Peter Jackson

(Sir Peter Robert Jackson)

Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson
  • Born: October 31, 1961
  • Nationality: New Zealander
  • Profession: Film Director, Screenwriter, Film Producer









Sir Peter Robert Jackson ONZ KNZM is a New Zealand film director, screenwriter and film producer. He is best known as the director, writer, and producer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–03) and the Hobbit trilogy (2012–14), both of which are adapted from the novels of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien. Other films include the critically lauded drama Heavenly Creatures (1994), the mockumentary film Forgotten Silver (1995), the horror comedy The Frighteners (1996), the epic monster remake film King Kong (2005), the supernatural drama film The Lovely Bones (2009), and the World War I documentary film They Shall Not Grow Old (2018). He produced District 9 (2009), The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011), West of Memphis (2012) and Mortal Engines (2018).

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100 years ago, movies were black-and-white, silent, and 16 frames a second. So 100 years from now, what are they going to be? Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
48 frames per second is something you have to get used to. I've got absolute belief and faith in 48 frames... it's something that could have ramifications for the entire industry. 'The Hobbit' really is the test of that. Religion & God
Actors will never be replaced. The thought that somehow a computer version of a character is going to be something people prefer to look at is a ludicrous idea.
Adapting a novel is not really about being faithful to every word and every moment the author has created. It's more about that same story being filtered through somebody else's sensibility.
Anything you can imagine, you can put on film.
As a filmmaker, I believe in trying to make movies that invite the audience to be part of the film; in other words, there are some films where I'm just a spectator and am simply observing from the front seat. What I try to do is draw the audience into the film and have them participate in what's happening onscreen. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
As a filmmaker, you want nothing more than to have people say, 'I love your movie.' Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
'Bad Taste' was - it was, in many respects, my sort of, my, I guess, my single-minded desire to want to break into the film industry when New Zealand didn't really have a film industry to break into.
Being honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame alongside the names of some of my childhood heroes is slightly surreal and incredibly awesome.
Buster Keaton's 'The General,' from 1927, I think is still one of the great films of all time. Time
Continuing advances in stem cell medicine will change all of our lives for the better.
Critics in particular treat CGI as a virus that's infecting film.
Every time you do something, people are going to like it, people are going to hate it. You tend to make the movies on the basis you are making them for the people who are going to like them and not worrying too much about people who don't like them. Time ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Everybody's life has these moments, where one thing leads to another. Some are big and obvious and some are small and seemingly insignificant. Life
Film is such a powerful medium. It's like a weapon and I think you have a duty to self-censor.
Filmmakers have to commit to making 3-D films properly like Jim Cameron did and not do cheap conversions at the tail end of the process.
Filmmaking for me is always aiming for the imaginary movie and never achieving it.
For a lot of my childhood, I didn't want to direct movies because I didn't really know what directing was. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
For me, utter failure is to make a film that people pay their money to go see and they don't like. Failure ;Money, Coins & Minting
Forty-eight frames per second is a way, way better way to look at 3D. It's so much more comfortable on the eyes.
'Heavenly Creatures' was really the idea of Fran Walsh. It was a very famous New Zealand murder case, but not one that people knew much about. Fame
I always have had a slightly jaundiced view about people who promote books about themselves.
I am not anti-media at all. But the media, the news anywhere in the world, is based on drama.
I can't take responsibility for everyone's employment.
I didn't want my kids having to pass through an airport named after their father.
I didn't want people to sit there and watch 10 minutes of film,and all they write about is 48 frames.
I don't have an anti-Hollywood feeling. It's just I'm a New Zealander. I was born in New Zealand, and it's where my house is, and my family goes to school there. My interest is to remain in my homeland and make films. I don't really want to relocate myself to other countries in the world to work. Families, Children & Parenting ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I don't like directing that much to want a career as a director for hire. I like to have as much creative control as possible.
I don't quite know what an auteur is.
I don't really want to make a stylized film or anything too surreal.
