The Peril to the Shire
The Peril to the Shire was created as an experience project by a group of home-schooled students and their families from Coweta and Fayette counties, Georgia.
Written by Colonel Douglas Dunklin, the original screenplay was based on the writings of JRR Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings series extrapolating some "what-ifs" from the appendicies of the books. He wrote it as a Christmas gift to his daughter in 2005, since she had read all Tolkien had to offer and had seen every version of every movie, yet yearned for more.
To quote COL Dunklin (from the letter given to cast and crew), "Finally, the screenplay was finished as a Christmas present for Grace in 2005. As we looked it over, we had a decision to make as a family. This was going to be a big undertaking - really big. We were going to need at least 50 actors and extras, all doubling as crew, to do it right. Did we really want to do this? Could we?
After much discussion, and some prayer, Lynn and I saw that God was giving us a unique opportunity. Not just to make a movie and have a bit of fun, but also to give our children and those who joined our band the chance to learn something new, to participate in something big that would foster teamwork and to give them a sense of accomplishment.
So it was, that we made the leap in late March of 2006, to invite several families from our circle of friends and homeschool groups to form Pointy Stick Productions. Many of these families did not even know one another at the time, and some asked others to join whom we didn’t know either. As the year went by we would see God’s providential hand in all of this, as the kids and their families who joined together bonded into a real team.
And the rest, as they say, is history. From auditions to location scouting, crew training, cast rehearsals and Saturdays filled with props and costumes, everything fell right into place. Even my biggest nightmare, scheduling 50 kids, 24 families (and their various baseball, vacation and summer schedules) and 10 filming locations worked out. Over and over God made his Providence apparent to me. His hand was evident in the details as well as the big picture.
My biggest thrill has been to see the excitement and closeness of the cast and crew grow as they worked hard and had fun, even on those sweltering 95 degree filming days when they were either dressed all in black or were locked inside a cabin for hours with no air-conditioning and lots of hot lighting. One of the lessons everyone learned – movie making is work, hard work. And to everyone’s credit, not one family or person quit. The dedication of everyone to the project really touched me. This motion picture may not be a professional Hollywood production deserving of an Oscar, but sometimes the process of doing something big is more important than the actual outcome."
Completed and debuted to a private audience in June 2007, The Peril to the Shire was undertaken as a serious fan-film, and not a parody. The project was designed to teach the movie-making process using hands-on experience. The hope was that the students would understand of the complexities of modern movie-making and perhaps would also gain an interest in using film as a medium to affect their own culture with a positive, Christian world-view. Although none of the parents, students, cast or crew had any professional or amateur film-making experience, in true home-school fashion they taught themselves by purchasing books, doing research and studying the basics before ever turning on the first camera.
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It's been four months since Frodo left the Shire, and all is not well at home. Rosie Cotton and her cousin, Hamfoot, leave for Budgeford, but never make it to their destination. On the road, they come across a wounded elf maid with a dire message.
Rosie and her cousin, along with some friends set out to save the Shire from imminent destruction. The danger is far bigger than they could ever imagine.