"New Zealand is not a small country but a large village."
"What I don`t like are pompous, pretencious movies"
On Meet the Feebles (1989): "I have a moronic sense of humour."
(on The Lord of the Rings:) "This is a giant undertaking, but I consider this a personal film. It`s my film of a lifetime. I read the book when I was 18 years old and thought then, `I can`t wait till the movie comes out.` Twenty years later, no one had done it - so I got impatient."
On making "The Lord of the Rings": "Looking back, I think we were a bit naive. At the beginning I don`t think anybody had any idea how difficult or complicated it would be. We somehow went into it thinking we could do it. And then we`ve stumbled along just taking each day at a time."
"To get an Oscar would be an incredible moment in my career, there is no doubt about that. But the `Lord of the Rings` films are not made for Oscars, they are made for the audience."
"I always trusted him. If there was a way that I had seen something and he had seen it differently, I would ... trust his vision. We were in brilliant hands." -- Elijah Wood on filming "Lord of the Rings," December 14, 2003
"Don`t worry. Gollum isn`t going to be another Jar Jar Binks."
"No film has captivated my imagination more than King Kong. I`m making movies today because I saw this film when I was 9 years old. It has been my sustained dream to reinterpret this classic story for a new age."
Regarding his spat with New Line: "We have a great many friends at New Line and utmost respect for the risk they took with us and it hurts to be hit with the level of venom directed at us from individuals in that company. It`s been a lot more nasty behind the scenes than what`s been made public. It`s just an accounting dispute at the end of the day, but it makes you wonder what they have to hide."
I think that George Lucas` `Star Wars` films are fantastic. What he`s done, which I admire, is he has taken all the money and profit from those films and poured it into developing digital sound and surround sound, which we are using today. He got ILM started and they developed all the computer technology we use. George Lucas is incredible. He has made a huge difference to the way films are made now. And he has used his money on things that benefit every filmmaker who gets films produced. I respect that a lot.
We made a promise to ourselves at the beginning of the process that we weren`t going to put any of our own politics, our own messages or our own themes into these movies. What we were trying to do was to analyze what was important to Tolkien and to try to honor that. In a way, we were trying to make these films for him, not for ourselves.
On horror: "I don`t take stuff seriously. I saw `Hellraiser 3` the other day at Cannes; it`s OK, it`s a good film, I didn`t hate it or anything. I thought it was quite good, but it was all just so serious. Some guy walking round with pins sticking out of his face. I just can`t sit there and think ,`this is really scary.` If I made a `Hellraiser` film, I`d like Pinhead to be whacked against a wall and have all the pins flattened into his face. I immediately start thinking of funny things and gags - that`s just the way I am. I doubt I could ever control myself sufficiently to make a serious horror film."
I don`t quite know what an auteur is. I`ve never quite understood that term, because filmmaking is such a huge team effort, you - I mean, I regard myself as being sort of the final filter, so everything that ends up in the movie is there, because it`s something that I`d think was cool if I saw the film that somebody else had made. I`m very much trying to make the film that I`ve enjoyed, but I`m open to ideas, I need a huge team of people to help me, everybody contributes and I try to encourage people to contribute as much as possible. I think that`s the job of a director really, is to sort of funnel all the creative into one centralized point of view. And the marketing is sort of something that really happens with other people, it`s not something that I`m at all an expert in, and I regard my job at the end of the day as to make the best possible film I can, and that`s really where my job stops and marketing people take over after that.
(on the 1976 remake of King Kong): "I was 15 when that film came out. I took the day off school, went into Wellington and was first in line to see it. It was a disappointment because I wanted it to have stop-motion animation, dinosaurs and the Empire State Building. I didn`t like the updating of it, and it has dated very badly. I watched it again a year or so ago. I thought Jeff Bridges was excellent, John Barry`s score was very good, and Rick Baker did a sterling job in that very heavy monkey suit he was wearing. But it was kind of kitsch and it wasn`t the Kong that I saw when I was nine."
The most honest form of filmmaking is to make a film for yourself. The worst type is dictated by demographics or what is hip or what kids are into. Kong isn`t driven by that. No way would a studio think this is the year that people want to see a big gorilla movie. I`ve come to realize that, as much as anything, I am making this for the 9-year-old Peter.
`Return of the King` is the most enjoyable because in the structure of the movies, it is nothing other than pay-off, there is no more setting up to do, no more exposition, no more introducing characters. The pay-off is very character-based. It is action-orientated as well, but all of our characters have been pushed to a point where their life and death depends on what happens in the third movie. It is very emotional, and from an actors point of view it is very enjoyable to work on, because they were able to play some pretty intense drama. From my point of view it was always great, because we were heading toward an ending, a climax which we never had in the other two.
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