This experience of self-play and imagination with no one to stand in its way allowed Peter’s creativity to flourish.
What makes a master filmmaker?
It has been a topic of discussion since the cinema was invented. The truth is, there is no one answer. Someone like Quentin Tarantino secretly makes his films extremely personal, which clearly adds something special to them. But what about the creator of The Lord of the Rings trilogy?
Over the years, Peter Jackson has given fans a taste of what it takes to bring JRR Tolkien’s novels to the big screen. But in an old interview, he also gave us unique perspectives on why he was able to become a filmmaker many admire. Ultimately it comes down to the fact that Peter was an only child growing up …
The specific advantage of being an only child for a designer
The subject of Peter Jackson being an only child was brought up when interviewed by the now disgraced Charlie Rose. The interview was conducted ahead of the release of the final chapter of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King. In it, Peter discussed the emotional toll of filming the three Lord of the Rings films in a row in his personal life. After all, it was several years of endless work. Although he was shooting the film with his partner, Fran Walsh, his family life was fundamentally decimated during the making of the films. The little time he and Fran had for themselves was spent with their two young children, whom they raised throughout the making of The Lord of the Rings.
Charlie wrote that being an only child opens the door to many benefits in his professional life, especially from a creative perspective.
“Do you think that we, only children, live more in fantasy? That we create our own world because we have no brothers or sisters?” Charlie asked, before saying that he, like Peter, grew up in a small town where there were even fewer children their age to interact with.
“Yeah. I think the imagination is something you can exercise when you’re young,” Peter Jackson replied. “I think the more you exercise it, the bigger and more vivid your imagination will become. And I think, maybe, only children fall back on their imaginations a lot more than if you have a larger family. You’re not playing with other kids most of the time. You don’t interact and you don’t respond to what someone else is doing. You are in a lonely world. And you dream. You imagine. I mean, I spent hours and hours as a kid imagining movies. And I always imagined movies that were way too ambitious for what I was doing. But it turned me on. “
This experience of self-play and imagination with no one to stand in its way allowed Peter’s creativity to flourish. As an only child, he was fundamentally obligated to work and own his creative muscles. This clearly helped him feel confident and comfortable in his own skin when he entered the highly competitive Hollywood system and had to advocate for his ideas with his associates and the people who wrote the checks.
Peter’s parents also gave him the chance to grow up
As Charlie Rose pointed out in their 2004 interview, Peter was also lucky because his parents supported his creative pursuits from an early age. Peter agreed that this was one of the most important parts of his journey to success in the film industry.
“Very, very important. And as a parent now myself, that’s a lesson, ”admitted Peter. “The most powerful message I learned from my parents is to only support children in whatever they want to do. I mean, both of my parents weren’t interested in movies or theater. They were very simple people. They immigrated. from England to New Zealand after WWII. And my interests and hobbies were so far removed from what they had been through or what interested them. they were there for me all the time. Always. “
The King Kong director said his parents would buy him cameras for Christmas when he was just 14. The Lovely Bones director didn’t even have his driver’s license until his twenties because he was too busy making movies and his parents were supporting him. But a lot of it had to do with Peter taking it seriously. It wasn’t a frivolous hobby that consumed his whole life … it was his dream. And although coming from a middle class family, Peter had the right socio-economic situation where he could do just that. He could follow his dreams and become one of the most loved, respected and inspiring filmmakers in modern Hollywood. And, as he said in the interview, much of his success is due to the fact that he had two supportive parents, but he was also fortunate enough to be an only child.
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