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Peter Jackson is born on Halloween in Pukerua Bay, a small New Zealand town west of Wellington.
Jackson’s parents receive an 8 mm camera as a gift. Their son eventually claims it as his own.
Jackson creates his first two cinematic efforts, a World War II narrative and the sci-fi short “The Valley.” The latter, a silent, airs on the TV show “Spot On.”
With a newly acquired 16 mm camera, Jackson begins creating “Roast of the Day,” a gory sci-fi spoof featuring alien-eating people.
Jackson establishes Wingnut Films.
Jackson expands “Roast” into his first feature, “Bad Taste.” As its writer, director and producer, he funds the bulk of the $25,000 shooting budget himself. He also plays two parts in the film.
Jackson meets Fran Walsh while posting “Bad Taste.” Walsh becomes his writing partner, co-scripting all his future screenplays.
“Bad Taste” is accepted into the Festival de Cannes. The film is a hit, selling in enough countries to allow Jackson to become a full-time filmmaker.
“Meet the Feebles,” Jackson’s second feature, unspools at Toronto. It is an over-the-top black comedy featuring a troupe of sexually perverted, ultra-violent, misanthropic puppets.
Partnering with Richard Taylor and Jamie Selkirk, Jackson creates the special effects house WETA Digital. Its first project is Jackson’s “Heavenly Creatures.” Joe Letteri is eventually lured away from ILM to helm WETA.
The screenplay of “Heavenly Creatures” earns Jackson and Walsh their first Academy Award nomination.
Jackson pacts with New Line on an ambitious three-film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” New Line topper Bob Shaye commits to a $130 million budget.
Principal photography begins on “Rings.” It wraps more than a year later.
Jackson buys the National Film Unit, the former New Zealand state-owned production house known mostly for newsreels, documentaries and promotional films. The facility undergoes a complete makeover and re-emerges as Park Road Post, a state-of-the-art postproduction facility.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” opens in 3,300-plus theaters. The trilogy ultimately grosses more than $3 billion theatrically worldwide.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” wins 11 Academy Awards. Jackson ends up with Oscars for producing, directing and writing.
Led by attorney Peter Nelson, Wingnut sues New Line claiming it has failed to pay millions from “Rings” profits.
Jackson and Walsh sign on to executive produce a feature adaptation of the best-selling video game “Halo” for Universal.
South African commercial and music director Neill Blomkamp lands the directing assignment for “Halo.” Jackson seals the deal by giving him a tour of the WETA Digital facilities.
Budget concerns cause Universal and Fox to pull the plug on “Halo.” Jackson asks Blomkamp to bring him another project. Blomkamp presents “District 9,” a sci-fi thriller based on the director’s 2005 short “Alive in Joburg.” Jackson agrees to produce and have WETA Digital create all the effects.
Jackson shops “The Lovely Bones” with himself attached as director. DreamWorks beats Warner Bros., Sony and Universal to acquire the package. The following week, he agrees to direct the second installment of Steven Spielberg’s long-planned adaptation of the comic book “Tintin.”
At AFM, Sony snaps up “District 9” distribution rights to all English-language territories, Russia, Italy, Korea and Portugal.
New Line and Jackson settle their differences over “Rings.” Jackson agrees to serve as executive producer for “The Hobbit,” which will be co-financed and distributed by New Line and MGM.
Guillermo del Toro signs on to direct “The Hobbit.” The Mexican filmmaker plans to spend four years in New Zealand working with the Wingnut and WETA teams.
Although originally opting for outside writers, Jackson and del Toro decide to pen the “The Hobbit” screenplay themselves. Walsh and Philippa Boyens also will collaborate.
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