Smith Jones Campbell, the commercials production company started by
Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones 11 years ago, has announced that it will
close for business this summer.
The decision comes nine months after the company dropped the Smith Jones
Brown & Cassie name and relaunched as Smith Jones Campbell, with Steve
Campbell, an established director who had spent ten years at Rose
Campbell, as a board member, took the decision to close the company
jointly with Mel Smith and Trevor Evans, the managing director.
Evans explained: ’I am worried about next year. Jobs are fewer and not
as profitable. Clients are spending more on sponsorships, mail-outs and
DRTV. I’m keeping ahead of the game - large companies are finding it
tough and more agencies are doing their own production work.’
Smith’s commitment to directing feature films had also been a
’Commercials production is something that requires one’s undivided
attention. With the principals of the company increasingly involved in
other areas, it seemed best to quit while we’re ahead,’ Evans said.
The company has been through a number of changes recently, including an
acrimonious split with one of the founding partners, David Brown, a year
ago. A month earlier it had opened two affiliated companies embracing
feature films and music production, Lola Productions and Freedom 4.
In October 1997, Neil Morrissey, the star of Men Behaving Badly, left
Smith Jones with one of its top producers, Nikki Welch, to set up
Quentin Morrissey, which subsequently closed.
Two of Smith Jones’s directors have secured feature film projects. One
of them, JJ Keith, was nominated for an Oscar this year for his short
film, Holiday Romance.
Smith Jones will complete its ongoing productions before shutting
Of the ten staff, about five are expected to join Evans in a new