Hugh Stewart Brings A Team Together
Deciding what you want to do with your career is as important as buying a house or choosing a partner to spend your life with. Most people spend as much, if not more, time with their coworkers as they do their friends and family. As a young and not yet experienced Director, Christian Rivers did not know where his career would take him, but he knew exactly who he wanted to be taking him along for the ride: New Zealand’s most successful filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson. Photographer Hugh Stewart had the opportunity to shoot the creative team 30 years after a fan letter brought the duo together for The Hollywood Reporter.
Sir Peter Jackson, who at the time of the letter was known to the world as just “Pete”, received the fan letter from a young high-school aged Christian Rivers from Whanganui, New Zealand. He had just seen Sir Jackson’s self-produced film, Bad Taste, where he made his directorial debut, and young Christian knew he had found his match. He mailed the director some drawings and a note, where he mentioned his love of the film. Years later when Sir Peter was prepping another feature and wanted to include a storyboard, not being able to draw himself, he knew exactly who to call.
The photoshoot took place in familiar places for the team, one of them being a quaint shop in Wellington at Hobart Takeaways up the road from their office. The men look comfortable, in the space and sitting next to each other; it’s easy to see that the two work closely together. In the article for The Hollywood Reporter, Christian reveals that he and Jackson don’t exactly need words to communicate their creative process to one another. "We have such a history together that we have such a shorthand — we can sort of finish each other's sentences," he says. Although incredibly humble throughout the article, the opening image features the modest creatives in an opulent theatre where their ideas and films come to life, and allows the reader to feel the magnitude of what the two can create.
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