Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Contest: Contest Update

Can you believe the Super Bowl is tomorrow!?  Yep, tomorrow is the day that the two Doritos commercial contest winners are announced.  This will happen during the game sometime when they air the winning commercials.  Unfortunately, it won’t be one of our commercials because we didn’t make it into the finals.  I’m not really surprised.  There was some tough competition this year and there were plenty of commercials that were even better than ours that didn’t make it into the finals.

Overall, I would say we were in the top 20% of the commercials in terms of production value and story; although much of the story ended up getting cut because of time constraints and I think that really hurt us.  I really wish that we could have, at the very least, made it into the finals (and won $25,000) so that we could have paid everyone involved in the project.  This was an all-volunteer project.  Nobody got paid…from cast to crew.  Everyone took a chance with this project and it is greatly appreciated.  We couldn’t have done it without their combined talent.

Now I know I said that I would be talking more about the making of the commercial, and I will.  But because producing the commercial took me off my I-Man cast feature film project for several months, I felt it was more important to put my focus back on writing the treatment to get that project moving again.  Naturally, if we had actually gotten into the finals, I would have put my time and energy into promoting the heck out of the commercial and trying to get as many votes as we could so that we could win.  But since that didn’t happen, I switched priorities.

To all of you who have been supporting us in this contest, I want to give a big thank you.  It was because of you giving us five-star ratings that we were able to actually make third place in the popularity ratings for a short time!  It didn’t last long, of course, because everyone else was trying to get their ratings up too and they overtook us.  But it did get our commercial some attention; and that was one of my goals during that phase of the contest.

If you’ve been following the contest, you know that Doritos had a Nacho Awards contest earlier.  There were eight different categories and our commercial didn’t really fit any of them so we weren’t chosen to compete.  To watch the winners, go to the Doritos Facebook app and click Nachos on the “Sort By” drop down menu.

The Finalists

The following video is of Ali Landry introducing the five finalists, giving us some behind-the-scenes tidbits, and explaining how the contest works.

Tomorrow we find out who the two winners are!  Which commercials are you rooting for?

Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Contest: Two New Commercials!

I’m pleased to announce that we have submitted two new commercials to the Doritos contest!

Why submit more than one entry?  Well, we got some feedback on the first commercial and not all of it was positive.  One of the complaints we heard was that it went by so fast some people couldn’t figure out what was happening.  Others complained that the trophy didn’t seem damaged enough to replace the football with a Doritos ball.

So, Mike Wood, our 1st AD, took the raw footage and cut another commercial.  It meant having to completely cut out some scenes, but I think the sacrifice was worth it.  The commercial flows so much better now and it really focuses on the story.  If any of our commercials have a chance to win, we think this will be the one.  You can click on the link below to watch it.  By the way, don’t let the name of this version fool you.  It’s not a true story.  It’s completely fictitious.

Doritos Golden Trophy True Story

The next commercial came out of a lot of extra footage that we had.  Sandra Myers, our director, had originally envisioned having a lot of dancing in the commercial.  Her first idea had the actors doing goofy end zone touchdown dances.  Then she changed it so that everyone was doing the same dance.

So what happened to all that dancing footage?  Well, it got cut.  Thirty seconds was simply not enough time to cram it all in!  So Sandra decided to cut another commercial…one that focused on the dancing.  It doesn’t really tell a story, but it is a lot of fun.  She used not only footage from the shoot but, also, footage from the auditions and footage of some of the actors eating Doritos that she took when we were doing ADR (Automated or Additional Dialog Replacement).  Here’s the fun result:

Dance Doritos Style

There are only two more days left before the contest changes so I hope you’ll help us out before Wednesday, November 28 by giving us a five star rating on our commercials, especially Doritos Golden Trophy True Story.  We really want to get that one noticed and we don’t have much time left!

November 28 will start the Nacho Awards portion of the contest.  This part of the contest is where Doritos pits the commercials against each other in various categories.  For example, Doritos may ask Facebook users to select their favorite commercial that includes a pet.  We have no idea if any of our commercials will be chosen to participate in the Nacho Awards or even if they will be available to view and rate (we hope so!).

