Peter Jackson has explained why The Hobbit's two films are taking almost as long to shoot as all three Lord of the Rings instalments - he's getting "older".

In the sixth edition of Jackson's production videos from the set of The Hobbit, the Oscar-winning Kiwi director is asked why it's taking 127 days to shoot The Hobbit, when Lord of the Rings took just six days longer at 133.

"That's easily explained," jokes Jackson. "We're all 10 years older, so we're going a little slower."

Jackson has also revealed the difficulties of shooting on location in central Otago, with actors in full make-up and equipment being ferried around on up to 10 helicopters at a time.


Jackson and his crew also faced a "severe weather warning" while shooting a scene involving dwarves floating down a river in barrels.

"While we (there), our location shooting came to a pretty dramatic end. The police arrived and said they were about to issue a severe weather warning. I've never seen a crew pack up their gear so quickly," Jackson said.

"The very next day, everywhere where we were standing - where our equipment was, our cameras, the actors, our director - was under flood water. It was incredibly dramatic. The rise in the river water was 20-30 feet."

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will premiere on December 13 this year in Wellington and the second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is set to be released on December 12 the following year.

Watch Peter Jackson's Production Video #6:

- Herald online