The son of founder Williams Hinds (aka Will Hammer), Hinds (born 1922) was a driving force behind Hammer Studios' classic era. His first film as producer was The Man in Black (1949), his last The Lost Continent (1968). Hinds appears as a key influence behind Hammer's decision to purchase Down Place, the country house in Bray where the studio filmed its most memorable horrors.
In 1960 he contributed to the screenplay of The Brides of Dracula, a notoriously difficult script that went through several authors. His first credit as writer was for The Curse of the Werewolf (1960), under the pseudonym John Elder, which he was to use for all his screenwriting credits. He continued to write scripts for Hammer long after he stopped producing, his last being for Terence Fisher's swansong, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974). He wrote only three screenplays outside of Hammer: for the Tyburn-produced Legend of the Werewolf and The Ghoul in 1974 and 1975, respectively, and for the 1984 TV Sherlock Holmes movie The Masks of Death, starring Peter Cushing (story only).