Birth date: 06.19.1989
At only twenty-eight years old, Paul Heran has already established himself as one of snowboarding's sought-after filmers, much due his inimitable work ethic and collaborative style, as well as his affable sense of humor. Growing up immersed in the snowboarding culture of Northlake Tahoe, Paul crewed up and created bHappy Productions, making both shorts and full lengths that celebrated the joy of snowboarding, featuring talented snowboarders Gray Thompson, Sammy Spiteri, Joshua Parker, and more of their NorCal cohorts. Paul's work has long mirrored his effervescent personality, focusing on the friends and the fun of snowboarding and pulling no punches with a genuine sense of pure enjoyment. Paul was still in his early twenties when he garnered a gig with Windells, logging clips on the glacier before being tapped to launch the digital media program at Woodward Tahoe. Since then, Paul's work has extended to working behind the lens for numerous specific riders, including Nick Visconti and Nial Romanek, as well as Think Thank, Airblaster, and currently, Arbor Snowboards' new team movie. Keep in mind, this is only a partial list of Paul's accomplishments and also that his in-front-of-the-camera clips prove he's got plenty of boarding chops, himself. A meticulous lensman, there is no doubt that Paul will continue to grow his canon of snowboarding films in the seasons to come and we look forward to watching each and every movie he makes from start to finish, and likely on repeat.
– Mary Walsh
What does your current position in the snowboarding industry entail? Describe a typical day on the job.
Currently, I am working with Sammy Spiteri and Sean Black on the first Arbor team video. We are editing parts up at my house in Truckee, CA. Mid-winter, my job looks a lot different. I was on the road from December to the end of March filming all over the place. This past season, the Arbor video took us to Quebec, Oregon, Tahoe, and Japan. A typical day involves a lot of time looking for spots, shoveling spots, and every once in a while, I get the camera out to shoot some snowboarding.
Where are you from and where do you currently call home?
I am from Rocklin, CA. Currently located in Truckee, CA.
How did you start snowboarding?
My dad took me and my friends snowboarding a lot when we were young. He would ski and sometimes film us in the park at Boreal, which is how I initially found my love for video and photography.
At what point did you realize that you wanted to work in the snowboard industry?
When I first started shooting snowboarding I had no idea that I would someday call it my job. It was just so much fun to shoot videos with my friends; making money from it just wasn't on my mind at all. After making a bunch of videos for fun, some companies started to take interest in my work. Academy Snowboards was one of the first companies to give me a paycheck for shooting their camp at Boreal. After that, I started to think I might be able to turn this hobby into a dream job.
And how did you make that happen?
After years of making my own video with my friends, I was lucky enough to be hired as a media intern at Windells Snowboard Camp when some of the best shooters in the industry were working there. Tyler Malay, Alexandra Erickson, Jake Strassman, and Greg Weaver took me under their wing and showed me how to make my dream come true. They taught me so many technical skills on top of industry knowledge and they became my mentors and really good friends over two summer spent together at Mt. Hood. The winter after, I was hired by Transworld SNOWboarding to shoot Nick Visconti for his online part, ReCreation. Nick introduced me to so many friends in the snowboard world and he believed in my filming and work ethic from the day we met. The next summer, Woodward Tahoe opened up at my home mountain, Boreal, and the brand manager loved my work and hired me on as the Digital Media Manager. It was quite an honor to start a program like that from the ground up at a new Woodward facility, and it proved to be no easy task. I learned so much there over three summers from Eric Rosenwald and the talented staff that made Woodward Tahoe what it is now. I got to hire my own staff of shooters to cover all the incredible action sports that Woodward has to offer. My main goal of becoming a freelance shooter finally drew me away from Woodward and allowed me the absolute pleasure of working with Airblaster and Think Thank. I spent a winter shooting for both the Airblaster video, Side Hit Society and Think Thank's Methods of Prediction. Both of those crews were again a dream come true for me to work with. Travis Parker was a childhood hero of mine and I found myself at Loon Mountain and Waterville Valley shooting with Travis for SHS. Currently, I'm working on Arbor Snowboard's first team video.
Who did you look up to in the industry for inspiration?
From the very start, I looked up to the Robot Food and Think Thank videos for inspiration. It was those two series of videos that inspired me from day one and continue to do so in my current work.
What do you feel has been your biggest impact in your line of work?
Teaching kids at Woodward Digital Media camp was definitely one of the most rewarding things I've done. Hopefully that had at least a small ripple of impact that will only get bigger as the new generation comes into snowboarding.
What do you want to accomplish that you haven't yet?
I'd love to be able to share the feelings that snowboarding has given me. I don't know whether it's possible to fully capture all the emotions that I've experienced through snowboarding, but it's really fun to try. Whether that is through video and other media, or taking a few laps with someone, I'd love to show people what snowboarding is to me.
Anyone you'd like to thank?
Mom, Dad and my sister Kelley. The Heran family, the Jouras family, The Hymans family, the Carter family, the Spiteri family, all my friends that drove me to the mountain. Boreal. FC5K, Tyler Malay, Alexandra Erickson, Jake Strassman, Greg Weaver, Colton Morgan, Max Tokunaga, Jon Stark, Tim Bradley, Nick Visconti, Josh Parker, Brent Oftedal, Katie Souza, Justin Gunson, Ryland West, JB, Eric Rosenwald, bHappy crew, Color TV, Jalal Leach, Neoproto, Think Thank, Robot Food, Airblaster, OJC, NFG snowboards, the list goes on…. So thankful for everyone that has shared their knowledge and experiences with me.