Sunday, August 1, 2010

Director/Producer Profile: Peter Jackson

Good facial hair.
Personal Life
Jackson was born on October 31, 1961 in Pukerua Bay, New Zealand as the only son of 2 British immigrants. He grew up as a film enthusiast, but has no formal training; most of his knowledge is from personal trial and error.  King Kong and The Lord of the Rings have been passions of Jackson’s for many years. In 1993, he and others founded Weta Digital, a digital visual effects company used extensively in his films. He continues to live in New Zealand with his wife Fran Walsh, who is a screenwriter and producer, and their two children Billy and Katie. Most of the filming for his movies takes place there. Jackson is known to make cameo appearances in nearly all of his films.

(Abridged) Filmography
1992 – Braindead (Director)
1994 – Heavenly Creatures (Director, Co-producer)
1995 – Forgotten Silver (Director)
1996 – The Frighteners (Director, Producer)
2001 – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Director)
2002 – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Director)
2003 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Director)
2005 – King Kong (Director)
2009 – District 9 (Producer)
2009 – The Lovely Bones (Director)
2011 – The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (Producer)
2012 – The Hobbit (Producer, Writer, Director?)

Critical Reception
Jackson has earned 3 Academy Awards, all for Return of the King: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture. All 3 of his Lord of the Rings films were overwhelmingly received with much praise. His 2005 King Kong was also generally well received, although not quite to the same extent; it was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, winning in Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, and Sound Editing. The Lovely Bones was agreed to be nothing better than mediocre, and District 9 was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Heavenly Creatures was regarded as rather good, and got nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

The Future
Jackson is currently signed on to produce a 2011 release of a Tintin movie, with Steven Spielberg directing. He is also supposed to direct a sequel and is tentatively scheduled to co-direct a third movie with Spielberg. His other big upcoming project is The Hobbit, which has been plagued with all sorts of difficulties. Let’s just say that he went from not being involved to being a producer/writer and is now supposedly in talks to direct. Maybe he’ll also snag the lead role as Bilbo… Well, whatever happens with The Hobbit, I fully expect Peter Jackson to have a long and illustrious career.

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