Joe Jay Jalbert's US Ski Hall of Fame Reel
On April 5, 2014, our founder Joe Jay Jalbert was inducted into the US Ski Hall of Fame. “It’s a crowning jewel for my career,” he said. “It is the zenith of what I could achieve in the professional and private world.” Joe Jay, an accomplished skier, got into filmmaking back in 1969 when he doubled for Robert Redford and served as a cameraman and technical director in the classic film “Downhill Racer.” The experience lit a creative spark, and now 40 years later JPI has worked on some incredible projects.
“From day one, we have always tried to get unique shots and capture different perspectives of sports, which is very difficult to achieve,” said Jalbert. “We try to get that unique angle and film incredible slow-motion shots to capture what we like to call the ‘guts and glory’ shot that captures the true sensation of sports and adventure.” Well, we still enjoy capturing the guts and glory, but as we all know the scope of camera technology has changed significantly since 1969. Thus, when we decided to put together a short film to honor Joe Jay’s career as a surprise at his US Ski Hall of Fame induction ceremony, we knew it would be a unique challenge.
It took about 1 month and a team of 8 to conquer this beast, especially since most of JPI’s work was shot on film until the last decade. The last major project we shot on film was The Thin Line[lightbox] around 2007-2008. We were shooting on HDcam 1080i at the time, however film still played an important role. We shot only super 16mm and/or 35mm film and went straight from the negative to HDcam. Once we started shooting with the Red and the Phantom cameras to get those great high speed shots, the need for slow-mo film gradually phased out. Even during the first few years of true HD, high-speed photography had a tremendous application. The resolution, depth of field, and things as simple as skin tones, were a major consideration, and at the end of the day, digital is so much easier.
We went through a meticulous process to sift through hundreds of archived shows in our Huntington office and covertly ship the select digibeta tapes to our Soho Production Office without Joe Jay knowing. Our internal team digitized these assets with our tape decks, added some of JPI's more contemporary work from our digital files, and Jay wrote a script to bring it all together. Jay also recruited an old colleague and friend of Joe's who used to voice over all of our old shows to be the narrating voice of the film. Once the edit was locked in with old photographs and our footage, we utilized two graphic artists and did an extensive sound design and mix.
In the end, we produced a reel that showcases JPI’s 40 + year history.
When Joe saw the final product, he was elated. "Actually, I was stunned, especially since my family surprised me with a personal showing the night before the awards banquet. All my family and grandkids (plus dear industry friends) shared the moment, and it was truly moving… a tearful one, I'm not ashamed to admit. The incredible photos and archived material that the gang dug up was remarkable. How they found it, I can only guess. After 4 and 1/2 decades of doing this, there were a lot of gems. I thank them from the bottom of my heart."
We’re so proud of the advancements Joe Jay has made in the world of sports film production through his dedication, ambition, and innovation. Check out our tribute to him below.