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Sir Peter Jackson

Oscar for Best Director

Harvey said that he couldn't spend more than $75 million per picture. That Disney, who owned him, had put a cap on the amount of money he could spend. He was wanting for these films to be less than $75 million, and we tried. Then he found out that they weren't going to accept part one and part two as two different films, costing $75 million each. They wanted to treat it as one film, and they didn't want to spend $150 million on these two films. They wanted just $75 million. So Harvey was stuck in a really bad place, and he came to us and said, "Listen, the only thing I can do is to basically make one movie, and you guys are going to have to support me here. I've supported you. You're going to have to now do the right thing, and you're going to have to cut the script down to one film, $75 million." And I said, "Is it like the first of three? Could we just do the first one?" "No, no. It's got to be the whole Lord of the Rings as one movie, $75 million, and it has to happen now," and I just said, "I don't think I can do that, Harvey. I don't think I can do it. I don't think you can actually collapse all this into one film, get rid of so much stuff, that you couldn't even call it Lord of the Rings.
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Sir Peter Jackson

Oscar for Best Director

I said, "You know, everybody who's read this book is going to be disappointed. There's no doubt about it. They will be let down, everybody. You are taking debatably the most popular, favorite book in the world, and you're making a film that is guaranteed to disappoint everybody who is familiar with the book." "Well, not that many people have read the book," (he said.) "We won't worry about that." You know, it was like relying on the fact that more people hadn't read the book than had, and wouldn't know the crimes that we committed cutting it down. So anyway, I just said -- we were in New York in the office, "the Miramax Sweat Box," they call it, a hot nasty little room, a windowless room in the middle of the Tribeca office he's got. We just said we just wanted to go home, Fran and I. We were just sick of the whole thing, sick of Harvey and the shenanigans. We just said, "Listen, we'll have to think about it on the flight home, Harvey. All right? And just give us a day or two. We're flying home this afternoon. Let us go, and we'll just give it some thought and give you a call back." And then we flew home, having no intention of doing this film.
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Donald Johanson

Discoverer of Lucy

I suggested in the first paper I published that there were at least two different kinds of hominids at this site. And I very soon thereafter began an extensive period of research with my colleague Tim White. And I remember the nights of argument in the laboratory in Cleveland, when we would literally be screaming at each other. Because he said: "There is only one species here. The big ones are males, the little ones are females. And if you lay them all out on the table, you have a gradual change from small, to larger, to larger, to largest. And there's no significant anatomical difference between the individuals in this collection. It represents only a single species, and the sooner you recognize that, the better off you are going to be." He was very forceful in his arguments. And I would go home and think about it, and go back the next morning and take out the jaws and see if I could establish a series of features that would vindicate me, and substantiate my view that there were two species. And, slowly this idea was eroded away, and I had to admit that what I had published was wrong. It was incorrect. I had made a mistake.
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Frank Johnson

Presidential Medal of Freedom

I had my telephone unlisted to keep my family from being harassed. But, my personality and my background and my heritage and all of that caused me not to do anything except just be stubborn. If you think I'm going to cave in on something like this, you better go get you something else to look for! No way. If I can't do what's right, I'll quit.
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Frank Johnson

Presidential Medal of Freedom

I didn't sign on to be a federal judge to render moral decisions. I signed on as a federal judge to follow the law, and rule constitutionally-wise. So people have asked me that before, "Did the moral problems in this cause you to do that?" No. Never looked on any desegregation case with the moral standards in mind. I wasn't hired to be a moral judge. I wasn't hired to be a preacher or an evangelist. I'm hired to apply the law.
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Frank Johnson

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Frank Johnson: I don't consider having, quote, "stuck my neck out," end quote. I value the decisions that I've made and the effect of those decisions. I did it not for my benefit, but in the first place, I did it to decide the issues that were presented to me in legal cases that came up routinely through the system. My oath as a United States judge required that I decide cases like I think the law requires it to be decided. So, technically you had no option if you are going to be a good judge. You do what you agreed to do.
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Frank Johnson

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Frank Johnson: The basic concept that a good judge has to have is to do what's right, regardless of who the litigants are, regardless of how technical, or regardless of how emotional the issues that are presented are. If you are not willing to do what's right, then you need to get you another job. So I never did think that I was entitled to any great credit for doing it, because that was my obligation. That's what I signed on to do. Some judges didn't do that, but that's their problem.
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