LAKE PLACID - A respected whitewater kayaker, Lake Placid resident Ed Huber has carved out a niche in the television and movie industry inside and outside the Adirondacks.
In recent years, Huber has worked on "Ninja Turtles" in Tupper Lake, the "Amazing Spider Man 2" in Rochester and New York City and numerous independent projects. He's also done extensive work for JFM Morgan Sports Inc., shooting and editing World Cup sliding events in Lake Placid, Park City, Utah, and Calgary, in addition to commercial work for various clients, including Wegmans Food Markets.
The 43-year-old, who lives with his wife Sandy, said he got started in video in 1990 when he was in high school in Cazenovia in central New York. That year he won $10,000 and a Sony video camera for a short clip he submitted to "America's Funniest Home Videos." The footage was of him flying through the air on skis and hitting the top of a tree.
Ed Huber kayaks on the Moose River. (Photo provided)
"I bounced," he said. "It kind of bolted me back, (and I) landed on my back. It was really funny. I submitted that, got a call, and I was in L.A. five days later."
After a few years, Huber moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and became a whitewater kayaker, a passion he would combine with video in the years to come.
Huber moved back to the Syracuse area a few years later. In his free time, he explored the rapids on the Black River in Watertown, where he started shooting videos for a local rafting business. That led him to move to Lake Placid 1996, where he continued to shoot rafting videos and started Split Rock Productions.
While he was establishing the production business, Huber still needed to work other jobs. One was at Mountain and Boardertown ski shop in Lake Placid, where he was employed for eight years until 2007, the year he became self-sufficient as an independent businessman.
In 2010, Huber appeared to get his big break when it looked as though the murder-mystery movie "Dancehall" was set to be filmed in Lake Placid. Huber landed the job of assistant location manager for the roughly $10 million movie and did prep work for a couple months in Lake Placid. Then a week before the filming was to begin, the project shut down because of funding problems.
That experience, however, led him to realize Lake Placid is a great setting for shooting films. One thing he did for the Dancehall production was set them up with a temporary production studio in the 34-acre former Upstate Biotechnology property on Barn Road.
"They thought it was magic," Huber said. "These people from L.A. and New York came up here, and they couldn't believe how perfect it was for making this film.
"There's always high stress in films, right? They'd walk outside and see the view and Mount Marcy, and they would just come back refreshed. They told me, 'Ed, you can't get this in New York. You can't walk out of your production office space and unwind like this. This is magic.' They were blown away by just how cool that was."
After seeing how the crew reacted to Lake Placid, Huber began developing a business plan for Adirondack Motion Pictures, LLC, a company he hopes will draw big film crews to the area. The plan is still in the works.
In the meantime, Huber continues to juggle assignments, including a movie of his own called "The Ditch" that he's filming locally and in the Grand Canyon, which he's rafted twice. He plans to go down the Colorado River again next spring to gather additional footage.
Huber is also doing gigs for Split Rock Productions, working on improving his basement rental and waiting for the next phone call from Hollywood or New York
"Who knows, I could get a call to go down tomorrow to work on an HBO show in New York, or there (could be) this new Keanu Reeves thing," he said. "It can happen like that. It's so quick where I'll get calls."
[This story was updated June 12 from the original version.]