Interview by Jeff Schmuck
So where are you guys at these days and what have you been up to?
Jossi: I got back to New Zealand about three weeks ago. Just been rehabbing my elbow and chilling out at home. It's been mad nice.
Byron: And Tim and I got back about two weeks ago, and we've just been soaking up the sun and getting in the gym again to get ready for the season down here.
Ca$h Money. Photo by Jeff Schmuck
How was your season?
Byron: Good. Busy as always. Got a lot of stuff done, and I was stoked to get on the podium a couple of times. And it finished really nicely with a sick Poor Boyz shoot at Keystone.
Tim: Mine was pretty epic. Worked a little bit on Winter of Wells, but it had to take a bit of a backseat because of this documentary we're working on, so most of my energy went into that. Did a couple of trips to the States, and basically lived our lives as usual.
Jossi: Well my season sucked (laughs). My ankle was bothering me all season, and it was pretty bad right up until I went to Norway for Andreas' event, where I broke my elbow. I've never really had to deal with loss like I had to this season, so I had to learn how to lose after failure after failure. So it was pretty tough, but I still had a lot of fun. I mainly can’t wait for next season to come around so I can get back out there and just shred.
Jossi at Dew Tour. Photo by Rocky Maloney
Byron at European X Games. Photo by Felix Rioux
What were some of the biggest highlights for you guys this winter?
Jossi: Honestly the biggest highlight for me was when I went to Venice on the one week I had off and got to go through Italy. Skiing-wise though it was probably the four hours I skied at the comp Andreas put on at his house. My ankle wasn't bugging me too much and I was skiing really well, so I’d say that was the most fun I had on snow all season.
Byron: Probably the third Dew Tour. Getting on the podium for the first time there was really sick, and WSI was amazing as well. I was stoked to finish off the contest season with that event, and ended up getting a big air placing which was cool for me. Plus the Poor Boyz shoot in Keystone that I mentioned earlier was awesome. We shot for a few days on a crazy feature that you'll get to see soon.
Tim: For me it was probably shooting with Byron in Utah at Park City. We got to work with some really talented people with remote control helicopters, and were able to go to some places to get some unique shots that people haven't really seen before, which you'll get to see in the documentary. The comps were pretty good too, and seeing Byron on the podium was definitely a highlight.
Byron at Dew Tour. Photo by Rocky Maloney
What are your plans for the summer?
Jossi: I'm going to ski every single day at Cardrona and Snow Park, skateboard every afternoon and ride my motorbike around, because I just bought a gangster ass bike.
Byron: I'm going to shoot a bunch of deer (laughs). I'm going to go hunting a bunch, skiing a bunch, filming a bunch, and traveling a bunch, as we'll be coming over to Canada for a training camp at Camp of Champions...
Jossi: Heaps of bunches...
Byron: Just bunching heaps of things...
Tim: And I'm going to film these guys doing a bunch of stuff (laughs).
Photo courtesy of Atomic/Tim Pierce
So you mentioned this a few times already in passing, but for the first time, tell us all about the documentary you've been working on this winter.
Tim: Well we've been kind of leaking some info throughout the course of the season here and there and in various Winter of Wells episodes, but basically we've been working on a documentary all year that tells the story of the Wells family. It’s going to be called Winter of Wells: The Documentary, and the aim of it is to break down everything that makes these boys tick along with showing a bit of the history of their lives. It'll allow the viewers to get to know these guys a little bit better with all of the behind the scenes stuff, and then there'll obviously be a ton of skiing. It's a very unique story of one family, so it's time to share it with the whole world, and I think people will find it very interesting.
Jossi. Photo by Jeff Schmuck
Byron. Photo by Jeff Schmuck
Will it be a DVD, or online?
Tim: It will be released and distributed around the world on a DVD, and I'm not entirely sure, but I believe it will be free, and then it will go online after a certain time along with possibly television.
When will it be released?
