Meet the Filmmakers

This epic expedition, EIGHT SUMMITS, the Bill Burke Story, is produced by Allan R. Smith Productions, an award winning documentary & adventure film production company with over 30 years of experience in the film & television industry.

Specializing in extreme production environments, Allan R. Smith Productions has produced stunning films around the World. Whether it is in Death Valley’s 120-degree heat, 110 feet deep on a sunken freighter in Truk, Micronesia, the extreme of Alaska, to the humid jungles of Indonesia, Allan R. Smith Productions has been there.

Featured in Alaskan Airlines magazine, Allan R. Smith Productions work has been see on NBC, CBS, ABC, The History Channel, Outdoor Channel and more, including International broadcasters around the world.

Allan R. Smith – Director/Producer

Born and raised in Hollywood, California, Allan has been in the heart of the film and television 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. With a focus on producing documentary films and adventure television shows, he has had the pleasure of working with broadcasters around the world.

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 owner of Allan R. Smith 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 is the only person to have retraced 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. A former United States Marine, he is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America and the International Documentary Association.

Steve Essig – Director of Photography

As a camera operator, Steve has handled assignments for television documentaries, feature films and commercials under a wide variety of conditions, ranging from sub-zero cold in mid-winter Alaska to 120 degree heat in Bad Water, Death Valley.

Steve, has had the pleasure of working with National Geographic, Hansen/Gervasoni Productions, the California Chevrolet Dealers Association and High Desert Productions to name a few. A graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography for over 40 years he has captured stunning footage from around the world and worked as the director of photography for the award-winning documentary “RESCUE MEN – The Story of the Pea Island Life-Savers”.

Vivian Callahan – Writer/Editor

Most recently, she co-wrote, edited and was post-production supervisor on the documentary, “RESCUE MEN,” which currently has won eleven industry awards at various national and international film festivals. The feature is currently airing on the Aspire Cable network, which is owned by Magic Johnson.

Vivian has had almost three decades of experience working in network television. Notably, she has served as Executive Director of Creative Services and Director of On-Air Promotion for FOX Broadcasting Company, and Manager of On-Air Promotion for CBS. She was also a three-time PROMAX judge and presenter, and her biography is listed in “Who’s Who of American Woman,” and Who’s Who In America.”

She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and has won numerous awards and accolades for her work. She also was a member of former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan’s Council on the Arts, helped develop the curriculum for Harford Community College’s Mass Communications Department, and was a founding member and teacher for “The Story Project,” which was an after-school writing program for at-risk youth.

Vivian volunteers for the L.A. Maritime Institute which takes at-risk youth on tall ship excursions, is Press Officer for Del Rey Yacht Club, and is a member of the Executive Board of the Marina del Rey Boat Parade. She is an avid sailor and mountain climber.

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