VALENCIA, Calif. — Achieving a lifetime dream of becoming filmmakers has never been as close for writing partners Chris Capel and Richard Price, whose commercial submission “Office Thief” is a finalist in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest.
Capel, originally from Thatcher, and Price, originally from Duncan, came up with the idea for their commercial based on something that a wide spectrum of people have had experience with: the office lunchroom bandit. Capel is listed as the writer and director, and both are credited with the concept.
In the spot, a reserved employer questions an employee about missing Doritos from the office break room. The employee expresses his offense while covered in Doritos and literally crunching on the evidence. The absurdity of the production has helped it propel through the vast sea of more than 5,000 entries to the coveted final five commercials. One commercial will be picked by Doritos parent corporation, Frito Lay, and the other will be selected by popular vote. Both will then air during the Super Bowl.
All five commercial teams will be Frito Lay’s guests at the Super Bowl and won’t learn of their fates until the game is played. To vote for “Office Thief,” visit www.doritos.com or www.voteofficethief.com. Households can vote once per day, per device until Jan. 29. That means a house with two iPads, three smartphones and two computers can vote seven times each day.
Capel began dabbling in filmmaking in the last three years with out-of-pocket short films and comedy shorts for his YouTube channel handlebarmustacheland, which can be found with a search or by typing the URL www.youtube.com/ChrisCapel1998. Instead of paying to go to film school, he put the money into purchasing a Panasonic HPX170 professional camcorder and went to work.
“I’ve come to realize that is truly not only what I really want to do but what I think I’m best at,” Capel said. “I moved out here (Los Angeles area) to get into animation and ultimately try and have a career in filmmaking.”
Capel, who previously worked as an animator for 10 years, hopes the shot at winning the competition will springboard his career as a filmmaker. The creators of the commercial with the popular vote will pocket $1 million and will have the opportunity to work on the next “Avengers” film.
“We just want that first paid gig,” Capel said. “Everything we’ve done up until now has been out-of-pocket and, you know, taking that risk. But to get paid to do this – to make people laugh and to make commercials — I mean, we want to do it all; to make TV shows — we want to make movies — I feel like we’ve got some great ideas in every arena . . . What we really hope to get out of this is the start of a great career.”
Capel said he and Price may be the underdogs in the contest — most of the other finalists are backed by production companies — but he wanted to thank all in the Gila Valley for their continued support and votes.
“We’re really the only guys who are just literally a couple of buddies who just threw together a commercial because they thought they had a great idea,” Capel said.