Watch a Behind-the-Scenes Video for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Watch a Behind-the-Scenes Video for <i>The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug</i>

Peter Jackson  gave fans some unwelcome news yesterday when he posted a video officially confirming that there will be no panel for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug at this year’s Comic-Con.

After last year’s panel on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which saw Jackson preview and promote the first film in the trilogy alongside actors like Sir Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood, many hoped the acclaimed director would repeat with this year’s upcoming Smaug. But despite the disappointing announcement, Jackson did give fans a bit of consolation with new video production diary from the set.

The 9-minute video, which follows a short explanation by Jackson on why he won’t make Comic-Con this year, is the 11th episode in the ongoing production diary video blogs, and it showcases the cast and crew of the second and third films as they return to New Zealand for a few weeks of “pick-up shooting.”

The video diary, Jackson’s first of 2013, shows crew members re-assembling sets and gives some behind-the-scenes looks at production, including interviews with Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly. It even includes some slightly humorous footage of the “rigorous training” required for the upcoming Battle of Five Armies. I said slightly humorous.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will hit theaters on Dec. 13. Check out the video above.