Director Peter Jackson has paid tribute to his longtime collaborator Mike Hopkins, the Oscar-winning sound editor who drowned in a boating accident in New Zealand over the weekend.
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Hopkins was caught in a flash flood on Sunday while rafting on the Waiohine River with his wife, Nicci, and a friend, and the 53-year-old drowned after he fell into the water. Jackson, who worked with Hopkins on numerous film projects over the years, has now spoken of his grief after hearing of Hopkins' death, saying he was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the tragic news. In a statement, he says, "I know I speak for the many directors, production and post-production crew who were lucky enough to work with Mike in saying that he will be terribly missed. Mike was an extraordinarily talented sound designer, editor and supervisor and thoroughly deserving multiple Oscar winner. Under his guidance, New Zealand became recognized as one of the leading hubs of post-production sound in the world. Beyond that Mike was a very genuine, caring and warm-hearted guy with a great sense of humor. We are all mourning his passing. His family, his friends and colleagues are in our thoughts."
A statement from Hopkins' family reads, "Mike always had a great sense of adventure and will be sorely missed by his family and friends." Hopkins first teamed up with Jackson for 1992 horror-comedy "Braindead," and he went on to win two Academy Awards for his work on the moviemaker's blockbusters "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "King Kong." A memorial service will be held in his hometown of Greytown, New Zealand, on Thursday followed by a private cremation.
Jackson's King Kong is on my top 10. For MANY reasons. I think I will watch it again. Mike Hopkins was an artist. The Ear- his canvas. This movie Sounds as big as it looks and the Oscar was certainly placed in worthy hands.