By Sean Higgins
A stint as a stunt double and technical director for the iconic Robert Redford film “Downhill Racer” in 1969, sparked a passion in Joe Jay Jalbert for creating and sharing sports, adventure, and lifestyle films. He founded Jalbert Productions International in 1971. Today, Joe’s son, Jay, runs the show and has a new series, “In Search of Speed,” that debuts this Thursday, Jan. 21 at 9 p.m. Eastern on Outside Television.
At the finish of the Wengen World Cup races, Jay took some time to sit down with SkiRacing in picturesque Wengen, Switzerland, to talk about JPI’s newest project.
How did this project come to be? Jalbert Productions already did a movie titled “In Search of Speed” a while back; how is this project different?
Basically, “In Search of Speed” was a DVD we did on Daron [Rahlves] and Bode [Miller] behind the scenes of their World Cup tour when they were both winning quite a bit. That was around 2004. Just last year, we decided to re-launch the name and did a one-hour special leading into the World Championships last year. Outside Television really liked that project and we’ve worked with some of the guys over there. Executive Producer Rob Faris wanted to turn “In Search of Speed” into a series, so we’re doing eight half-hours following the team around.
When did you guys start working on “In Search of Speed” and how in-depth can we expect each episode to be?
We started shooting this summer; it’s kind of a year-round documentary series on the ski team and their goal to be best in the world. It features the athletes and the coaches working together as an organization to accomplish that. We shot in New Zealand, a lot of time in Chile at the speed camp there, some time in Park City, dryland stuff and features behind the scenes with some of the athletes there. We were in Soelden at the first race when Ted won and Mikaela came in second, some shoots at the Copper speed camp, then the Aspen races, Birds of Prey races, Altenmarkt last week, and then this week in Wengen. That sort of coverage will make up the eight-part series.
Does the series focus on a specific part of the team or is it more of an all-encompassing project?
The bulk of it has been, on the men’s side, probably more on the speed team, but Ted has been a big focus as well on the tech side. Obviously, with Ted being one of the best GS skiers in the world, we’ve focused a lot on him. We also spent some time with Forest [Carey] and the tech team leading into the Soelden race. We’ve covered a little bit of everything. On the women’s side, I would say it’s the speed girls as well as Mikaela. We focus on the tech side as well; it’s really a little bit of everything.
What about Bode? Will he be involved in any way?
We talked about getting him involved somehow, and we still want to try and figure out how to get him in there. He hasn’t been to the locations we’ve been to except for Beaver Creek, but he was working with NBC. We got Daron at Birds of Prey, though; we got a good interview with him, which was great. In a perfect world, we could get Bode involved, because the first show we did was with him as well as him being such a skiing mind.
What does the sport of ski racing mean to Jalbert Productions?
Personally, alpine skiing and alpine ski racing have been the core of our business since its inception. I know my dad was excited that we got this going. I’ve worked with the ski team since I graduated college. I’ve been carrying tripods around since I was eight years old so I’ve known a lot of these guys. It’s cool to be back on the tour again, seeing them every weekend and rooting them on, its fun and it’s somethi