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road to the shire

Road to the Shire was a social experiment and documentary film project following three loyal fans on the journey of a lifetime.

Leveraging the powers of social media in its infancy, our intention was to unite thousands of LOTR faithful around a single cause: convince Sir Peter Jackson to cast us as extras in The Hobbit

We eventually made it to New Zealand, where we were featured in the biggest newspaper, and on the largest morning radio program. Our fans had come together to provide us with discounted airfare, a touring van, hot showers, warm meals, and beds to sleep in. We found support around every corner.

We made several contacts within the various departments of the filmmakers' studios. From motion capture technologists, to set building artisans, we figured it was only a matter of time before one of these contacts gave us the notice that our roles had been green lit. 

But in the end, we would come up short. A day before our return flight to the States, we received an email informing us that while the head honchos had heard of Road to the Shire, and even commended its efforts, they could not encourage this kind of behavior for fear that thousands of fans would then come rushing to their front steps. Ironically, the marketing efforts for their future films would employ exactly these tactics.

Although we didn't get cast as extras, we had the experience of a lifetime. On the flight home, we began wondering how to best tell the story. We decided to keep our official (un)involvement with the film a secret until we released our documentary. The theme of our film was to pose the question: what is success when it comes to following dreams? We spent the next few years organizing all our footage and crafting our edit. After years of work, we finished. But during the final export, our hard drive crashed. And we lost everything.

So I don't know. What do you think? Were we successful? And how do you define success?

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