John is an award-winning director & director of photography whose extensive documentary footage of every NASA Mars mission over the last 18 years; building, testing, landing, operating- rovers, landers, and orbiters on Mars- has been seen on programs such as: National Geographic’s “Martian Mega Rover”, NOVA’s “Ultimate Mars Challenge”, two IMAX movies, “Roving Mars” and James Cameron’s “Aliens of the Deep”, and countless other Discovery Channel, PBS-NOVA, National Geographic, and Science Channel programs. His most famous work has been the creation of the viral video “Seven Minutes of Terror” for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory’s “Curiosity” which captures the intensity of what engineers had to design in order to land a car sized rover safely on the Martian surface.
Most recently, John directed a documentary about the Ukraine Revolution which focused primarily on the massacre of over 50 people on February 20th, 2014, in Kiev's Independence Square, known also as Maidan. The documentary, called "Maidan Massacre", worked alongside forensic scientists as they examined the evidence of the shootings and analyzed vast amounts of video footage shot by amateurs, in an effort to identify those responsible for the atrocity.
"Maidan Massacre" went on to receive the "People Choice" Award at the 2014 Terra di Siena Film Festival in Siena, Italy.
Earlier in 2014, John completed co-producing, shooting and editing an hour long documentary on the Mars Curiosity Rover for the Discovery Channel. The program, called "Red Planet Rover", aired December 18th, 2014.
In 2013, John was honored to receive NASA's Exceptional Achievement Medal and has received NASA’s “Videographer of the Year” award four times over the last 9 years. In 2009, he received an EMMY award for his work on National Geographic’s “Five Years on Mars” and in 1999, a Gold Plaque Award at the Chicago Film Festival for his documentary of NASA’s Mars Pathfinder Mission.
In addition to his documentary work, John also played a starring role in the hit web series "Tyranny", which he also wrote and directed. The series, which aired primarily on the Koldcast TV network, received several nominations in multiple festivals for: best looking show, best web drama, best thriller, best soundtrack, best sound design, and in 2012, John received a nomination for best male actor in a web series. Tyranny was one of only 20 web series chosen for competition in the Geneva International Film Festival in 2010.
John is also a composer, having played in several bands (SnoGlobe, Terminal-3, Silasfunk), he has continued to score the music for his web series "TYRANNY" as well as multiple NASA video productions, including the viral video, “Seven Minutes of Terror.” Earlier this year he composed the complete score for "Red Planet Rover", which he also co-produced, shot and edited. John also composed the score for his documentary "Maidan Massacre."
John is currently composing the entire score for a two-hour National Geographic documentary about the Mars rovers "Spirit" & "Opportunity".
Name: John Beck-Hofmann
Lives in: Los Angeles, California
Company: Weatherman Films
Occupation: Camera Operator, Director, Music Composer, Screenwriter, Producer, Editor, Videographer, Director of Photography and Actor
Unique traits: specially trained to do a production job single-handedly, from conception to completion.