Peter Jackson admits he was winging it with The Hobbit films


The Hobbit films were enjoyable, but it did feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread. If you were disappointed by the trilogy, there are actual reasons behind it. (The obvious one being that Warner Bros. and director Peter Jackson turned a single book into three movies.) The other is that Jackson wasn’t prepared for it at all. In the behind-the-scenes featurette for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Blu-ray/DVD, the crew talked about the issue with pre-production.

“It was impossible, and as a result of it being impossible, I just started shooting the movie with most of it not prepped at all,” Jackson admits.

“Almost every morning of the shoot, we’re delivering the objects needed that day,” said Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop’s creative director.

Brigette Yorke, unit production manager, said, “Peter never got a chance to prep these movies. But I can’t say that! But he didn’t!”

The reason why Jackson and his team didn’t have time to prep was that the schedule was really tight, especially with Guillermo del Toro leaving the project during pre-production and Jackson having to take over with his own vision.

“We didn’t wind the clock back a year and a half and give me a year and a half prep to design the movie I was going to make, which was different to what he was doing,” he said. “It was impossible, and as a result of it being impossible I just started shooting the movie with most of it not prepped at all.”

“I was able to wing it, right up until the point that I had to start shooting this very intricate battle, and I couldn’t wing it on that, really,” he said about the film and the final sequence in the final trilogy. “We had allowed two months of shooting for that in 2012, and at some point when we were approaching that, I went to Zane and Carol, our producers, and ultimately talked to the studio and said: ‘Because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing now, because I haven’t got storyboards and prep in this three months that we have now got this battle, why don’t we just finish earlier?”

He was about to delay it, and it allowed him to “clear [my] head, and actually have some quiet time to sit and wait for those bits of inspiration to come about the battle you’ve got coming up, and start to really put something together.”

Watch the video below.

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