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THR's Producer Roundtable: Peter Jackson Collaborator on What Makes the Filmmaker Tick (Video)

Philippa Boyens says Jackson sees himself as an "independent filmmaker" who happens to own a visual effects company.

Philippa Boyens, a longtime producer and co-writer on Peter Jackson’s films, has insight into what makes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey director tick.

During The Hollywood Reporter’s producer roundtable, she shared some of her thoughts on the Oscar-winning filmmaker.

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“He sees himself as an independent filmmaker. He’s an independent filmmaker and he has that sensibility, except he owns the visual effects company and a postproduction company,” Boyens said.

Boyens also spoke about the financial incentives The Hobbit production received from the New Zealand government for shooting there.

“He brought a lot of money to New Zealand,” she said. “That money would not have come into the the country -- the taxes that were paid on that money through the 3,000 people that were employed on that film alone. The exposure it gives, the tourism.”

Boyens noted that in New Zealand, people tend to cut down to size those who let success go to their heads. However, it’s not quite the same in Hollywood. She recalls that before coming to work in the U.S., Jackson’s partner, Fran Walsh, advised her not to be too humble in the States.

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“You don’t get credit in America for trying to ... be humble. It’s [seen as] bullshit. It’s a waste of everyone’s time,” Boyens recalled Walsh telling her.

Boyens joined a roundtable discussion with producers Eric Fellner (Les Miserables), Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook), Grant Heslov (Argo), JoAnne Sellar (The Master) and Stacey Sher (Django Unchained). The conversation was moderated by THR news director Matthew Belloni and executive features editor Stephen Galloway.