Originally a master of gross-out splatter films, New Zealand director Peter Jackson is the man behind some of the goriest footage ever captured on celluloid. He is also one of the few horror directors to have earned widespread mainstream critical respect, thanks to his direction of the ambitious Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the acclaimed Heavenly Creatures (1995), a terrifying, exuberant account of a real-life murder that scandalized 1950s New Zealand society.
Born in Wellington on October 31, 1961, Jackson was raised in Pukerua Bay, a small town just west of Wellington. An only child, he grew up nurturing a vivid imagination, something that was aided immeasurably when his parents received an 8 mm camera on Christmas Day, 1969. Jackson duly got his hands on the camera, and, with the complicity of a few school friends, he soon began making his own movies. He continued making movies after getting a job with a local newspaper, the salary of which allowed him to buy his own 16 mm camera.