Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Making Progress

Here is a picture we just received from the Hobbits with Sir Richard Taylor the creator and head of Weta Workshops and also, from what I have read on him, a close friend to Peter Jackson! The large check they are holding is the one we won on the television show, Dining with the Dean that we gave to the New Zealand  Red Cross Earthquake Relief.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Back on the Home Front

Though I know you would all much rather here from the Hobbits back in New Zealand, I thought I would take a minute to go over things on the home front. Back in Utah things have been moving along quite nicely. We are on our last day of the kickstarter with 2,761 dollars in the account. All our efforts today will be concentrated on raising that last 1,239. Cross your fingers, because without that money we won't have much funding for our doc.

 I've talked with the boys here and there, but their cell phone costs money and they are getting only spotty internet so they have been able to get a hold of me, tweet and blog only so often. But from what I know, they have meet a number of people who could help them to meet Peter Jackson! Again, cross your fingers. I also know, or I believe, that this week the locals of New Zealand will be holding an event with them as the main attraction. Pretty awesome, right?

Anyway, along with raising funds, we have also been fleshing out the script some more for the doc, which has been a lot more effort that I realized. We have done so many things in the space of the last few months that its hard to organize it all. Also we have been on the search for a composer for the doc score and have been getting t-shirts printed! There was a delay in the printing or else I would have picked them up already, but they should be done soon, which is exciting.

Anyway, that's it for now. Keep checking the blog for more updates. Sorry it hasn't quite been an everyday thing. We have been trying.

Megan Kenley
Account Manager

Sunday, February 12, 2012


This thing all things devours:
Birds, bests, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.

We've been biding our time here in middle earth as we've been waiting for our baggage, connections, or flights to come of it.  Time has now become one of our most pressing matters.  It's amazing how fast time goes when you are in need of it, and how slowly it goes when you don't.

But today is the time to test our luck and the strength of our connections.  We got into Wellington, or Welly as the locals call it, on Friday evening so we have spent the last 2 days scouring the city for anyone and everyone that works on the set in some way or other.  We aren't really sure if we'll get on or not, but we sure are hustling at the possibility of it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The New Girl

I'm the new girl. Not Zooey Deschanel. My name is Heidi Haglund. I just joined the project a few weeks ago and I'll be honest, the only thing I know about Lord of the Rings is the small, creepy guy who says, "fresh meats."  My friend, Kelsie Moore, is the director of the documentary about this whole project, but she can't fly out until later.  As the recipient of flight benefits, I offered to join the hobbits and film them here in New Zealand. 
Not only am I completely uneducated on all things JRR Tolken, but I also didn't know these hobbit guys very well.  As all road trips go, we've become very close in the past few days. Things I've learned:
John D (the D stands for Danger..sometimes) - afraid of bees, loves talking to strangers, has the best laugh, and is from some place called "The OV."
Jonathan Wright - Georgia peach, loves all types of berries, doesn't give up easily, and is a graduate student...cool. 
Mitchell Stevens - gentleman (well, they all are), stylish, not single, and is obsessed with New Zealand. 

Overall, I've been super impressed with these guys and how genuinely nice they are to everyone they meet. The time we've spent in Christchurch has been so great. We were hosted by our professor and a native new Zealander who fed us and gave us an excellent tour of Christchurch, including the neighborhoods damaged by the earthquakes in 2010.  I wasn't part of the project when they won "Dining with the Dean" and we're granted $2,000 to donate to their charity of choice - the New Zealand Earthquake Appeal - but it was so amazing to be able to give money to the people of Christchurch after seeing their torn up homes.  

Loving this trip, but looking forward to driving to Wellington and getting on set with Peter Jackson! 


PS Having your luggage lost on a trip to New Zealand means you get to kill time by hiking through caves and rivers and climbing the hills of Narnia. 

Aragorn Van

A picture of our sweet ride was in high demand, so here it is!...I know there is a lot of people in front of it, but still. We met up with the BYU Study abroad group that was already here in New Zealand. Cool people. They totally loved what we were doing.

Just want to apologize for  not blogging as much as we promised. When trying to seek out the Director of all Directors and make sure our plans for being extras are secure, we sort of forget to write. We have been visiting locals and other people trying to rally the fans of New Zealand to help us. Hopefully Peter won't be able to say no with a good portion of New Zealand on our side.

Just want to remind everyone though that it will be easier for us to post new pictures on twitter and facebook, so if you're not already following us there, you should so you can support us from a far.

That's it for now, I'll go into more detail here soon, promise. I know everyone back in the US is eager to here of our progress.

Your in the fellowship,
The Hobbits

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Homeward Bound

Without Shadow, Spike, or Sassy.

