Graham Talbot, 25, and Devon Ferguson, 31, are two of 10 finalists in the Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl Contest, giving filmmakers around the world a shot at $1 million, a dream job at Universal Pictures in Los Angeles, and having their commercial aired during the Super Bowl on February 1, 2015.
Talbot’s ad is called “When Pigs Fly” and illustrates how a kid responds when a man will only share his Doritos ‘when pigs fly’. Talbot, who graduated from SFU with a degree in Film currently works as a Director of Photography on any project he can get his hands on.
“I started with music videos and short films and more recently I have been focusing on shooting commercials and feature films,” Talbot said.
Talbot’s entry took about three weeks to produce and cost only $1200, a pretty impressive sum when you see the digital quality of the spot. He approached the contest with a solid strategy – the past shows Doritios loves kids and animals, so his team focused on incorporating those elements into the ad.
While he’s up against nine other entries, some also incorporating babies and animals, a big part of the contest is about the local race between Talbot and fellow Vancouverite, Devon Ferguson.
Ferguson’s commercial, titled “Selfish Sneezers”, is about the need to protect one’s supply of Doritos at a party by faking a sneeze into the bag.
His idea was inspired by an old memory of how he used to keep moochers away from his snacks in school.
“I remember thinking about when my old high school buddies would snatch a fry or two from my poutine bowl in our lunch cafeteria. So, to claim my territory, I had to develop a defense system, “Sneeze Protection”, so my frugal friends would back off, therefore I would sneeze on my poutine for all of them to see so they’d keep their hands off.”
His penchant for creativity led him to Toronto’s Humber College in 2005 for acting.
“I bought a DVX 100B and from there on it kind of snowballed into larger camera gear purchases. As higher end camera gear got less expensive, I moved into the DSLR world,” Ferguson said, also mentioning that he works with a cinematographer friend who shoots with the Arri Amira camera.
With a team behind him, the commercial took about two weeks on-and-off to produce, with the shooting process only taking seven hours. It cost $800 to make.
When asked how it feels to be a final contender, both men were undeniably shocked and excited.
Talbot told us: “It’s probably one of the biggest amateur film competitions in the world and becoming a finalist feels like winning the lottery.”
Proud of his accomplishment, Ferguson says he’s blown away by the success. “It feels great to be recognized for my work and after 10 years of hard work, it’s finally being paid off.”
Since the two men made it as a top 10 finalist, they get to attend the 49th Super Bowl happening in Phoenix on February 1. What would their dream Super Bowl experience look like?
“I just want to see Seattle make it in again, I want to support the most local team,” said Talbot.
If that happens, he wouldn’t be alone in the cheering section. “I’d love to see Dallas make it as well as Seattle as they are the closet home team to me,” Ferguson agreed.
As for the half-time show, Fortitude would love to see the band Cat Empire play, while Ferguson would go back in time and see a mash-up of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, along with Bill Burr doing some stand-up comedy.
While their dream Super Bowl experience might be out of their hands, obtaining a dream job at Universal Pictures is only contest votes away. While Doritos hasn’t said what the job would be, both men have their eye on something specific.
Ferguson says he’d want to act in or direct projects he’s passionate about. “Being able to work beside the best storytellers in the business would be a dream come true,” he added.
Talbot would take his passion for cinematography and hope to be Director of Photography on a Hollywood film. Realistically, he added, “I’d love to work in the Camera department.”
Check out each of the entries below and head over to Doritos to make your vote count. Voting closes on January 28.
“When Pigs Fly” by Graham Talbot, Nelson Talbot, and David McDonald
“Selfish Sneezers” by Devon Ferguson