Pig flies in Aldergrove for Super Bowl ad

Fraternal twins Graham and Nelson Talbot have proven that yes, a pig can fly, thanks to a rocket strapped to its back and a resourceful kid with a hankering for Doritos.

With help from digital technology, the 25-year-old filmmakers from Maple Ridge hope that making a pig “soar” through the Aldergrove sky is enough to land them a million bucks – and one of them a gig at Universal Pictures.

The Talbots are among 10 finalists – and one of two from Canada, Selfish Sneezers created by Vancouver’s Devon Ferguson being the other – who have a two in 10 chance of having their Doritos commercial aired on Sunday, Feb. 1 during the 49th edition of the Super Bowl.

On Jan. 5, Doritos unveiled the 10 consumer created ads chosen as finalists for the annual Crash the Super Bowl contest.

The Talbot twins’ 30-second commercial When Pigs Fly is one of them.

In the commercial, a bespectacled boy asks a farmer named Ralph if he could have one of his Doritos.

“Sure,” Ralph answered with a dismissive shrug, “when pigs fly.”

The boy narrowed his eyes, rubbed his chin, ideas churning in his head.

He worked through the night to build a homemade rocket, which he strapped onto the animal’s back. After launching the pig into the air using a remote control, the boy got his wish.

Speechless at first, his mouth slightly agape, Ralph quickly hands the lad his bag of Doritos.

For the second year, Doritos opened the competition to folks around the globe and this year’s finalists include a record four entries from outside of the U.S.

The 10 finalists, from Australia, Canada, the UK, and the U.S., were chosen from nearly 4,900 submissions representing 29 countries around the world.

Two of the commercials will air during the Super Bowl, annually viewed by more than 100 million people around the world.

The grand prize winner will be selected by online fan voting and the other ad that airs will be selected by the Doritos brand.

You can view all 10 finalists and vote for your favourite by clicking here through Jan. 28 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

The grand prize winner will win a guaranteed $1 million US , as well as an opportunity to work as a contractor for a full year onsite at Universal Pictures in Hollywood.

The Crash the Super Bowl finalist ads are:

• Doritos Angler by James Bedford, UK

• Baby’s First Word by Travis Braun, U.S.

• Selfish Sneezers (view the YouTube video by clicking here) by Devon Ferguson, Vancouver

• The Lemonade Stand by David Horowitz, U.S.

• Trouble in the Back Seat by Jason Johnson, U.S.

• Mis-Spelling Bee by Brian Kleinschmidt, U.S.

• What Could Go Wrong? by Alex Pepper, U.S.

• Doritos Manchild by Armand de Saint-Salvy, Australia

• When Pigs Fly (view the YouTube video by clicking here) by Graham and Nelson Talbot, Maple Ridge

• Middle Seat by Scott Zabielski, U.S.

Each of the finalists will sit in a private suite at the Super Bowl being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.

Then the pressure will really be on, as the finalists find out which two of the eight commercials will air for the world to see.

Just by cracking the top 10, the Talbots have already cashed in.

Even if their ad doesn’t air, they’re guaranteed a cool $25,000 US.

The runner-up whose advertisement airs but does not receive the most fan votes, wins $50,000 US.

The million dollar winner will be given the great news the day after the Super Bowl which means, if they get to that point, a very sleepless night for the twins.

Through their company, Fortitude Productions, Graham and Nelson produce internet commercials, music videos, short films, and feature films.

Suffice to say, this is the grandest achievement of their careers, thus far.

“It’s pretty amazing, just being one of the 10 finalists,” Graham said. “We’ve already won $25,000 and we get tickets to the Super Bowl. It’s been an amazing experience and the exposure we get as filmmakers will hopefully take our careers to the next level.”

The 10 finalists were selected from 29 semifinal entries by a panel of judges, including Doritos execs, advertising professionals, and actress/producer Elizabeth Banks.

The twins were among the semifinalists last year with Mermaid, shot at Whonnock Lake.

In Mermaid, two fishermen sit in a boat on the lake. One of them sprinkles a few Doritos into the water and subsequently lures a beautiful mermaid to the side of the boat. The spot cuts away to show her mounted on a wall like a trophy fish. View the commercial by clicking here.

Graham and Nelson took what they learned from last year’s semifinal effort and applied it to this year’s creation.

“We came in with a better idea of what Doritos wanted,” Graham explained, about the insight he and Nelson gained from last year’s entry. “We saw the winning film from last year and we had a good idea of how good the commercial needed to be to win. We wanted to come up with an idea that in our mind would compete with last year’s winner.”

The brothers brainstormed, with the notion of using either a kid or an animal.

“My brother came up with the rough idea of a commercial,” Graham said. “It popped into his head and we developed it from there. It had a kid and an animal in it so it met both criteria.”

The commercial was shot in one day near where two popular TV series – Bates Motel and Strange Empire – are filmed in Aldergrove.

And while it was a single-day shoot, the process as a whole took about three weeks. That included two weeks of pre-production work including writing a script, finding actors (Brendan Taylor playing the part of Ralph and 11-year-old Keegan Turbitt as the clever boy), and of course, finding a pig.

Crew members basically volunteered their skills, with little else but the hope of getting paid if the commercial airs during the Super Bowl.

“We spent about $1,200 on the spot and a lot of that was calling in a lot of favours for people to do it for free or do it for a very, very reduced rate,” Graham said. “Our budget was very low. We spent the money on the hard costs like gas money, food, that kind of stuff.”

Graham reiterated that getting this far is a great experience.

“We want to win a million bucks – that’s why we do it,” he said. “It’s probably the biggest amateur film competition in the entire world. We’ve already met all the other entrants and everybody is generally happy to be in this situation. They are all really nice guys so to get beaten by really good competition… you can’t really be too p***ed off. It’s great competition we’re going up against so you just have to roll with the punches.”

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