Today we landed in New Zealand: One small step for us, but one giant leap for Hobbit kind!  Not even losing our luggage and passports could dampen our spirits.  We explored the surroundings of Christchurch and made some new friends including the Girl's England Cricket Team and some study abroad students :)   (thanks for the ride James)

Tomorrow we pick up our ride and make it even closer to the Shire.  Short post cause we're tired, hope you understand.  Furry feet and much love.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Well, the journey has begun. We've made it past our first challenge: catch a flight from SLC to LAX via our standby buddy passes #thanksforthedonation. Now we come to our next challenge. Catch a flight to Sydney where we have confirmed tickets to Christchurch NZ. From there we will visit the Red Cross and then make our way up to the north island and to THE SHIRE. We will be trying to keep you updated. So far during our layover we've met some really interesting people. Everything from a Russian cab driver to a band of American "travelers" (gypsies) who were making their way on foot from Seattle to San Diego. (We met them at Venice beach during our 10 hour layover). One of them kept telling everyone that he was up for adoption--especially to attractive women. It was fascinating. For now this is all. Please enjoy this comatose pic of Olo Bracegirdle of Hardbottle. We were all pretty tuckered out including Toad who pulled an all-nighter before to finish the 4 ft tall portrait of Sir Peter Jackson we are going to deliver to him. Pics to come.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The inner workings of Road to the Shire.


So...I'm not a hobbit, but I am on the road to the shire project and the boys told me to write a few things about the experience. Basically, it's the coolest project I have done at school so far. I am the account manager, so I keep the boys and the team organized.

We figured most people didn't realize how structured this whole thing was, so that's why i am here to let you know. There is me, Megan; and the three hobbit boys, Jon, Mitch, and John D; and then we have a  team of writers, who help with the scripts for our videos and help us keep facebook and twitter updated; and we have two PR people, who write the press releases we send them out to all our news outlets ;and then finally we have a group of people who help us with video editing, graphics, make-up and costumes, scrolls, choreography...you name it. There are about twenty people in all who help, but a lot of the work is done by our three hobbit friends.

I joined the project in the fall and it has been quite the adventure ever since. You really do feel like you're on a journey, only it's a viral journey mostly, and not a physical journey. I sort of feel like I am one of the fellowship. I am not going the whole way to New Zealand, but I am helping them get there, kind of how the rest of the fellowship never went the whole way to Mordor but they still kept fighting else where. Anyway, I bet that sounded really corny, but its true.

While the boys are in New Zealand our team of writers and I will be setting up for the documentary, writing the script, and compiling videos and photos from the past eight months.

I'll be honest, I never even dreamed this project would work as well as it did. But here we are, having articles published in New Zealand's top newspaper, writing blogs for the official movie blog, talking with the manager of the Lord of the Rings Franchise and sending our hobbits to the shire to be extras in a world  renown film.

It wouldn't have been possible without our fans though. Fans, you have helped spread Road to the Shire globally, you have helped legitimized us on facebook and twitter. You are the reason newspapers and  television shows have heard of us, and you are the reason the boys are on their way to New Zealand on Sunday. So just in case you didn't realize it and felt your part was minimal, I just want you to know, we would still be some odd characters taking videos of people dressed as hobbits in the woods if you hadn't helped us. So, thank you and I hope you continue to stay with us as we send the boys to the Shire and we make our documentary.

Account Manager

Friday, February 3, 2012

Party Time!!!!!!

Tonight is our epic Hobbit send-off party. Nothing could be better, we have pizza, chips, drinks, youtube on the big screen and...of course...hobbits. We are watching the Hobbit movie trailer as we speak. Prep for New Zealand is almost done and so now all we have to do is wait and enjoy the company of friends and fans.

For those of you who could not come to our party, know that you can party virally if you feel so inclined.  Send pictures our way of how you celebrate the this epic occasion. After all, its a celebration for all of us, because we could have never accomplished this without everyones help. So celebrate the fact that you are one step closer to making your mark on the Movie of the century.

 We will try and post stuff soon from the party. We had some awesome musical numbers from a friend who wrote a song dedicated to Hobbits, his name is Shredstin. It was pretty epic.

Anyway, best be getting back to the party. Just thought I best make an update since I promised one daily.

Yours Truly,
The Hobbits

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Packing as a Hobbit is Hard.

I don't know how Bilbo and Frodo did it.

There is too much to pack. I guess neither Bilbo nor Frodo had to pack homework, textbooks, steady cams ,and other such electronics and school things, but still.

Fundraising for the documentary has been going so well. Thank you all for your support. We are just shy of our goal on kickstarter, which is so cool. We will be able to use the money to finish production of the film, and enter it into film festivals. If you care to throw a dollar or two our way, we now have custom made hobbit t-shirts that you can have as a thank you. On kickstarter we also offer other awesome gifts and prizes for helping us out. This is what the t-shirts look like. :)

It still is amazing to me how much power there is in social media and we cannot thank our fans enough for supporting us in this journey to experiment and see just how powerful it can really be. Just think of what you could do? Think of what anyone could do, if they really wanted to, anything is possible.

That's what our friend Ally Shields realized too when she sent a simple video to Ellen and was able to get on the show, then she went on to try out for American Idol and made it to Hollywood and kissed Usher! Just deciding you want to do something crazy, random and life changing is the first step.

Anyway, I'll step down off my soap box. Social media is legit though, just say'n.

Our friends here in Provo have told us they want to throw a going away party before we take off. So, as we pack, plan and do homework, we will also have a quick party then take off on Super Bowl Sunday for the ride of our lives.

So far we are planning a few events in New Zealand, so if anyone is going to be in Wellington next week, look out, cus the Hobbits will be there!

Until next time,
The Hobbits