The 75th Jump with John "Shrek" McPhee

$11,330 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 143 people in 3 months
Created March 3, 2019

IMPORTANT UPDATE: JOHN IS JUMPING into Normandy, France. Please view the updates tab for all new information regarding this project!


Thank you for taking the time to review this film project.  On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we’ll be going on an adventure with a group of veterans from the United States Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment to document their journey through history.

This project presents a golden anniversary for these soldiers and we are going to seize the opportunity to tell the story. In this film project’s description, you will find a story that is both engaging and historic. We have placed an emphasis on making the content we capture from this project apply to many audiences across the globe. We are combining culture, history, and travel locations that will truly inspire viewers to learn more about our shared past. 

With your help, we can bring this project to life. Your donation will go directly to the film production for this project. Hitting our goal for this project allows us to provide plane tickets, lodging, production equipment, and crew stipends that will elevate the level of production and cinematic quality of this project. 


On the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, retired US Army Ranger and Special Forces Sergeant Major John “Shrek” McPhee will visit historic WWII sites with 12 other of his close US Army Ranger friends to retrace the footsteps of the original Rangers and Paratroopers.  At the end of this adventure, John will be demonstrating the D-day paratrooper jump with the Liberty Jump Team . 

John "Shrek" McPhee is a veteran of 1st Ranger Battalion, and will travel to the original training site of the US Army Rangers in Carrickfergus, Ireland, to describe the training and obstacles that WWII Army Rangers endured. As the host, he will provide a stark contrast between his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan where he served as a Special Operations Sergeant Major, in the most elite unit of the military.  

In creating this film project, John will visit historic locations through Ireland and France to find out what it really took to jump out of a plane behind enemy lines on D-Day. The culmination of history, current war efforts, and a climactic skydiving finale will result in an epic viewing experience that will only happen once for Army Rangers on their 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord aka D-Day. 


Sergeant Major (ret) John McPhee AKA “The Sheriff of Baghdad” served a distinguished career in U.S. Army Special Operations for over 20 years, retiring in 2011. Better known for his call sign “SHREK”, John has spent his adult life in Special Operations and Special Mission Units. His career path was as follows: 1st Ranger Battalion, Special Forces (green beret), and Delta Force, and retired at the highest enlisted rank of Sergeant Major.

He is one of a handful of operators with over a decade of combat experience. His work has been written about in major modern combat books like Kill Bin Laden, Modern American Sniper, and Guns of the Special Forces. 



In this film project we’ll answer the following questions:

Who is our host John “Shrek” McPhee?

Where has he been during his military career?

Where is the birthplace of US Army Rangers?

Why are we here in Ireland?

What is the significance of recreating the D-Day jump?

What was worth fighting for then vs. now?

How were soldiers different during WWII vs. now?

What obstacles both physically and mentally did soldiers face in each time period?

What did it take to jump out of a plane then vs. now from a technology and courage standpoint?

Why is John “Shrek” McPhee jumping out of the plane to re-create history?

When was his last jump?

Who are the other rangers and WWII veterans John is traveling with?

What were the thoughts of WWII soldiers the night before their D-Day jump?

What are the conditions of the C47’s used to re-create the jump?

In the finale, we see the current and former Rangers jump, to hopefully include John “Shrek” McPhee and we will honor those who gave their lives on June 6, 1944.  


Carrickfergus, North Ireland - The birthplace of the prestigious US Army Rangers and their initial training ground.

Cliffs Of Moher - Hitler’s plan for Ireland included coastal defenses on the Cliffs of Moher. These beautiful landscapes provide a rich history and stunning views.

Guinness Brewery - In the long run-up to D-Day in June 1944, the British periodically agreed to release stocks of wheat, coal, fertilizers and agricultural machinery in exchange for Guinness to be supplied to the dry-tongued Americans and Brits.

Castle Archdale - This Irish castle housed up to 2,500 people and was a major base during WWII. 

Normandy Landings - Beaches across Normandy and the cliffs the Rangers scaled in order to secure safe landing for allied troops.

Mont Saint Michel - Since ancient times, this island has been a fortress and is currently a UNESCO world heritage site. It served as an AXIS stronghold during WWII.

Pointe Du Hoc -  A key US Army Ranger victory during D-Day. Rangers eliminated AXIS artillery units threatening allied troops.

Scattered Drop Locations - French Countryside where paratroopers missed drop zones and landings. It was pure chaos on D-Day for paratroopers.


May 28th - June 8th, 2019 


Interested in having your brand featured in the film project? Varying levels of sponsorship are available. Please contact josh@taprootpictures.com.


