Nick McLean, Sr., (born 29 May 1941), full name George Nicholas McLean, is an American cinematographer, best known for his work on the television shows Friends, Joey, Cybill, and Evening Shade.
Early life and education
McLean was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of George McLean and Dorothy Jane (née Scott), and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He attended North Hollywood High School. His family was highly involved in the entertainment industry. His uncle was an actor and his step-father, Fred Jackman, Jr., son of the second president of the ASC, was a cinematographer. McLean attended USC on a football scholarship. He then opened a pool hall and a body and fender shop in Van Nuys, California.
McLean's step-father introduced him to the camera department at Columbia Pictures. McLean got his first job in 1966 as a clapper boy on a television series called The Iron Horse. He worked ten days during the first year and one day the next year.
In 1969 McLean became a second assistant cameraman at Universal Studios, working on many shows. The first feature film that he worked on was Red Sky at Morning with Vilmos Zsigmond, who promoted McLean to operator. He did all the aerials on his films, and also on some commercials even after he became a cinematographer. McLean's first movie as a cinematographer was Stroker Ace. Burt Reynolds then asked McLean to shoot Evening Shade, which became a highly popular sitcom.
McLean continued to work on various film and television projects, as camera operator, cinematographer and director of photography.
In 2002 McLean received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Cinematography in a Multicamera Series for his work on Friends.
McLean has an older brother, Steve McLean, who is a camera operator; a sister, Linda, who has done various acting work; a son, Nicholas S. McLean, who is a camera assistant; and a daughter, Shay McLean, who is a singer, songwriter, and actress. His wife, Karen, is an animal wrangler for films, television shows and commercials. He also has one granddaughter and two grandsons.