The story of a woman and her dog |

The story of a woman and her dog

Karen Rinehart, left, wrote and is co-directing Peace Pass, a short film created by a local crew. Here, Rinehart is trying to get Maggie, a border collie, to follow a her direction.
Brian Hall/Special to the Daily |

EAGLE COUNTY — “Peace Pass” is a short film about the love given and received by Maggie, the border collie, and her owner, Mo.

It’s also about “tenaciously embracing the best worst option,” said co-director Karen Rinehart.

Rinehart is joined by fellow co-director Brian Hall, and such is the case with all good love stories, when the film concludes, you don’t want it to be over.

Rinehart has been doing video production for 25 years and started writing screenplays five years ago.

“I had one of my feature length screenplays optioned, but nothing happened with it,” she said.

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She decided to put together this short film and start making the rounds of film festivals, marketing her creation. The filmmakers hope local audiences might be able to see “Peace Pass” for the first time at next winter’s Vail Film Festival.

Rinehart also has a good job that she likes, doing marketing and public relations for the Leadville hospital, but her inner filmmaker won’t leave her alone, so she scratches that itch when she can with projects like “Peace Pass”.

But there’s this money thing that keeps stepping on the creative buzz. As it turns out, the money problem doesn’t step quite as hard as it used to thanks to the Web.

The directors decided to ask the public for a little push, and they put the project on (a “crowdfunding” website for creative projects). They raised $11,010 — exactly 10 bucks more than their goal.

About Peace Pass

“Peace Pass” is the story of a 50-something outdoorswoman and her aging dog. It’s an end-of-life story, but we’re not saying who dies. That would be the spoiler.

“It’s about what you want the end of your life to be,” Rinehart said.

Everyone on the film crew is a volunteer. They are all people who have been friends with Rinehart and Hall for 20 or 30 years. “They read it and loved (it) and wanted to be on board,” Rinehart said. “I am so humbled that my friends believe in me and this story to the extent that they will back it with their time and talent.”

Maybe the crew gets paid, maybe they don’t, but they don’t care. They say they’ll use the money to pay the expenses that go with transporting humans.

Most of them met almost 15 years ago at a Denver filmmaking contest — one of those things where they assign you a character and a genre and you have 48 hours to create a movie. The short film “Saving Daylight,” won best cinematography and best acting.

“We all got into the business in junior high because we loved it,” Hall said.

Rinehart wrote the script for “Peace Pass,” while Hall worked with the actors on tempo and pace.

“Wait until we get there and watch what happens. It’ll be beautiful,” Hall said. He says that a lot because … well, it’s creative.

“If you can’t see past the fog two inches in front of your face, just keep going,” Hall said. “I call it opening my neck to the blade. My job is to climb out on a limb, and they come out with me and hopefully the limb doesn’t snap.”

It doesn’t. “Peace Pass” is a strong effort from a talented group.

Hall runs Blue Creek Productions. Chris Tribble, of Versatile Productions, Inc., is director of photography. Laurel McHargue plays Mo. In her real life, she’s a teacher and author. She hasn’t done much acting, but she has Mo nailed, Rinehart said.

“I would not normally choose a non-actress for my lead, but the passion Laurel has bought to this role is unforgettable,” Rinehart said.

McHargue laughs and says “I am a teacher and author; I act everyday.”

Rounding out the cast are Steven Perkins, who plays Kent, the boyfriend and Cooter Overcash as Dr. Clay Reeder.

About Kickstarter

Creative types can have a tough time attracting investors. Kickstarter is for projects including films, games, music, art, design and technology. Since it launched in 2009, 4.8 million people have pledged $798 million, funding 48,000 creative projects. And thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.

Here’s how it works. Creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. So far, 44 percent of the projects on the site have reached their funding goal

Creators keep 100 percent ownership of their work. Kickstarter is a for-profit enterprise and keeps about 5 percent as a fee.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and

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