Level 1 - $10k: If crowdfunding reaches $10k:

Content to be distributed through John "Shrek" McPhee's  personal platforms

Level 2 - $25k: If crowdfunding reaches $25k:

Monthly content to be distributed through John "Shrek" McPhee's personal platforms

A 3-5 minute short film with delivery date TBD

Level 3 - $50k: If crowdfunding reaches $50k: 

An 8-minute film / short documentary with the intention to enter into film festivals

Level 4 - $75k: If crowdfunding reaches $75k:

A documentary film with no determined length to be produced. 

*Anything above $75k will be used to pay additional specialized film production crew members to create even more cinematic shots. Such as a tandem cameraman (skydiving cameraman), director of photography, production coordinators, aerial cinematographers, etc. 


It would be an honor to share this story with you. We have a deep sense of responsibility for this project and feel that we are the right people to bring this to life. We will be honoring those who have fought to keep the world safe from evil, while also providing an engaging historical journey to viewers worldwide. It is truly a special opportunity.

With your help, we can make this an amazing cinematic journey that we all can be truly proud of!
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Hi Everyone,

Josh here from Taproot Pictures. I'm writing this update to first and foremost say thank you. Thank you to all of you who have donated and given your hard earned money to help fund this project, we are very grateful.

We have officially wrapped production on the “Spirit of the Soldier” project. After returning from France on Saturday we immediately began assembling the footage and diving into post-production. It will be a long process of sorting through all of the footage and creating the story. Our intention is to give you the opportunity to watch the process unfold and be a part of this story as it evolves.

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing stills from the timeline and cutting a teaser trailer for the project. You will be the first to know and have access to this material. In the next month, we also hope to create a website where you will be able to see all the material created for the project, including John's Instagram story and social media content.

We’ll be working to find music to licenses, sound editors, and VFX artists to help bring this to life. There is also potential that we will be conducting additional interviews in North Carolina later this summer.

Again, thank you for your support. We are going to continue to leave this GoFundMe page open in hopes that we can raise more funds to accommodate post-production. We are far away from hitting our overall goal, and every bit will help to elevate this production.

Here is a still from France that speaks volumes to the production and the spirit of the soldier.

Thanks again.

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We wrapped Day 2 here in Ireland! As we continue to re-trace the footsteps on the original US Army Rangers and Paratroopers we have been fortunate enough to make new friends with the Irish Special Forces. The Irish Rangers are modeled after the US Army Rangers and the Unit.

Yesterday I interviewed one of the original Irish Rangers who trained with the US Army Rangers at Fort Benning in 1969. One thing is evident of the people here in Ireland; the Spirit of the Soldier is alive well. The history and culture of the people have been battle hardened for thousands of years. It is no wonder the US Army Rangers were founded here on the island.

Today we will visit Carrickfergus Ireland; The birthplace of the US Army Rangers. This space provided training grounds for the 1st Battalion who staged in Great Britain and later deployed in Northern Africa and eventually Operation Overlord during WWII.

We are keeping the GoFundMe open in order to continue to raise funds and reach our stretch goals that are listed in the description. We hope that this will support various production and post-production needs (Music licensing, editing, color grading, etc.)

THANK YOU for your support thus far. We will continue to share updates as production continues. Be sure to follow the story on Instagram:


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THANK YOU! From the entire team and the production team! We are extending a huge thank you for supporting this project. Though we did not hit our overall goal, we did raise enough to afford a small crew, equipment, and travel costs to support the creation of this documentary project.

In ONE WEEK we will be traveling to Ireland to begin retracing the footsteps of the original US Army Rangers and Paratroopers leading up to Operation Overlord. This project is tentatively titled "Spirit of the Soldier. " We'll then continue to France where John will be performing multiple demonstration jumps during the biggest Anniversary of D-Day yet. We can't wait to share this with you.

If you would like to stay up to date during the filming of this project and follow the behind the scenes action please follow the accounts below:

John "Shrek" McPhee: https://www.instagram.com/sobtactical/

Production Company:

Thank you again for all of your support. Stay tuned for more info!
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We are exactly 30 Days from the start of documenting this project. We've planned our story, conducted practice jumps, we've worked with locals to organize opportunities for filming in Ireland and France. We're still a ways away from our goal and need your help. If we can raise our minimum goal of $10,000 we can reserve the film production equipment we need for this project. We're only $3,400 away from that goal! We're planning on closing the campaign in the middle of May in order to pay for the costs of production and filming. Please share this far and wide.
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$11,330 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 143 people in 3 months
Created March 3, 2019
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