For moviegoers and film buffs alike, Peter Jackson is the true “King Kong” of filmmaking. He directed world-famous films such as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Hobbit” trilogy, and “King Kong.” Jackson was bitten by the filmmaking bug when he was very young. Inspired by classic films, he aspired to be a filmmaker and, at the age of 12, made his first attempt with a remake of “King Kong.” He made his professional debut in 1987 with the release of his debut album, “Bad Taste.” He quickly gained cult status among his fans for his low-budget splatter films. He achieved a great deal of fame and acclaim for his “Heavenly Creatures,” which he imbued with new ideas and futuristic thinking. This, however, was only the beginning of a long-lasting legacy! He then worked on the film adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” which went down in history. In 2005, his childhood dream of making a remake of “King Kong” came true.
Childhood and Adolescence
Peter Jackson was born to English immigrant parents, Joan and William Jackson. His mother worked as a factory worker and a housewife, and his father worked as a wage clerk.
He has had a strong interest in films and filmmaking since he was a child. As a child, he began making short films as a movie buff.
As a child, he was inspired by films such as “King Kong,” “Casinos,” “Goodfellas,” and “Waterloo.”
He’d wanted to make a remake of “King Kong” ever since he saw it as a child. He did make the first attempt at the same thing when he was 12 years old, using a puppet.
During this period, his most impressive filmmaking included the special prize-winning short film, “The Dwarf Patrol.” He first used special effects in it, which later became a key feature in most of his films.
He went to Kapiti College for his formal education, but he dropped out when he was 16 so that he could pursue his love of filmmaking.
His first paid job was as a photographic lithographer for a local newspaper. He spent about seven years on the profile.
He saved enough money in a short period of time to purchase a cutting-edge camera. He used his one day off from work to start filming his own film.
What began as a short film eventually evolved into a full-fledged 90-minute comedy feature film.
After he made his first film, he started working on film scripts with people who were already well-known in the movie business.
The film, a musical comedy, is dark satirical fare that was originally intended to be a television short. It was also the first film to feature Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger’s special effects team.
In 1992, he expanded his filmmaking genre with the release of “Braindead,” a horror-comedy. The film became a cult classic and a watershed moment in the history of splatter films. It used a lot of special effects and gruesome make-up.
After the 1994 release of “Heavenly Creature,” he altered his style, direction, and treatment. The film, which was based on true events, was met with skepticism until its release. It, on the other hand, did very well and became a huge hit, getting a lot of attention from critics and being named one of the best movies of the year.
Following the huge success of “Heavenly Creatures,” he collaborated with Costa Botes to create the mockumentary “Forgotten Silver.” It was a made-for-television piece that sparked outrage among viewers who were disappointed to learn that the show’s main character, Colin McKenzie, did not exist.
He received offers from Hollywood after establishing his name and reputation. “The Frighteners,” his first big-budget Hollywood film, was released in 1996. Unlike its predecessors, the film did not find favor with critics.
The downward trend continued as his attempt to remake King Kong was rejected by Universal Studios due to the production of “Mighty Joe Young” and “Godzilla.”
After his proposal for a remake of King Kong was rejected, he turned his attention to JRR Tolkien and his works. After much wrangling over whether to make a trilogy, a sequel, or a single film in the series, he signed a deal with New Line Cinema, which agreed on a trilogy.
In 1997, he began storyboarding the trilogy’s script. The Lord of the Rings trilogy began filming two years later. Surprisingly, all three installments were shot concurrently from 1999 to December 2000.
Keeping in mind Tolkien’s background, aesthetically rich and geographically diverse landscapes were chosen. The first installment, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” was released to critical and commercial acclaim in 2001. It received four out of thirteen Academy Award nominations.
In 2002, the sequel to the trilogy, titled “The Two Towers,” was released. The movie was a huge hit and had the same kind of critical and commercial success as its predecessor.
The series’ final film, titled “Return of the King,” was released in 2003. With a box office collection that surpassed $1 billion, it became the highest-grossing film of all time. The film won all 11 Academy Award nominations, completing a clean sweep.
Finally, in 2005, he realized his childhood dream and the reason he pursued a career as a film director by directing a remake of the 1933 classic film, “King Kong.” The film was a huge success, and it quickly became one of the year’s top 50 grossing films.
In 2009, he wrote an adaptation of Alice Sebold’s best-selling novel, “The Lovely Bones.” It dealt with fantasy and murder themes, and it shared some similarities with his previous work, “Heavenly Creatures.”
He was a producer on Steven Spielberg’s film “The Adventures of Tintin.” In the past, he even collaborated with Spielberg as the film’s director.
His participation in the Hobbit series has been a source of contention since its inception. Guillermo del Toro didn’t want to work on the movie, so he became the director instead.
It was announced in 2012 that the Hobbit series, which was originally planned as a two-movie installment, would be expanded into a trilogy. Storyline: The Lord of the Rings Appendices would be used to make the movie even more interesting.
Achievements & Awards
Three Academy Awards, three Australian Film Institute Awards, four British Academy Awards, and one Golden Globe Award are just a few of the prestigious awards and honors he has won during his long career.
He also won a Critics’ Choice Award, a Director’s Guild of America Award, three New Zealand Film and TV Awards, one Producer’s Guild of America Award, and four Saturn Awards.
Later that year, he was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his outstanding contribution to film.
In 2012, he was appointed to the Order of New Zealand, New Zealand’s highest honor.
Personal History and Legacy
He married Fran Walsh, a writer, in a civil ceremony. In the early stages, the two met while working on the film scripts together.
Walsh was a great friend and business partner for him when he was at his best. He helped him with everything he did.
Billy, born in 1995, and Katie, born in 1996, are the couple’s two children. His wife and two children have appeared on the big screen in several of his films.
He has done a lot of good things for the community, like giving to stem cell research, giving to the defense fund, and saving a church in Wellington from being demolished, to name a few.
In his role as chairman of the 14-18 Aviation Heritage Trust, he is very interested in aviation from World War I and World War II. He owns The Vintage Aviator, a company that restores and manufactures planes from both wars.
During the filming of the first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, this accomplished director-producer is said to have worn only one pair of shoes and two t-shirts.