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Tanner Pendleton: Director and Cinematographer, Vans – Snowboarding’s 30 Under 30

Director and Cinematographer, Vans

 

In the rising tide of up-and-coming snowboard filmmakers, Tanner Pendleton is currently at the forefront, although it's odd to refer to Tanner as "up-and-coming," seeing as he's directing one of the most anticipated snowboard films of our generation with the soon-to-be released Vans Snow video. But this is Tanner's first big test, a large-scale project that will leave a lasting legacy in snowboard filmmaking. Tanner came up on the east coast as one of the most promising young riders in the region, and after a short stint as a rider (and a cover of SNOWBOARDER Magazine), he decided to get behind the lens rather than remain in front of it, and his vision quickly blossomed, blanketing the Salomon Snowboards marketing initiative for two years and culminating in the full-length film Crazy Loco, a movie about Jed Anderson. Crazy Loco was a hit and became one of the most talked-about films of the year, and ultimately, that instantly made Tanner a hot commodity for any brand looking to produce a movie of epic proportions. Enter Vans. Tanner is hard at work editing the Vans movie and he took a little bit of time out of his busy schedule to give you a little peek into why we chose him for this 30 Under 30 list. Enjoy.

—T. Bird

Ready to hit the road and film a banger video. PHOTO: Darrell Mathes

What does your current position in the snowboarding industry entail? Describe a typical day on the job.

Everyday is really different. The winter time is insane. Lots of van driving, hotel booking, snow shoveling, record button pressing, etc. Today, being the summer time, I’m just hanging and looking for music to edit to.

Where are you from and where do you currently call home?

I'm from Princeton, Massachusetts and currently living in Providence, Rhode Island.

How did you start snowboarding?

I grew up five minutes from Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts, so I was there every day in the winter since I can remember. Seeing snowboarders for the first time got me so hyped and I begged my parents for one. Christmas of 1994 I got my first snowboard. I was six years old.

At what point did you realize that you wanted to work in the snowboard industry?

Some pros came through Wachusett when I was super young. At the time, I had no idea there was such thing as a professional snowboarder. I was pretty blown away by that concept. That definitely got the gears turning in my mind, but I'm not sure if I ever realized I wanted to work in the industry, I just wanted to keep snowboarding any way possible.

And how did you make that happen?

I always made videos for fun with my friends. Somehow I convinced Eastern Boarder to let me put together a video for them, even though I had no idea what I was doing. That was a really cool experience. After that I kept making videos for fun with my friends for a few years. Bridges would hit me up here and there to make web videos for the magazine. Then I sort of took a break from snowboarding and tried college out for a full year. Nothing against college or anything, but I wasn't feeling it. That next summer I got a job making the videos at High Cascade. Java Fernandez ended up asking me to come along for the Salomon Team Vacation tour. So that was my excuse to bail on school and pursue filming snowboarding.

A visionary behind the lens. PHOTO: Darrell Mathes

Who did you look up to in the industry for inspiration? 

John Cavan is someone I've always looked up to coming from the east coast. I was obsessed with all the Iron Curtain videos. And of course Robot Food, Absinthe Films, Kingpin, etc.

What do you feel has been your biggest impact in your line of work?

Java taught me a lot when I was at Salomon. He told me there are two types of filmmakers: those who make things happen, and those who let things happen. I've always tried to keep it cool and let things happen naturally. Not sure if I answered that one correctly.

What do you want to accomplish that you haven't yet?

Make people want to go snowboarding.

Anyone you'd like to thank?

Thanks to you, Birdman, and to all my family and friends :)

 

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