Born in New Zealand, John has over 50 years’ experience in the film and television industry. His career began with the New Zealand National Film Unit as a sound recordist and then as a director/cinematographer filming documentaries and television current affairs.
In the late 1960s, John moved to Sydney, Australia where he joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a news cameraman. This was followed by a season as camera operator on the popular TV series “Skippy”. Subsequently he became second unit director/cameraman on the series.
At the end of the series John moved to Singapore and joined Pearl & Dean Productions as a director/cameraman filming cinema and television commercials and documentaries in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. Next, he joined Salon Films, Hong Kong as a director/cameraman. He was also second unit cameraman on Universal’s “That Man Bolt”
In 1980, John founded the first film facilities company in New Zealand and Interfilm, a commercial production company. Over the next five years John directed many of New Zealand’s most well-known ad campaigns. He took time out to spend three months in Indonesia filming a series of documentaries with former Magnum photographer Brian Brake. He then spent twelve months with Salon Films, Bangkok, Thailand, as executive producer and director.
In 1985, Dennis Guy & Hirsch Productions, New York, contracted John to direct commercials in the USA. This was followed by a period with Ulick Mayo Productions, Los Angeles. During this time John directed numerous high profile award-winning national campaigns for clients such as Amtrak, McDonalds and California Cheese.
Returning to New Zealand, John continued to direct and photograph TV commercials and formed Shadow Play Films.
During the 90’s, John was the Director of Photography on the feature film “The Last Tattoo”. He was Co-Director of Photography and Second Unit Director on “The Frighteners”, for Peter Jackson (“Lord of the Rings”, “King Kong”, “The Hobbit”)
In 2005 John co-produced the award winning short film US. US was invited to screen in over twenty international film festivals and was nominated for three New Zealand Screen Awards (NZ’s equivalent of the Oscar) – Best Short Film, Best Screenplay and Best Lead Performance.
John continues to work internationally as a filmmaker/producer and scriptwriter. He is frequently called upon to judge New Zealand film industry awards. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America and accredited member of the New Zealand Cinematographers Society.
“The Frighteners”: Director/Cinematographer – second unit Co-Director of Photography – main unit Directed by Peter Jackson (“Lord of the Rings”, “King Kong”, “The Hobbit”) Starring Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado and John Astin Executive Producer: Robert Zemekis (Universal Pictures)
“The Last Tattoo”: Director of Photography Directed by John Reid Starring Tony Goldwyn, Kerry Fox, and Robert Loggia Executive Producers: David Korda and Bridget Hedison Winner – Best Cinematography (1993 New Zealand Film Awards)
“Solo”: Director of Photography Directed by Tony Williams Starring Vince Gil and Lisa Peers Producers: David Hannay and Tony Williams
His talent and commitment have been awarded worldwide: Gold Axis NZ – for Craft Excellent, New Zealand Film Awards – Best Cinematography for “The Last Tattoo”. Clio – Direction/Cinematography, USA IBA – Direction/Cinematography, USA FACTS – Direction/Cinematography, Australia
Scripts “Shadowplay” with Peter Hancock. “Sweethearts & Wives” with James Blick. “The Lion of Penang”. “Denied”.