[Out Of Office] Teton Gravity Research Gets A Visit From evo
By local pro Chris Shalbot, Jackson Hole, WY: While traveling to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Teton Village for Powder Week, evo had the chance to stop in and check out the offices of Teton Gravity Research, TGR. The office is about as close to the Tram as you can be without actually being attached to it. It’s a pretty ideal location given that the “Box” accesses some of the rowdiest terrain imaginable and it’s no wonder TGR produces face melting segments that feature lines and zones you can see right off the tram.
TGR’s main office is located above the Village Café, a staple of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s après ski scene, while the website is run around the corner in what was once a bank.
(TGR’s HQ is literally right next to the Tram at Jackson Hole, WY)
(Official, the world headquarters for the infamous Teton Gravity Research)
(One of the editing bays being skillfully used to fancy up some footage)
Founded by Steve and Todd Jones in 1996, TGR is a small operation in the grand scheme of things. Currently there is a staff of 18 throughout the two offices, and during filming they subcontract out certain roles. The two offices are totally different, but each serves a purpose that contributes to make TGR a frontrunner of freeskiing digital media.
The website office has seen little change in its appearance since moving into what used to be a Wells Fargo bank only a year or so ago. The “Bank” is still appointed with the furniture you would find if you walked into an actual Wells Fargo down the street from your house. The desks and chairs are all still in use, even teller windows have become work stations. The staff here handles the website platform, forum development, media syndication, partner marketing and online contesting.
They have had great success with their Grom contest over the past 3 years and recently released a newly developed contest titled the Co Lab, which has the likes of everyday hard-charging skiers and professional athletes looking to take home $100K for Best Segment. This is the one of the coolest online contests out. TGR has secured the rights to over a million songs for use. They’ll feature the top 12 in a “Best of” film and the icing on the cake is contestants still retain ownership of their footage.
The main office is often compared to a frat, even by the staff, as space is limited. Nooks and crannies serve as storage space, while ladders lead to desks and work spaces made possible by the vaulted ceiling. The majority of the space is dedicated to post production with two larger full-time editing bays along two or three smaller bays that double as offices and meeting spaces. You’ll find an organized collection of filming equipment from batteries, lenses, tripods, sliders, DSLRs and even REDs and pretty much anything else they would need all at their disposal.
Visiting film crews also can rent this equipment through a program dubbed TGR Studios. A hallway is filled with next year’s gear belonging to many of the athletes, keeping it a stone’s throw away from an early ups on the Tram.
(Ladders lead to more editing bays, makeshift offices’ and gear storage, its like a treehouse)
(Skis and snowboards line the halls at the TGR world headquarters)
(Cameras, tools, packs, lenses, all things required to produce epic films are at TGR’s disposal)
From numerous first descents in Alaska and fairy tale deep days accessed outside JHMR’s boundaries to off-the-beaten-path resorts in Easter Europe, exploration of new zones has taken TGR and its crew of filmers and athletes around the world. The season’s work begins in September, about the time of the world premiere of the previous season’s efforts.
This is one of the few times a year when athletes and staff find themselves together and meetings are scheduled to flush out plans for the coming season. A group of athletes and crews then assemble in December for their International Pro Riders Workshop, a multi-day classroom and field camp to teach team members emergency first responder and life saving techniques if things in the field go awry.
From that point on, it’s pretty much game on as crews of 3 or 4 athletes plus cines (cinematographers to the layperson) head off to all corners of the earth to capture and bring home new footage. The editing bays see nonstop action from the arrival of the first SD card all the way up until the following September premiere at the Walk Festival Hall right there in the Village, a mere 500 feet from the TGR’s World HQ and the iconic Big Red Box. And that’s a wrap.
Special thanks to Bryan Klavitter and the entire staff at TGR for the warm welcome and showing me around.
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