Oscar-winning sound editor Mike Hopkins, a long-time collaborator of Peter Jackson's, has died after a rafting accident in New Zealand, newspaper The Australian reported Monday.
Hopkins, 53, was wearing a lifejacket and helmet, but drowned after the raft capsized, it quoted local police near the country's capital of Wellington a saying. His two rafting partners survived.
Another Jackson collaborator, visual effects producer Eileen Moran, also died in New Zealand earlier this month. She worked on The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, was an executive producer at Jackson's Weta Digital and a longtime confidant of the director.
Hopkins won an Oscar with Ethan Van der Ryn in 2006 for their sound editing work on Jackson's King Kong. In 2003, the duo had won the same Oscar for the second installment of the Lord of the Rings franchise.
He also worked on other Jackson movies, such as Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners. Hopkins also won three New Zealand Film and Television Awards.
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- Peter Jackson