About me

I’m a highly experienced film maker and script writer, having learnt my craft from the master of film making, Charles Lagus, who discovered David Attenborough.  I have filmed natural history, adventure and wildlife documentaries commissioned by the BBC, Channel 4, Yorkshire TV, and Anglia TV. I have also worked for public broadcasters in the USA, namely, WGBH and the Education Learning channel, to name a few.


During my filming career, I have accompanied Robert Swan (the first man to have walked to the North and South Poles) on expeditions to the Antarctic and Arctic, experiencing very challenging conditions, including filming Robert in temperatures of 50 degrees below freezing. I have worked on David Attenborough’s highly acclaimed ‘Life in the Freezer’ natural history series, and taught film making to international students whilst based in Antarctica. And much more...


I was the principal film maker on Robert Swan’s ‘In the Footsteps of Scott’, an award-winning documentary which broadcast worldwide.


In the Arctic, I filmed for a BBC series called 'Classic Adventure' about the first-ever trans Arctic crossing via the North Pole aboard a Russian nuclear icebreaker.


From a Canadian ice breaker, I filmed ‘Wonders of Weather’, a documentary for the Learning Channel in the USA.


I also produce corporate videos capturing historical information presented in an engaging style. For example, I filmed the reminiscences of scientists, researchers and ship staff who worked for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). The aim was to capture the spirit of employees who worked on the BAS bases and aboard their survey ships.


And finally, I film weddings and people’s life stories recording family history. These films ensure that historical information is not forgotten, leaving a legacy for future generations.

“I want to endorse 100 per cent John Tolson from Heirline Films.  John and I have worked together at both Poles under very very extreme conditions.  The most important part of John is this…..He has the ability (and I don’t know how he does it!) to draw out your stories and to make you feel at ease in front of the camera.   He then takes the footage, edits it, and makes it totally professional, with lots of information, both factual and fun, delivering the film on time and on budget.   I have huge respect for John and his work. He’s great at what he does.”  


Robert Swan OBE

Polar explorer, environmental leader

Founder of 2041

John Tolson

Contact me:  Tel: 01865 326457     email: john@heirlinefilms.co.uk

© 2016 Heirline Films.  Website created by Ogilvy Jones Marketing