Three cheers for Sir Peter Jackson. He’s done it again. Another blockbuster movie. Made right here in New Zealand.
Sir Peter proves anything is possible. I would never have believed that a Kiwi down in New Zealand could make blockbuster movies. Not just blockbuster movies but movies that bust the Hollywood block.
Sir Peter’s Lord of the Rings trilogy was the biggest movie project ever undertaken. The trilogy grossed $3 billion at the box office. It won 17 Academy awards. The final in the series, Return of the King, won 11 Oscars, tying it withBen Hur and Titanic for the most Academy Awards ever.
The Hobbit is even bigger. And, again, Sir Peter has delivered.
I was lucky enough to attend the premiere of The Unexpected Journey. The crowd and the enthusiasm for the movie was incredible. It wasn’t just hype. The stars were genuinely overcome by their reception. And their warmth for New Zealand, and for working with Sir Peter, was real. It was a tremendous feeling to be there.
I doubt there is any other city, where a significant proportion of the population would turn up for a movie premiere!
James Cameron, director of Avatar and Titanic, attended. He said the The Hobbit sets a new movie-making standard.
He also had this to say about Sir Peter, elevating the movie industry in New Zealand to a global level: “It’s really only happened a couple of times before, in Los Angeles and maybe London. It’s the first time it’s been done by a single film-maker.”
Jackson’s contribution to New Zealand, and especially Wellington, is almost unprecedented for an individual. I believe his legacy will outlive him and Wellington (and NZ) is well placed to continue as a moviemaking city, even when Jackson is not making films himself.
It’s easy for us to have an inferiority complex. Ours is a small country a long way from the rest of the world. We can easily believe we can’t do as well as the rest of the world. The rest of the world seems richer, bigger and closer to the action.
But Sir Peter proves that wrong. He entered one of the biggest, toughest industries in the world and did it bigger and better than anyone else.
We no longer suffer the tyranny of distance. And, yes, ours is a small population, but that no longer hampers us because now the entire world is only a nanosecond away.
Jackson can be finalising a film on the Sunday, and have it transmitted to Hollywood within a couple of hours.
Oh, The Hobbit has had its share of knockers – political activists, unionists, Peta, the disgruntled and the envious. Our biggest impediment may be the tall-poppy syndrome. But we shouldn’t let nagging ninnies blind us to achievement and opportunity.
Indeed, the Hobbit haters have had their share of publicity. For me, I can’t wait to see the film – especially at the faster frame rate.