Sir Peter Jackson has paid tribute to Oscar-winning sound designer Michael Hopkins who died in a rafting accident on Saturday.
Hopkins, 53, of Greytown, won two Academy Awards for his work in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in 2003 and King Kong in 2006. He was also nominated for five BAFTA awards.
Sir Peter said he and his fellow producers are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of Hopkins' death.
He said many actors, directors, production and post production crew who were lucky enough to work with him will miss him deeply.
Sir Peter said that under Mike Hopkins' guidance New Zealand became recognised as one of the leading hubs of post production sound in the world.
He said Mr Hopkins was genuine, caring and warm hearted with a great sense of humour.
Their collaboration dated from Braindead in 1992.
Film editor and producer Jamie Selkirk, who also won an Oscar for his work on Lord of the Rings, said he employed Hopkins when he was a school leaver to run errands in his production company.
But he quickly proved his aptitude in the pioneering area of cinematic sound.