Peter Lake brings a diverse set of unique skills based on his experience in exploration, entertainment and enterprise to problem solving on innovative and difficult projects. When not on the water, Peter works in the real estate business in Marblehead, Massachusetts, just as his mother had started doing in 1949.
As a teenager he became one of the country's early sport parachutists. Then, while a freshman at Dartmouth College he was recruited to join a National Geographic - New York Zoological Society Expedition to parachute into the Peruvian Andes in search of a lost Inca city which had brought previous explorers to fatal ends. The expedition mapped previously unknown areas of Peru and furthered investigations of migration and evolution, as well as setting records for high-altitude landings with experimental parachutes.
After graduating from Boston University with a degree in English literature, Lake moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA graduate film school while developing projects for director Norman Jewison.
Peruvian expedition leader Peter Gimbel invited Lake to photograph his memorable documentary, Blue Water White Death, the earliest film about the Great White Shark. Produced in seven countries and three oceans, the film was the first underwater feature in wide-screen 35mm. Lake's cage-busting encounter with the Great White forms the climax of the film and helped inspire Peter Benchley's, Jaws. The film became an inspiration for the study and observation of sharks and its innovative lessons can be seen in films today, fifty years later.
He then worked in development and planning for Roger Gimbel at General Electric's film and television branch, Tomorrow Entertainment, which won 18 Emmy's during his tenure.
Joining producer Peter Guber's Casablanca FilmWorks as production executive of Benchley's next film, The Deep, in the Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Australia, he supervised design and construction of the world's largest underwater film set, as well as helped plan Hollywood's most ambitious ocean-based production. He wrote and produced the first network prime-time hour-long special about a feature film, The Making of The Deep.
Lake moved to Guber's music partner, Casablanca Records, as vice-president in charge of producing music videos and commercials for Donna Summer, Kiss, Village People and Parliament-Funkadelics, and overseeing the introduction of music videos into theatres. He returned to Casablanca as vice-president of television production to develop the Emmy-winning underwater series, Treasures of the Deep.
After leaving to write television specials, a major airline disaster led him, as a pilot and friend of one of the victims, to challenge the government's findings on behalf of the Airline Pilots Association. His innovative presentation of the events led to a reversal of the official findings and helped develop modern graphic techniques for accident investigation.
An Esquire article Lake wrote led to an assignment as a political consultant to help defeat a California anti-civil rights ballot initiative. This encouraged CBS to ask him to infiltrate and film a gang of murderous neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen threatening to overthrow the United States Government. Lake disguised himself in California, Idaho, Wisconsin and Arkansas and filmed their activities, which earned him an Emmy-nomination and placed him on a death list.
As an expert in domestic terrorism, he appeared on every network news and morning show, as well as Oprah, Nightline and foreign networks. He consulted to U.S. Army Intelligence, the FBI, the RAND Corporation, U.S. Marshals Service, Los Angeles District Attorney, Arkansas Attorney General and Idaho Corrections Department. After testifying in state and Federal courts over eight years, in seven states, he lectured at more than 30 colleges and civil rights groups. Bnai Brith and the American Legion have awarded him medals.
His photographs have been published in Life, Newsweek, NY Times, London Sunday Times, Stern, the Cousteau Library and several books. His stories have appeared in Esquire, Oceans, California, Skin Diver, Boston, and in Russia.
He has been a member of the United States Olympic Festival Shooting Team, played semi-pro hockey, raced cars at Daytona Speedway, flown bi-planes in air shows, and crewed on championship yachts. He's an emeritus member of the Writers Guild of America, west; member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; and belongs to several sports and sailing organizations.
Civic activities include past directorship of a Kenyan-based self-help charity, Red Cross Disaster Action Team, Past Master of Starr King Masonic Lodge in Salem and member of several Masonic organizations and charities.