John entered the Film Industry in 1962 at the age of sixteen, working for his father, Cliff Richardson, a pioneer of Special Effects who started in the Film Business in 1921. Together they worked on “THE VICTORS”, “LORD JIM”, “BATTLE OF BRITAIN”, “HELP”, “CASINO ROYALE” and many others.
John first began supervising films in 1967, working on pictures like "THE DEVILS," "STRAW DOGS," "YOUNG WINSTON" and "THE OMEN."
Since working on "A BRIDGE TOO FAR" in 1976, John has been responsible for the Effects work on the nine "BOND" films, "ALIENS" for James Cameron, "LADYHAWKE" for Richard Donner, "WILLOW" for George Lucas, "FAR AND AWAY" for Ron Howard and "CLIFFHANGER" for Renny Harlin doing both the Live Action and Shooting the Plane crash sequence for the film. While permanently based in California for many years John was responsible for the Effects work on "GHOST IN THE MACHINE" for Fox, "LOVE AFFAIR" which was Produced by Warren Beatty and Directed by Glen Gordon Carron, on which he was responsible for the Visual and Live Action Effects and the Shooting of the Plane crash sequence. Followed by "BUSHWACKED" for Fox, "THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT" for Castle Rock and "BROKEN ARROW" Directed by John Woo. John has won an Academy Award, and a BAFTA Award for his work on "ALIENS". US Academy nominations for "CLIFFHANGER" and “STARSHIP TROOPERS”, “HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN” and “HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS Part 1 and Part 2”, Also BAFTA nominations for all eight of the Harry Potter films winning the BAFTA for “THE DEATHLY HALLOWS Part 2”.
He has supervised all types of Special Effects including mechanical, physical, pyrotechnic, explosive and model effects. He has also directed many model, action and 2nd units and is very much a "hands-on" technician. Before starting on the Potter series John credits included the Special Effects work for Renny Harlin’s "DEEP BLUE SEA" and “FAMILY MAN” directed by Brett Ratner also the Model work on “TOMORROW NEVER DIES”, “THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH” for Michael Apted and “DIE ANOTHER DAY” for Lee Tamahori.
John has now completed work on all eight of the Harry Potter films and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.
Along the way John has designed and built water tanks for filming, he has worked in Surface and Deep water tanks in Malta, Mexico, Holland, Pinewood, Leavesden and California. He has also consulted on Studio Tank and Stage construction for the Alicante Studios.