Joe Jay Jalbert
Hall of Fame Class of 2013
Joe Jay Jalbert entry into film came almost by accident. As a ski double for Robert Redford in the 1969 classic film Downhill Racer, he picked up a passion for film and in 1972 opened the doors to Jalbert Productions International. From official Olympic films, to industry product launches, to television specials, the Emmy award winning producer has over 800 productions to his credit. Jalbert’s career as a film maker has touched every aspect of the industry and has been hallmarked by innovation in bringing the sport to life around the world.
He began skiing at age five in Mullan, Idaho with racing quickly becoming his passion. He dominated PNSA racing as a four-time Junior Nationals Team member and went on to the University of Washington on an academic scholarship but was quickly recruited to ski and captained the UW ski team. He raced internationally prior to the debut of the World Cup and narrowly missed a spot on the 1968 Olympic team.
As a racer himself, Jalbert was able to tell the story of the sport from a unique perspective. In 1971 he won his first Emmy for cinematography in a CBS network feature from Sun Valley with Jean-Claude Killy and Peggy Fleming. In 1975 he won the first of 16 category titles at the International Ski Film Festival, taking best of show a year later with Just a Matter of Time a documentary on the classic 1976 Olympic downhill matchup at Innsbruck between Franz Klammer and Bernhard Russi. That film would springboard Jalbert Productions into the global spotlight starting a series of four IOC Olympic and 13 FIS World Championship official films.
Jalbert was a pioneer with his films characterized by innovative long lens slow motion and point of view (POV) camera placements – a skill he learned carrying a heavy camera down the fabled Lauberhorn in Downhill Racer. He was the first to actually mount cameras on skis for unique POV angles that captured the speed of the sport.
Not only was he a skilled filmmaker, but he found unique ways to distribute content through broadcast syndication – a field in which he remains an industry leader. He negotiated a unique partnership with the IOC and FIS to gain wide distribution for Olympic and World Championship films. For over 20 years Jalbert produced official films for the U.S. Ski Team, forging personal relationships with superstars like Picabo Street and Bode Miller.
In his career he won over 30 international film awards plus 16 category prizes at the International Ski Film Festival. He was honored by the International Ski History Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the International Ski Federation’s Journalist of the Year honor.
1960: U.S. Junior National Team
1969: Technical director and stand-in for Robert Redford in Downhill Racer
1971: Winner of Emmy for CBS Sun Valley feature
1974: Produced first of 14 FIS World Championship films
1976: First of four official Olympic films and winner of International Ski Film Festival
2002: FIS Journalist of the Year
2004: Warren Miller Modern Media Award
2007: ISHA Lifetime Achievement Award
2012: Jerry Award Winner – Ski and Snowboard Film Institute
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