28 Nov 2009

A hobbit named Peter

Hobbits have few priorities in life, food (especially mushrooms), pipe-weed, jolly good times, Shire ale, more food, and family. The family is at the centre of the hobbit world, often they spend hours researching, reading and discussing long and complex Family Trees. Once upon a time there was a young hobbit from Wellington, New Zealand, his name was Peter, son of Bill and Joan Jackson. Since a very early age, the hobbit Peter did show a great interest in making moving images by borrowing his parents Super-8 camera to make his own home-movies.

Inspired by stop-moving animation used in Ray Harryhaunsen's movies, hobbit Peter started experimenting and even made his first short film featuring clay dinosaurs. Dreaming to be a movie-maker is often not enough to be one, but hobbit Peter was not about to give up his dreams. When he was twenty years old, working as a photo- lithographer, he saved enough money to buy himself a 16mm camera and devoted all his spare time in making amateur feature-films. Luck on his side, in 1987, his low-budget movie Bad Taste was screened at the Cannes Film Festival where it won awards and praises from the critics, this was the start of hobbit Peter career. In 1989 it was the turn of Meet the Feebles, a backstage drama on the set of a TV puppet-show, not very well received by the critics back then, the movie has now become a sort of cult classic, hobbit Peter even mention it in his Lord of the Rings Oscar acceptance speech .

In the late 80s, early 90s zombies were very fashionable. In 1992 hobbit Peter gave to the world Braindead, one of the goriest movies ever made, a tale of zombies flash-eaters on a sleepy New Zealand street. From zombies to Heavenly Creatures in 1994, based on the notorious 1954 Parker-Hulme murder, committed by two teenage girls in Christchurch, New Zealand. The movie earned hobbit Peter and his partner, Fran Walsh, an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. From there he went on to make a spoof-documentary called Forgotten Silver in 1996, and The Frighteners....but the One Ring of Power was awake! It was at about this time that hobbit Peter felt his call back to Middle-earth.

(on The Lord of the Rings:) "This is a giant undertaking, but I consider this a personal film. It`s my film of a lifetime. I read the book when I was 18 years old and thought then, `I can`t wait till the movie comes out.` Twenty years later, no one had done it - so I got impatient." (Peter Jackson)

And the rest is history! Hobbit Peter is a family hobbit, a true New Zealander . Following a simple (but effective) philosophy , involving people and local businesses, working together in his own country letting people help him, and helping others and loving what he is doing, dealing and creating dreams in the 'New Zealand way'.

When the news came out that Peter Jackson was not to direct The Hobbit movie, many fans around the world scratched their heads in disbelief. Over time we got used to way things are, and the choice of Guillermo del Toro , a very talented film-maker in his own right, is reassuring. We know hobbit Peter is there, he is producing and writing the scrip, his active involvement is essential , and yet one can't help but feel a bit of sadness. While in Rome for the premiere of his latest movie The Lovely Bones, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Alice Sebold, Peter took the microphone to answer some questions about his work and about his future plans.

The full video interview
can be seen on BadTaste.it . Candidly he admits to feel sadness in not be able to direct The Hobbit, but relief and joy in his involvement and collaboration with Del Toro, and an inside on the way he and his partner Fran Walsh work together, and two new films [on the Age of the Rings ?] which he cannot talk about because they are yet to be announced <--very interesting little piece of news :) Hobbit Peter is a very lucky hobbit, no doubts about that. A true dreamer that worked hard to make his dreams come true and the one that brought Tolkien's Middle-earth to life for millions of people around the world. Home-loving, family oriented hobbit Peter Jackson which one can only admire for his hard work and dedication and his long-lasting love for his late parents, whom despite their own struggles in life, always gave hobbit Peter all their support and encouragement and resulted in the most moving dedication ever on the closing credits of The Fellowship of the Rings :

"For Joan and Bill Jackson: Thank you for your belief, support and love..."