Hailing from a small town in New Jersey you’ve never heard of, Mike Smith fell in love with filmmaking at a young age. When he was 8 years old, he became infatuated with Steven Spielberg’s LEGO Studios Moviemaker Set, which taught him how to write, storyboard, build worlds (literally), shoot and edit his own movies. From that moment on, Mike knew he wanted to be a filmmaker for screens of all shapes and sizes.
In 2011, Mike ventured to Los Angeles to study at the University of Southern California to hone his skills as a filmmaker. He graduated in 2015 with a BA in Critical Studies and a Minor in Screenwriting from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. During his time at USC, Mike directed and produced the music video for the "Grace for Keshet Campaign" (2014) which raised over $20,000 for arts initiatives for children and adults with special needs. He also edited and produced content for HBO College.
In 2013, Mike co-founded the production company Zephyr Entertainment with the goal of reinventing classic cinema in the new media era and fostering a community of forward-thinking creatives. Since then he has directed, edited, produced and written over a dozen award-winning shorts, web series and music videos such as the drama thriller Kismet (LA Shorts Film Festival, 2019) the frat gangster comedy Brosa Nostra (Hollyweb Festival, 2017), and the short documentary Seeking Shelter (Slamdance Film Festival, 2017) as well as branded content for Bacari L.A., John Hardy Jewelry, and HBO GO.
Independently, he has created content for grow studios and has worked as the assistant editor and associate producer on the feature documentary Barbara Boxer Gives a Damn.
Film (short) by Zephyr Entertainment (Crime, Horror, Mystery, Thriller and 1 More) Director, Editor, Producer The kidnapping of a young girl in an isolated mountain town forces two female police officers -- one local, one state -- into a disturbing and polarizing investigation of the community.
Film (short) by Zephyr Entertainment (Drama, Thriller and Short) Producer Deep in the Smokey Mountains, a beaten down drifter, unsure of his own humanity, manipulates his way into the home of two grieving siblings.
Series by Zephyr Entertainment (Comedy) Director (Pilot), Producer Mr. Shan is the story of a young Chinese immigrant in Hollywood on his journey to become the greatest actor of all time. "The Chinese Mr. Bean" - Indie Film Review
Series by Zephyr Entertainment (Comedy and Crime) Co-Creator, Co-Writer, Director, Producer After 33 years of exile, Steve Olivieri wants Sigma Mu Theta to return to Greek Row at Southern California College. A legion of fraternity presidents would rather he not. In this world, the only rule is debauchery.
Film (short) by Zephyr Entertainment (Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller and Short) Producer In a not so distant future, humans must take pharmaceuticals to feel any emotion at all. This is the story about two people who have been prescribed to take the next step in their relationship.
Film (short) by Zephyr Entertainment (Romance, Thriller and Short) Producer A dark, layered, and surprising look at how relationship tensions aren't always what they seem.
Documentary by Zephyr Entertainment (Documentary and Short) Co-Editor, Producer The City of Los Angeles has one of the largest stray dog populations in the country. Seeking Shelter examines the current system in place that's dealing with these dogs, the people fighting to make it better, and the dogs caught in between.
Film (short) by Zephyr Entertainment (Horror and Short) Producer A woman trapped in an asylum finds out the truth about why she's there...
GOLD REMI for Best Original Drama - Worldfest Houston (Kismet)
WINNER Best Web Series Micro Short Episode - Houston Comedy Film Festival (Mr. Shan, Pilot)
NOMINATED Best Director - Houston Comedy Film Festival (Mr. Shan, Pilot)
SILVER REMI for Best Webseries - Worldfest Houston (Brosa Nostra)
WINNER Best Nature/Environmental Documentary - Slamdance Film Festival (Seeking Shelter)
HONORABLE MENTION Best Documentary - Slamdance Film Festival (Seeking Shelter)
University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts (Los Angeles, CA)