Taking on a project as huge as The Hobbit trilogy is no easy task.
There's a general consensus that The Hobbit didn't live up to its predecessor The Lord of the Rings. While further critics have gone as far as to suggest that Jackson didn't really care anymore by the time The Battle of Five Armies was released.
While we doubt that Jackson ever stopped caring about the project, we would accept that he wasn't at the top of his game when directing the trilogy and now Jackson has come our and admitted as much himself.
In a behind the scenes interview for the Battle of Five Armies DVD Jackson admits that he was "winging it" throughout filming due to the fact that he only came on board as director very late in the game. Fans will remember that Guillermo Del Toro was originally set to direct two Hobbit movies with Jackson as producer before leaving the project at a late stage due to "creative differences".
Having spent over three years in pre-production for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Jackson had only several months to prepare for The Hobbit, which meant playing catch-up even as he worked 21-hour days.
"When you’re going on to a set - very complicated - 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," Jackson says in the video. "We would just tell the crew to take an extended lunch for an hour or so, because I wanted to just get my head completely clear and be able to plot it through."
Jackson added that he spent most of the production "feeling like I was not on top of it."
When the time came to shoot the actual battle from The Battle of the Five Armies, Jackson decided he could no longer improvise. He called a halt to filming in order to write it out and plan it properly. The film's release date was pushed from July to December 2014 to accommodate this.
You can watch the whole video here: