TGR Teams With Urban Skiers On New Documentary

Clayton Vila, Cam Riley, and Sean Jordan give an inside look at street skiing in 'For Lack of Better'

Teton Gravity Research, the masters of big mountain cinematography, are dipping into the streets this fall, debuting a full-length urban ski documentary titled, For Lack of Better. The flick will feature Clayton Vila, Cam Riley, and Sean Jordan, members of one of urban skiing’s most notable crews, STEPT Productions, and offer an in-depth look at the trials and tribulations of everyday street skiing.

“On the mountain you’re worried about skiing, and what you’re going to do with your skiing,” explains Jordan in the trailer. “In the streets you’re worried about literally everything else but your skiing.”

Produced by Vila, the documentary follows the street trio as it tries to put together a movie segment in the Boston snow apocalypse last winter. Unlike the glossy movie parts of traditional ski movies, FLOB dives into the unforgiving life of street skiing—danger, injury, law enforcement, and the stress of making something out of nothing.

Originally the crew was piecing together the movie on their own, without a major film company or agenda according to Riley. Throughout the course of the winter, Riley and Vila filmed with TGR for its 2015 feature movie, and an organic partnership developed. Without a STEPT movie to work on, they decided to team with the action sports production company to make their film a reality.

Urban skiing—cops just don't get it. Screenshot taken from video.
Urban skiing—pissing off cops since 1998. Screenshot taken from video.

This isn’t the first time that TGR has tapped urban skiing talent (Riley and Vila filmed with TGR for The Dream Factory, while Karl Fostvedt and John Ware put together a Sarajevo segment for last year’s Almost Ablaze), but it is the first urban-only effort produced under the TGR flag.

The Tuesday trailer announcement will not disrupt the adrenaline-infused TGR formula that has been working for over 20 years, as Paradise Waits is still set to debut this fall. But in addition to FLOB, the production company is putting out Sammy Carlson’s two-year effort, The Sammy C Project, in the next few months, and partnered with Anthill Productions on the award-winning unReal mountain bike movie earlier this summer—a team-focused approach that is no doubt expanding TGR’s reach in action sports.

The trio will also release three athlete segments online this fall for free, while the documentary will make its debut at IF3 in Montreal this September.