Tim: We're aiming for mid-October. It'll be premiered at Atomic's product launch in Austria and then will trickle out from there.
Jossi at European Open. Photo by Jeff Schmuck
Byron at WSI. Photo by Dan Brown
What prompted you to make a documentary?
Tim: Well I've been working with these guys for the last few years on Winter of Wells, so I've gotten to know them really well and have been essentially living their lives alongside them, so it was kind of a natural next step for us. But really it's because the story of these boys is just something that I want to tell and share with the world, and the timing was right, Atomic stepped in to support it, so it was too good of an opportunity to not give it a shot.
Jossi at X Games. Photo by John Vandervalk
Will the documentary feature the whole family, or just focus mainly on Jossi and Byron?
Tim: Definitely the whole family. Their Father Bruce and Mother Stacey are a huge part of the story, and although Jossi and Byron are obviously the most well-known Wells brothers, and I'm not too sure how much the public knows about Beau and Jackson, the documentary will have segments on all of the brothers, so you'll be able to see all of them skiing, from a 13-year-old to a 21-year-old
Byron at Dew Tour. Photo by Rocky Maloney
And what are your thoughts on the project as a whole Jossi and Byron?
Jossi: I think it'll be pretty cool, because the best part about it is that we have full control over it, so it's a good opportunity for us to portray what we want to portray to the public and the media. So it's a great way for us to tell our story in the way we want to tell it, because a lot of people just see us at contests or in movies or in Winter of Wells, so it'll be nice to get a little more in depth and show them what we're all about.
Byron: I'm really excited to see what Tim will do with it, because I know he's going to create something amazing out of it by showing people who we are, how we live and all that kind of stuff. But at the same time I don't want anyone to think that this is just going to be a story about us as people, as we've got a ton of creative ski shots like Tim was saying earlier, so there's going to be a bit everything.
Jossi in Austria. Photo courtesy of Atomic/Klaus Polzer
Byron in Iceland. Photo by Jeff Schmuck
And you guys just released a new episode of Winter of Wells that takes a look at the behind the scenes of the making of this documentary. Tell us all about it.
Tim: It's from one of our shoots where used those remote control helis, and kind of shows and explains how much work and technology goes into shooting things like that with a chopper flying around Byron and whatnot. So it'll be the first episode that takes a look at the making of the documentary, and we're aiming to do a bunch more. Plus this and future episodes will give a bit of a taste of what the documentary will look like in some way, because in the documentary there will be a lot of behind the scenes stuff that shows what goes into filming for movie parts, with Byron at the Keystone shoot with Poor Boyz for example.
Winter of Wells Episode 22 - Behind the Scenes of the Documentary from Tim Pierce - Zeros&Ones on Vimeo.
When can we expect a trailer?
Tim: It depends on when we get a bit more footage. I've yet to get a lot of footage of Jossi, Jackson and Beau from outside of comps...
Jossi: Yeah I'm all about breaking myself off at the perfect time (laughs).
Tim: (laughs) …so we're working on that, and are planning on putting out some sort of trailer hopefully in July.
Byron. Photo courtesy of Atomic/Tim Pierce
Jossi. Photo courtesy of Atomic/Klaus Polzer
Any last things you guys want to add?
Tim: It's not going to be your typical ski movie. It'll have a lot more depth to it and a lot more story. It'll sort of aim to appeal to a wider market but still have a lot of quality skiing in it.
Jossi: Don't be expecting an hour-long ski movie with just skiing. It's definitely more of a documentary, and it's going to tell our story and hopefully people will enjoy it. I think the coolest part about it will be that a lot of our fan base is from North America, and a lot of those people doesn't know a whole lot about where we're from, other than the handful of them that come down here every year. So I think it'll be cool for us to show where we're from and what it's like down here, and hopefully we can portray Wanaka as it is and show where we've come from and what we've done to get where we're at.
Photo courtesy of Atomic/Tim Pierce