Ron Hagen ACS (1947-2002)

Ron was one of the main contributors to the resurgence of filmmaking in Australia throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. His professionalism, dedication and extremely high standard of work was a benchmark to be aspired to, and his giving of knowledge to younger up and coming cinematographers was a known trait of Ron’s nature.

From an early age while growing up in Mildura during the 1950’s and 60’s, Ron developed a keen interest in photography. Then in his late teens managed to secure a job with the Sunraysia Daily, the local newspaper as a photographic cadet. He then developed real interest in moving pictures, so decided to move to Melbourne where he secured a job with the ABC, and quickly found himself shooting News, Current Affairs and Documentaries. When he wasn’t out on a job he would hang around the studio watching the drama shoots, for it was this area of filmmaking that most interested him.

Vic John ACS recalled Ron’s first job as his Operator on the ABC series “Bellbird”. “Ron was a bloody good operator. He had a great eye and his hand held work was amazing”. In 1981 Ron went freelance, shooting documentaries and television commercials. In 1984 he got his first drama gig as a DOP on the TV series “Special Squad” followed by “Far Country” for which he won a Penguin Award, “The Petrov Affair”, “Flying Doctors”, and the first episodes of “Mission Impossible” then the children’s series “Thunderstone”.

In 1992 Ron was asked to photograph the feature film “Romper Stomper” starring Russell Crowe. This resulted in him shooting what can be arguably described, as one of the most ground breaking pieces of Australian Cinema. Ron’s cinematography and exceptional handheld work is considered by many, as a great reference for any student of cinematography. In 1996 Ron shot two Halifax TV Movies, one of them “Afraid of the Dark” won Ron an ACS Golden Tripod Award for his wonderful cinematography.

Due to ill-health Ron was forced to retire at the early age of 55 and passed away on September 9, 2002.

Brent Crockett ACS