Film Debuts in Teton Village to Sold-Out, Rowdy Crowd

Words: John Stifter
Photos: Matt Hansen and John Stifter

Judy and Rich Carlson have never been to Jackson, Wyoming, before this past weekend. In turn, the mother and father of young phenom Sammy Carlson have never attended one of Teton Gravity Research's renowned world premieres at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Whether their presence was fortuitous for their son's on-screen performance or not, it did not matter. The 20-year-old produced one of the most impressive performances in TGR's 2009-10 offering, Re: Session. And, perhaps, Sammy and TGR captured one of the more memorable booter footage in the last five years in ski cinematography, starting the film with a blast of excitement and energy to another sold-out crowd at the Walk Festival Hall.

TGR ReSession World Premiere

"He makes us all look silly," said a candid Dash Longe in reference to Carlson's segment, which appeared after the Jackson Hole segment that featured the charging skills of Todd Ligare, TGR newcomer Cody Townsend, and Washington Husky fan Shroder Baker.

With arguably the most talented athlete roster in skiing, this film is a more personable, less serious product for TGR. Playing off the theme of this past year's recession crisis that has rocked the world, Re: Session advocated that, more than any other year, skiing acts as the only escape from the ubiquitous doom-and-gloom. Also, TGR introduced a new editor this year in Blake Campbell, who packaged tons of footage of several athletes into location-based and athlete-based segments with effective and seamless transitions.

TGR ReSession World Premiere

As for other standout performances, big-mountain gnar gnar Ian McIntosh aired, stomped and shredded in standard aggressive form. "It was scary just watching that," remarked Powder Senior Photographer Adam Clark in regards to the Pemberton, B.C., resident's gut-wrenching helmet P.O.V. camera, which makes McIntosh a legit contender for a Best Line award at the 2010 Powder Video Awards. "It was like watching a horror flick," said Clark. Aside from Haines, AK, footage, the majority of Mac's hard-charging segment was filmed near Pemberton, featuring multiple rowdy and rugged mini-golf lines. Fellow Whistlerlite and TGR newcomer Callum Pettit filmed alongside McIntosh, turning in a solid first-year effort with big cliff airs and strong, aggressive skiing.

TGR ReSession World Premiere

Indeed, McIntosh led the charge in big-mountain footage, as the other crop of TGR heavies—Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Seth Morrison, Dana Flahr, and new-guy Tanner Hall—all collected sweet footage but not as jarring to the silver-screen senses as McIntosh. Undoubtedly, TGR did not score the same epic AK conditions as last year. Nevertheless, Sage scored sweet mini-golf shots with fun cliff and spine airs—spinning right and left—from Utah and Alaska, while Flahr tossed a few misty's, T-Hall spun and flipped in B.C. and at a Stevens Pass spring shot, and Seth Morrison got one notable hate huck front flip in Haines, Alaska.

Dylan Hood, Dash Longe, and Wiley Miller spun and stomped in Silverton, CO, and the Utah backcountry with uber-stylie grabs and unconventional spins off big ol' backcounry wedges. Soon after, Hood and Longe traveled to Poland and Slovakia with big-mountain charger Erik Roner, scoring super deep, illegal pow in Poland. Even more, Hood may have performed the coolest Dorion (switch) skiing run and straightline at Jasna, Slovakia, in recent memory that had the crowd roaring in approval. It's fair to say he and Longe have usurped TGR stalwart Marc-Andre Bellevieu in the Dorion (switch) skiing and stomping category. Also, a crew—namely, Pettit, Flahr, and Longe—traveled to the tiny town of Alagna, Italy, to satiate and slash deep pow turns, as Alagna recorded one of their deepest seasons in a century.

In a somewhat unexpected move, TGR commemorated the life of the late Shane McConkey with Erik Roner ski-BASEing off a 400-foot cliff in Alaska via a beautiful, 1,000-foot couloir. An emotional Roner admitted that, although he was ambivalent to jump just two days after McConkey's death, he knew Shane would be "stoked" to know he BASEd such a stunning line and cliff. Showing Roner pack his chute and corresponding with guide Jim Conway prior to going up in the heli, the Tahoe native shredded the line, flashing a tasty left hand turn on a sun-lit patch of pow before flying off the cliff and safely completing the BASE. At the bottom, a happy yet thoughtful Roner exclaimed, "That was for Shane."

Although the recession theme of Re: Session faded fast and did not reappear at all for the remainder of the film, TGR produced another fine movie as they continue to elevate the bar for cinematography, especially in the big-mountain arena. In addition, the producers—namely, Josh Nielsen and brothers Steve and Todd Jones—along with new editor Campbell have limited a chunk of serious, un-relatable interviews and sound bytes in place of more humanistic and lighthearted commentary and travel shots. But if you still don't believe this endorsement of Re: Session, then trust Judy and Rich Carlson for their son's success and place in such an elite ski cinematographic production.