By Henrik Hanson
A few months ago I was approached by four SVA advertising students to create a 30 second TV spot for the annual Doritos – Crash the Super Bowl competition. If you win, your commercial plays during the Superbowl. A 30 second spot may seem like an easy format because of the short length, but that limitation actually makes it one of the hardest.
They had a concept, but needed a film student to direct. I knew from the start and this would be a challenge, and it took everything I had learned from my screenwriting and directing classes at SVA to get it completed.
The first thing I told them is we need to bring this down to one main character because having the three original protagonists in a 30 second ad was impossible.
After 20 rewrites, we finally got down to two pages. We were already pressed for time when we started, but now we were really worrying. Still, we decided to devote another week to the script — cutting out one of our two weeks dedicated to editing.
We shot in the sketchiest used car lot, with quite an assortment of actors, most great and some, well, let’s not mention it. The art direction was intense. We finished shooting a week before the deadline and began editing round the clock, making more than 40 rough cuts. Sketches that didn’t make it into the final were turned into short 15 sec spots, promoting our 30 second spot.
I loved working with such an ambitious group creative team. Jonas Christensen, Jacque Wang, Matt Savage and Lucien Ng were very supportive and we ended up learning a lot about collaboration. In the end we didn’t win, but it was a great experience and I would encourage everyone at SVA to reach out to their fellow artists in other departments.
Check out Henrik’s entry into the Doritos Superbowl contest here!