I don't think that because you die and move on to somewhere else that you lose your sense of humor. Humor
I feel very lucky to be able to make movies in New Zealand, and I will always be grateful for the support I have received from so many New Zealanders. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I fell in love with stories watching a British television puppet show called 'Thunderbirds' when it first came out on TV, about 1965, so I would have been 4 or 5 years old. I went out into the garden at my mom and dad's house, and I used to play with my little dinky toys, little cars and trucks and things. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Families, Children & Parenting
I first read 'The Lord of the Rings' as an adolescent. It's a dense novel, a sprawling, complex monster of a book populated with a prolific number of characters caught up in a narrative structure that, frankly, does not lend itself to conventional storytelling.
I have a freedom that's incredibly valuable. Obviously my freedom is far smaller in scale than people like Zemeckis and Spielberg have here. But it's comparable. I can dream up a project, develop it, make it, control it, release it. Freedom & Liberty
I have a million questions about my granddad and no one to talk to.
I haven't got a real job.
I hope one day that I'll get to make another horror film; I'd love to. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Hope
I just got tired of being overweight and unfit, so I changed my diet from hamburgers to yogurt and muesli, and it seems to work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I just think that we're living in a world where the technology is advancing so rapidly. You're having cameras that are capable of more and more - the resolution on cameras is jumping up. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
I like to keep an open mind, but I do think there is some form of energy that exists separate to our flesh and blood. I do think that there's some kind of an energy that leaves the body when it dies, but I certainly don't have religious beliefs particularly.
I love Bilbo Baggins. I relate really well to Bilbo! Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I love collaborating with people. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I love writing, and I love postproduction. That's great, because you start to reassemble the film, and you sit there, and you start to really put the film together, finally. The shooting of it is the most stressful part of the process. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I make cameos in all my movies for no particular reason other than a joke. It's just a Hitchcock thing. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I mean, I didn't have a huge upbringing with movies, I guess. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I never dreamed in a million years that 'The Lord of the Rings' would be nominated for an Oscar. Those types of fantasy movies never got nominations. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I never overtly analyse my own movies, I don't think that's my job to do that. I just muddle through and do what I think is best for the movie. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I never wanted to do 'The Hobbit' in the first place.
I remember when I was - I must've been 17 or 18 years old - I remember 'The Empire Strikes Back' had a big cliffhanger ending, and it was, like, three years before the next one came out.
I think everything that you do, you're learning. I mean, every movie that you make is like a film school; that's one of the things that I enjoy about filmmaking. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I think it's important that filmmakers look at the technology and figure out how to make the theatrical experience a little more exciting. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
I think 'Jaws' is a remarkable film.
I think that George Lucas' 'Star Wars' films are fantastic. What he's done, which I admire, is he has taken all the money and profit from those films and poured it into developing digital sound and surround sound, which we are using today. Money, Coins & Minting
I think we're going to enter a phase where there's less interest in the CGI and there's a demand for story again. I think we've dropped the ball a little bit on stories for the sake of the amazing toys that we've played with.
I thought that there might be something unsatisfying about directing two Tolkien movies after 'Lord of the Rings.' I'd be trying to compete with myself and deliberately doing things differently. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I used to send away for eight-minute Super 8 movies of various Ray Harryhausen scenes advertised on the back of 'Famous Monsters of Filmland' magazine. Fame ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I want to put everything I think I've learned about filmmaking and storytelling and put it to the test in other areas.
I was bullied and regarded as little bit of an oddball myself.
I watch 'Goodfellas,' and suddenly it frees me up entirely; it reminds me of what great film directing is all about.
If I'm lucky enough to be involved in the Academy Awards in the future, I'll just let people make up their decision without being involved in any politics. Because it shouldn't involve that. Future ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
If justice is supposed to be fair, than any justice system you would hope is based on fairness. Hope
If you make a trilogy, the whole point is to get to that third chapter, and the third chapter is what justifies what's come before.
If you take a regular animated film, that's being done by animators on computers, so the filmmaking is a fairly technical process. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
If you take 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' as books, one is written for children, and one is an adult's book.
If you're a filmmaker, and every time you finish a film, you just naturally go, 'Oh, I could have done so much better,' that's not much fun, is it, really? You might as well go pick another profession if that really is how you derive satisfaction from it. Time
If you're an only child, you spend a lot of time by yourself, and you develop a strong ability to entertain yourself, to conjure up fantasy. Time
I'm always embarrassed by those rugby player autobiographies which get written by journalists.
