He was born in 1936 in Nanjing and moved to Taiwan in 1949. Upon graduation, he worked his way up from technician in a studio film processing lab to assistant cinematographer and cinematographer on numerous Taiwanese dialect films. In 1966, Shaw Brothers director Lo Chen engaged him to serve as cinematographer of the Taiwan-lensed Mandarin film "Too Late For Love". In 1967, Pao moved to Hong Kong and formally entered Shaw Brothers as cinematographer. Three years later he made his directorial debut "Finger of Doom", and between 1971 and 1977 directed over a dozen films, many of them collaborations with Chang Cheh. In 1977 he returned to Taiwan and formed his own film company with his wife, scriptwriter Jin Shu-Mei, with whom he had worked at Shaw Brothers on such films as "Oat of Death".