21 Peter Jackson Facts: A Blockbuster Film Director! | Kidadl


21 Peter Jackson Facts: A Blockbuster Film Director!

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Do you know of a three-time Oscar-winning film director who goes barefoot to his film shoots wearing shorts?

Well, Sir Peter Robert Jackson, the third highest-grossing film director of all time, is the only man who fills this role. Known for his unique style of direction in the film industry, he is credited with directing some of the best pictures in modern cinema like 'The Lord of the Rings' films, 'King Kong', and 'The Hobbit' trilogy.

Peter Jackson’s first film came out in May 1987 and was called 'Bad Taste'. It did quite well at the Cannes Film Festival. Since 1989, in each of his projects and personal life, Jackson has been helped out by his partner Fran Walsh who has three Academy Awards as a well-known screenwriter, film producer, and lyricist herself. Peter Jackson has not only won one Producer's Guild of America Awards and three Academy Awards, but he is also a recipient of a Golden Globe, four Saturn Awards, and three BAFTAs among many other prestigious awards.

Did you know, at one time there was confusion regarding going for a Lord of the Rings Trilogy or just a single film as Lord of the Rings?

His films have made over $6.5 billion worldwide and he himself has a net worth of about $1 billion. He has also been knighted as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to his name. He is currently remastering his own old movie, the 1992 horror-comedy film 'Dead Alive', in 4K. Read further to get all the essential Peter Jackson facts and know what makes him such a blockbuster film director! Afterward, also check Peter Cosgrove facts and Peter Diamandis facts.

The Early Life Of Peter Jackson

Peter Robert Jackson was born on October 31, 1961, in Pukerua Bay, Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Both his parents were migrants from England. Jackson was raised in Pukerua Bay, a coastal town in New Zealand.

He was always fascinated by films and watched animated movies and television series, and was particularly passionate about King Kong. He began making short films as a child when a family friend gifted him a small film camera. He had no interest in sports or schooling and dropped out of school at 16 years of age. He worked six days a week while living at home in order to save as much money as possible to begin shooting.

A twenty minutes long short film by Peter Jackson called 'The Valley', brought him many prizes in various filmmaking competitions. When he had saved up enough money to buy a 16 mm camera, he began shooting his first proper film in New Zealand, with financial aid from the New Zealand Film Commission. The commission’s executive director believed in Peter’s talent and supported him through his struggling period.

This film came to be known as 'Bad Taste', Peter Jackson’s first major movie, which was unveiled in May 1987 at the famous Cannes Film Festival. 'Bad Taste' brought much attention to the then young and budding Peter Jackson, helping him write a number of film scripts and produce his own films in time.

Charitable Activities Of Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson has provided NZ$500,000 to embryonic stem cell research, for the development of medical science. He has also bought a church in Wellington worth $10 million, to save it from demolition.

He has contributed to the defense funds for the West Memphis Three, three young convicted teenagers. Jackson along with his wife Fran Walsh purchased the home of BATS Theatre in Wellington, to secure the future of the theatre.

In 2012, Jackson supported the American Red Cross 'Zombie Blood Drive' to encourage blood donation in the country.

The Craftsmanship Of Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson’s edgy direction and easy persona on set make him one of the best directors to work with within Hollywood. Film critics accept that his attention to detail and the efficient use of modern film technology to make a scene come alive, place him on a very high pedestal in new age filmmaking.

Jackson is known to spend several days shooting a single scene. This is key in his craftsmanship, as he shoots a single scene from multiple angles multiple times. All this effort pays off when a single scene in any of his motion pictures displays a variety of angles, perspectives, and expressions on the actor’s face and increases the intensity and beauty of that scene.

This is called coverage. Many of his movies use a sad or dark form of humor, which adds authenticity to his work. Visually, one of his top trademark scenes comprises shooting close-up faces of actors with a wide-angle lens. Now a pioneer of digital special effects in Hollywood, he was one of the earliest film directors to use computer technology for visual effects in movies.

His best wonders of direction can be seen in 'King Kong' and 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King', for which he has received three Academy Awards which included Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy is regarded as one of the finest works of the New Zealand filmmaker.

Movies By Peter Jackson

From film adaptations of J. R. R. Tolkien novels to World War I documentaries, Peter Jackson has nailed it all.

'Bad Taste' was Jackson’s first major film. It was a comedy film with special effects to show violent and blood-filled scenes. Many of Jackson’s friends were working for free on it. It was a science-fiction comedy film, depicting an alien invasion on Earth. It was officially showcased for the first time in May 1987 at the Cannes Film Festival where it gained some level of international popularity.

'Dead Alive', also known as 'Braindead', was a horror-comedy zombie film written by Peter Jackson, which was popular among the youth in 1992 but was not much liked by film critics. Jackson is currently in the process of remastering the film in 4K for today’s audiences.

Jackson co-directed a ‘mockumentary’ called Forgotten Silver in 1995 with the famous filmmaker Costa Botes. It was very controversial in New Zealand and a constant source of rumors and theories.

Peter Jackson divided Tolkien’s famous novel set in the middle Earth, 'Lord of the Rings', into three famous film adaptations: 'The Fellowship of the Ring', 'The Two Towers', and 'The Return of the King'. 'The Return of the King' from the Lord of the Rings trilogy got Jackson three Academy awards in 2003: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It was produced by New Line Cinema. The film won other big awards too and is considered Jackson’s masterpiece.

It has been a childhood dream of Peter Jackson to remake the 1933 classic film, 'King Kong'. It was the film that had inspired him to become a film director in the first place. Universal Studios agreed for a global remake of the film, and the stupendous remake that Jackson produced in 2005, earned millions of dollars in the box office and was a huge success.

Jackson also made a film adaptation of Alice Sebold's novel, 'The Lovely Bones', in December 2009. Although it received mixed views from the film critics, it was a different take from his large-scale grand films.

He is also part of the Steven Spielberg-directed Tintin franchise, as a producer because of his world-class skills in technology and digital effects.

Peter Jackson further divided another famous novel of Tolkien’s called 'The Hobbit' into a film trilogy. The third movie further expands the Hobbit story. 'The Hobbit' is critically acclaimed and is loved by people of all age groups across the world.

Jackson’s documentary on the soldiers of the First World War called 'They Shall Not Grow Old' features real footage from the war which he colorized and converted into 3D. It was premiered as the Special Presentation at the BFI London Film Festival, and shown in schools and cinemas all across the United Kingdom.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Peter Jackson facts then why not take a look at Peter Paul Rubens facts, or Peter Max facts.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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