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Five Point Productions' Doritos entry "Live the Flavor" Shot with JVC GY-HD100 HDV camcorder

Potential Super Bowl commercial edited with Final Cut Pro By John Virata

For the first time in history, viewers had the chance to vote online to determine what Doritos commercial will appear during the 2007 Super Bowl. Sponsored by Frito Lay, the Crash the Super Bowl challenge invited fans of the chips to create their own 30-second commercial showcasing the popular snack food. Of more than 1000 entries to the contest, five were chosen. "Live the Flavor", shot with a JVC GY-HD100 HDV camcorder, took just four days to complete by Five Point Productions out of Cary, North Carolina. DMN's John Virata spoke with Dale Backus, producer of "Live the Flavor."

DMN: How did you hear about the Crash the Super Bowl Challenge?
Dale Backus: While brainstorming a concept for another commercial we were working on, I ran across the banner ad for the "Crash the Superbowl" contest on the "Yahoo Video" site.  This was 4 full days before the submission deadline.  Later that night we decided we were up to the challenge.

DMN: Who were the principals on this project and what were their roles?
Dale Backus: There were 5 people behind the creation of "Live the Flavor"; Dale Backus (me) - "Producer" - Camera operator, sound recorder, and co-graphic designer. Weston Phillips - "Creative Director" - Director, Camera operator, editor, sound mixer Barrett Phillips - "Art Director" - Camera operator, co-graphic designer, 3d compositor
Nick Dimondi - "Producer" - Actor (Cheesy guy) Cori Backus (my wife) - Actress (Spicy girl)
Concept development was a 24-hour collaborative effort, and though Wes pitched the final idea, we feel credit is spread between the 5 of us.


Editing of "Live the Flavor" was done in Final Cut

DMN: It has been written that Five Point Productions is fairly new. When was the company established and what does it specialize in?
Dale Backus: Five Point Productions was established by Wes Phillips and his brother Barrett in October, 2006.  Seeing huge potential in this small start-up by our good friends, Nick and I joined on full-time shortly after.  Five Point specializes in creative video production for many different venues.  For more information, check out www.5pointproductions.com 

DMN: Was shooting done in miniDV, HDV?
Dale Backus: Shooting was done in HDV. We recorded using two mediums: HDV tape and a MacBook Pro via Final Cut Pro.

DMN: What kind of video camera did you use to shoot Live the Flavor and why?
Dale Backus: We shot the commercial using our JVC GY-HD100 with the Letus HD100 35mm adapter.  We love this camera and LOVE the adapter.  We used this combination simply because that was what we already had!

Shooting from within the mini van

DMN: How did the camera work for this type of work and what is it you like about the camera?
Dale Backus: The JVC worked very well for us, as it usually does.  It's small enough to go handheld for working in tight spaces, but has a powerful feature set, enough to deliver a high quality product, especially in combination with the Letus.  When looking for a camera to purchase about a year ago, we gravitated towards the HD100 for a few reasons.  First, we've owned many JVC cameras in the past and have had good experiences with the product and customer service.  Secondly, it had interchangeable lenses which is a very handy thing.  It became especially useful when looking for a 35mm adapter - the Letus was a perfect match, allowing us to adapt straight to the camera body and eliminating additional light loss.  Third, we liked the HDV format because due to its very efficient compression, allowed us to work in HD without buying enormous amounts of storage.  Finally, the JVC fit our price range (which of course was the main selling point).

DMN: What type of editing system did you use to assemble Live the Flavor and why?
Dale Backus: We used Final Cut Pro 5 to edit our spot.  The Phillips brothers have been using Macs since birth and Wes became attached to this product as soon as it hit the market.  It is a very powerful editor and runs brilliantly on our G5.

Fog machine generated the crash smoke

DMN: What about the visual effects with the still frame Doritos bags? How was that accomplished?
Dale Backus: Graphic design is something we (especially Barrett) have been doing for quite some time.  Originally, we envisioned the frame pausing with simple text displaying the adjectives, "Spicy", "Cheesy", etc., but Barrett and I decided to take it further. We pulled the selected frame-grabs into Photoshop and let the creative juices flow. After about an hour of collaborating and experimenting, we settled on the final design template (which went over very well).  We feel the freeze-frames help bring the commercial's presentation up to a new level.

DMN: How many hours of footage did you shoot in total?
Dale Backus: We believe it to be around 40 minutes (2/3rds of an hour), though I'm not quite sure of the exact answer to this question.  However, I do know we didn't exceed one tape's worth of footage.  So it couldn't have been more than an hour at the absolute most.

DMN: How long did it take to edit and finish the commercial?
Dale Backus: Including editing, sound recording/mixing, 2D graphic creation and 3D compositing, it took approximately 16 hours. Due to being rained out on a day that was intended for shooting, we used that day to complete as much post-production work as possible before we went out the very last day to complete the rest of the shoot.  Therefore the editing was spanned over two days, as well as the shoot.

DMN: How many takes of the commercial were completed?
Dale Backus: There was actually only 1 take of the commercial.  Because we only had 4 days to do everything from concept development to post-production, we didn't really have the time complete multiple takes.

DMN: How many bags of Doritos were consumed during production?
Dale Backus: Well, five bags were purchased prior to shooting the first day. One of the bags was my lunch, and the other four were used for production. It's hard to say exactly how many bags were actually consumed, though. A lot of the Doritos were launched onto the dash of the car during the crash, and then spread on the ground for the final shot. These chips were recycled and used many times for the same thing ...(who knows who ate the chips that came off the ground, the chips off the dash, or the chips that came out of Nick's hair)... but by the end, all bags were empty.

DMN: What is next for Five Point Productions if "Live the Flavor" airs during the Super Bowl?
Dale Backus: As new as we are (as a company), there's really no telling what the future will bring if our ad airs during the Super Bowl.  We plan to keep the door open to any and every opportunity that will arise because of this exposure, and are just excited to see what will come of it whether it airs or not.

DMN: Being among the five finalists out of more than 1000 entries is a huge accomplishment. Congratulations.
Dale Backus: Thank you very much!  We feel very blessed and encouraged - and can't possibly thank everyone enough for their unwavering support. To learn more about us and our story visit www.5pointproductions.com/doritos.html


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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at jvirata@digitalmedianet.com
Related Keywords:JVC GY-HD100 HDV camcorder, Doritos Crash the SuperBowl, commercials

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