The following biography
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Peter Jackson CNZM (born October 31, 1961,
Wellington, New Zealand) is a New Zealand-born filmmaker best known as the
director of The Lord of the Rings  trilogy, which he, along with his long
time partner, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens adapted from the novels by J.R.R.
Tolkien. . He is also known for his remake of King Kong.
With his successes and innovative film-making,
Jackson is now considered to be an important force in the new generation of
motion picture directors. Peter Jackson has even been described as the new
Steven Spielberg of the present generation, and the combination of his unmatched
commercial successes, along with the critical acclaim he has garnered, have made
Jackson one of the most powerful film directors of the present era.
Jackson first gained attention with his "splatstick"
horror comedies, and came to prominence with his critically acclaimed Heavenly
Creatures, for which he shared an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay
Written Directly for the Screen with Walsh.
Born: October 31, 1961
Pukerua Bay, New Zealand
Occupation: Film director, film producer and
Spouse: Fran Walsh
Jackson divides his life into three sections:
before, during and after The Lord of the Rings. 
Before The Lord of the Rings
Jackson was born an only child to Bill and Joan
Jackson, both of whom were immigrants from England. As a child, Jackson was a
film fan, growing up on Ray Harryhausen films as well as Thunderbirds and using
his parent's Super 8 cine-camera. Citing King Kong as his favourite film at age
9, he attempted to remake it with his own stop-motion models. 
Jackson started his career in film as a fanatical
hobbyist, creating small films with simple technical means and with the help of
his friends. When one of his projects, the horror comedy Bad Taste, grew over
four years (from 1983 to 1987) from the originally planned half-hour to a
90-minute feature film, Jackson and his crew took the end result to the Cannes
Film Festival, received critical acclaim and sold the rights to twelve
countries. This allowed him to start a professional career as a film director.
During post-production on Bad Taste, Jackson also met Fran Walsh.
Jackson worked with Richard Taylor to produce two
films to complete a gory trilogy: Meet the Feebles and Braindead. Afterwards he
worked with Fran Walsh on Heavenly Creatures, earning both of them an Academy
Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
Jackson then directed the Robert Zemeckis
production, The Frighteners, starring Michael J. Fox. Jackson also worked with
Costa Botes on the spoof documentary Forgotten Silver. However, The Frighteners
flopped and work on a remake of King Kong was canned by Universal Studios. In
the meantime, Jackson and Walsh welcomed their children, Billy (1995) and Katie
(1996) into the world.
The Lord of the Rings
Jackson earned the rights to a film adaptation of
J. R. R. Tolkien's novel in 1997 from Saul Zaentz. Working with Miramax for a
two-film production, they soon wished to make a single film, and Jackson made a
new deal with New Line for a trilogy in 1998.
Principal photography went on from October 11, 2000
to December 22, 2001 with Jackson monitoring as many as seven units across New
Zealand locations and sets. With the benefit of post-production on each film for
their December releases, the films were huge successes and sent Jackson's
After The Lord of the Rings
Universal Studios signed Peter Jackson for his
first film following The Lord of the Rings trilogy, a remake of the 1933 classic
King Kong — the film that inspired him to become a film director when he was 9
years old. He was reportedly being paid a fee of US$20 million upfront,
against a 20 percent take of the total box-office gross. The film was released
on December 14, 2005, and grossed around US$550 Million worldwide.  Its
release on home video and DVD was even bigger, as it set records for a Universal
Pictures DVD in sales.
Between The Return of the King and King Kong, Peter
Jackson lost a large amount of weight (over 50 lbs/22.5 kg) to the point of
being unrecognizable to some fans. According to the British Daily Telegraph he
attributes his weight loss to a diet change. He said, "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."
His attention will now move to the film version of
Alice Sebold's bestseller, The Lovely Bones, which he will be writing and
directing and which he has said will be a welcome relief from the larger-scale
epics and bears some similarities to Heavenly Creatures.
Much speculation has occurred as to whether Jackson
might direct a film of The Hobbit, the prequel to The Lord of the Rings. His
comments to date seem to indicate that he is interested, if the studios can work
out the rights. Late in 2004 it appeared unlikely, as MGM (the studio which
holds the rights to The Hobbit) was sold to Sony in the race with Warner Bros.
In December of 2004, Jackson said that production on The Hobbit could be as much
as four years away, which would place a likely release date in 2010. In
September 2006, MGM indicated that they intended to approach Peter Jackson to
direct the film in the next few years. 
Peter Jackson is also executive producing the
game-to-film adaptation of Microsoft/Bungie's blockbuster title Halo,
expected to hit theaters around mid-2008. Jackson, an avid fan of the game, has
confessed to playing it regularly during breaks in filming.
Peter Jackson will produce a remake of The Dam
Busters in 2007, along with Sir David Frost as Executive Producer.  Jackson
has also earned the rights to a film adaptation of the fantasy novel series
Temeraire, though it remains to be seen if he directs it. 
