Ryan Donnell Smith Film Producer, Netflix

Ryan Donnell Smith: Netflix film producer reveals industry insights and tips

Ryan Donnell Smith is an executive producer of Oscar-nominated Netflix movie The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020). In a rare opportunity to learn about the filmmaking process, presenter Aiysha Jebali sat down with Ryan to discover what a top movie producer actually does and how to become a film producer on big budget films. Hint: it’s not an overnight kinda deal.

Have you ever wondered:

Why are so many movies filmed in Atlanta, Georgia? What are the tax benefits for filmmakers shooting in Georgia? What are the different types of film producers? What does a line producer do? How do I become a movie producer?

We cover all this and more as we discuss the business of filmmaking with the executive producer of Academy Award-winning director Aaron Sorkin’s Netflix film.


Winner of a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) tells the true story of the trial against civil rights activists and anti-Vietnam war protestors in 1969.

This group of individuals all protested against the Vietnam War at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Their main charge was conspiracy to incite a riot, even though most of the accused were in fact, not connected previously.

A monumental and politically-charged trial took place under President Nixon’s presidency and is remembered for the farce it became.

The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, Alex Sharp as Rennie Davis, Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman, Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin, John Carol Lynch as David Dellinger, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Bobby Seale, Ben Sherman as Leonard Weinglass, Mark Rylance as William Kunstler, Danny Flaherty as John Froines, Noah Robbins as Lee Weiner and Frank Langella as Judge Julius Hoffman.


Presenter: Aiysha Jebali
Video Editor: Millie Hayward
Second Editor, Visual Effects & Artwork: Richard Williams
Audio Podcast Editor: Danny Morrison (COMING SOON)
Image of Ryan Donnell Smith: The Riker Brothers
Stills courtesy of Netflix / Persona PR