The Hobbit EE in theatres: one last one last time

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Post by davidjoneshoward on Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:36 am

I have to admit it, I give Peter Jackson a pass for this. No bloody director should have to go through this. A mess lord of the rings may have been (2/3 into production, mostly), but even Petty can't deny that the director has talents that made the original movies memorable (for better or for worse). It may even be safe to say if he had more time to get his shit together during TH, we all could have liked better.



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Post by halfwise on Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:26 am

Yes, I was just about to post this. This explains so much, and I'm feeling forgiveness creeping into my heart. I'm glad they came out with this: honesty was the only way to resolve this mess.

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Post by Eldorion on Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:34 am

As I said in the other thread where I posted this video, I do feel sorry for PJ, but I don't think this video redeems the films themselves. It doesn't change the existing trends we saw in PJ's filmmaking as early as TTT, it doesn't make the three film split any less of a bad idea, and it doesn't undo the central flaw of trying to turn a children's book into a gritty epic. Certainly the lack of planning and the amount of stress couldn't have helped, but it's also worth noting that the film he had the most time to work on (BOFA) is also the least popular by many metrics. Shrugging
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Post by David H on Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:14 am

I'm glad they put that out too. At least it's an excuse, which is probably as close as we'll ever get to an apology.

Still, it's not uncommon for directors to have to completely rework a project on the fly or to work on very short timelines. Jackson was a pro and knew, or should have known, exactly what he was in for when he signed onto the project.

So why, when he found he was spread too thin, didn't he hire other writers to explore other treatments, or assistant directors to take on more of the daily grind of shooting? That's the standard fix when movies start going off track.
It's not like he didn't have the budget or profile to hire some top talent.
I'm guessing ego...

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Post by Eldorion on Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:50 am

Andy Serkis was brought on as second unit director fairly early. I don't recall hearing anything about additional units above that. On LOTR, they had 6-8 units shooting simultaneously for much of production. It's possible there were additional units on TH too though; someone who was watched the documentaries might be able to shed more light on the subject.
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Post by Eldorion on Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:01 am

saw this on another forum Laughing

The Hobbit EE in theatres: one last one last time - Page 7 VI0Ldij
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Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:09 pm

Eldorion wrote:As I said in the other thread where I posted this video, I do feel sorry for PJ, but I don't think this video redeems the films themselves.  It doesn't change the existing trends we saw in PJ's filmmaking as early as TTT, it doesn't make the three film split any less of a bad idea, and it doesn't undo the central flaw of trying to turn a children's book into a gritty epic.  Certainly the lack of planning and the amount of stress couldn't have helped, but it's also worth noting that the film he had the most time to work on (BOFA) is also the least popular by many metrics. Shrugging

I agree with you. I feel sorry for him but this was a mess of his own making surely? I think the main problem was his obsession with the new toys, that 48fps rubbish seemed to take all his energies and interest to the detriment of the bread and butter stuff like SORTING OUT THE SCRIPT Suspect  fundamental stuff not frilly visual effects which turned out to be vastly underwhelming. I reckon once peoples reactions had turned sour he lost focus and interest in the whole project and it turned into one ginormous drudge. his energy had gone because theres nothing worse than being high with enthusiasm about creative stuff and then other people poo pooing and being negative about it. its soul destroying. so he does have my sympathies for the failure of his creative vision and I know he was deflated, but he still had a mighty fine story to tell and it could have been salvaged. imo. although I just imagine he had enough control to salvage it.

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Post by David H on Fri Nov 20, 2015 4:09 pm

Eldorion wrote:Andy Serkis was brought on as second unit director fairly early.  I don't recall hearing anything about additional units above that.  On LOTR, they had 6-8 units shooting simultaneously for much of production.  It's possible there were additional units on TH too though; someone who was watched the documentaries might be able to shed more light on the subject.

I'd be interested in that too.
Andy Serkis directing was a good starting point I think, but it was still keeping it in-house. What they clearly needed when they realized they were starting to get lost was somebody from outside with a new perspective to road-map the story for them. But I can understand too why he might not choose to just call Fran and Philippa into his office and say, "Hey guess what! We're bringing in new writers." Likewise with his WETA people if they weren't getting scripts storyboarded before shooting. At a certain point I think he needed to just let go of the reins a bit and focus on becoming a project manager rather than just struggling on as an artist without a clear vision.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Nov 20, 2015 4:19 pm

even Petty can't deny that the director has talents that made the movie memorable - Davidjones

No I would not. I was a PJ fan before LotR's going back to Bad Taste, the first PJ film I ever saw as a teenager. It was his flair in direction and his taste for over the top ridiculous gore and spectacle (even without any budget worth mentioning) which made me a fan.
Oddly enough its those very same talents which made him such a poor match for Tolkien's story telling style.
I should have seen his treatment of LotR's coming really but I was fooled into thinking he could handle higher brow and that Fran Wash could actually write by Heavenly Creatures, still for my money the best film PJ and Fran Walsh as a team have yet made.


As to the video- no sympathy at all here I'm afraid. Yes, sorry he was ill, sorry he got stressed, sorry he was worn out by the process- but he asked for it, he took the money for it, he spun us all the shit whilst this was what was actually going on and deliberately tried to sell us a turkey.
If he didn't have the balls at the start, when he realised the scale of the production and the lack of anything being ready including a script or any story boarding, to tell the studio another year of prep or no, then that's his look out. If he was too egotistical to call in help and farm out parts of the job to others that's his own look out. He gets no sympathy from me for that- no one was twisting his arm or threatening his family if he didn't do it.

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Post by davidjoneshoward on Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:42 pm

And to be wholly fair, Peter Jackson isn't historically the best planner anyways. I heard somewhere that on the commentary of fellowship he freely admits that Sean Bean had to study his lines during the filming of the Council of Elrond scene because they’d written it the night before. So LotR wasn’t an ideal shoot either. It’s surprising just how much of the films were shot post production because they were rushing, writing, setting up, taking things down, and not really understanding how any of it would look when it was done. But that still led to a better film because there was still 3½ of planning before hand. My philosophy on the matter is this:

Any film involves changes and improvisation on set. But if there isn’t a really solid groundwork first, it often leads to disaster. However, changing things on the fly for a film that had 3 years of prep, still leads to a pretty good film. Changing things on the fly when you don’t have a plan to begin with - a recipe for disaster.
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