Jackson is well known for an attention to detail, a
macabre sense of humour and a general playfulness, to which The Lord of the
Rings miniatures director Alex Funke described as "almost as if the film is
Unlike some other New Zealand film directors,
Jackson has remained in his native country to make films, preferring to have
Hollywood come to him. This has been the genesis of several production and
support companies. Most of Jackson's assets are on the Miramar Peninsula in his
home town of Wellington and much of his filming occurs in and around the city.
He successfully cajoled New Line Cinema into holding the world premiere of The
Return of the King in the city's iconic Embassy Theatre, which he has helped
He was an early user of computer enhancement
technology and provided digital special effects to a number of Hollywood films
by use of telecommunications and satellite links to transmit raw images and the
final results across the Pacific Ocean.
A perfectionist with his film projects, Jackson
demands numerous takes of every scene (with his "One more for luck") ,
pushes his special-effects crew to make their work seamless and invisible, and
insists upon authenticity in miniatures even on the sides that never appear in a
film. On the other hand, many of his most beautiful scenes result from purely
serendipitous shots taken while flying from one location to another.
Jackson won three Academy Awards for The Lord of
the Rings: The Return of the King:
Academy Award for Directing
Academy Award for Best Picture
Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay
for The Pianist Academy Award for Best Director
for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
for Million Dollar Baby
Jackson's cameo roles
Jackson usually makes cameo appearances in his own
In The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, he played a
drunken, carrot-toting citizen of Bree (The Fellowship of the Ring); a
spear-throwing defender of Helm's Deep (The Two Towers); and as a rider during
the charge on the Pelennor Fields in (The Return of the King). He has a second
cameo as the captain of a corsair ship in The Return of the King, seen in brief
in the theatrical version, and longer in the extended version when Aragorn,
Legolas, and Gimli commandeer the ship after recruiting the army of the dead.
Though not a cameo in the traditional sense, he also served as a stand-in for
Sean Astin in the shot where Samwise Gamgee steps into frame, challenging the
monster Shelob, thereby giving him three different appearances in that film. He
was also the voice of Bilbo near the beginning of The Fellowship of The Ring
when Gandalf first knocks at Bilbo's door. Along with being writer, director,
producer, and cameo actor in The Two Towers, he also has a moment on the
soundtrack where he plays a gong (When Eowyn seems to disappear from the edge of
Edoras as Aragorn looks up a second time, Peter's gong hit is heard).
Jackson appeared as a bi-plane gunner attacking
Kong in New York, reprising the cameo which original King Kong filmmaker Merian
C. Cooper made in his 1933 film.
In The Frighteners, Jackson is a biker bumped into
by Frank Bannister.
In Heavenly Creatures, he is a bum kissed by Juliet
In Braindead, he is the mortician's assistant.
Meet the Feebles is Jackson's only film in which he
has no cameo.
Jackson's eldest son Billy (born 1995), has had
cameo appearances in every one of his parents' films since his birth, namely The
Frighteners (1996), The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and King Kong. His
daughter Katie (born 1996) appeared in all the above films, except The
Rumors of a feud between Jackson and George Lucas
are untrue. In fact, quite the opposite as they are friends. However, they do
own rival special effects companies that compete mightily against one another,
with Jackson owning Weta Digital and Lucas owning Industrial Light and Magic.
Jackson credits Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic in teaching him the ways of
special effects in film.
He owns a King Kong and Pterosaur model used in the
original 1933 King Kong film
In King Kong when we first see the hold of the
ship, a cage with "Sumatran Rat-Monkey - Beware the bite!" written on the side
is visible - a homage to Jackson's third film Braindead, in which the monkey
carries the zombie virus.
The $20 million paid to him for King Kong is
reportedly the highest salary ever paid to a film director in advance of
He has given NZ $500 000 to Stem Cell research.
 Jackson also gave the University of California in Irvine $311,000 for Stem
Cell research. 
Bad Taste (1987)
Meet the Feebles (1989)
Valley of the Stereos (1992) (short film) -
Braindead (a.k.a. Dead Alive) (1992)
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Forgotten Silver (1995) - mockumentary
The Frighteners (1996)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
King Kong (2005)
The Lovely Bones (2007) (Announced)
Halo (2008) - Executive Producer (Announced)
Dambusters (2008)- Producer (Announced)
Footnotes and References
1 The Lord of the Rings: A Celebration booklet by
Empire magazine, Page 7 Jackson interview
3 "Peter Jackson's Labor of Love" by Stone
Phillips, MSNBC, December 2, 2005
4 "Peter Jackson's muesli diet secret",
kongisking.net, 12 April 2005
5 "Hobbit picture 'four years away'", BBC, 13 March
6 "Hollywood wants Jackson for Hobbit film",
Dominion Post, 12 September 2006
7 "Halo movie recruits Peter Jackson", BBC, 5
8 "Peter Jackson to film Dam Busters", BBC,
9 (interview with Peter Jackson). Ain't It Cool
10 "Temeraire on Warpath", filmforce, IGN.com,
11 "Big-atures" ROTK SEE DVD Documentary
12 Cameras in Middle-earth: The Fellowship of the
Ring SEE DVD Documentary, where Christopher Lee describes 12 takes for one
scene, before being told by Ian McKellen he did 24 takes for two lines the
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