John Daly

Family name: 
Interview Number: 
Production Media: 

Horizontal tabs


John Daly- Cinematographer. Born in 1955 in London England Awards BAFTA “Persuasion” BAFTA “Far from Madding Crowd” BAFTA Nomination “Our Friends in the North” BAFTA Nomination “20 Streets Under The Sky” RTS Nomination “Broken Glass” Knight of Illumination Award for “Up The Women” John was fascinated by Spaghetti Westerns and travelled all over London in his early teens to track down these relatively old films which led to an interest in what made these films so iconic, especially the composition and framing which made John wonder if being a cameraman could be a career, but how? John applied to the BBC for a job as camera assistant but at eighteen was told he was too young, as he would be “living out of a suitcase”. He found a job at Visnews working in the film vaults where he met a colleague who was also interested in film making and through various contacts managed to get film and processing at an affordable price allowing them to make their own films. But John wanted to see how the professionals make films on location, but then so did many others. John was then offered a job at the BBC, not in the camera dept, but in the film library which was a step closer.. He was by now determined to see how location shooting worked and as luck would have it he met a girl one evening and whilst chatting, discovered she was the daughter of Ken Westbury, a film cameraman at the BBC. After a while Ken offered to take John on location, giving him an introduction to filming, which came in very handy and a number of attachments to the camera dept, led him to becoming a trainee assistant cameraman. As an assistant John first worked with Ian Hilton then rotated to Peter Hall who gave John a chance to operate the camera and then documentary cameraman Mike Spooner, with whom he travelled extensively, eventually working with Paul Wheeler who gave John a break in Drama as camera operator, which led to being finally made up to a BBC Cameraman in 1987. After over twenty years at the BBC working on a huge variety of productions John felt it was time to leave the BBC and venture out into the freelance world and the chance to make Feature Films. Ken Westbury’s interview is also available on this site.

Further information: