They’re down right funny and make the most entertaining videos
, all for one purpose: to find their way back to the Shire. The guys behind the Road to the Shire
are on a mission to raise $10,000 to ensure their safe travel to New Zealand, where they hope to gain Peter Jackson’s attention and secure roles in The Hobbit films. In this interview you get to know the guys behind the project and their hopes for the future.
Who are the three “Hobbits” behind ‘Road to the Shire’?
(Left) Berilac (Beri) Bramble of Willobottom: Mitch Stephens
A fairly normal kid from Utah, Fellowship of the Ring was the first novel he ever read and got him hooked on reading. He’s an Advertising student at BYU and just finished his first Iron Man triathalon Coeur d’Alene ID.
(Center) Olo Toadfoot (Toad): Jonathan Wright
An advertising and public management grad student at BYU, he was born and raised in Georgia via Hawaii. He’s a fierce whittler and loves creating things out of wood as well as making art. Loves music and skateboarding. Grew up listening to mom telling him stories about LOTR.
(Right) Olo Bracegirdle of Hardbottle: John D. Storey
An OG from the OV…comes from the Ogden Valley in northern Utah where his family has been their for like 6 generations. He loves hip hop, making videos, trying to rap, cats, and of course LOTR. His family is known for the delicious black angus Storey raised beef. Best hamburger you’ve ever tasted.
(For further reading on their Hobbit life-stories, visit their Bio page
.)Why have you decided to take on this venture?
We love this movie and love the idea that fans can play a role (however small) in this historic event. It’s a win win for us, fans, and the production because its a great promotional piece. We’re not asking for major story changes–just to be involved…maybe some screen cred.What will the $10,000 cover?
First and foremost its a way to get Peter’s attention. Second to make the documentary and fund the trip/production cost for 3 hobbits. If Peter invites us we might not need the 10gs. We are definitely committed to the funds ourselves. Toad’s ready to raffle his car for a dollar entry fee. Beri is raffling his TV right now.
What’s your plan once your goal of $10,000 is raised and you find yourself in New Zealand?We plan on going on location either by invitation or persuasion and documenting the entire journey for a short film.
You have made some very funny and entertaining videos, any others in the works?
Absolutely. We are cooking up some direct message short videos made specifically to reach out to celebrity Tolkien fans who can help get our message out to the masses.
Have you been contacted by any of Peter Jackson’s connections?
We’ve spoken to a guy at Key Creatives who handles the management for Peter Jackson. We’re still lookin to get in touch with PJ’s people. We recognize it’s still early in the game.
What was it that inspired you three to start the Road to the Shire campaign?
A couple things. First we love LOTR and we all have our own connections with the stories. Second one day we were sitting in a guest lecture where the speaker was talking about going out and making your dreams happen. He said you shouldn’t wait for projects to be handed to you. We took that seriously. One night Toad was catchin up on some DVD extras from LOTR and realized the Hobbit would soon be in production. He got online searching info about the films all night. The next day, after a conversation with Beri, the concept for Road to the Shire was born. What could be cooler than engaging the fans that love and patron these films?
We just want people to know that when it comes to passion for these films we’ve definitely got it. We may not be the best J.R.R. scholars but we can match anyone’s passion. We love it and are willing to put everything out there to make this happen. We feel like their are tons of people who either inwardly or outwardly love this epic and can resonate with our cause.