'We Almost Had To Move The Hobbit To UK' Peter Jackson Relives Location Change Terror
Poor Peter Jackson; it sounded like the director was almost about to start blubbing when faced with the utter horror of having to move filming of The Hobbit to the UK. No sympathy on our part, we have to live here, mate.
The AFP reports that Jackson told Radio New Zealand that one of the lowest points of filming (thus not endearing himself to the UK whatsoever) was when a union dispute could’ve potentially caused them to change locations from the land of the silver fern to Blighty. "The Hobbit came very close to not being filmed here," he told Radio New Zealand, before revealing that England and Scotland was being seriously mooted as an alternative, something that clearly almost broke him as a person.
"The worst time for me was when a huge box arrived in the office...” he said, presumably fighting to hold back tears, his hand being held by the sympathetic radio interviewer, “this large cardboard box arrived and they had sent a location scout around England and Scotland to take photographs.” We imagine he dissolved at this point, his voice shuddering in that affecting but ever-so-slightly-irritating way that the voices of those people who are being upset for no good reason tend to; but credit to him for carrying on: "They literally had the Hobbit script broken down into scenes, and in each scene there were pictures of the Scottish Highlands and England and this and that, to convince us we could easily go over there to shoot the film."
Thankfully for Jackson, the dispute was settled when New Zealand's conservative government amended labor laws to minimize union representation on the set, as well as offering financial incentives to keep the production in the country. But, as a sniveling Jackson reflected "It was not the happiest time for anyone”. We can't see the problem, especially given that throughout Lord Of The Rings most of the hobbits seemed to be ambiable west country types who enjoyed a scrumpy and a weekend trip to the farmer's market. They'd have felt right at home.