Though it is still surprising to hear coming from the mouths of the production team, it does certainly explain why The Hobbit series are considered to be much lesser films than the original Lord of the Rings trilogy. In this video, Peter Jackson and his crew spend about six and a half minutes venting (it really sounds like they didn’t initially intend to talk about this, but it all bubbled to the surface) about the insane schedule they were following during production, and how they started a poor chain of events that led to them only being ready to shoot a scene the morning that scene was supposed to be shot. This is in stark contrast to the original trilogy where the teams had a year to three years of previs and planning in place before a camera was ever rolled out on set.
No planning, no previsualization, changes last minute and a lack of sleep all culminated in a film (here they are specifically talking about The Battle of the Five Armies) that felt messy and sloppy. “I spent so much of the Hobbit feeling like I wasn’t on top of it,” Jackson says. “The fact that I hadn’t much prep and I was making it up as I went along.” He goes on to say that he and his screenwriter hadn’t even gotten the script written all the way through… while they were shooting.
“I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.”