I'm not a regret guy.
I'm not going to head off and do a Marvel film. So if I don't do a Marvel film, I don't have any other choice - I've got to go make a small New Zealand movie!
I'm thinking about doing a First World War film. War & Peace
In every house, when the curtains are drawn, there's a story going on, and you never get to hear... You get the public side of things, the happy, smiling, social activities.
In the case of 'The Lovely Bones,' I felt that it was subject matter not often dealt with in film, and with a tone that is also rare.
In the old days, you cut out a scene that might've been a really great scene, and no one was ever going to see it ever again. Now, with DVD, you can obviously... there's a lot of possibilities for scenes that are good scenes.
It is now such a complex society in terms of media. It just comes at us from every direction. You kind of have to push it all away. Society
It's almost like an optical illusion, 'The Hobbit.' You look at the book, and it is really thin, and you could make a relatively thin film as well. What I mean by that is that you could race through the story at the speed that Tolkien does.
It's not a happy time when a film drops dead on your doorstep. Time
It's not going to be too much longer before Xbox Live produces programming.
It's one thing to support your kid, but if you have an interest in what your child is doing, it makes it a whole lot easier.
I've always been happy to take a gamble on myself.
I've always tried to make movies that pull the audience out of their seats... I want audiences to be transported. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Learning how to edit movies was a real breakthrough. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
My dad always told me that the principal reason he chose New Zealand to emigrate to after World War II was the high regard his father had for the Kiwis he encountered at Gallipoli. Families, Children & Parenting ;War & Peace
New Zealand is not a small country but a large village.
No film has captivated my imagination more than 'King Kong.' I'm making movies today because I saw this film when I was 9 years old. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Obviously, movies, you're often on location, out in the rain or the sun, in a real place where the trees and the cars are real. But when you're on stage, as an actor you're imagining the environment that you're in. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Obviously, with a CGI character, you're building a character in much the same way as a real creature is built. You build the bones, the skeletons, the muscles. You put layers of fat on. You put a layer of skin on which has to have a translucency, depending on what the character is.
Once the film is out and a lot of people are seeing it, it becomes almost owned by the cinemagoers of the world.
Once upon a time, sound was new technology. Time ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Once you go down a road, you take it through to the end.
One of the best things about growing up in New Zealand is that if you are prepared to work hard and have faith in yourself, truly anything is possible. Religion & God ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
One of the first movies I ever saw was 'Batman,' based on the TV series with Adam West and Burt Ward. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Over 55% of all shots using animals in 'The Hobbit' are in fact computer generated; this includes horses, ponies, rabbits, hedgehogs, birds, deer, elk, mice, wild boars and wolves.
People regard CGI as a gimmick; they almost blame CGI for a bad story or a bad script. They talk about CGI as if it's responsible for a drop in standards.
People sort of accuse Tolkien of not being good with female characters, and I think that Eowyn actually proves that to be wrong to some degree. Eowyn is actually a strong female character, and she's a surprisingly modern character, considering who Tolkien actually was sort of a stuffy English professor in the 1930s and '40s.
Pre-preproduction is the tenuous time before a project is greenlit; before the studio commits to spending real money. This is the most vulnerable period for any film because it's the time when your project is most likely to be put into turnaround. That's film-speak for killed off. Time ;Money, Coins & Minting
Prosthetic makeup is always frustrating.
Rivalry doesn't help anybody.
Second movies are great because you can drop into them, and it doesn't really have a beginning on it, particularly in a traditional way. You can just tear into it. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Stem cell therapy has the potential to treat a multitude of diseases and illnesses, which up until now have been labelled 'incurable.'
Strategically, horror films are a good way to start your career. You can get a lot of impact with very little.
'Temeraire' is a terrific meld of two genres that I particularly love - fantasy and historical epic. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
The Beatles once approached Stanley Kubrick to do 'The Lord Of The Rings.' This was before Tolkien sold the rights. They approached him, and he said, 'No.'
The big-budget blockbuster is becoming one of the most dependable forms of filmmaking.
The cameo I did in 'Fellowship of the Ring' was I was in the street of Bree, and I was eating a carrot.
The entertainment options for young people are a lot broader now, and the quality of films is slumping a little bit.
