For six years there has been a “Doritos Crash the Superbowl” commercial contest. Last year, the winning commercial was the guy teasing the pug out the back door. The pug runs in slow motion toward the bag of Doritos and breaks down the door. Simple. Hilarious. Dane puts it to the group to submit a Doritos commercial, if we want to write one. Obviously I want to try, there’s a million dollar prize!
I do my homework and watch a bunch of submissions online. Some of them are really bad. Most of the funny ones involve dogs or kids. People love dogs and kids. I can’t use that angle, though. Well I guess I can, but I don’t feel like using dogs or kids to make a joke (and it might prove difficult to shoot). I’ve got nothing. I can’t think of anything good.
The next day I go for a run on the beach and it comes to me. I have an idea! Start writing as soon as I get home. If any of us write something we all like, we’ll try to shoot it. At group, I get a good response. But, like everything else I write, changes are to be made. And then everyone starts blurting things out. Casey wants to be in it. Dane wants to direct it. “Do you want to be in it?” No. “Do you want to direct it?” I’m flustered. I don’t know, I wasn’t even sure you guys were going to like it, I haven’t thought about the actual production. I don’t want to make these decisions on the spot!
I really don’t like to get ahead of myself. Sure, it’s fun to think about, but right now, I just want to make the script better. There’s no point in talking about who’s going to do what if we don’t have so many other things in order first. Not that I’ve ever produced anything, but I’ve been in plenty of scenarios where there’s a lot of talk and no doing. I don’t want that to happen here. So I take it home and work on it. And yes, I do want to be in it. Again, I’m hesitant. It’s also because I don’t want to have too many responsibilities. Who wants to be another M. Night Shyamalan?
The following week, we go over my edits. And guess what? Sure, they like it, but we all start talking, and other ideas come to us, and by the end, I have a completely new script. I love it; it’s just so different from my original idea. OK, now we can start planning. I still need to do the re-write, but I’ve got it all in my head. Dane will direct; I will be the lead. We need a guy. Casey wanted to be in it, but we all agree that we need someone more rugged and manly. Casey’s a good-looking guy, he’s just not exactly what I picture. We need an office. I didn’t think this would be such an issue, but we are struggling to find one. November 16 is the deadline, so we need to shoot roughly by November 4 to give our editor time to work on it. And we need an editor. Mike has offered to do it (well, I asked him if he would and he said yes). We need a DP (Director of Photography). We need a sound guy (hopefully Zach and Lys if they’re available). So, a lot.
Troy works in an office building at Red Varden, so I message him on gchat about it. He says he’ll ask Zig’s assistant if we can figure something out. While I’m waiting on him, I start thinking. Troy would be perfect as the guy! He’s tall, athletic, and charming. And obviously I would have fun shooting it with him. Troy is hesitant because he hasn’t acted in a while but I assure him he’ll be good. He will. Unfortunately, Red Varden is a no-go. Damn.
I close Wednesday night at Brick+Mortar. My last customers are an older couple (50’s probably). They’re very sweet and we spend a lot of time chatting. She gives me her recipe for brussel sprouts and he tells me I’m delightful. We finally introduce ourselves by the end – Jeff and Tina. The question is asked as it always is – what brings you to California? Acting and writing. I start to tell them about the Doritos commercial. You guys know the Superbowl contest every year? “Yes.” So I tell them how I’m trying to find an office and blah blah blah. Tina points to Jeff. He responds as if she’s spoken. “I mix sound for commercials. It’s what I do.” Really? He writes his website down on a piece of paper. “You check it out. If you like what you see, I’ll do the sound for your commercial.” Tina interjects. “He’s really good.” Jeff kind of nods dismissively. “He’s just humble! But he’s really good.” Wow, OK, thank you so much. Tina doesn’t have an office because she’s in real estate (she used to be a commercial actor), but her friend might. She’ll see her later this week and ask her. Really? That is so sweet of you. She gives me her card.
The next day, I check out Jeff’s website. So, he won an Emmy for a commercial he mixed in 2011. I check out his reel. All commercials I’ve seen, and they sound amazing. I can’t believe this! Now we really, really need to get this commercial made. I could have an Emmy winner mixing the sound on MY commercial. So freaking cool. This has to happen. I email Tina and Jeff, then Dane to let him know. He’s pumped, and trying to find an office. I tell him about Troy; he tells me about a guy whom he’s found, too. We send each other pictures. His guy does look a little more the part, but it’s so hard because it really just comes down to who’s the better actor. Maybe both of them can come in and we’ll see how it goes.
That is, if we get it made.