After initially training as a stage actor and director, Johnny joined the TVNZ Avalon Production department in 1982 and worked on a wide variety of studio productions.
In 1985 he directed a number of Country GP and Seeker drama series episodes, and gained a Best Drama Director nomination in that year's GOFTA awards.
In subsequent years, he directed many episodes of the pioneering Open Home drama series and became producer of the successful Kaleidoscope arts documentary series. He also produced and/or directed numerous productions such as the 1989 Benson & Hedges Fashion Design Awards, RTR Countdown, Laughinz and 3.45 Live children's show.
Since leaving TVNZ in 1989, Johnny established his own production company Livingstone Productions making award winning programme such as Hero Parade, Queen Nation and Captains Log Series as well as directing and producing for various production companies and broadcasters including Star TV (Hong Kong) Communicado, Kids TV, VIDCOM, TV3 Maori Telelvision and South Pacific Television, including directing the successful Shortland Street television soap series.