The first day I start shooting, I start having a recurring nightmare that every single night that I am lying in bed, and there is a film crew surrounding the bed, waiting for me to tell them what to do, and I don't quite know what movie I am supposed to be making.
The idea of an animated film is you always kind of get a little bit daunted by it as a filmmaker because it feels like a lot of your communication is going to be with computer artists, and you're going to have to kind of channel the movie through extra pairs of hands.
The industry has to have the audience in order to make these films. So it's a serious thing - how do you get people to leave their houses and go to the theater?
'The Lord of the Rings,' published in the mid-1950s, was intended as a prehistory to our own world. It was perceived by Tolkien to be a small but significant episode in a vast alternate mythology constructed entirely out of his own imagination.
The most honest form of filmmaking is to make a film for yourself. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The only thing about 3-D is the dullness of the image.
The producers of 'The Hobbit' take the welfare of all animals very seriously and have always pursued the highest standard of care for animals in their charge.
'The Return Of The King' has a conclusion.
The theatrical versions are the definitive versions. I regard the extended cuts as being a novelty for the fans that really want to see the extra material.
The Tolkien estate owns the writings of Professor Tolkien. 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' were sold by Professor Tolkien in the late '60s, the film rights.
The vast majority of the CGI budget is labor.
There are a couple of locations in 'The Hobbit' that are shared with 'Lord of the Rings.'
There are perennial stories like 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Sherlock Holmes' and those sorts of things, which have been around since almost as long as film, and 'Frankenstein' is another one. They're perennial favorites, which get remade every 20 years, and that's OK.
There is a lot of 'Halo' movie material no one has ever seen in New Zealand.
There was a great magazine in the '80s called 'Cinemagic' for home moviemakers who liked to do monster and special effects movies. It was like a magazine written just for me. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
There's a generation of children who don't like black and white movies. There's a level of impatience or intolerance now. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
There's a very go-to kind of attitude in New Zealand that stems from that psyche of being quite isolated and not being able to rely on the rest of the world's infrastructure.
To be an original is probably the hardest quality to find if you're a young filmmaker.
To direct a genuinely animated film, you're really having meetings and discussing what you want with animators who then go off and produce one shot at a time that you look at and comment on. Time
To get an Oscar would be an incredible moment in my career, there is no doubt about that. But the 'Lord of the Rings' films are not made for Oscars, they are made for the audience.
To some degree, I was very dubious of the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' idea - taking a theme park ride and turning into a film - even though they seemed to end up being quite fun films.
Too often, you see film makers from other countries who have made interesting, original films, and then they come here and get homogenized into being hack Hollywood directors. I don't want to fall into that.
We are living in an age where teenagers are not going to the movies. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
We had to get past the mechanical film age to be able to explore other things, but it will be interesting.
We have lost close friends and relatives to cancer and Parkinson's disease, and the level of personal suffering inflicted on patients and their families by these diseases is horrific.
We're human beings, and we want stories. We're always going to be entertained and have our emotions touched by humanity and by things that we recognize in our own lives. So whilst every now and again we'll be happy to watch a bubblegum film, it's never gonna be the only things that get made.
We've all forgotten how to be original.
What I don't like are pompous, pretentious movies. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
What I think is remarkable about my mum and dad is they had no interest in films, really. None. Families, Children & Parenting
When I was about 14, I got a splicing kit, which means you could chop up the film into little pieces and switch the order around and glue it together.
When I worked as a newspaper photo engraver in the only job I ever had, many years ago, I'd get the train home to Pukerua Bay where I was staying with my parents. An hour ride, 16 stops, and almost always, I'd have automatic wake-up, seconds before we pulled into my station.
When you look at the original 'Paradise Lost' film, you see three kids who can't defend themselves, being persecuted in a medieval way - witchcraft, satanic worship. It was kind of primitive.
When you're starting out, you know, you have to do something on a very limited budget. You're not going to be able to have great actors, and you're most likely not going to have a great script.
Where film is infinitely superior to any other medium is emotion and story and character.
While you're finding evidence of innocence, you also find evidence that points to other people.
You can't always look at life as a miserable thing. Life
You don't want to believe everything you read on the Internet.
You never make movies for Oscars. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle

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