Sir Peter Jackson reveals the one part of directing he hates, and it's kind of a major one

'The shoot is just a pain in the arse, basically'

Christopher Hooton
Tuesday 16 October 2018 11:31
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Peter Jackson attends the premiere of 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' in Hollywood, California in 2014
Peter Jackson attends the premiere of 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' in Hollywood, California in 2014

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson has revealed the one part of filmmaking he can’t wait to get over with: the actual on-set direction.

“The shoot is just a pain in the arse, basically,” he told Press Association at London Film Festival this week.

“I love when we get to the cutting room," he added. "I sigh with relief, that is when I’m in my element in filmmaking.”

This is perhaps a slightly surprising admission from the director, given that principal photography represents the largest part of a film’s production.

The editing suite is indeed where a film comes together, but certainly doesn’t have the grandiosity of directing vast hordes of Orcs.

One could see on-set direction being a fiddly process, a “pain in the arse”, for Jackson though, given how much green screen he tends to work with.

The revelation came during a discussion on his new World War I documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old, which required zero shoots.

“Normally in a movie you write a script, I never wrote a script for this, and you go out and shoot a movie, but I never shot a movie,” Jackson noted.

“It was all just footage that someone else had shot for me, on a battlefield 100 years ago, so it was really a cutting room film.”

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Screening at London Film Festival this week, They Will Not Grow Old is set to air on the BBC in November.

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