This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
How do you get from Provo to The Shire? Take off your shoes, put on some fake ears, and push your marketing skills to the limit.
That's the hope of three Brigham Young University advertising majors, who have mounted a campaign to get New Zealand director Peter Jackson's attention and, if it works, get themselves jobs as extras in Jackson's "The Hobbit" movies.
The three - Jonathan Wright of Honolulu (a k a Olo "Toad" Toadfoot), Mitchell Stephens of Salt Lake City (a k a Berilac "Beri" Bramble) and John D. Storey of Ogden Valley, Utah (a k a Olo Bracegirdle) - have launched a website to publicize their quest, and to raise $10,000 in donations to pay their way to New Zealand, where the two movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" prelude are being filmed.
The site is also collecting fan contributions (downloaded photos, YouTube videos, and so on) for a big celebration on Thursday, Sept. 22 - the birthday of Bilbo Baggins, the hero of "The Hobbit."