Five Questions With Filmmaker Allan Smith

Born and raised in Hollywood, California, Allan Smith has been in the heart of the film industry for over 30 years. Beginning at age 6 performing in Armor Hot dogs commercials, to appearances in the feature film’s “Chinatown”, “The day of the Locust”, “They Only Kill Their Masters” to television appearances in “The Brady Bunch”, “Gunsmoke”, “Barbury Coast”, “Canon”, “Medical Center” and many more. This experience has led to a career of producing and hosting television programs such as “The Alaskan Experience”, “Carolina Road Trips”, “Cruising the World” and more.

His most recent film “RESCUE MEN – The Story of the Pea Island Life-Savers” has won 9 industry awards and has led the naming of a new Coast Guard Cutter, The Richard Etheridge.

The owner of DreamQuest Productions an award winning full service production company, Allan was instrumental in the early adoption of new media and content distribution. He currently works with several companies on their social Media campaigns and digital content distribution.

He is an accomplished adventurer and has filmed on Mt. Everest and the jungles of Borneo. The only person to have retrace the footsteps of the “Lost 49er’s” from Cedar City, Utah to Death Valley, California, on foot and a feat that was accomplished in the dead of winter for over 300 miles.

Allan is the Past- President of the Los Angeles Adventurers’ Club and member of the Explorers Club. He is a Medal of Valor recipient from the California Highway Patrol and Governor of the State of California. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the International Documentary Association and the Producers Guild of America.

Allan Smith’s film, Rescue Men – The Story of the Pea Island Life-Savers, is playing a the 2015 GI Film Festival.

Where are you from and what is your film background?

I was born and raised in Hollywood, California. I recently relocated my company to Raleigh, North Carolina. I started my film career as a child actor at the age of 6, appearing in many commercials, television shows (Gunsmoke, Brady Bunch, Medical Center and many more) to feature films including, Chinatown. In my early 20’s I created my company DreamQuest Productions which has had a focus on Indigenous Cultures, Hostile Territories & 3rd World Countries. We focus on adventure & expedition film productions, with an eye for documentary subject matter that has never before been told on film.

Who are your biggest influences in film and why?

James Cameron for his ability to work outside the box with a vision to not just explore the Oceans depths with a camera, but also be a leader in innovation for the film industry. Ken Burns for his creating a path and recognition for the documentary genre.

What was the hardest part about getting this film made?

Earning the trust from the families.

What do you want viewers to take away with them after watching your film?

That these men, regardless of color or conditions, lent out a hand when normally it would never have been taken. All of us could learn a thing or two from the Pea Island Lifesavers!

What is a fun fact about you that would surprise people?

I have traveled to over 80 countries and enjoy eating bugs.

Rescue Men – The Story of the Pea Island Life-Savers, directed by Allan Smith, is playing at Angelika on May 23, 2015. Click here for tickets.