[CLICK HERE] to vote for Chris Capel’s video submission, “Office Thief.”
Valencia resident Chris Capel, 33, is using a Super Bowl ad contest to achieve his dream of being a feature film director, and his latest effort is a bit cheesy – by design.
Capel, a former animator and car salesman, left his hometown of Thatcher, Ariz., for the bright lights of Hollywood, and found himself in the Santa Clarita Valley.
His contest submission for Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” contest is now one of five finalists for the $1 million prize, and national exposure that could prove priceless.
“Oh man, to win… I mean anyone would be happy about $1 million, but the real excitement for us is the career opportunity that this would provide,” Capel said. “We feel like we’ve got some great ideas.”
The entry was a creation spawned by Capel and his writing partner, Richard Price, as a collaborative effort, Capel said. The pair shot the 30-second ad over the course of a day in a Hollywood office building.
A self-taught animator who worked for DreamWorks for about seven and a half years before he was laid off in March, Capel said he’s been teaching himself how to direct by going out and trying different projects, such as an 18-minute short film, and comedic videos, such as the contest entry.
Capel still dreams of feature film production, but now has a greater understanding of how difficult a job it is, he said.
“Everyone tells you, ‘It’s way harder than you think, it takes way longer than you think,’” he said of attempting his first short film. “About an hour in, i was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is soo hard.’”
Capel said he and his writing partner have been wanting to enter the contest for a number of years, but they were waiting for the perfect opportunity.
The duo’s piece, dubbed “Office Thief,” which was created on a $1,500 budget, features pounds of cheese dust and glue to create the presumption that the protagonist was raiding other people’s bags of Doritos around the office.
The office’s boss, played by Larry Cedars, questions the presumptive Doritos thief, Steve Olson, who has cheese smeared on his glasses and shirt, and bags of the chips coming out of all of his pockets.
Capel searched Google for funny comedy reels, which is how he found Cedars, who has appeared in “Community” and “Deadwood,” to play the boss, and Steve Olson, a comedic actor who plays the Doritos thief.
Each of the five “Crash the Super Bowl” finalists are invited to East Rutherford, N.J., to attend Super Bowl XLVIII and watch the game from a private luxury suite, where they will tune in to learn which two finalist spots will air.
Capel, who lives with his wife in Valencia, grew up with 13 siblings, seven of them adopted from Ethiopia, and hopes to use a portion of his prize to give back.
“If we win, we’re absolutely going to give $100,000 for a charity to help kids in Africa to be adopted,” he said.
The creators of both winning ads will receive the opportunity to work on the set of “Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron” and the ad with the highest total number of votes will win its creator the $1 million grand prize.
Selected from thousands of submissions representing 30 countries around the world, the Doritos brand recently announced the five finalists.
The selection was chosen by a panel of judges, including executives from the Doritos brand, advertising professionals and the legendary Stan Lee of Pow! Entertainment — chairman emeritus of Marvel Comics and co-creator of such Super Heroes as Iron Man and Spider-Man.
“As someone who has brought comic book characters to life for an entire career, I know what it takes to tell a great story,” said Stan Lee, in a statement from Doritos. “In just 30 seconds, these five finalists tell incredible stories — each with their own style — and have left me truly blown away.”
The runner-up will receive $50,000. The three finalists whose commercials don’t air during the broadcast will each win $25,000. The Super Bowl XLVIII broadcast is set for Feb. 2 on FOX.
The voting closes in a little over 20 days, as of Jan. 8, according to the website.
Here are the five finalists:
“Office Thief” by Chris Capel, Valencia, Calif.
“Time Machine” by Ryan Andersen, Scottsdale, Ariz.
“The Cowboy Kid” by Amber Gill, Ladera Ranch, Calif.
“Breakroom Ostrich” by Eric Haviv, Atlanta
“Finger Cleaner” by Thomas Noakes, Sydney, Australia