Marc Smerling

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Marc Smerling, 2018

Marc Smerling is an American film producer, screenwriter and cinematographer.[1] He was nominated for an Oscar for Capturing the Friedmans in 2003, and co-wrote and produced The Jinx, a six-part HBO documentary on suspected murderer Robert Durst.[2]


Early in his career, Smerling was the associate producer of NBC's Gangs, Cops and Drugs for NBC with Tom Brokaw, and The New Hollywood. He then founded production company Notorious Pictures, producing and directing more than a hundred television commercials and music videos.[3]

Smerling partnered up with Andrew Jarecki to form their own production company Hit the Ground Running. He produced 2003's Capturing the Friedmans, which was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and 2010's documentary film Catfish,[4] which inspired the television series "Catfish: The TV Show".

In 2010, Smerling produced and wrote his first narrative feature film All Good Things, starring Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst and Frank Langella, about the suspected murderer and real estate scion Robert Durst. The film was the predecessor to the 2015 HBO documentary miniseries The Jinx, which Smerling co-wrote and produced with Andrew Jarecki and Zachary Stuart-Pontier.[5] He won the 2015 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary Series and was nominated for Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming. [6]

Smerling and Stuart-Pontier co-created the podcast Crimetown, which debuted in 2016 and quickly became the most popular U.S. podcast on iTunes. Each season of Crimetown examines how organized crime shaped an American city, starting with Providence, Rhode Island, in season 1.[7] They also co-created The RFK Tapes a Crimetown Presents podcast about the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

Personal life[edit]

Smerling attended S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and has a masters in Film Production from USC.[8]


Year Film or TV series
Producer Writer Cinematographer
2003 Capturing the Friedmans Yes
2010 All Good Things Yes Yes
2010 Catfish Yes
2013 Catfish: The TV Show Yes
2015 The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst Yes Yes Yes


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  4. ^ Longworth, Karina. "Doc or Not, Catfish Is Stranger Than Fiction". The Village Voice. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
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  7. ^ Ducker, Eric (13 December 2016). "Not-So-Divine Providence". The Ringer.
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