Sunderland University graduate rubs shoulders with Pep Guardiola and co in producing Manchester City Amazon documentary

Jonathan Smith in front of a billboard advertising the TV series.
Jonathan Smith in front of a billboard advertising the TV series.

A university graduate spent eight months of his life devoted to following Premier League champions Manchester City as he helped produce a documentary on the club.

Despite being a Newcastle United fan, South Shields lad Jonathan Smith has been heavily involved in working on Amazon series All or Nothing: Manchester City, which has so far been watched by millions.

Jonathan Smith (far right) with crew of All or Nothing docu-series, alongside Man City Captain Vincent Kompany (in football top).

Jonathan Smith (far right) with crew of All or Nothing docu-series, alongside Man City Captain Vincent Kompany (in football top).

The 27-year-old graduated from the Sunderland University in 2013 with a degree in Media Production and has since gone onto build an impressive CV of TV and film work.

Now, his senior assistant producer role on the documentary series has seen him switching from black and white to blue.

The docu-series charted Manchester City’s progress through their 2017/18 season, in which they won the league title and EFL cup while also breaking a series of Premier League performance-related records.

Jonathan said: “A friend of mine who I’d worked with before had got in touch and said they were looking for an assistant producer for this potential series.

Jonathan Smith (right) with Gab and Luca Stifani, Italian brothers who also worked on the documentary.

Jonathan Smith (right) with Gab and Luca Stifani, Italian brothers who also worked on the documentary.

“It was all at the very early stages but he wondered if I’d be interested, which of course I was.

“Nothing like this had ever really been tried before with a football team, they’d done similar docu-series in the US with the NFL, but not over here.

“It wasn’t really until Amazon and City both agreed that we knew this was a goer and that it was actually going to happen.”

Most of the filming on the series took place between October 2017 and May 2018, meaning Jonathan would have to be away from his North East family, including two-year-old son Nolan.

Jonathan said: “I never had a great desire to work outside the North East - I love the region but this was a massive opportunity for me to get involved in something that was very exciting, and also a huge passion of mine – so in the end it was a bit of a no-brainer.”

Jonathan temporarily relocated to Manchester for seven months before heading to Barcelona for several weeks in the edit offices of production company Mediapro where the thousands of hours of documentary footage was cut down to help make the eight, 50 minute episodes.

After graduating from university, Jonathan worked as a runner on MTV’s popular Geordie Shore series before getting involved with several film projects as well as working with BT Sports and the BBC.

Did Magpies fan Jonathan have any qualms about switching sides for the season?

“Well, if nothing else I got to see a winning team for a change,” he joked.

“It was an incredible experience but it’s good to be back in the North East and spending some time with my son and my fiancée, Hasena.

“I’m looking forward to the future and have a few things on the horizon which I’m considering.”