It's not typical for a director — and his or her crew — to get candid about the problems they faced while making a movie. But in a new behind-the-scenes featurette found on the Blu-ray edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, that's exactly what Peter Jackson and his crew did while talking about The Hobbit trilogy.
In the video, Jackson was pretty open about the issues he faced coming into the series and taking over after Guillermo del Toro decided to depart. He noted that in comparison to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, where the producers were given three and a half years of prep time before shooting even began, he actually lost a year and a half because Warner Bros.' wouldn't let him push the film back.
"When you're going onto a set [that's] very complicated, you're winging it," Jackson said in the video. "You've got nothing to go on. No storyboards, no previews. You've got these massively complicated scenes and you're just making it up then and there on the spot."
Jackson's description of a chaotic shoot was echoed by Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop creative director, who compared the situation to laying down the tracks for a moving train as it's hurtling toward you.
Jackson went on to add that if he hadn't been in the industry for 25 years already, and hadn't built up a wealth of experience on other sets, it would have been "completely impossible" to accomplish anything.
"I spent much of The Hobbit not feeling like I was on top of it. Like I wasn't prepped and making up much of it as I went along," he said. "Even from a script point of view, Philippa [Boyens], Fran [Walsh] and I hadn't really gotten the scripts to our satisfaction."
Despite the high-pressure situation and not having "the time to think" that he would have wanted, Jackson was able to produce three pretty well-reviewed blockbuster films and bring the entire franchise to a tidy conclusion.
The director is currently working on The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun, which is due next December.