Ben Lawrie is an award-winning director based in New Zealand.
He specialises in prime-time science, history and adventure documentaries for the world’s biggest broadcasters, and premium brand films for global corporate clients.
His films have received many millions of views worldwide.
He has filmed in locations as diverse as Rolls Royce’s engineering studios; the Venezuelan jungle (pictured here directing an abseil sequence down Angel Falls, the world's highest waterfall); and in the stratosphere with NASA.
Notable projects include the BAFTA-nominated Earth: The Power of the Planet and the jaw-dropping spectacle of the BAFTA and RTS award-nominated Plane Crash.
Recent work includes Galapagos, a 3-part natural history adventure series for BBC1 and The Crafting of Simplicity, the global launch film for the new Range Rover Velar, narrated by Hollywood actor Damian Lewis.
He was on the jury for the 2014 BAFTAs.
2014 documentary showreel featuring clips from science, history & adventure films for the BBC and Discovery, including the BAFTA and RTS award nominated Plane Crash (2012).
Ben has been working with prestigious brands since 2016. Here's an example of his work for Jaguar.
companies & organisations
Ben has filmed worldwide with a variety of prestigious companies and organisations.
Chris Hemsworth (Thor in the Marvel movies) embarks on an epic mission to transform himself, training for six extraordinary challenges.
6x50’ for National Geographic [Nutopia] – TX TBC
ONE STRANGE ROCK
Second season of National Geographic's award-winning global event series, telling incredible stories about planet Earth.
Hosted by Will Smith.
8x50’ for National Geographic [Nutopia] – TX TBC
JAGUAR: GOING ELECTRIC
Branded content documentary feature telling the remarkable story of Jaguar's first ever electric car. Narrated by British actor Mark Strong. Filmed in Italy, Germany, Austria & UK.
1x57’ for Jaguar [Flying Mile Films] – TX 2018
JAGUAR I-PACE: FULLY CHARGED
Global launch film for the new Jaguar I-PACE. Transmitted to a live global audience on Facebook Live.
1x17’ for Jaguar [Flying Mile Films] – TX 2018
The inside story of Tech Fest, a major new annual event investigating the future of urban mobility. Filmed over two days at Central St Martins. Presented by TV personality George Lamb.
1x15’ for Land Rover [Flying Mile Films] – TX 2017
THE MAKING OF AN ICON
Behind the scenes at Land Rover during the production of a new car.
1x48’ for Land Rover [Sundog Pictures] – TX 2017
THE CRAFTING OF SIMPLICITY
Global launch film for the new Range Rover Velar, narrated by British actor Damian Lewis.
1x15’ for Land Rover [Sundog Pictures] – TX 2017
Series Director / Producer
“Genuinely astonishing” – Daily Telegraph
Presenter & team of experts on an epic voyage of discovery through the Galapagos islands.
3x60’ BBC1/Worldwide [Atlantic Productions] – TX 2017
THE DAY THE DINOSAURS DIED
“Intriguing” – Washington Post
Landmark, presenter-led project following a crack team of scientists on an expedition in Mexico.
1x60’ BBC2/NOVA [Barcroft Productions] – TX 2017
CITY IN THE SKY
“Fresh and fascinating” – The Guardian
Landmark series presented by Dallas Campbell. Director of various sequences in UK and overseas, including a dramatic aerial opening sequence filmed in Bhutan.
3x60’ BBC2/PBS [BBC Science] – TX 2016
EXTREME MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE
Series Director / Producer
“Must-see TV” – The Sun
Landmark presenter-led adventure series filmed in the Venezuelan jungle. Rock climbing, caving and a stunning abseil off the top of the highest waterfall in the world.
2x60’ BBC2 [BBC Science] – TX 2016
“Fascinating” – The Sunday Times
The epic rise and fall of the civilisation that built Angkor Wat. Landmark history series filmed in Vietnam & Cambodia.
2x60’ BBC2/Smithsonian [BBC History] – TX 2014
THE PLANE CRASH
“A TV spectacle” – Los Angeles Times
The biggest ever controlled plane crash – a Boeing 727 is crashed into the Sonoran Desert, Mexico.
Nominated for BAFTA & RTS awards, winner of Televisual Award, Best Documentary.
1x60’ C4 & 1x90’ Discovery [Dragonfly Productions] – TX 2012
OUT OF CONTROL?
“Incredible” – The Guardian
The mysterious world of the unconscious mind.
Filmed in Canada, USA (New York, Arizona & Ohio) and UK.
1x60’ BBC2 [BBC Science] – TX 2012
“Thrilling” – The Times
The story of scientists pushing the limits of telescope science and engineering in some of the most extreme environments on Earth. Filmed in Chile, USA (California, Utah), France & Sweden.
1x60’ BBC2 [BBC Science] – TX 2011
Documentary made in just 13 days following the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
Dr Iain Stewart examines the causes and consequences of the disaster.
1x60’ BBC2 [BBC Science] – TX 2011
SURVIVING A CAR CRASH
“Fascinating” – The Daily Telegraph
New advances in engineering and medicine look set to forever change the story of a car crash.
Filmed in Canada, Sweden & USA (Virginia, Florida, Massachusetts & Michigan).
1x60’ BBC2/Discovery [BBC Science] – TX 2011
HOW THE EARTH WAS MADE
Spectacular story of the volcanoes of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Filmed in Alaska, California and Washington state.
13x45’ History Channel [Pioneer Productions] – TX 2009
THE BIG QUESTION
Ze Frank looks at the science of speed. A record-breaking freefall, supersonic aeroplanes, and a school bus with a fighter-jet engine. Filmed in California, Indiana & Florida.
1x46’ Discovery [Pioneer Productions] – TX 2009
“Superb” – The Daily Telegraph
Award-winning series looking at how Earth history is driven by catastrophe. Ep5, Survival Earth.
Filmed in USA (California, Wyoming, Arizona, Alaska & Ohio), Iceland & UK.
5x50’ C4/Discovery [Pioneer Productions] – TX 2008
EARTH: THE POWER OF THE PLANET
“Breathtaking” – The Daily Mirror
Dr Iain Stewart presents landmark series telling the story of the Earth. Ep. 5, Rare Earth.
Filmed in Mexico, Australia, Madagascar & USA. Nominated for Best Series BAFTA & other awards.
5x60’ BBC2/National Geographic [BBC Science] – TX 2007
20th CENTURY BATTLEFIELDS
“History television at its best” – The Observer
Landmark series presented by Peter & Dan Snow. Unique CGI brings to life major battles. Ep.2, Midway: 1942.
Filmed in California, Hawaii & UK.
8x60’ BBC2/Discovery [BBC Specialist Features] – TX 2007
FIRECRACKER FILM & TELEVISION
Music / adventure series with high-profile DJ presenter. Pilot commissioned by Red Bull TV.
Development of history projects for UK broadcast and international co-production. Creator of landmark series Jungle Atlantis (2x60’ BBC2, TX 2014).
Development of history projects and management of development team.
Creator of BBC2 history series The Birth of Empire: The East India Company (3x60’ BBC2, TX 2014).
BBC SPECIALIST FEATURES
Jerusalem: An Anthem for England. Personal project commissioned through BBC. Nominee, Best Arts Documentary, Banff World Television Festival. (1x60' BBC4, TX 2007).
Egypt. Landmark docudrama (6x60’ BBC1, TX 2005).
D-Day to Berlin. Drama documentary (3x60’ BBC1, TX 2004).
Black Flash: A Century of Black Footballers (1x60' BBC4, TX 2004).
The Brief Histories. High impact history show, pilot (1x30’ BBC3, TX 2003).