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on 2 January 2007
I very rarely read biographies, but in this case I had a true respect for Peter Jackson and felt it would be worthwhile. I was not disappointed, in fact I found it so inspirational I was almost temmpted to buy my own Bolex 16mm and make my own films. It is worth mentioning that this is the official biography, so you get some major tracts of text which are directly contributed by the great man.

One thing people may be wary of is that, with the exception of the first few pages, it is very much concentrated on his work as opposed to his personal life, which is right and correct. It charts his rise, his projects from as young as 8 years old, and the single minded dedication which saw Bad Taste, essentially a home movie, recognised at Cannes festival. Then we see his development moving through 'Meet The Feebles' and 'Braindead', two more splatter movies which were in danger of seeing him stereotyped.

In countering this he tackled 'Heavenly Creatures', a true story, and 'Forgotten Silver' which was essentially a 'mockumentary' which caused outrage in New Zealand and a result of him losing his way after the loss of a dear friend and his producer. 'The Frighteners' was his next project, and first dealings with the politics of Hollywood that saw it launched at such an inappropriate time, and with such poor advertising, that it was essentially a flop.

Amazingly, the fact that his Weta company were being headhunted led to a bidding war for his services, with Fox, Miramax and Universal all involved, and some bizarre and fascinating deals. You see the first aborted attempt at KingKong and the amazing audacity of the owners of Miramax (the Weinsteins) trying to force Jackson into condensing Lord of the Rings into a single, two hour, film. The incredible tension surrounding his desperate plea to get New line to take on the project is truly inspiring stuff.

This book is truly insightful, about how this man came from nowhere to do what he has done. The machinations of Hollywood studios are truly interesting and it does not pull its punches with its criticism of Miramax and Universal. His road to stardom was so incredible for his own dedication and passion. Let this be a lesson to all the lesser people churning out there own autobiographies without achieving one millionth of what he has done.
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on 30 May 2008
This is a wonderful insight into the life of Peter Jackson. I picked the book up and couldn't put it down. Each chapter is filled with intriguing stories about how Jackson single-handedly (with help and support from parents and friends) forged himself a film career. The behind-the-scenes stories feel like you're getting a sneaky glimpse into the glamorous (but mostly unglamorous!) film industry. The book leaves you feeling you were there on the sets of his films. So much so that I went back and watched all of his early splatter films again with a new knowledge about how they were made and how much effort was put in (especially on Braindead). On the negative, it seems that nobody proof-read the book as there are quite a few grammatical errors. Nevertheless, this comes highly recommended.
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on 25 May 2015
It took me a fairly long time to read this book, but this was all for the favour of what I was reading. I just didn't want it to end (as it does with the making of King Kong by Peter Jackson). It is a fascinating story of the development and growth of this talented filmmaker, and not at all about the internal politics of Hollywood as the back cover description says. I read a very touching account of a young man growing up and becoming one of the world's most reknowned film-makers winning multiple oscars including best director. It is an inspirational story for everyone, even if not interested in Lord of the Rings films. It is a story of determination and courage, from a sincere man, who wnats to become a film-maker in an under-devopped part of the world. As I am a Hungarian reader who works and lives a simmilarily underdevelopped country (with regards to current film industry), I could relate to Peter Jackson's story very well. I also love the books by Brian Sibley, he is unbiased and is obviously a P.J. and LOTR expert. I recommend this book to everyone interested in the history of cinema, all the LOTR fans, but also to anyoine who has an intention to make any film - as Peter Jackson's determination and success to make it big is a true inspiration for all of us. It proves that talent does earn its reward.
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on 24 November 2006
A compelling, insightful and enjoyable biography. Charting Peter Jackson's rise from geeky kid with a Super 8 camera, through the making of his first feature which was shot on weekends over four years to his current status of superstar director. Jackson comes across as a thoroughly down to earth bloke whose moto of knuckling down and getting things done is wonderfully refreshing in a world of premadonnas. And there is even something here for people who are not avid movie fans: the story of a man who decided to buck the system and won. Full of pictures and interviews the only blemish is the unusually high number of grammatic errors in the text.
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on 8 February 2015
Fascinating. This book presents Peter Jackson as a 'Rocky' of film directors. It's a fairly good analogy as this chronicles his humble beginnings through to his fantastic successes. Personally, I remember watching Bad Taste and Braindead and this brought back some great memories. This is an inspirational story for any budding director and proves that you don't necessarily need to bow to Hollywood in order to achieve astounding success. Brilliant.
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on 5 November 2015
I bought this book second hand via amazon as it was otherwise too expensive and I needed it for a project on my college course.
This is an excellent book and incredibly detailed! Everything you have ever wanted to know, and more!
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on 6 April 2009
Peter Jackson: A Film-maker's Journey is a fascinating and enthralling account of a man guided by a strong sense of purpose. Beginning with his all-consuming interest in film and film-making from an early age, it describes his enthusiastic, yet amateurish beginnings with an 8mm camera and his school mates in a coastal New Zealand town, through his hilariously over-the-top 'splatstick' period to the world-wide success of Lord of the Rings and King Kong.

Peppered with quotes from the man himself and the people closest to him it is an honest account of the movie making business; the behind-the-scenes machinations and the seemingly endless string of hurdles to be leapt when bringing a project to the big screen. Jackson is painted as a man with a unique determination; who works tirelessly to see his vision realised, even when politics and nervous movie executives threaten to derail the process at every step.

Sprinkled with photos from a variety of sources it is an entertaining, and often amazing read.
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on 30 October 2011
This book is brillaint, and worth buying for any fans of Peter Jackson, his films or just films in general.

The book is very inspirational especially to someone like me, there is masses of good infomation, good pictures and an in sight in to the world of making films. It is a resonaly large hardback book.
Even if your not Peter Jacksons biggest fan i still blieve this would make a good read for you.
I orderd mine second hand which i would NOT recomend if you wish to collect it, but otherwise i would recomend it.

If your looking to buy it then i think you should.
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on 23 December 2009
I bought this because I really respected how Peter Jackson made the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy. It turned out to be another good decision!
The book traces Jackson's fascination with film from his early work (cheap camera, friends roped in as weekend actors and home-made special effects) all the way through Tolkien's epic to 'King Kong' (major studio production, top actors, state-of-the art computer graphics).
We learn about the demands of film-making at various levels, coping with financing from National Film Institutes and Hollywood studios and the relentless pressure of deadlines.
I felt sad when I read about Jackson in his early days turning up at a remote film location and waiting all day for friends who couldn't come. (Remember this was before the days of mobile phones.) However I was fascinated to hear exactly how the 'Lord of the Rings' was given the go-ahead.
You don't get a genius like Jackson very often, so this look at his life and work is most welcome.
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on 18 July 2009
The cover says this book gives an inside look into the ways of Hollywood. Usually you would expect a bunch of make-belief, but here you get the real Peter Jackson inside look, which i think is the vision of a director who will not ever compromise the quality of his films, and that's what makes this book into a breath-taking journey. The loyalty towards New Zealand, the respect for others' vision and ideas, the quality and spades of talent that evolve throughout, all these and many more make this biography the exciting, and often very funny story of a man, who inspires young film makers and who brings the most intensely moving and dramatic cinema to a wide range of audiences.
Brilliantly written by Brian Sibley.
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