SFU film school alumnus Graham Talbot in the running to win Doritos Super Bowl contest
By Diane Luckow
SFU film school alumnus Graham Talbot has a one-in-10 chance of winning $1 million and a yearlong dream job at Universal Pictures—his Doritos commercial is among 10 finalists in the running for the grand prize next month in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest.
As one of the competition's 10 finalists Graham, 25, has already won $25,000 and a five-day trip to Phoenix, Arizona to watch the Super Bowl on Feb. 1—from a private box.
He’ll be taking his fraternal twin, Nelson, also an SFU film school alumnus, who collaborated on the commercial “When Pigs Fly.”
The amusing 30-second spot features a small boy who wants to share some Doritos with a farmer, but is told he can only have some “when pigs fly”. The desperate boy sets to work, launching a pig into the sky with a rocket. The dumbfounded farmer finally hands him the chip bag.
Graham and Nelson entered the contest last year as well, under Nelson’s name, and made it into the semi-finals.
“This year, we wanted to improve on that result, because it did help our careers a little bit last year,” says Graham. “An agency in Toronto, Spy Films, added us to their roster of directors, and we made one commercial for them.”
As a finalist, Graham expects bigger career results this year, even if he doesn’t win the contest.
Since graduating from SFU in 2011, the Talbot twins have done a variety of music videos, short films, corporate videos and a few feature films.
“Where we’ve settled now is into low-budget online commercials for a crowdsourcing site called Tongal,” says Graham. “We do a pitch, go up against a few other competitors and then the client chooses one or several of the commercials.”
The duo has produced close to 20 commercials this way, with a 75 per cent success rate.
“We just did one for Icebreaker Mints, and we did one for Tostitos and for Microsoft,” he says.
Graham says his SFU education was crucial in developing his perspective on the world.
“I loved my SFU film experience,” he says. “Not only did it craft my artistic vision but it also shaped me as a person. I’m just very happy to have gone to that school—it’s been a big part of where I’ve gotten to in my life.”
Graham’s ultimate career goal is to become an established director of photography for large-budget feature films. It’s a dream that could come true—if he wins the Doritos contest on Feb. 1, when two winning commercials will be aired during the game—the first-prize winner, chosen by Doritos, and the grand prize winner selected via online fan votes.