunity to meet interesting, new people who have different views and the potential to do really exciting work with them.”
CONS: “It’s too early to say?!”
KEY TO SUCCESS: “Trying to be a good listener, being collaborative and setting people up to do their best work.”
ON THE SIDE: His 16mm, 28-minute short film, “Sugar Mountain,” won multiple awards while it ran the film fest circuit?including last year’s Milan International Film Fest to which he was invited and particularly enjoyed.
He shot it throughout 2005 with a $20,000 budget. The story follows a young boy who relates to people differently after a traumatic operation.
BACKSTORY: Smith landed an internship at ABC Sports after earning his B.A. in telecommunications with a minor in theater from Indiana University. The internship led to a three-year graphics assistant job at ABC Sports.
“It was like a high end carnival gig! Going live at sporting events is completely different energy. There’s a lot of yelling and screaming that goes on in those production trucks! Those guys are juggling lots and lots of camera at once.”
From ABC, Smith went on to a milder vocation freelancing with various companies like Nike from his Indianapolis base.
BIG BREAK: Working on Budweiser spots for the 2005 Super Bowl with DDB and Digital Kitchen was “an enormous stroke of good fortune. Those guys at DDB completely understand that audience and brand.”
That was his first experience working with Digital Kitchen.
WORDS OF WISDOM: “Ask questions and write down the answers. Show up EARLY.”
HIS ULTIMATE GOAL: “To be able to combine my knowledge and resources to affect change through projects like PSAs that promote philanthropic interests.”
A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION: “I’m continually in awe of people who conduct themselves with a wonderful sense of grace, yet lack of self-importance or bravado.”