HoS on Peter Jackson

June 21st, 2009 at 9:26 am by David Farrar

The HoS approves of ’s appointment of to review the :

It’s impossible to imagine anyone better qualified to undertake a review of the New Zealand Film Commission than the country’s most prodigiously successful filmmaker, Peter Jackson. The Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage, Chris Finlayson, announced this week that the maestro from Miramar will lead a ministerial review “to ensure it is best able to serve the needs of the local industry and community”.

In an ideal world, the commission would long ago have sought advice from one of the most successful filmmakers in history, especially since he is just round the corner. But that would have required some pride-swallowing – and a corporate decision to feed the hand that had bitten it.

Jackson, it will be remembered, has occasionally been a trenchant critic of the commission. He even publicly “disinvited” its then chief executive Ruth Harley and chairman Barrie Everard to the Wellington premiere of part two of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, calling them “self-serving bureaucrats”.

Jackson is not a diplomat.

The terms of reference are a mixture of bureaucratspeak (“facilitative role”; “cultural content objectives”) and noble-sounding phraseology, which are unlikely to bog down Jackson, who is a plain speaker and a man of action. The fact that he is charged with working out how “active industry professionals” can be more involved in setting the commission’s direction is heartening. And it is something he has plainly taken on board: pointedly, he has said he will consult local filmmakers, “so the review reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writers, producers and directors the commission was created to support”.

Bottom up consultation – always good.

Assuming that the review is sincerely motivated and that the Government is not looking for findings that will justify later funding cuts, Jackson’s presence is encouraging. The prolific moviemaker is not notably short of things to do, so he plainly thinks he has something to offer and will tackle the review with the passion and vision that are his trademarks.

The commission is now more than 30 years old: as John Barnett remarked this week, when it was established movies screened with intermissions and no one used the word “digital”. It is high time for a rethink – and there is no better man to be doing the rethinking.

The good thing about having Jackson do the review, is it will be almost impossible for the Government to ignore.

Tags: , ,

16 Responses to “HoS on Peter Jackson”

  1. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    (”facilitative role”; “cultural content objectives”)

    Plenty of people are writing Kiwi based literature- me for one.

    Translating it to film is the trick.

    THe award winning ‘Bone People’ is a good example of that.

    For some reason in this country only scripts or screen plays are put into film.

    Can anyone tell me a NZ book that’s become a film- and not one world famous Barry Crump book has been filmed.

    Samoan Albert Wendt deserves a good looking at as well.

    Perhaps the above phrases means Maori content only, going by Alan Duff and Witi Ihaemara.

    Let’s hope Peter Jackson proves to be a boon to NZ literary talent.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    DPF

    I’m not so sure Jackson is the right person to do this. It’s a bit like putting a shark in charge of a swimming pool. I can certainly appreciate the experience Jackson can offer, he has been successful in the film industry and for this reason we need to listen to him. It’s inconceivable that Jackson will make recommendations that are bad for the NZ film industry.

    However the conflicts of interest are immense. Who will benefit from increasing public funding? Who will benefit from favourable tax considerations for the industry? Unfortunately because of this conflict of interest it may be easier for the govt to ignore Jackson than you initially imagine.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Viking2 (11,242 comments) says:

    Poacher turned game keeper?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    I’ll do the damn review in thirty seconds- Government has no damn business using taxpayer money to make films. Close it down. Give hard working NZ families a tax break. As was promised.

    If film makers can’t make it without government assistance they don’t deserve to make it.

    We need to get away from the idea that taxpayers should compulsory fund businesses (film or anything) the government decides they should. Setting up little boards of bureaucrats who hand out largesse to their political favourites.

    What’s the diff between movies and Jimmy Anderton’s Sovereign Yachts??

    If film makers want money for their projects, let them raise money the same as every other business, by issuing public shares.

    The Film Commission is out dated bullshit. Close it down.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    wiki – Whale Rider, Once Were Warriors, In My Father’s Den, An Angel at my table, Came a Hot Friday, Pallet on the Floor, The Quiet Earth…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    Redbaiter

    They won’t listen to that, what will happen is Jackson will get a tax break, millions will be pumped into his business from our back pockets. The left will scream ‘rich pricks doing favours for their rich mates’ and it will add to National’s baggage getting them turfed out so Labour can have a turn.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Over the last ten years, the Film Commission was just a device for Helen Klark, the ugly duckling farm girl, to ingratiate herself with the glitterati.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. dog_eat_dog (760 comments) says:

    Shameful that there has been no DVD release of Came A Hot Friday.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. MT_Tinman (3,043 comments) says:

    I suspect next we’ll see the NZ prison system reviewed by David Bain, Michael Curran and William Bell.

    The only thing Jackson has going for him is that every movie he has ever made (and I have seen) has been atrociously bad (culminating in the King Kong abortion) so he should suit the NZ film industry nicely.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. bharmer (686 comments) says:

    # MT_Tinman (272) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 12:47 pm
    “The only thing Jackson has going for him is that every movie he has ever made (and I have seen) has been atrociously bad (culminating in the King Kong abortion) so he should suit the NZ film industry nicely.”

    Don’t worry, the academy see right through him, and keep giving him those ugly little statues as a sign of how much they agree with you.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Kimble (4,405 comments) says:

    “And it is something he has plainly taken on board: pointedly, he has said he will consult local filmmakers, “so the review reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writers, producers and directors the commission was created to support”.”

    So we end up with a bunch of tax payer funded films that the makers wanted to make, not what the public wanted to see?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. KiwiGreg (3,211 comments) says:

    @kimble yep yep, but at least a bunch of “talent” get nice taxpayer funded salaries making them

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. reddeath26 (97 comments) says:

    @KiwiGreg-
    You seem to be under the misconception that being in the New Zealand film industry is little more than a walk in the park. More often than not people who desire to produce films in New Zealand, face an extremely difficult and challenging experience. One only needs to look at the budget which most NZ films are produced on to see this. Even great directors such as Vincent Ward struggle for funding.

    I also imagine the people who are trying to produce films, would understand their sitution best.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. ephemera (563 comments) says:

    Redbaiter
    “Government has no damn business using taxpayer money to make films.”

    There are only three self-sustaining film industries in the world. They are based in California, Bombay and Hong Kong.

    Public support for NZ cinema is not just in its output, but also creative development, promotion to film festivals, access to foreign distributors and markets.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. ephemera (563 comments) says:

    @wikiriwhis business

    Albert Wendt has been adapted for screen before, too. His book Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree was turned into a feature film in 1990. You should check it out, if you are able.

    Even Jane Campion’s film The Piano was based loosely on the novel Story of a New Zealand River.

    So, NZ does indeed have a rich history of translating literary fiction into cinema!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. peterquixote (231 comments) says:

    Peter Jackson is Hitler of the film business in New Zealand,
    we have far better film makers by far
    than Peter Jackson commander in chief appointed by PM NZ Key,
    ” NZ FILM COMMISSION KISS ME HERE”
    peter jackson wrote “bad taste” remember

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.