John S Smith

John S
Family name: 
Work area/craft/role: 
Interview Number: 
Interview Date(s): 
23 Feb 2008
Other crew: 
Production Media: 

Horizontal tabs



John  lived in Golders Green and left school in 1944, he went to his local cinema for a job checking tickets before he joined the projection team as assistant. He was keen to get more involved in the making of films and next employment was at Brent Laboratories working on films for the BFI before going into the RAF. When he left the services in 1952 he went to Film House in Wardour Street as a projectionist and on to Hammer House as a librarian becoming an assistant editor on various Hammer productions that took him to Walton-on Thames working on various B Movies. Early days of ITV independent television John went on to work on ABPC series taking him to the Bahamas. When he returned to the UK he went to Elstree Danziger studios as a sound editor before going to Pinewood  joining  a Children Film Foundation film. At MGM John  worked on Zero One produced by Lawrence Bachmann. The production was a partnership between BBC and MGM Elstree. John went on to The Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan that Patrick also produced with director Don Chaffey. He then edited Submarine X-1 with director Bill Graham and in 1968 Mosquito Squadron with David McCallum starring for United Artists.  John went to Rome sound editing The Adventures of Gerard. Returning to the UK John joined Thames editing film inserts for various series. At Twickenham studios he was sound editor on Venom directed by Peter Sykes produced by Michael Person and Ken Rowles and editor Steve Collins whose script was taken into the Cupid Production projects.  Editor Roger Cherrill asked John if he could work with Sir Charlie Chaplin and re sound old silent films with music tracks. For Thames Euston films Special Branch with George Sewell and Patrick Mower. Next he went on to work on a  production with Orson Welles on looping sound at CTS. John returned to Thames and he edited Special Branch, Armchair Cinema, The Sweeney. He then edited Blake’s 7 with director Douglas Camfield a BBC production.  In 1980’s he edited a feature Trangiers. John also edited documentaries for Greenpark Productions dubbing sound at Merton Park Studios for producer Humphrey Swindler. At Wembley studios John was supervising editor on The Professionals , and directing second unit .John Glen 007 Bond director asked John to join the editing team on A View to a Kill at Pinewood. Back in Wardour Street John edited in 1986 the documentary film for the Queens 60th birthday based on Serge Lemoine’s table top book Tribute to Her Majesty presented by Sir John Mills directed by Ken Rowles for US cinemas on 35mm film. The production competed with many other television programmes BBC ITV and worldwide projects the film was distributed on video. In 1987 Snow White with Diana Rigg was produced Canon’s Yoram Gobus and Menahem Golan filmed in Israel. The final film and series John edited  Magic Moments with John Shea and Jenny Seagrove and The Paradise Club before opening a cat boarding business.

Ken Rowles