Music, Filmmaking and Education. If you look back at Nick A‘Hern‘s career for the past 35 years, you quickly realize that he is someone that grew up surrounded by the film industry of Australia. The experienced director of photography and producer focusses on documentaries and passes on his knowledge to following generations.
Australia in the 1970s: All people saw in the cinema was either US made or British. It was the birthdate of the Australian film and television industry.And Nick A‘Hern evolved with it. “I am basically self-taught. So my studies started in 1987 and last until today“ says the modest Australian. At first his career developed into a different direction. A‘Hern grew up with a photographer as a father, his mother was a potter. But he searched for another way to bring out his creativity, and that was through music. He started working in a music store at 18 years old and became quite a good drummer supporting the Australian tour of “KISS“ in 1980 together with his band “The Eyes“.
Seven years later, his wife actress Joanne Samuel brought him into the film business. He learned everything from scratch, working today as a cameraman, steadycam operator, director of photography and even producing his own films. Always by his side, Sennheiser microphones accompanied his first recordings as a drummer and now today on all of his film projects.“A real highlight was sitting together with Mel Gibson and his editor for a week when editing the movie Hacksaw Ridge. It was shot in Australia and the post-production happened there as well“ tells Nick. “I asked him to just attend in the edit room and listen. And he happily obliged. So I spent a week in a small room with him and the editor.“
A‘Hern admires Gibson as a director and felt honored to learn what he was going for when creating a film. Nick‘s current projects mostly form long term documentaries as well as some corporate work. Together with his production company JAH Media the 62-year old is in the last steps of finishing a documentary on the history of Australian cinema starting in the late 1960s.
For another project, he travelled all over Australia with Lisa Perotti-Brown. She is one of the world’s most well-known wine experts. Together, they filmed and visited wineries all around the country, as well as New Zealand for four years. The result is called “Story in a Glass“ and shows the people and beautiful landmarks behind every glass of wine. Together with his wife he started hosting classes for young teenage filmmakers to pass on his knowledge of more than 35 years in the industry. The students, between the age of 10 and 18, learn everything from audio technique to camera operating, as well as acting of course.
With the equipment from Sennheiser, students learn how pickup patterns differ and can experience by themselves how analog wireless transmission and digital wireless compare. “Sennheiser‘s Digital 6000 wireless has been a game-changer. The EK 6042 receiver together with any lavalier microphone delivers a richer and deeper sound than ever before - probably the closest you get to a wired boom microphone.“A‘Hern sees a lot potential for young creatives. “Get back to the basics and learn the things yourself. Especially in the beginning you will not be surrounded by a big team with cameramen and sound engineers. You need to know all things by yourself. But the gap between professional productions and aspiring beginners is getting narrower in terms of what is possible and what is not. All of the necessary equipment has become more affordable. We are technically in a better space than we have ever been.“ A feature film produced by his son and directed by his wife became a nationwide success. “The legend of the Five“ is right now playing in Australian Cinemas.