And the certificate goes to ... John Gilbert
Porirua’s golden achievements in the international film industry just got brighter.
Mayor Mike Tana presented Oscar winner and Porirua resident John Gilbert with a mayoral certificate at the Pataka museum of art and culture on June 2.
Originally from Pukerua Bay, Gilbert is now one of the international film industry’s most respected editors and has received numerous awards and nominations, including the 2017 Oscar for Best Achievement in Film Editing and a BAFTA award for Best Editing working on Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge. But he didn’t set out to work in the film industry.
‘‘I did history at university, and there was a weekend University Extension Course I did for six weeks one summer on film making,’’ Gilbert said. ‘‘I always loved films, but never thought I could have a career in film. I took a holiday job at the National Film Unit and never went back to university.’’
Gilbert started out working on documentaries in New Zealand before moving into film and television commercials. He twice won New Zealand’s best editor award, and his work on Sir Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners led to him being asked to edit the first Lord of the Rings films for which he received an Oscar nomination.
Jackson, who was also raised at Pukerua Bay, launched his career filming Bad Taste almost entirely on location in Porirua. His Lord of the Rings trilogy won 17 Academy Awards.
Gilbert has been in demand internationally, working with high-profile directors such as Roger Donaldson, with whom he collaborated three times, editing The November Man, The Bank Job and The World’s Fastest Indian. He recently reunited with Mel Gibson to work on historical drama The Professor and the Madman.
His advice for young people looking to get into a career in film?
‘‘Watch lots of films and think about what makes them work.
‘‘Then find the best people working in film near you and pester them for work, even if it means working for nothing. Work hard and make yourself indispensable.’’
Mayor Mike Tana said: ‘‘What he demonstrates is that it is possible to be a world leader in your field, all the way from Porirua’’.
‘‘Work hard and make yourself indispensable.’’