Dead teen's movies on Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings DVD

By Scott Kara

The movies of Cameron Duncan, the promising young Auckland film-maker who died of cancer last year, will be seen by millions worldwide thanks to Peter Jackson's final DVD chapter in his Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The 17-year-old's autobiographical short films DFK6498 and Strikezone are included as extras on the new extended-version DVD of the third film of the trilogy, The Return of the King Extended, released yesterday.

The DVD package is expected to sell more than 30 million copies.

Cameron's mother, Sharon Duncan, said Jackson wanted to include the films in the extra features of the DVD.

She said her son, who died in Texas while receiving treatment, wanted his films to be seen by millions.

"It's a bit like a dream come true," she said.

"Cameron's films carry deep and powerful messages and they'll affect a lot of lives around the world and I hope that each and every one of those who watch take a piece and grow into strong and inspired people."

In the final line of Strikezone Cameron says: "The one thing I don't want to be is to be forgotten and I think I've done a pretty good job of that."

Jackson and his wife, screenwriter Fran Walsh, knew of Cameron's work after seeing DFK6498 and an advertisement he made.

The three became good friends after Jackson showed Cameron around his film studio and, in exchange, Cameron showed them his films.

"Peter believed Cameron was a young man as he was," said Mrs Duncan. "Peter used to explode things and make movies too, but Cameron was cleverer, according to Peter - the explosions were bigger."

Says Jackson on his DVD commentary: "He was amazing. You see a lot of work from young film-makers and this kid was the real thing. It was stunning, frightening how clever he was at that age."

In 2002, Cameron was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that attacks the limbs of young people.

During the nine months of chemotherapy he made the four-minute DFK6498 - his medical reference number - which recounts his feelings about being a 15-year-old facing a terminal disease.

Strikezone deals with his love of softball, and his illness.

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