Whatever happens, I’ll be keeping all of you updated on what is happening with the contest.  I’ll, also, go back and talk more about the pre-production, production, and post-production phases of the project, which is something that I had wanted to do while we were going through those phases, but was unable due to time constraints.  I’ll have some cool behind the scenes photos to show you and maybe another surprise or two.

Announcing Our Crash the Super Bowl Commercial: “Doritos Golden Trophy”!

Hey, folks, I’m pleased to announce that our commercial for the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest is now online!  Now before I send you to the link to watch it, I want to give a big thanks to our cast and crew and especially our director, Sandra Myers, for making this ad a reality.  We couldn’t have done it without you!  This was truly a group effort.

There are only a couple of days left before the submission period closes so we need you to help us out and get us noticed!  Here’s how you can help:

  • Accept the Doritos Facebook app!  It’s the only way you’ll be able to watch the commercial.
  • Go rate the ad by giving it five stars!  Not one, not two, not three, not four, but five stars!  We need to keep near the top of the ratings and not get lost at the bottom so that we can get noticed.
  • Post a comment!  You’re comment will appear on your Facebook page along with a link to the commercial.
  • Share the commercial!  There are three share buttons below the ad.  One for Facebook, one for Twitter, and one for email.  Please share it with everyone you know and ask them to rate and share it too!

Thanks for your help.  Now go watch the commercial!

Doritos Golden Trophy Commercial


Doritos Crash the Super Bowl and SAG Membership

I’ve been asked by several actors about the SAG membership that comes along with winning the Crash the Super Bowl contest, so I wanted to take a few minutes to explain what that means.

Disclaimer:  Now before you take what I say as gospel truth, please know that I have never produced a SAG project.  I’ve only done non-union up to this date (but do have plans to produce SAG projects down the road), so please do your own homework if you absolutely have to know the exact details of how this contest and SAG work.  I’ve done some research, but I’m not going to claim to be an authority on this subject.

First off, here’s what Doritos says in their official rules:

Each person whose image, likeness and/or voice appears in a Finalist video must agree that he/she will execute a contract with Sponsor (“Option Contract”), in which Sponsor has the sole option to elect to use the Finalist videos for marketing purposes and under the terms of such agreement, if elected, Finalist shall be bound by the standard terms of the Screen Actors Guild Commercials Contract, will accept minimum scale compensation and talent residuals and will be bound by the terms and conditions of such contract, including exclusivity.

What this means is that if our commercial is chosen as one of the Finalists and if it is aired, all actors, including extras, must sign an agreement with Doritos, which will require you as a principal or extra to sign a SAG Commercial Contract.

This means SAG membership for principal roles, which include getting paid scale (on top of what Sandra will be paying you if we become a Finalist), and residuals.  If Doritos requires exclusivity, it would also mean you get paid holding fees.  For more information on holding fees please see the SAG-AFTRA Commercial Contract FAQ page.

For extras, this could count as one voucher toward getting your SAG membership.  You need three vouchers to join SAG.  In addition, you would, also, get paid SAG rates for background work (in addition to the amount Sandra will be paying you if we become a Finalist).

If you’re an actor looking to join SAG, this could be the opportunity that pays off for you…not to mention that being seen during the Super Bowl would give you incredible exposure.  Of course, there is a catch:  We have to win!


Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Contest: Changes

Things have been crazy busy as we rush to get all the elements we need to shoot our commercial.  This is the first breather I’ve had to actually sit down and write about the project.

One of the things I found out about the contest is that they choose, not one, but two commercials to air during the Super Bowl!  How cool is that?

Here’s the second winner in last year’s contest:

It seems that kids and animals are a popular theme among the winners.  But, we’re not doing either one of those themes.  Our theme is football…which presents some challenges.

Supplies to make one of the props.

When Doritos posted their contest rules last month on the 19th, I was anxious to read them and make sure that we were on the right track.  They have very strict rules about not using any kind of NFL trademark, logo or merchandise or any other third party trademark or logo; so, in addition to not using NFL trademarks and copyrighted material, we, also, had to be careful about violating other football leagues’ trademarks or copyrights.  Sandra, basically, had to create a totally fictitious football league and football team (as well as another fictitious company).  But when I read the rules I realized that one of our props totally violated NFL trademark rules.  So that prop idea got thrown out and Sandra came up with another idea that is very generic and should work fine.

