The Hobbit director reveals secrets

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Thursday, December 06, 2012

NBC News: Peter Jackson explains from his native New Zealand why he decided to make the prequel to his Academy Award-winning Lord of the Rings triliogy, and shares some of his filming techniques in advance of its world premiere.

Just a day before the world premiere of the highly anticipated film version of the J.R.R. Tolkien classic, Jackson talked to NBC News’ Ann Curry from his native Wellington, New Zealand where he made the film.  Jackson took Rock Center behind the scenes of his visual effects company, Weta Digital, and also provided rare access to his movie studio, revealing secrets of the innovative moviemaking that's come to define his films.  When Jackson talked to Curry in his first network television profile, he was still tinkering in the edit room despite the film’s premiere being hours away.

“I could happily work on ‘The Hobbit’ for another six months because you’re always thinking of things that you want to do and things to improve it,” Jackson said.  “Because it’s never perfect and so, we just simply take every available minute, second, up until the time that the film has to be taken away from us.”

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Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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