The Super Bowl is the pinnacle of two great American pastimes – football and TV commercials. A pair of Maple Ridge brothers are almost in the big game.
The Talbot twins, Graham and Nelson, are filmmakers who are rapidly making a name for themselves.
They are competing in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl commercial contest, and this year they are among the top 10 finalists, thanks to an ad that features a schoolboy rocket scientist and a flying pig.
When Pigs Fly is both the title of their ad and the answer the boy hears when he asks a crusty farmer to share from his bag of chips. It’s all the incentive the kid needs to launch a porker.
The incentive for the Talbots was $1 million.
Their odds of them claiming that prize are now down to about one in 10 – maybe a little better, or perhaps a little worse, depending on your subjective view of all 10 finalist commercials.
The Top 10 ads are all online, and the entry with the most votes will earn its creator $1 million, and a contract with Universal Pictures. Second place is $50,000, and both commercials will air during the Superbowl.
They have already won $25,000 for being in the Top 10, as well as seats in a private suite at the Superbowl in Arizona.
Still, Graham falls asleep at night thinking about that $1 million win.
“You don’t want to get too, too excited,” said Graham. “But how crazy would that be?”
Having their creation play to the Super Bowl audience of over 100 million viewers would also be a thrill.
“That’s pretty awesome, too,” said Graham. “That’s the holy grail of commercials – having a spot on Super Bowl.”
Whatever happens, the Talbots’ execution in the Super Bowl contest has been a big play in their professional lives.
“Even if we don’t win, I’m hoping that getting our name out there will help our careers,” said Graham.
Last year they got their way into the semi-final, the Top 24, with a commercial featuring a fisherman, a mermaid and a bag of chips.
This year, they looked at the kinds subject matter that would work best for a Doritos commercial. Cute kids and animals, they decided.
No hogs were harmed in the filming of When Pigs Fly. The Talbots hired a bona fide porcine actor out of Mission. Bernard has hit the big time, and has shared the screen with the likes of Juno actress Ellen Page in the movie Into the Forest. He hits his marks.
“He’s a movie pig.”
But on the day of filming Bernard was not feeling well.
“To get a pig to do anything, you just give it lots of treats. But he was sick, so he wouldn’t eat any treats,” said Graham. “We just had to be very patient.”
And the weather on the day a diva. They dealt with alternative sun and rain.
Then, they had to lay on the special effects.
But in the end, the results speak for themselves. Their entry was chosen as a finalist from among almost 5,000 submissions from across the globe. Filmmakers from 29 countries entered.
“Even if we don’t win, I’m pretty proud of what we made,” said Graham.
• Those who want to support the Talbots can vote one per day, per device, on the website vote4whenpigsfly.com or see crashthesuperbowl.doritos.com.
Voting closes on Jan. 28.