Composer Martin Morillo

Sandra recruited her brother, composer Martin Morillo, to compose original music for the commercial.  Martin, visiting from Spain, is a very talented composer and we were so fortunate to get his help.  However, the rules stated that contestants could use only the music provided by Doritos, so Martin’s efforts will, unfortunately, not be heard.

I wish I could have gotten a hold of last year’s rules.  It would have saved us a bit of time and effort.  But, overall, we weren’t set back too much and we’re still on track to not only meet but, also, beat the deadline of November 16.

Time for a Project Update

In fact, it’s way past time for an update!  Time flies when you’re busy and before you know it you realize that it’s been a while since you’ve written anything about the film project.  Yikes!  So I’m remedying that right now.

Last time I talked to you about the project, I was going to be starting a screenwriting class that promised to “get your treatment done in ten weeks.”  Part of the class was also studying a different genre each week.

Now before the class had started I had told one of the teachers that my treatment was about half done and I explained my project and asked if the class was right for me.  He assured me it was, and since he has a stellar reputation, I enrolled in the course.  At the beginning of the course, I sent him a copy of the treatment and was told that I have a very exciting idea.  Good to hear!  I couldn’t wait to get started working on it.

While it was a good class, it wasn’t quite what I expected it to be. When we finally started working on our treatments, about halfway through the class, I was asked to break my story back down to outline form and send it in.

I was not happy with this news.  I wanted to start where I was and move forward.  My story has not been in outline form for a very long time.  Stripping it back down to the outline felt like going backwards to me.  So I contacted the teachers.

In spite of the initial miscommunication, we were able to come to an agreement.  I would complete the genre part of the class and finish writing the treatment on my own with my writer and they would then analyze it for me.

So where are we with the treatment you ask?  I’d say about half to two-thirds done.  It’s going slowly and steadily, but it’s getting a big rewrite.  A lot of changes are being made and I think I’m finally getting to the point where I’m happy with where the story is going.  It’s time consuming, but worth it to get the story right.

Doritos Super Bowl Commercial Contest

About a month ago, my friend Sandra Myers approached me about joining her in producing a commercial for the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest.

Sandra and I worked together on the Dockers video I produced last year.  She had directed it for me and had done a fabulous job.  We work really well together, and in this business finding people you work well with is important.  It’s why teams like Brian Grazer and Ron Howard work on project after project together.

But the right person is only part of the equation.  You, also, have to have the right project.  Fortunately, Sandra has the right project.  Her idea is fantastic!  I think it definitely could be one of the top, if not the winning commercial.  This made it easy to say yes.

What, also, made it easy to say yes was the grand prize:  One million dollars!  Now, since I’m partnering with Sandra on this project, I only get half of that but, still, that is five times the amount of last year’s contest.  Five times!  I don’t think I have to tell you what winning that amount could do to for our I-Man cast film project.  I would not only have development money, but also a nice chunk of the pre-production budget.

Oh, and did I mention that the winner gets their commercial aired during the Super Bowl?!

Now, I’m not going to say this is going to be easy.  Last year’s competition had over 6,000 entries and the competition is fierce.  Check out last year’s winner:

You may be wondering if entering another contest is the right way to try to raise money for a movie.  Frankly, it’s probably not any harder than any other method.  This whole business is tough.  As a producer, I can’t let that stop me.  Someone once said that in this business expect to hear 100 noes before you hear a yes.  So, I need be relentless in my quest for funding and look at all the methods available to me.

I just found out yesterday that the contest is definitely on this year.  It starts September 19th!  I hear that there may be some new twists and surprises this year, so I’m anxiously waiting to start reading the rules and regulations and getting more info about it.  Hopefully, it won’t change any of our current plans but, if it does, we’ll make any adjustments as needed.

I’ll be blogging here and on a couple of local Patch sites and giving frequent updates about our progress on the project.  This was something I had wanted to do with the Dockers video, but we were so short on time it never happened.  This time we have a bit more time for pre-production.

I hope you’ll check back often and lend your support to our project!