An only child in a small seaside town in New Zealand, Peter Jackson grew up far from the centers of motion picture production. At the age of nine, he began shooting movies in his backyard with his parents' home movie camera. As he grew older, many of his neighbors regarded his obsessive movie-making as little more than an eccentric hobby, but Peter Jackson never stopped. The hobby turned into a career when a low-budget horror film he shot with his friends on weekends became a surprise hit at the Cannes Film Festival.
Jackson acquired a reputation as an inventive director of stylish horror thrillers before branching out with the psychological drama Heavenly Creatures. This film won international critical acclaim, but Jackson was still regarded as a maker of small-scale films when he embarked on the most ambitious motion picture project of all time, a three-part live-action adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy, The Lord of the Rings.
The three Lord of the Rings movies earned $3 billion at the box office and brought Jackson Oscars for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director. They are the most successful film series of all time. With his blockbuster remake of King Kong, Jackson also became the best paid director in motion picture history. From his massive production facilites in Wellington, New Zealand, he oversees a moviemaking empire, providing special effects, animation and design services to filmmakers all over the world.