A renowned producer/director of wildlife films, John Downer is best known for his groundbreaking filming techniques. Starting his professional career with the BBC's Natural History Unit, John directed several episodes of the famous children's series Animal Magic (1980-82) and acted as producer on the major series, The Living Isles (1986).
1986 also saw John producing the multi award-winning programme In-Flight Movie for the Corporation's Wildlife On One strand. His pioneering camera techniques gave audiences a unique view of avian flight, literally flying alongside birds on the wing, he stripped down cameras and attached them to trained buzzards and also established the use of model helicopters as flying camera mounts.
John's success was quickly built upon by two six part series, Supersense (1988) and Lifesense (1991), both exploring animal perception from the creature's point of view. Starting work as an independent producer, he set up his own company John Downer Productions, based in Bristol.
Continuing his history of technical innovation, John and his company have been responsible for many more wildlife filmmaking advances. Updating his techniques from 1986, John secured the first ever in-flight footage of a golden eagle for the Wildlife Special: Eagle in 1997. 2000 saw the introduction of 'bouldercam' a mobile rock containing a camera.
Also working outside of the natural history industry, John has been responsible for a number of high profile commercials, winning a Grammy in 1992 for his time-layering techniques in Peter Gabriel's disturbing music video, Digging in the Dirt.
John is still presently working in wildlife film and continues to look at the animal world via a diverse mix of imaginative methods. Spending most of 2006 following wildebeest in Africa, he hid cameras in model hippos, dragonflies and even in fake dung, capturing unique footage for his epic production, Trek: Spy on the Wildebeest (2007).