In his production video blogs, Jackson revealed that filming in 3D was a dream come true, something he wished he could have done for "The Lord of the Rings."

"I love it when a film draws you in and you become part of the experience," said Jackson. "3D helps immerse you in the film."

"If I had the ability to shoot 'The Lord of the Rings' in 3D, I certainly would have done it," Jackson reminisces. "What I actually did on 'The Lord of the Rings' was I had 3D camera taking 3D photographs. Hopefully, one day, maybe even on 3D Blu-ray, we might be able to actually show you 3D photos from 10 or 12 years ago."

Filming "The Hobbit" was no easy task, as Jackson reveals in his vlogs, in fact, the making of the films was an unexpected journey itself.

Peter Jackson Dwarves Floating River
Peter Jackson directing the dwarves on the set of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."

"It is either a joy or a bad dream, I’m not actually sure which" said Jackson during the production of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." In one of the vlogs, he revealed that "thirteen dwarves is one of the reasons why I dreaded 'The Hobbit' and why I really didn’t think I was going to make it for such a long time." He said, "the irony is that it has turned out to be one of the joys of the film."

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Peter Jackson with Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."

On the first day of filming "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", Jackson told his cast and crew that "for a long time I thought that going back to the amazing experience of 'The Lord of the Rings'wouldn’t be a good idea. But really, you know, now, I’ve come to completely around because…films are stressful and they’re hard to make. But ultimately what makes them fun is the people that you work with and the fact that, you know, we’re going to be working with a lot of the old gang, with a lot of friends, and obviously making some new friends is really the point of being here. So, I’m extremely thrilled."

Peter Jackson Hugo Weaving Ian McKellen
Peter Jackson directing Hugo Weaving as Elrond and Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

On returning to some of the same sets from "The Lord of the Rings," Jackson and some of the cast and crew revealed how they never thought they would have returned 11 years later.

"It's weird when you come back to the place that you literally thought you'd never see again, to be standing there with Elijah [Wood] dressed up as Frodo,” laughs Jackson. 'It was the nearest thing I think I will ever come to a time machine."

Peter Jackson Cate Blanchett
Peter Jackson with Cate Blanchett as Galadriel in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

But for the audience, the seamless transition of the two franchises makes it unnoticeable that there is over a decade of separation between LOTR and "The Hobbit." Jackson admits that it is not without the help of the cast and crew that he was able to bring these films to life.

"You know as a director, it can be kind of lonely job," said Jackson. "At times you feel like you're by yourself trying to solve problems but then everybody steps in and suddenly I realize I've got this incredible support and a lot of you guys have got my back and you're behind me. And for that, I am incredibly grateful."

Peter Jackson The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey
Peter Jackson on the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD

The acclaimed documentary by Jackson applied stunning restoration of footage from more than a century ago. "They Shall Not Grow Old" took in $8.34 million during its Fathom Events dates, making it the highest-grossing U.S. Cinema Fathom release ever. Jackson received rapturous praise from both critics and audiences, earning a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Documentary.

They Shall Not Grow Old - 1
Colorization added to original archival footage from World War I.

Applying state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies to century-old footage, carefully chosen from 600 hours of BBC archival interviews of original World War I film held in the archives of the Imperial War Museum (IWM), Jackson created an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic cinematic experience.

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Footage from the documentary"They Shall Not Grow Old."

Watch Jackson's explanation of some of the footage and usage of color from a behind-the-scenes interview for the upcoming Fathom screening of "They Shall Not Grow Old":

Jackson, whose grandfather fought in World War I, captured the day-to-day experience of its soldiers and reveals the reality of war for those on the front line: their attitudes about the conflict; their camaraderie and their need for humor amidst the horror; the functions of daily life in the trenches; and what their lives were like during periods of rest.

Peter Jackson They Shall Not Grow Old
Peter Jackson director of the documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old."

"I grew up hearing stories of my family's involvement in the military in places such as Gallipoli," said Jackson on his Facebook page. "My own parents came from the era of the Second World War."

"We must always remember the service of those past generations, as well as the veterans of more recent overseas deployments – those who served in places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq," reminded Jackson to his Facebook followers.

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Restoration of archival footage of World War I took over 600 hours for the documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old."

Jeff Goldstein, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures Goldstein stated, "Peter Jackson’s documentary is a towering achievement of film restoration that has conquered the ravages of time and stands as a fitting tribute to all those who fought and died in what was then called 'The War to End All Wars.'"

Read an extra 5 facts about "They Shall Not Grow Old."

Catch the documentary in theaters and get tickets for a special Fathom event of "They Shall Not Grow Old" on December 7, 17 and 18, in theaters near you.

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To the man who brought these cinematic experiences from across the world over these years - Happy Birthday, Peter Jackson!

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