Reality TV camera operator, director John Driftmier killed in plane crash

John Driftmier, who worked as a director of photography and director on reality shows such as Discovery Canada’s Dangerous Flights, was killed Sunday along with the pilot of a plane when it crashed in Kenya. He was 30.

Discovery Canada’s president and GM Paul Lewis said in a statement, “The Canadian production community has lost a bright and rising star. His talents will be missed and we share our deepest sympathies for his wife, family, friends and colleagues.”

Driftmier also worked on Highway Thru Hell, License to Drill, and Ice Pilots NWT, among other shows. His web site says that he was developing a series for Discovery Canada called PYROS about “an elite team of fireworks pyrotechs.” This is how he summarized his work:

“Character-driven, action-packed, edge-of-your-seat documentary and reality TV is what I do best. Through years of experience, I have made it my specialty working in extreme conditions, following larger-than-life characters who earn their livings in wild and wonderful ways.”

Here’s a trailer for the first season of Dangerous Flights that features his work. He was filming season two when he died.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.