Peter Jackson stands in front of a set as photographed by DGAQuarterly / Louise Hatton.
Peter Jackson stands in front of a set as photographed by DGAQuarterly / Louise Hatton.
Currently in print at the best magazine racks and by subscription, DGAQuarterly (Directors Guild of Amercia’s print magazine) features a lengthy interview with director Peter Jackson. There aren’t any real “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug,” spoilers but the lead image does show Jackson in front of a wet set that could be Laketown. If you click the link to the full article,
you will see images that must be from Jackson’s personal collection of his early work including a shot with Kate Winslet on “Heavenly Creatures.”

We call it a kitchen sink interview because it contains so much depth and covers a wide array of topics, touching on many of Jackson’s most important films while keeping in focus that his work on Middle-earth movies is so far, his greatest triumph and what he is most likely to be known for.

The Q&A with writer Jeffrey Ressner ranges over the Kiwi’s whole career with fascinating bits on his earliest days:

My first movie, Bad Taste, was really made up as we went along over four years, and it didn’t even have a script. Not having actors or a script tends to be somewhat limiting. [Laughs]

Jackson adds to the lore that surrounds the making of the “Lord of the Rings,” films with an amazing story about how his shooting studio in New Zealand came to be:

We thought, ‘Well, if The Lord of the Rings happens, this is exactly the sort of place we’d need. This is absolutely incredible.’ But it was very expensive. At the time it was just Fran and I, and if we committed to it and for some reason the film didn’t happen, we’d be in big, big trouble. I mean, we were mortgaging our house just to make the down payment on the place. One day the real estate agent was showing us around; the paint factory had been closed for six months, so it was mothballed and covered in dust. The cafeteria was dull and gray, and there were a lot of old Formica tables with chairs stuck up on top of them. Just before we left, I saw a paperback book sitting on one of the cafeteria tables—it was a copy of The Lord of the Rings. I called Fran over and pointed to it, and we looked at each other and then said to the guy, ‘OK, we’ll take it.’ And that became Stone Street Studios.

He also drops this gem that almost sent me back to my Blu-ray player:

I have to say, I saw a bit of my Kong about a year ago, and I actually think the last half-hour—those scenes in New York through the end of the Empire State Building sequence—is probably the piece of filmmaking of which I’m the proudest.

There is a lot more to this interview if you follow the link above. It may be one of the best Jackson interviews in print. We at TheOneRing have a good one in our pocket we hope to share before we see Smaug again in theaters, but this DGA piece is highly recommended.

If you missed the link, try this: