Dan Henry got his first television job shortly after taking a production course at Avalon in the mid 90s. The job was as a reporter/presenter for Crimescene, an updated version of long-running crime-solving show Crimewatch. Working both on location and in the studio, Henry got a good grounding in the multiple skills of reporting, writing and making programmes. Crimescene made him realise “what I really enjoyed was seeing a show through from beginning to end; seeing it to fruition.”
Though Henry did one or two further presentation gigs, by the turn of the millennium he was getting increasingly busy behind the camera. After directing for advice show Money Doctor he was invited to co-direct (with Simon Ambridge) the celebrity edition of high profile reality show Treasure Island (2001).
Lost in Libya (2009) saw him playing detective in the Sahara Desert, as part of a team of historians retracing the journey of an elite group of Kiwi soldiers, who launched surprise raids from within enemy lines during WWII. For Henry, following a trio of modern day amateur historians into Libya both mirrored, and helped bring to life, the soldiers’ stories.
Dominion Post reviewer Jane Clifton called the 65-minute doco “stunning”, and argued that “historical docos do not get much better than this”. Made as a co-production between Henry’s company Beacon Hill Pictures and producer Amanda Evans at company Pacific Screen, Lost in Libya first screened on Anzac day in 2009, and later sold in an expanded version on DVD.
Henry followed Lost in Libya with a number of projects for Wellington company Gibson Group. He directed an episode of immigrant series Here to Stay ('The Pacific Islanders' — presented by Shimpal Lelisi "with heartfelt and self-deprecating humour") then helmed two three-part series that focussed on the police: NZ Detectives (about the Criminal Investigation Branch) and Line of Fire, which profiled the Armed Offenders Squad.
Henry has also directed many episodes for Kiwi perennial Country Calendar. Since late 2008 he has also been associate producer for the show; in 2016 he took over from late Country Calendar legend Frank Torley as the programme's narrator.
Jane Clifton, ''Lost in Libya' doco lost in timeslot' (Review) - Dominion Post, 29 April 2009
Melenie Parkes, 'Here to Stay:Pacific Islanders' (Review) Yahoo.com website (broken link). Loaded 31 December 2010. Accessed 19 April 2012
Lost in Libya page on Pacific Crews website (Broken link). Accessed 19 April 2012
'Getting Lost in Libya with Brendan O'Carroll and Dan Henry' (Interview). getfrank. website. Loaded June 2009. Accessed 7 July 2015