"Jake Blauvelt: Naturally": Five Minutes With Director Greg Martin of Friday Productions
Since the beginning of the New Year, Jake Blauvelt and the Friday Productions crew have been doing what they do best: chasing snow. Never one to settle for average (terrain, angles, style, etc.) and fully healed from his injuries, Jake has been going non-stop to make sure that the film he and the crew release in Fall 2013, “Jake Blauvelt: Naturally,” meets his high standards.
That said, when the director of the film, Greg Martin of Friday Productions, stopped by headquarters between trips, we decided it was a good opportunity to get an update on what’s transpired in these past two months.
What were the goals coming into 2013?
The goals were really just to try and get busy. To hit the road running, straight after the New Year and we’ve been on the road shooting and chasing conditions non-stop since. I think we’re in a good position that we’re a small, tight crew, we don’t have multiple riders so we can pack up and leave and change location at the drop of a hat. I don’t know that that’s a goal, but it was really just to get busy and chase snow.
How does Jake’s determination to chase the best possible conditions make for setting schedule and getting done what the production crew needs and wants to get done?
We kind of laid down a rough schedule and there are certain things that we have to do on certain dates, but on the whole the hardest thing is being asked by sponsors and partners for an updated schedule of where you’re going to be and they’re always asking ‘Can I have the latest schedule?’ So you always send them kind of the same thing, but so far this year it has gone to plan in that we planned to go to Japan and Europe and we’ve done both in the course of three weeks and got lucky in both places. So, so far, so good. We’re actually going into a period now of six weeks of things that were pre-booked because they involve helicopters so our ability to be flexible is kind of gone for the next six weeks. But I’m sure it will work out.
You mentioned Europe and Japan, where specifically did you guys go?
We went back to Asahidake area in Japan, where we’ve actually been the last couple of years purely because they look after us there. There’s a really nice place to stay, has the onsens (hot springs) and good food and Jake feels comfortable there. And then from there we missioned off to some new zones, but all within a short distance. For Europe, it was interesting because Jake had to go to two tradeshows, SIA and ISPO. While we were at ISPO it started snowing really heavily in Europe, so we decided we were going to go straight from the tradeshow and he had five days before he had to come back to Ultra Natural. So at the tradeshow we put the feelers out for where would be potentially good and got turned on to a place that, it’s funny, I used to live half and hour from there and I’d never heard of it. It’s a little resort called Areches and it has maybe four chairlifts, but the terrain is insane and there’s no people. Like the first day we were there there was probably two feet of fresh and you could count 15 chairs coming up the chairlift without a person sitting on them. It was crazy. Unheard of in Europe. So we spent five days there and it was really good. Good crew, good riding. Yeah, it was different.
Have there been any particular days or spots that have stood out since the beginning of 2013?
Jake was on a tree-riding mission in Japan and he ended up riding one really, really big tree. Like riding up it, really far up it and then airing off the end of it, which was unique, and he hit a lot of trees. I don’t know why; he was just on a tree mission. And then we went to Europe and actually on the first day we found a zone that looked just like Whistler, it was like huge pillow stacks and snowing and we filmed there all day and at the end of the day Jake said, ‘If I’d wanted to ride pillows, I’d have gone to Whistler, but I came to Europe and I want to jump off roofs of old barns and chalets.’ So then we went on a four-day mission just finding old buildings and him doing like butter tricks off the roofs and airing over them and that was pretty unique.
He’s coming off an injury, how’s he been riding, how’s he been looking?
He’s been riding better than I’ve seen him ride and he’s fitter than I’ve ever seen him. And he seems more comfortable and confident and focused, I don’t know, it’s strange, normally off the back of an injury people are a little bit insecure or holding back a bit, but he’s been the opposite. He’s been on a mission.
We leave tomorrow to Revelstoke in British Columbia for two back-to-back heli trips there and then followed by another month in Canada, so it’s a lot of Canada coming up.
The next teaser for the project is scheduled to be released in mid-August. Until then, enjoy this epic first teaser released last September.