NewsWire: An Honorary Degree and Tourism Concerns - TV3

Here's a bit of news from TV3 regarding Peter Jackson and a bit about tourism, merchandising, and Harry Potter.

Thanks to Annabel at TV3 for sending over the news!


2ND November

Peter Jackson has won his first award for The Lord of the Rings...an honorary degree.

Massey University is awarding doctorates to Jackson and his business partner Fran Walsh, in recognition of the number of jobs they'd created for the university's design graduates.

7TH November

The Government is to spend another $9 million so New Zealand can cash in on the international interest generated by the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the America's Cup.

The money will be split between each project - and is aimed at encouraging tourism here.

At the Lord of the Rings special effects unit, the Prime Minister launched the workshop's range of movie miniatures and her $4.5 million package to enable the government to cash in on the trilogy.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says: "We think that there's just some amazing opportunites for this talented creative country to leverage off this most remarkable production."

Projects include promotion events and giveaways at the Premiere and six first night screenings around the world, hosting overseas journalists and advertising in international publications.

Weta workshop's spin-off venture in partnership with American toy giant Sideshow is up against a market already stung by poor sales of Harry Potter merchandise and fearing a bleak Christmas. This is partly because of a flooded market, and slumping economies...the Lord of the Rings collectibles are already available overseas.

Andrew Smith: "We thought we might do a little bit better but it's early days. We need the film.

For those who don't want to spend up to 300 and 50 dollars on a collectible, Lord of the Rings plastic toys like Harry Potter, are already available...but more interesting than the battle of the merchandise will be the battle at the box office.

Lord Of The Rings Director, Peter Jackson says: "Everyone paints this as competition between Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings, I just wish Harry Potter all the best."

Now Jackson's film's completed, he's waiting for the premiere in relaxed mode... barefeet and all.

Jackson says: "There's occasional slithers of metal that get me from time to time but it's a hazard of the job."

Another hazard is the anticipation of how the world will receive the first of the films released in six weeks.

Jackson says: "I just hope that I've made a film that people like and enjoy and say it's a good night out at the movies."

And if the people do like it, Jackson's joy will be shared by merchandisers and perhaps our government.

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