Behind-the-scenes features usually amount to little more than P.R. fluff, with actors talking about how excited and challenged they feel to be on set, maybe with some light special effects wizardry thrown in there for good measure.
A recently-released feature for The Battle Of The Five Armies‘ extended Blu-Ray, however, takes a drastically different approach, with director Peter Jackson and his crew openly admitting the shortcomings (DYSWWDT?) of The Hobbit trilogy.
The Hobbit films were troubled from the get-go, with director Guillermo Del Toro dropping out late in the piece, and handing the reins back to the Lord Of The Rings director Jackson.
In the feature, Jackson despairs that he had three-and-a-half years to prepare before shooting Rings, but with the Hobbit, was forced to begin shooting key scenes before he even had a script in place.
The movies he envisioned, he said, were drastically different from Del Toro’s, but without time to design and refine his vision, “I just started shooting the movie with most of it not prepped at all.”
He said of the tense situation:
“You’re going on to a set and you’re winging it, you’ve got these massively complicated scenes, no storyboards and you’re making it up there and then on the spot … I spent most of The Hobbit feeling like I was not on top of it … Even from a script point of view. Fran [Walsh], Philippa [Boyens] and I hadn’t got the entire scripts written to our satisfaction so that was a very high pressure situation.”
The Hobbit films, the last of which was released in December last year, were financially successful, but were widely panned by critics and fans alike, and mocked for turning one slim book into a trio of bloated blockbusters.
Watch the revealing video, via The Verge, below:
Photo: Frazer Harrison via Getty Images