Movies - TV
Peter Jackson's Early Horror Films Were Funded By A Back Door Government Deal
By DREW TINNIN
Although it may be hard to believe, “The Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson began his career making underground horror films. For one of his larger projects, 1987’s “Bad Taste,” Jackson used a clever workaround to procure $5,000 from the New Zealand Commission, a somewhat newly established organization tasked with championing the country’s filmmakers.
Jackson showed his film to Jim Booth, who eventually became his producer, but was then on the Commission’s board. The young director explained, “He liked it, but knew he was going to have a tough job trying to convince the others on the board to back the film. However, he, as the director, did have the ability to approve small amounts for script developments, like $5,000.”
Jackson continued, “So he organized it behind the backs of his colleagues, but we eventually got [to] the point where we needed the money for post-production and had to go to the Commission with the film.” Eventually, the Commission approved “Bad Taste,” which became “their most financially successful film,” according to Jackson.