Alum Paul Ryan: Ski Racing's Film Auteur

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Photo of Paul Ryan skiing

ASPEN TIMES -- Before going on to a decades-long career working on cinematography for some of the most visually sumptuous feature films of our time, Paul Ryan was ski racing’s auteur.

As an ambitious kid, fresh out of film school and racing himself while based out of Aspen in the late 1960s, Ryan made innovative and influential movies about the fast-paced world of downhillers.

Ryan is back in town this week for the World Cup Finals. The Wheeler Opera House is hosting a free screening three of his racing films Thursday night. Ryan will introduce the movies before seeing them on the big screen for the first time in decades.

Ryan first came to Aspen in the winter of 1961 – 62. Fresh out of college, the Boston native had planned to spend the season ski racing in Stowe, Vermont. The resort was snowless, so he and a group of friends headed west and landed here. He returned for a few winters, bounced between Aspen and San Francisco, worked as a staff photographer for SKI magazine, then headed to film school at San Francisco State University.

Photo courtesy of Wheeler Opera House