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Tyler Orton: Ben Ferguson’s Media Squire – Snowboarding’s 30 Under 30

Ben Ferguson's Media Squire

Birthdate: 08/16/91

Over the past few years, Tyler Orton has been steadily gaining momentum as an up and coming videographer within the snowboarding sphere. The Bend, Oregon native possesses an agog curiosity, which, when combined with his deep love of snowboarding and talented subjects like Desiree Melancon, Ben and Gabe Ferguson, Max and Gus Warbington, and many more, produces videos that are one part really good snowboarding and one part unique creativity. Tyler trained his trigger finger on the trails of Mt. Bachelor, filming and editing the Sweeney Todds edits that further amplified the talent-heavy eastern Oregon scene. He headed to Mount Hood, first as a photog at Windells and later as the Head Filmer at High Cascade, and while his stills game is on point, it is his knack for the moving image wherein Tyler found his niche, driven by a fascination of and respect for snowboarding cinema that has remained paramount in every project he has produced. When he puts the camera down, Tyler is a solid co-pilot during long road trips, jetlagged itineraries, and the late nights that so often follow long days—whether working or celebrating. Two winters ago, Ty packed up his belongings in Desiree Melancon's camper and hit the road to film the first season of United Slopes of America. This past year, he partnered with Ben Ferguson on a winter-long biopic, a gig that took Tyler to Japan, Europe, and into the deep backcountry for the first time. In each new environment, the burgeoning filmer flourished and now, as he spends his summer locked in the editing room working on Hail Mary, we enthusiastically wait to watch the next movie in what is sure to be an awesome oeuvre by the time he's done, a product of the vision, talent, and boundless enthusiasm that makes Tyler an easy addition to this list of snowboarding's most motivated under-30-year-olds.

– Mary Walsh

The calm before the storm. PHOTO: Marco Malley

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

I guess it just depends on the time of year, but in the winter months this past season, I was filming with Ben Ferguson and friends working on Hail Mary. Most days, Ben and I were just searching for terrain we wanted to film on, either by snowshoes or sleds mainly, and in between, going to pipe contests. On a normal day, if we’re at a resort not filming pow, we’ll take a couple laps in the morning to get warmed up and then start filming. Off season I’m pretty much glued to my computer every day editing projects and content for people, and also getting up to Mount Hood when I can. This year I’m editing our short film project, which releases this fall.

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

From Bend, OR and haven't left.

How did you start snowboarding?

When I was around thirteen or fourteen my dad signed himself, my brother and me up for snowboarding lessons at Mt. Bachelor. After the three days of lessons, we went to Side Effect Boardshop (RIP) to buy our gear and it took off from there.

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

I want to say it was after I saw my first video, Promo Copy by Defective films. Seeing what they were doing was so inspiring and they were having so much fun, it just clicked for me. At the time I didn't know what I wanted to do in the industry yet, I was only fourteen, but I knew that snowboarding was going to be in my life for as long as it could.

And how did you make that happen?

For a while I just kept snowboarding with my friends and that's all I really cared about. When I was sixteen or seventeen, I took a photo class in high school and after that the thought crossed my mind of how fun it would be to start taking photos of my friends snowboarding. A few years later, I shot photos for Windells. Did that until I was twenty-one or twenty-two. Filming came into the picture when my friends convinced me to buy a video camera and try it out. I had no idea what I was doing, but after making my first edit, I couldn't go back, I wanted to do and learn more. Ended up scoring a filming job at High Cascade and that escalated my career to where I am today. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't have been able to work with Desiree on her United Slopes project, allowing me to film fulltime, which is what I'm still doing now. Thank you, Des! <3

Got to have a little fun on the job.

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

Anyone who hasn't been afraid to be themselves and go outside the box with their creativity, whether it be through art of many mediums, photos, video, the way they ride, painting, music, etc. They inspire and remind me to always be that way. Also, the people that work their asses off to remind everyone that even when it gets tough, just keep going and when it's all said and done, you'll be happy that you did.

Some people that fall into that category would be the likes of Jake Price, Forest Bailey, Aaron Blatt, Desiree Melancon, Mike Rav, Alex Lopez, Pat Bridges, Scott Stevens, Gray Thompson, Ben Ferguson, Austen Sweetin, Max Tokunaga, the Warbington broeys, Tim Eddy, Jesse Gouveia, Jon Stark, Tanner Pendleton, Jess Gibbons, Liam Gallagher, Riley Steven, Jake Durham, Curtis Ciszek, Austin Smith, Bryan Fox and so many more. There's so many people in the industry that are creative and inspiring to me who do so much in snowboarding and outside of snowboarding, this list could go on forever.

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

I feel that making snowboarding videos that, aside from picking the right music, include personality and a visual experience is the most important. Those are the videos that inspire you and make you want to go snowboard with your friends and love every second of it without a worry in the world. I always got that feeling from Afterlame and that’s something I would like my work to do for others. Just trying to show people how fun snowboarding is can have such a big impact on snowboarders individually, as well as the industry itself, in my opinion. I feel that some videos nowadays only show action and so you don’t get to see what that rider is like as a person, so the impact I'd like to make is to continue to show the personality side of it all—to makes the viewer say, “I would love to ride with those guys; they have such a good time and seem so fun to be around.”

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

Just continue to film in the backcountry with my friends and gain more knowledge about the backcountry, from every angle. Get better at riding a sled. I've been talking some shit lately. Filming in Alaska doors-off has always been on my list.

Can’t miss Parker zoom with a filmer like Tyler. PHOTO: Marco Malley

Anyone you'd like to thank?

My family, all of my friends, Jake Price, Abe Blair, Darcy Bacha, Desiree Melancon, Pat Bridges, Mary Walsh, Tommy Johnson, Ben Ferguson, The Jacksons, Dave Marx, Zach Nigro, Preston Strout, Dawn Strout, AK, Aaron Blatt, Erik Hoffman, Ian Macy, Tyler Malay, Beef, Eli Olson, Marc O’Malley, Danny Kern, Austin Smith, Curtis Ciszek, Pete Alport, Ryan Runke, Mt. Bachelor, all the riders who've given me the pleasure of pointing my camera at them, all the filmers and photographers I've been able to shoot side-by-side with, and everyone who has given me an opportunity to work with them. If I missed your name, I'm sorry. I love you all.

 

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