For almost two decades, extreme sports documentary company Teton Gravity Research has blown us away with some of the most insane skiing and snowboarding footage ever put to the silver screen. Ski flicks like “Tangerine Dream” and “Anomaly” sit on every ski movie buff’s shelf and Jeremy Jones’ snowboarding trilogy has already reached legend status before the release of its final chapter, “Higher,” which debuts this fall.
At the nucleus of the operation sit the Jones brothers—a trio from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, that dreamed of a life in the mountains ever since they could ski down their local hill. Jeremy is perhaps the most well-known of the group, considered by many to be the best big-mountain snowboarder ever, but his brothers, Todd and Steve, have become the eyes and brains behind Teton Gravity Research’s success. No matter which way you cut it, the three have changed the way we look at the mountains.
Teton Gravity Research has turned so many heads in the actions sports world, in fact, that the mainstream is beginning to catch on. The New York Times started featuring Teton Gravity Research footage on its website this year, and most recently Showtime’s “60 Minutes Sports” debuted an episode dedicated to the extreme adventure collective based out of Wilson, Wyoming, on Wednesday, and will continue to replay the feature for several weeks.
We caught up with cofounder Steve Jones and Teton Gravity Research head of production and executive producer Jeff Harasimowicz to see how the company has adjusted to the new-found mainstream attention, and what Jeremy’s upward trajectory has meant for the company and his sport.
How did this Showtime opportunity arise?
Jeff: “60 Minutes Sports” was doing preliminary research on a number of potential stories a year ago. Once we started talking, it was clear that a piece on Jeremy/TGR was just one of a large handful of pieces they were softly considering. Over the next seven months or so, I kept feeding the “60 Minutes” team with new, unreleased content from the production, with updates on Jeremy’s exploits, with invitations for them to join him in the field, etc. The more they saw of Jeremy, the more they learned of his unique passion and pursuit, and the more I pushed, the more they started to gain interest in pursuing a piece. Once they saw just how special Jeremy really is, and what he does is, there was no stopping it.
What are you guys most excited about for the “60 Minutes Sports” debut? What should we be looking forward to?
Steve: I am excited to showcase Jeremy and TGR to a broader audience. I am excited to showcase the passion behind what we do. I am also excited to see some of our most stunning imagery broadcast on “60 Minutes.”
I know you guys aren’t about tooting your own horn, but why is TGR a good representative for the action sports community on this program?
Steve: TGR is passionate and cutting edge. We have all come from an athlete background and are very connected to the athletes and how they are represented. We also have a top-tier safety program, and we produce some of the most stunning action sports footage in the world.
You guys have quite the unique family business going on. What has it been like to work, create, and succeed with your siblings?
Steve: It is one of the best things in the world to get to share these moments with my brothers. It is incredibly emotional. Being in far-off places that we all dreamed about as little kids and going through these highs and lows, and having something come to fruition and actually pan out, is an indescribable feeling.
With Jeremy’s project winding down, what’s next? Or are you guys even thinking that far ahead?
Steve: We already have another big project in the works that is a totally different direction than the Trilogy.