LHHS Alumni Where Are They Now: Paul Hoeprich Class Of 1995

LHHS Alumni Where Are They Now: Paul Hoeprich Class Of 1995
Janet Cruz / 26 Jun 2023 / No Comments » Comments

By Janet Cruz

From Lake Havasu High School student to director of award-winning feature films, and working with the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix, is where you find Lake Havasu High School Alumni Paul Hoeprich these days.

Hoeprich first moved to Lake Havasu City with his family as a young child in the early ’80s.

“My parents moved to Havasu from Detroit when I was 5 years old. My dad later taught for years at Smoketree Elementary and was also an administrator at Starline Elementary and instructor at both Starline and Thunderbolt Middle School as well,” he said.

Hoeprich’s mother also taught at Starline Elementary and Thunderbolt Middle schools. With Havasu being a small town, most of Hoeprich’s peers knew his parents from being their students.

“I think that somewhat put me as a target for bullies since my peers knew them. I had a really hard time with bullying in school. My time at school was bittersweet. Sometimes it was an absolute nightmare, but, I did find a close group of friends and had some pretty great times at school too.”

Hoeprich at the age of 17. Photo courtesy Paul Hoeprich

Hoeprich eventually found his voice in Havasu through his love of punk rock music. He also enjoyed video games, and role-playing games and attended punk rock concerts.

Hoeprich coped with the trauma from the bullying with music and filming videos which led him to creating short comedy and skate  films with the VHS cameras from Lake Havasu High School.

“I could never play music or skateboard well, though I loved both. Video was my way of being involved in those things,” he said.

At 17 years old, Hoeprich left Havasu and was a foreign exchange student in Finland, in the exchange program sponsored by the Lake Havasu Rotary Club.

“That year abroad changed my life. Strangely, a Finnish exchange student came to Havasu that year as well, and she and my buddy started dating and are still married today,” he said.

After his studies in Finland, he attended Northern Arizona University (NAU) to get a broadcasting degree. While at school, he worked at the local television station in Flagstaff as a reporter and camera operator for NBC and also at the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, which is how he ended up there today.

Hoeprich also spent some time teaching journalism  in the San Francisco Bay area for five years before his return to Phoenix and he has been involved in journalism programs in Arizona as well.

Hoeprich’s hobbies include playing pinball and is also part of a weekly league, he loves vintage scooters and owns a 1966 Vespa that he likes to ride in his spare time.  He also enjoys creating comedy material.

“I’ve been doing a lot of standup comedy. I love comedy because unlike film, I’m solely responsible for the creative process and its failure or success,” he said.

Paul Hoeprich performing a comedy show. Photo Paul Hoeprich

As for his advice for youth trying to get into the film or television field, Hoeprich has three tips;

“First, never be late and always be dependable. Second, be friendly and get to know everyone. Someone you know may become big and take you along for the ride or provide you opportunities. Third, tough it out. Filmmaking and TV is tough. You’re going to work long hours, sometimes in grueling conditions for not much money. It’s not all glamorous, but if you love it, you’ll eventually become successful.”

He also advises others to get out of their own way and be confident in who they are and to learn their strengths and weaknesses.

“My confidence was very low for a very long time as a result of my being bullied in school, but I finally managed to find my worth. Everyone has worth, so anyone trying to be successful should really focus on that.”

Hoeprich’s work includes films like “Damsel” (2012), Pursuit (2022) and “The Hidden Agenda” (2012). He has also worked on American idol, has met several celebrities, directed  and edited many  award winning shorts and is currently working in the production department for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Paul Hoeprich working on the movie set “Pursuit.” Photo courtesy Paul Hoeprich

Hoeprich also teaches video production at East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa. His parents also currently live in the Phoenix area.

One of his  favorite memories in Lake Havasu City  includes  getting off work at McCulloch Chainsaws, cashing his check and sitting on the beach with friends.

“We were exhausted, smelled like gas and oil, and were filthy. But those moments were special. The countless nights wasting the night away drinking coffee at Denny’s, watching people skateboard at bedrock, and the closeness of my friend group are all find memories.”

Today, Hoeprich said he is still close to a small group of friends from Lake Havasu City. “I also had some great teachers that I still think about today.”

You can  also check out Hoeprich’s stand up comedy at Pmichaelcomedy on all social platforms. Hoeprich holds a Bachelor Degree in Broadcasting from Northern Arizona University and a Masters Degree in Education from University of Phoenix and is a Lake Havasu High School Class of 1995 graduate.

Movie poster of “Pursuit” that Hoeprich worked on. Photo courtesy Paul Hoeprich

Paul Hoeprich and students with Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns at the Phoenix Film Festival. Photo courtesy Paul Hoeprich

Hoeprich working on set of “Pursuit.” Photo courtesy Paul Hoeprich

Hoeprich working as cameraman for Arizona Diamondbacks. Photo Paul Hoeprich




No Comments » Comments:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *