Heroes and Villains


Heroes and Villains by David-Paul B. Hedberg


About the film

Why do we humanize trees as heroes and villains? Focused on two species that dominate the city, the Douglas fir (a regional hero) and the Tree of Heaven (a horticultural villain), the film follows two PSU professors who have launched a crowed-sourced storytelling map. New technology and old-fashioned methods intersect in the quest to climb Portland’s tallest tree.


We acknowledge the work of Dr. Vivek Shandas and Dr. Catherine McNeur and are grateful for their support. These two scholars helped inform our own vision for the anthology. Seeking a model to organize our tree films, Canopystory.org was a logical point of inspiration. We modified our approach to emphasize deep personal narrative and striking visual storytelling through the genre of film.  Each of the films is the independent creative vision of the filmmaker. What binds each piece together is a shared appreciation for trees, place, and collaboration in sharing stories.


About the filmmaker

David-Paul B. Hedberg is an Environmental Historian, member of the Portland Heritage Tree Committee, and is one of the anthology’s producers. With nearly a decade of experience as a historical research consultant, his work takes him across the region to protect historic resources and to develop content centered on the power and knowledge of our past. His award-winning book From Stumptown to Treetown and his work in Heritage Trees helped inspire the film anthology. Aside from his days with a camcorder in middle school, this is his first film.