Peter Jackson is one of the best director’s of our generation, in my opinion. His films have ranged from indie slasher flicks to elegantly delivered epics. Although not all of his movies may seem similar, they all have one characteristic that unites them: a brilliantly executed story. But I think what makes his films so compelling is the man behind the movies, and I definitely think his life of filmmaking can be used to offer a budding filmmaker some guidance.
His determination is what got him started
When Peter Jackson filmed Bad Taste, it was before we had these fancy computers to help us with our editing. He used actual film, which meant that he wasn’t able to see the footage he had captured until he was ready to sit down and edit. Maybe that doesn’t seem too impressive at first until you discover that it took him FOUR YEARS of weekends to film it. That’s a lot of time to keep a story straight in your head.
I have worked on a 12 minute film for the past two years, and I can attest to the difficulty of this venture. Most people would lose the plot somewhere in the first six months, but not Peter Jackson. He continued believing in his film for four years and committed to seeing it through. His determination is testament to his dedication to his vision. It’s absolutely enviable.
Although he is a filmmaker, he is also a fan
I have followed Peter Jackson’s films for years, so when he started posting his production diaries online, I could not contain my excitement. I have been hungrily watching the video blogs of the making of The Hobbit, and I think I have learned a few things about Peter Jackson. He seems just as excited to involve the fans as we are to be involved. I think he understands the importance of inviting the fans to journey with him on his great adventure to make a movie. He makes us feel like we’re all in this thing together, and that’s really exciting.
Movie-making is a passion, not a business
If you watch closely to his interviews, you can see that he’s not all that different from a lovable film geek. I think he gets just as excited about elves and monsters as we do. His love for the stories he tells is evident in his films, and that is communicated to his audience. I know when I sit down to watch a film by Peter Jackson, it will be obvious that he painstakingly poured his love for great cinema into every one of his shots. I know that the story will be provoking, and that when I leave the theater, he will have made me see the world a little differently.
As a filmmaker, I think these are important qualities to have, and I hope to accomplish that as he has. Peter Jackson treats his films as if they were his very own children, giving them the nurture and attention that they need to grow into powerfully strong stories that have an impact on the world.
What are some other filmmakers that have impacted you?