Teton Gravity Research’s newest production, "High Life,’ premieres tonight at 8150 | VailDaily.com

Teton Gravity Research’s newest production, "High Life,’ premieres tonight at 8150

Andrew Harley
Special to the Daily

On a windy morning along the peaks of the Italian Alps, a lone rider takes a moment to let the world below remain still. In a few minutes, he will huck straight down the face of a slope steeper and more dangerous than all of Vail Mountain’s marked terrain.

Regardless of whether the rider feels like the king of the world or the smallest speck, he possesses a level of courage that few kings have ever known.

But, for now the peaks are calm, and the cinematographers are setting up, so he has a little time to spare.

Teton Gravity Research’s most-recent film, “High Life,” incorporates moments like this to contrast and preface its intense, action sequences, which take place in Switzerland, France, Italy, British Columbia, Ala., Wyo., Calif., Ore. and Colo.

In 77 minutes, “High Life” portrays some of the world’s finest and most daring freeskiers and snowboarders behind the scenes in addition to their performances of record stunts.

“One of the biggest problems we face when making these films is how to keep the audience interested after someone’s performed a 140 cliff huck,” said Teton Gravity Research promotions representative Jeff Tryon. “Typically, an audience will be wowed for the first 10 minutes, but becomes disinterested because of sensory overload.”

Teton Gravity Research took extra measures to insure “High Life” would hold an audience’s attention throughout the entire film.

The film begins with flickering, black-and-white images, and all the noises are undercoated by the crackling sound of turntable needle running along a record between songs.

The film uses grainy, black-and-white segments with voice-overs to provide a background on the featured athletes, and to emphasize a relatively intimate feel to the movie.

“I think those segments personify the athletes, and allow people to get to know them as a person behind what they do on the snow,” said Tryon. “It’s a sign of a good documentary. It shows a lot of soul.”

“High Life” presents Teton gravity Research’s newest talent as they prove why they rank among the world’s greatest freeskiers and snowboarders.

The film stars Marc Andre Belliveau, Micah Black, Will Burks, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Chris Collins, Matt Collins, Mikael Deshenaux, Rick Greener, Victoria Jealouse, Jeremy Jones, Kent Kreitler, Charlotte Moats, Jeremy Nobis, Peter Olenick, Jamie Pierre, Candide Thovex and Andy Wood, among others.

Black and Cattabriga-Alosa are two of Teton Gravity Research’s major athletes.

Black was born in Whitefish, Mont., currently lives in Jackson Hole, Wyo., is nicknamed “Vipe,” enjoys skiing most in Dolomites, Italy, and is good friends with Metallica’s drummer, Lars Ulrich. Black’s turnoffs are flat terrain, liftlines and idiots with attitudes.

“Micah and Lars are good friends, which is why we were able to get the rights for Metallica’s song, “For Whom the Bell Tolls,'” said Tryon. “Music brings attitude to the film. The musical montages in “High Life’ are meant to reflect each athlete’s riding style and personality.”

Teton Gravity Research praises Cattabriga-Alosa as its best new talent.

“I think Sage is in some of the film’s best scenes. He’s got style, whether he’s in the air, or skiing powder,” said Tryon. “He’s such a laid-back, mellow guy, it’s surprising to see what he can do on skis.”

A portion of the proceeds from this film are going to “Renee’s Fire Fund” – a fund dedicated to a local woman who lost her home to the recent fire in Red Cliff.

“This film emphasizes Europe as the epicenter of skiing. This film is a really good attempt to keep audiences attentive throughout the entire time,” said Tryon. “And, of TGR’s films, this one is definitely the most soulful.”

Andrew Harley can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 610 or at aharley@vaildaily.com.


Rippin’ Riders

Teton Gravity Research’s latest film, “High Life”

Today, 8:30 p.m.


Tickets available at Vail Sports, Beaver Creek Sports and 8150 for $9

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