Nathan was raised on a sheep farm in New Zealand's southernmost province. He studied physics at the University of Otago, but eventually a passion for theatre and filmmaking got the better of him and he completed his studies with a Bachelor of Broadcasting Communications from the NZ Broadcasting School in Christchurch. In 1997 he started work at New Zealand commercial production company Silverscreen as a 3D Animator, Flame Artist and VFX supervisor. After two years he was asked to lead the in-house postproduction unit. Under Nathan's leadership the unit evolved into Oktobor, an effects, design and interactive company with external clients and grew exponentially in size. During his tenure, Oktobor picked up shots on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, a raft of international awards for their advertising work, and developed interactive television ads and applications for Sky TV. Nathan also directed a number of commercials and appeared in the Saatchi’s New Director Showcase at the Cannes Advertising festival.
He left Oktobor at the end of 2001 to concentrate on his directing career. He is currently ranked in the top ten directors in the Asian/Australasia region (Campaign Brief "The Work"); has won awards at every major international festival including the Cannes Lions, CLIOS and One Show and directed on two critically acclaimed television dramas: “The Insider’s Guide to Love,” for which he won the Directors Guild Dramatic Directing Prize and “The Hothouse,” which earned him the Qantas New Zealand Film and Television Awards Prize for Directing achievement.