The Hobbit featurette shows the emotion toll of filmmaking

Campus is mostly deserted today, what with everyone leaving early for Thanksgiving. Enjoy the trip!

This happens to be the time of year when courses assign final projects, and for film students, that might mean producing a short or a demo reel. It can be stressful… but you don’t know the agony of filmmaking until you’ve seen director Peter Jackson behind the scenes on The Hobbit.

BoingBoing recently found seven startling minutes of footage on the Blu-ray of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies showing the improvised, chaotic production of the final chapter of the trilogy. The crew finished sets, costumes, and scripts at the last possible moment, shooting battle scenes with no context and eventually delaying filming for a year. This speaks to the troubled final state of the films, but the most distressing part is Peter Jackson’s visible fatigue.

In every shot, Jackson looks near-death – haggard, sad, tired, and reportedly going on only three hours of sleep a night. At one point, he took an extended lunch break just to figure out how to make the next scenes work. Look at his thousand-yard stare: if The Hobbit didn’t break Jackson, it came close.

So, the film project you’re working on over break will not be as stressful as The Battle of the Five Armies. And it definitely won’t let down Andy Serkis as much.

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