John Downer started his professional career in the BBC Natural History Unit in 1981.
Initially, he made his name with the ground-breaking film “In-flight Movie” which pioneered many revolutionary ways to film flying birds.
In the course of time he has made several successful wildlife series: „Supersense“ about incredible animal senses, „Supernatural“, „Weird Nature“ and „Swarm“ for BBC and Discovery. All of these pushed the boundaries of what was possible in wildlife filmmaking, achieved huge television audiences and won many awards, including an EMMY nomination for Best Director.
The commercial and feature film world became interested and John left the NHU to direct commercials and write a screenplay.
Over time, he made several high budget commercials (including campaigns for Peugeot and BMW) and directed music videos for stars like Peter Gabriel (“Digging in the Dirt”) and Massive Attack („Psyche“).
John also developed the highly successful “Spy” wildlife brand, which used remote camera technology to take the audience into the animal’s world. Meanwhile, the series comprises various episodes, featuring elephants, bears, tiger, a lion pride, polar bears, penguins and dolphins. All of these reached high, some even record-breaking audience approval ratings.
Even another award-winning series, „Earthflight“, used many new techniques to film birds from the air as they travel across the world. A six-part extravaganza for the BBC and Discovery, it reached an overnight audience of 6.12 million in the UK and gained the Royal Television Society Craft & Design Award for Photography, Documentary/ Factual.