Peter Jackson from New Zealand - the world's highest paid director for King Kong.The Guiness world record for the biggest paid fee paid to a director. That's a lot of money for some great writing.It was also the biggest film budget too - US$207 million for King Kong.
If Peter Jackson doesn't like what studios offer him, which includes 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures profit share offer for the yet unmade HALO - he backs off and looks elsewhere.He can afford to - THE LORD OF THE RINGS made US$2.7 billion at the box office alone -with 20 Oscars from his films he can do what he likes.There are more movies, a partnership with Microsoft for new kinds of video games, and even ideas for a television mini- series.
Don't get the idea that Peter Jackson is some sort of big- head - he isn't! He's lost a lot of weight and has replaced those horn rim glasses with contact lenses, but at heart he is still that big overweight young man who started his professional life making a low budget gory comic zombie movie BAD TASTE, on weekends around the Wellington region for three years or so.
He was self- taught and was involved in just about everything in that film - the $10,000 cost coming from his weekly wage as an engraver for the local paper.Twenty years ago this very month, the New Zealand Film Commission finally relented and agreed to financially back an unknown young film maker from Pukerua Bay just a few miles outside of Wellington City.
He said he used to save up and buy four or five rolls of film, shoot them all up in a day, store them in the fridge until his next pay cheque and get them processed.When he had to pay the lab bill he couldn't afford film until the following week.
He was living at home with his parents at the time, and when he got his first $5,000 from the film commission he resigned his job as an engraver the very next day.
Today Peter doesn't have to store film in his fridges in his homes, offices or jet. He can afford as many rolls of film he wants, whenever he wants, in a jiffy,and get the film processed in a multi- million dollar facility that he owns in Wellington. He no longer has to go cap in hand to anybody to get money for his films. Now the world's biggest studios come to him! He is Mr Peter Jackson, and the world is his oyster!