Industry Profile: Woodward Tahoe Digital Media Manager Paul Heran
16 Aug, 2012
Job Title: Digital Media Program Manager
Employer: Woodward Tahoe
Years on snow: 13
Days on snow: Never enough!
Currently Riding: my rollie chair in my office
Currently I am: thoroughly drained from summer camp.
Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Paul: I am just a human that somehow stumbled into a life that I can’t really complain about.
Shay: How has snowboarding/skiing changed your life?
Paul: The relationships formed through snowboarding are really what have changed my life. I can honestly say that I would be a completely different person today if I hadn’t met so many positive influences through snowboarding.
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Paul: My dad introduced my to cameras and editing when I was about ten. I can’t thank him enough for supporting me in my early years of video production and giving me the opportunity to snowboard and film almost every weekend. I can’t tell you what a blessing it is to have a family that backs you, no matter what your passion is. My friends have always been a huge inspiration to me, and they helped me on my way with bHappy Films and other projects. Tyler Malay and Alexandra Erickson, along with the whole Windells video team also opened so many doors for me and taught me so much about filming, editing, and the industry.
Photo: Nick Visconti
Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Paul: My experience at Windells and other jobs has really shaped my entire outlook on the media program at Woodward Tahoe. I am just passing on the knowledge that I learned from all my job experiences to my digital media campers at Woodward Tahoe. It’s hard to jam all my years of experience into a week long camp, but I do the best I can, and I my campers come away with a great workflow, and a rad video to show to their friends and family.
Shay: Tell us about your role as (Digital Media Manager) at Woodward Tahoe and a description of the work you do?
Paul: I am in charge of making ‘nerd camp’ the best program at Woodward Tahoe. Eric Rosenwald (Brand Manager) and myself assembled a digital media lab at the beginning of the summer that hosts our digital media kids each week of summer camp. From finger-print-scanning door locks to 2.7GHz 27″ iMacs with FCPX and CS6, we have a top of the line digital media dream lab for our campers to learn how to film, edit, and much more. I also work with Garret Jurach and Daniel Brooks to create web videos to showcase the weekly action from camp.
Shay: If you had to make up a job title that most accurately described what you REALLY do, what would it be?
Paul: Director of making Woodward Tahoe look as fun on video as it is in real life/ Nerd coach.
Shay: Describe the craziest day/moment you’ve had at your job?
Paul: There were too many crazy days this summer, mostly crazy exhausting. One day that was particularly crazy fun was the Fourth of July. At my previous summer camp job at Windells, we had this day off which was awesome… until you drive your mom’s car into the ocean. That’s a crazy story in itself. Anyway… I was a little annoyed and bummed that I wasn’t going to be able to get wild with my pals on the beach or blow stuff up in the streets, but it turned out to be one of the most memorable America days of my life. I happened to have a few really amazing digital media campers that week, so that helped too. We started the day off with filming, skiing, snowboarding, and max on the megaphone. Epic. Then, our camp chef patrick hooked us up with a true AMERICAN style Fourth of July BBQ with burgers, dogs, and cherry pie. Skateboarding, foursquare and kickball were the activities of choice in the afternoon, before we packed up the campers and drove to the top of the ridge at Boreal overlooking donner lake; something I’ve never done before. Counselor Max (Tokunaga) and I had the whole camp singing top40 and classic USA songs in anticipation of the fireworks show. As the moon was rising over the Buttes, the campers and staff were hooting’ and hollerin’ at the firework show down below us.
A day that I started in a foul mood turned out to be one of my favorite memories from the summer and a fourth of July I will never forget.
Here’s a video that I made to try and capture some of this day
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Paul: The opportunity to travel anywhere outside my hometown is always a joy for me. My trip up to northern MN this year was one of my favorites. I had the opportunity to travel with Sammy Spiteri, Durell Williams, Nial Romanek, Victor Simco, and Jordan Michilot. Those guys are all amazingly talented snowboarders, and it was so much fun getting to work with them this season. One day of that trip was especially memorable because everyone got a solid video shot which is something I’ve never been able to do with a crew of that size.
Working at X-Games this winter was also such an awesome experience. I was giving the opportunity to work for Vimeo.com as a ‘behind the scenes’ shooter. I ended up with a backstage pass which let me grab some pretty awesome shots that I never would have been able to get otherwise, and it gave me access to the athlete tent with free food. YUM. Not only did I have a great time working with the vimeo folks, but I also got to enjoy watching my good friend Nick Visconti earn a bronze medal!
Also, the memories I had up at Windells with my co-filmers there were some that I’ll never forget as well. Too many adventures to name with those guys up there, but made the hard work we did for the camp with while.
Shay: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the snowboard/ski industry faces and what changes would you like to see for the future?
Paul: Winter is short. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
I’d like people to stop for a second and appreciate what we have in this industry. I think there is a bond that we all share with snowboarding, and I’ve only seen people acknowledge it a handful of times. After A-Rob passed last year, I saw and heard so much love pouring forum our community of friends and family. I want to see that more often. I don’t think it should take someone’s passing to reach out to your buddies and let them know that you love them.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Paul: Do it for the right reasons.
I’m not saying that I have done everything right, but I have stayed in this industry because of how it has benefited my life as a whole. If you come into it with the wrong intentions, I think you will be hit by a brick wall pretty quick. I came into the industry with no intentions really, just to have fun and make some videos with my friends.
You never know what lies ahead in a relationship with someone. I always try to make a good impression, and reach out to new people. In this industry especially, it really is all about who you know.
Be open and willing to learn.
Always try to take something away from each experience, even if it wasn’t exactly what you thought it would be. Take all that hate on the web and turn it into motivation. I don’t necessarily ignore the negative comments on my videos, I try to think why someone would say that and make a change for the next time. “The only real failure in life is the failure to try.”
Find out more at: Meet me in real life. Let’s talk sometime.
Personal Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/paulheran
bHappy Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/bhappyfilms
Woodward Tahoe Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/WoodwardTahoe