Allen Farst is an acclaimed American director, filmmaker and producer whose most notable work is in action sports, music, documentary films and high-end commercials.
His work has been featured by Panasonic, Maxim Magazine, USA Today, Drone360, Nikon Cinema and others.
Currently, Allen is working on a documentary film about Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell. The film will feature President Jimmy Carter, John Mayer, David Gilmore, Eric Clapton and other notable musicians and dignitaries. Filming started in early 2017 and will wrap within the next 12 months. The film is stretched over time so that Allen and his team can continue to work with their current clients and stars.
Prior to his current project, Farst has left his directorial mark with regular corporate clients including Textron, Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft, Steak ‘n Shake, AGCO, Google, TUG, E-Z-GO, TextronGSE, Eaton, Carrier, ABC, ESPN, ExtraTV, United Technologies Aerospace, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing IndyCar/BMW and the Four Seasons Hotels.
In the fall of 2015, Allen shot the launch video for AGCO and Google Glass. It showcased Google Glass being used in the farming world and how it applies to everyday manufacturing uses.
In 2014, Allen collaborated with Nikon on a project called Life In The Fast Lane for the Nikon Cinema Series featuring his work on IndyCar driver Graham Rahal. It was viewed by millions around the world.
Panasonic has endorsed Allen for more than a decade now, supporting him on his projects 100 Years of Flight, AJ Foyt's video celebrating 50 years at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Kasey Kahne's Dirt & Drift DVD. Panasonic also used his footage on its own 25-foot screen during the 2010 NAB convention in Las Vegas, America’s largest film and television trade show with more than 100,000 people in attendance.
Over the past several years, Allen has produced films for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team. He works with sponsors like Midas, National Guard, DRIFIRE and Steak ‘n Shake, providing films, teasers, national commercials and still photography, all used to produce many marketing assets for sponsors. His automotive filming has taken him to the ESPN X Games several times. His footage also has been used by the Ford and Swedish racing company OlsbergsMSE.
Through the years, aviation has served as a common theme of films Farst has shot and directed. From producing high-end commercials for the Cessna Latitude to 100 Years of Flight – 17 Days of Glory, supported by corporate partner Panasonic, using a Panasonic DVX100. Legendary pilots like Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Scott Crossfield, John Travolta, Harrison Ford and Gene Cernan were featured. The project became Panasonic’s poster for the DVX100, promoted throughout the world and is still on its website to this day. The camera chosen by Allen started a revolution in independent filmmaking, being able to shoot 24p at a modest price.
Allen also is a leader in drone aerial cinematography. He started shooting projects from the air in the late 1990s. He was the first U.S. owner of a 12-blade, heavy-lift drone. He has filmed for IndyCar, Super Bowl, Google, Nikon, Hyundai and others. He spoke at the inaugural NYC Drone Film Festival to talk about his aviation-based filmmaking experience and was featured in the first national drone magazine, Drone360.
In 2005 and 2007, Allen shot his first in a series of "Get Real Wine" DVDs. The first was set in Napa and Sonoma, California. The second was shot in Bordeaux, France, during the fall harvest of 2006. The never-before-seen footage at Chateau Ausone, along with Margaux, Gazin, Cos d'Estournel and other highly-acclaimed and rarely-filmed wineries have made the project one to see.
After filming in Bordeaux, Allen produced a music video for Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack performing his tribute song Legend of the Speedway about four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt. Among the kudos Foyt sent from his Texas home for use in the video were some old-fashioned, open-face helmets from his days driving roadsters on dirt tracks. Decades-old dirt fell out of one of the helmets while unpacking them, so Farst made sure to scoop it back into the helmet for its return to “Super Tex.” The video went on to be the most-played video for IndyCar that year and played right before the start of the Indy500.
Maxim and Team RLL asked Allen to shoot both stills and video of David Letterman during his adventuresome laps of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a 1963 race-winning Watson roadster for a magazine feature. It ran in the Dec/Jan holiday issue in late 2015 and again in the February 2016 issue of Maxim Mexico.
Allen founded Niche Productions in the early 2000s to focus on high-end Hollywood-style productions, which has taken him to film in 12 countries and allowed him to meet scores of wonderful people along the journey.
Today, he treasures his grandfather’s Super-8 movie camera, while working with vastly more sophisticated tools like the Red Weapon digital cinema camera.
Allen is married and has three children – Vail, Von and Violet. He resides in Dayton, Ohio. His hobbies are skiing and cameras. Growing up, Allen used his father's VHS cameras to shoot music videos, ski films and mini-tramp dunks. When he got to high school in the late 1980s, he was selected as one of the first kids to take a TV class inside the newly-built cablevision studio located inside his school. He would often take home a camera on weekends to shoot music videos and then edit them back in the studio.
For several years, Allen and his team at Niche Productions have been actively involved in supporting Keith Urban’s Max it Out in Nashville for Vanderbilt’s Children's Hospital, The FoodBank, Secret Smiles, Big Brother Big Sister, St. Mary Corporation, The Little Exchange and St. Vincent de Paul providing assistance, shelter and hope.
PalMar Studios is named after Allen’s late grandparents Paul and Marion Farst. One of Allen's prized possessions is his grandfather's original film camera. PalMar Studios is the company through which Allen produces his national releases.