Published Wednesday April 28th, 2010
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – “Lord of the Rings” filmmaker Peter Jackson has been made a knight – a real one – accepting the honour Wednesday in his native New Zealand on behalf of the thousands of people who helped make his movies.
“I feel incredibly humbled,” Jackson said at an investiture ceremony in the capital, Wellington, where New Zealand’s head of state, Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand, did the honours in lieu of Queen Elizabeth II. His knighthood was for services to the arts in New Zealand.
“The truth is, making movies is not a solo effort – it involves hundreds of people, thousands of people – so I feel as though I’m accepting it on behalf of the industry,” he said.
Jackson has risen from a maker of small-budget schlock-horror films to the heights of Hollywood. His crowning achievement remains the three-movie adaptation of “Lord of the Rings,” which transformed the rugged landscape of New Zealand into the Middle Earth of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic – spurring a real-life tourism industry along the way.
The final movie in the trilogy won 11 Academy Awards. Jackson has gone on to remake “King Kong,” and his latest film is “The Lovely Bones.”
In 2003 he opened Park Road Post Production movie centre in Wellington. It includes special effects and animation companies Weta Digital and Weta Workshop.
The facilities have established New Zealand as a major film production location. Much of James Cameron’s blockbuster “Avatar” was filmed and produced there.