John was a post war baby, born in Bristol in 1946. His interest in cinema began at one of the first Comprehensive Schools under the auspices of a master, Philip Grossett, who had written a book about amateur filmmaking.
He encouraged the development of a Film Club who shot on 8mm during the school holidays and John often found himself acting as Cameraman, graduating to 16mm Bolex. “We charged 2/6d membership to screen three features per term and raise funds for filming.”
In 1964 after A Levels in Art, Engineering Drawing and Maths John went to Bristol Sidley Engines film department, and a year later at 19 joined the newly formed Gazelle Films. He then spent 9 years on 35mm documenting the Cold War and making promotional films for industry and NATO, in locations ranging from nuclear bunkers and aircraft carriers, to gold mines and ocean liners. This work entailed perpetual overseas travel and he finally elected to move closer to home and joined the BBC in 1974, where he remained until going freelance in 1993.
His workload as a Director of Photography was extensive and varied ranging from screenplays ”Licking Hitler” (1978 writer/d. David Hare), “Days at The Beach” (1981 writer/d. Malcolm Mowbray), “England’s Green and Peasant Land” (1981 d. Jim Hill), “The Groundling and the Kite” (1984 d. Peter Jeffries), “The Laughter of God” (1991 d. Tony Bicat) and ”Dead Romantic”
(1993 d. Patrick Lau) to Series and Serials such as “Great Expectations”
(1981 d. Julian Ames), “The Boys from the Blackstuff – Yosser’s Story” (1982 d. Philip Saville), “Jane Eyre” (1983 d. Julian Ames), “Auf Weidersehen Pet” (1983 d. Paul Seed), “DH Lawrence – The Rainbow” (1988 d. Stuart Burge), “Martin Chuzzlewit” (1994 d. Pedr James), “Pride and Prejudice” (1995 d. Simon Langton), “The Scold’s Bridle” (1998 d. David Thacker) and “My Uncle Silas” (2003 d. Philip Saville) to major documentary co-productions with CBS “The Maharajahs” (1987 d. Jonathan Fulford) and “Reaching for the Skys - the History of Aviation” (1988 d. Dennis Adams).
In addition John shot features “Fellow Traveller” (1989 BBC/HBO/BFI d. Philip Saville) and “Bhaji on the Beach” (1993 C4 d. Gurinder Chadha).
John joined the BSC in 1997 proposed by Lesley Dear.
OTHER DOP Credits include:
Wall of Silence; Ready When You Are Mr. Mc.Gill; Hans Christian Andersen; Thacker; Deadhead; White Lady; The Hound of the Baskervilles; All Creature’s Great and Small; Trial and Retribution; Murder in Suburbia; Dangerfield;
40 Something; Kinsey; Dalziel and Pascoe; Silent Witness; Howards Way; Bloodline; Frank Stubbs Promotes; Love on a Branch Line.
BAFTA Nomination: “Our Friends in the North” (1996 d. Pedr James)
Birmingham Film And Television Festival 1996: Awarded Best Cinematographer