Hobbit filmmaker Peter Jackson has paid tribute to an Oscar-winning sound engineer who has died in a New Zealand rafting accident.
New Zealand media reports say Michael Alexander Hopkins was drowned when he was thrown from his raft during a flash flood on the North Island's Waiohine River on Sunday.
The New Zealander won Academy Awards for his work on Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, and his King Kong remake.
Jackson said he was "deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of our friend and long time collaborator, Mike Hopkins," Jackson said.
"I know I can speak for the many actors, directors, production and post production crew who were lucky enough to work with Mike, in saying that he will be terribly missed," he was quoted as saying on the stuff.co.nz website.
"Mike was an extraordinarily talented sound designer, editor and supervisor and thoroughly deserving multiple Oscar winner.
"Under his guidance, New Zealand became recognised as one of the leading hubs of post production sound in the world.
"Beyond that, Mike was a very genuine, caring and warm-hearted guy with a great sense of humour.
"We are all mourning his passing - his family, his friends and colleagues are in our thoughts," Jackson said.