I've recently finished reading Peter Jackson; A Film-maker's Journey by Brian Sibley.
It was a great read, with stacks of all the weird little details I love about Peter's background, and lots of comments from Peter about all of his films and colleagues and aquaintances and work and struggles and.... heaps of stuff.
I must admit, the only films of his that I've seen are the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so the part of the book about those was the most interesting to me. However the telling of the preceeding 40 or so years was really interesting too, he sounds like a very exciting person to be around and work with.
Jackson's seemingly endless capacity for hard work and determination is pretty inspiring. He made his first feature-length film - Bad Taste - with a bunch of mates on weekends over about 4 years, and it became quite a cult hit. I'd never heard of it, but that's not saying much; I'm not exactly a splatter-flick connoisseur. Years of huge visions, ridiculously hard work, long hours, and a few "secret shoots" (sshhh don't tell the NZ Film Commission!) led to Heavenly Creatures and then LOTR and King Kong. Heavenly Creatures is now definitely on my "must-see" list.
The thing that most inspired me was the fact that once, at age 9, Peter decided he wanted to make films, he never once swayed from that goal or took any side-tracks. And that little kid who was astounded by the 1933 King Kong is still the same person today - just with a few more resources available to him. Like I said; determination.
Oh and the other cool thing - he made all his films in New Zealand, mostly in and near his home town of Wellington. The fact that Peter was so successful and made such beautiful films without ever having to pack himself off to Hollywood is fabulous. Yay for Peter Jackson.
(Oh and Peter, what's your next film? I'd be more than happy to pop over to NZ for a few months' filming. ;-) )
I just remembered; The Lovely Bones will be his next film. I wonder where he'll shoot it, seeing as it's set in Pennsylvania.