When aspiring stuntman Peter Epstein came to Park City for the Sundance Film Festival in 1985, he got a lot more than he bargained for. It snowed 12 feet in 10 days and Epstein, an avid snowboarder, spent so much time on the slopes that he didn't see a single movie.
Originally from New York, Epstein, who is heavy into martial arts, was drawn to his career by the fight scenes in movies. He once thought he would have to relocate to Los Angeles in order to make it in the movie biz, but by a lucky turn of events, a friend convinced Epstein to move to Aspen, Colo., where he made his first film.
"I got into stunts on a movie called Aspen Extreme, mainly because I annoyed the director enough," Epstein says. "I was trying to get into it for five years before I landed the job." His brief time in Aspen cultivated his taste for western powder, and L.A. did not make the cut. Epstien found himself relocating to Utah after just a few years in the West.
Epstein often travels half the year on film projects and has worked everywhere from NYC to Rome. One of his latest films, a movie adaptation of the '80s TV series 21 Jump Street, was a highlight because filming took place during Jazz Fest in New Orleans, an event Epstein hits regularly on his own.
Because of his hectic schedule, any time he spends at his home in Park City feels like a vacation. He stays active boat-surfing in Jordanelle Reservoir, mountain biking, doing yoga and snowboarding. Still, he finds time to spend with his two young sons and wife, Kelley, who writes a food blog mountainmamacooks.com.