Donovan Marsh is a film director, editor, and screenwriter who was born in the town of Johannesburg in South Africa. Movies that he's directed include the coming of age films Spud and Spud 2 as well as 2005's Dollar$ + White Pipes, 2013's Avenged, and 2018's Hunter Killer. Avenged won him 'Best Director', 'Best Editor', and 'Best Screenwriter' at the South African Film and Television Awards in 2015.
Tropes associated with Marsh's work include:
- Badass Beard: The leader of a group of Navy SEALs (played by Toby Stephens) sports one in Hunter Killer.
- Badass Mustache: Sported by said leader as well.
- Based on a True Story: Dollar$ + White Pipes is about the life story of South African figure Bernhard Baatjies. A former gangster who rose from 'rags to riches' before successfully going legitimate, becoming a lucky business entrepreneur, Baatjies co-wrote the project.
- "Five years ago, a man I didnt know sat down next to me and told me his life story. For two hours he enthralled me. I told him I was going to make it into a movie. He laughed." - Marsh
- Becoming the Mask: Avenged features an undercover cop that infiltrates a heist gang and decides to participate in a one-off score rather than busting the criminals, triggering the film's events.
- Dysfunctional Family: Poor John "Spud" Milton has quite the home life.
- Names to Run Away From: Spud's grandmother is known as "Wombat".
- Prevent the War: Hunter Killer could basically be called Prevent The War: The Movie.
- Protagonist Title: Both Spud films.
- Rags to Riches: A key theme of Dollar$ + White Pipes.
- Reality Subtext: The highly deteriorating relations between the Russia and U.S. during the 2000s and 2010s form the backdrop to Hunter Killer.
- Renegade Russian: The Russian villains of Hunter Killer aren't just acting outside of the Kremlin's authority (as in many ''James Bond'' movies). The bad guys actively murder and hold hostage the civilian leadership and their people.
- World War III: This is what multiple characters work to prevent in Hunter Killer.