A video surfaced yesterday of behind the scenes footage from The Hobbit, in which Peter Jackson and several of his crew members are surprisingly honest about how rushed they were on the production, with Jackson admitting that he was “winging it.” Given how underwhelming The Hobbit trilogy turned out to be, those comments sure did make a lot of sense to fans desperate for an explanation. But according to Jackson’s spokesman, that video is misleading.

Jackson’s spokesman reached out to Stuff.co.nz and claimed that the six-minute video was “cut-down” from a 45-minute making-of featurette from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies extended edition Blu-ray / DVD. The spokesman said that Jackson’s comments in the video are not a reflection of the actual production experience or the finished product — even though the footage comes directly from the set!

He explained:

Somebody has decided to create this cut-down, using only the sections of The Gathering Clouds that discuss the difficulties faced, not the positive ways they were addressed and overcome – which are also covered in this and other featurettes.

Peter has never made a secret of the fact that he took over the Hobbit directing job with very little preparation time remaining before shooting had to begin.

It was a challenge he willingly took on. His comments are an honest reflection of his own personal feelings at times during the movie’s production.

So Jackson’s comments are honest, but they don’t necessarily indicate that the production suffered any struggles that might have had a negative impact on the trilogy. Guillermo del Toro was originally set to direct The Hobbit as a two-part film series, but after developing his concepts for a year and a half, he bowed out late in pre-production leaving Jackson to take over and basically start from scratch — with far less pre-production time. Jackson’s comments in the video are not only understandable, but they shed light on the stresses endured in production and help to explain why those three movies are kind of a mess.

Still, his spokesman says that Jackson is “very proud” of the trilogy and insists that he “regards this period as one of his happiest film-making experiences.” Peter Jackson is very happy, okay? Not a worry in the world. Nothing to see here. Move along.

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