Kai Jones drops a full new snow edit on TGR’s “Make Believe” film.
While most extreme athletes these days post everything straight to social media, Gabb ambassador skier Kai Jones keeps it old school, working for months to create something truly special, then releasing it with a proper film tour and feature film release. The new ski film “Make Believe” is about 25 years of Kai’s dad’s film company, Teton Gravity Research (TGR)…so about halfway through that journey, baby Kai appeared on the scene and has been immersed in it ever since. It’s pretty clear how ingrained the TGR story is in Kai’s own story, and this film is a celebration of that.
GABB: How excited are you for your section to be dropping?
KAI JONES: Oh man, so stoked. Each segment pretty much takes a full year to make, filming through the winter then editing in the summer, so…it’s a long time to wait. We don’t really show much on social media before it comes out, so everyone’s always like, “What have you been working on?” and I have to say, “Just wait and see.”
GABB: Are you involved in the edit process of your part at all?
KAI JONES: Well, normally I would spend a lot of time sitting in with the editors, but this year with COVID it was a bit different. I’d just see it at various stages and give my feedback then.
GABB: What’s the story behind “Make Believe?” Why does it say, “25 years?”
KAI JONES: Make Believe is the story of Teton Gravity Research, which is my dad and his brother’s company. They started out in Alaska fishing, then doing heli-guides, and branching off into filming and eventually made their base in Jackson Hole. Twenty five year ago their first film came out, so this is the story of the whole journey. It starts with an excerpt from their first film and then goes through the whole timeline up to the present. But it’s all mixed in with modern stuff from the guys who’ve always been part of TGR.
GABB: What are you most excited about in your own section?
KAI JONES: I think just skiing some lines all the way from the top. That was a big step for me and I was stoked to push myself into trying a few new lines and just trusting my skill to be able to figure it out, even if I’d never ridden it.
GABB: How about that backflip? That thing is huge?
KAI JONES: I’d actually done that a while ago, but a bit smaller. So for this I pushed it as hard as I could and sent it 20 feet further and ended up bashing my knee into my face. So, I had a black eye for a little while from that one.
GABB: Aside from your own stuff, what’s your favorite part of the movie to watch.
KAI JONES: Sammy Carlson’s section is my favorite. I just love watching him ride. All his style and tricks mixed in with some really clean lines.
GABB: Seems like you’ve been really pushing yourself on the mountain bike over the summer, too. Are you going to be dropping a section in the next TGR mountain bike film?
KAI JONES: Ha, no, I’ve got a long way to go before I’m up to that level. Maybe someday, but right now I’m just having fun and trying to improve.
GABB: What’s your favorite stuff to do on the bike?
KAI JONES: I like riding technical features, like rock drops and real steep lines. I also enjoy doing the jumps and some mountain bike tricks like tail whips and stuff. I was just trying 360s but still having a bit of trouble getting it all the way around.
KAI JONES: Yeah.
GABB: Well, sweet. Thanks for sharing this section with us. Where can we watch the full film?
KAI JONES: In about a month you’ll be able to watch it on TGRtv. So, look for it there.
GABB: Thanks Kai.
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