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Million dollar try

Local resident one of five who could have his Doritos ad air during Super Bowl

Posted: January 9, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 9, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Director Chris Capel in his Castaic home office where he created his 30 second entry in the Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" contest. Signal photo by Dan Watson.

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Castaic resident Chris Capel has a one-in-five chance of winning $1 million. But that’s not what’s really exciting about his current prospects.

Capel, 33, with friend Richard Price have one of five commercial clips in the running for the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. If it wins the most online votes, the two not only win $1 million, but their video ad will be shown during the Super Bowl and will have the opportunity to work with Marvel Studios on the set of “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

“To be honest, I could care less about the money,” Capel said in an interview this week. “All I care is that the commercial ad be placed during the Super Bowl for millions of people to see.

“The career opportunities that result from this competition are greater than any amount of money.”

Two winning ads will be chosen to air during the big game, one by a panel and one by online voters. The top online vote-getter gets the million dollars. All five finalists get plane tickets and game tickets to attend the Super Bowl.

Capel of Castaic and Price, an Alhambra resident, have something of an underdog disadvantage — or advantage — going into the competition. Capel was laid off from his dream job — an animator for DreamWorks Animation — in March. Since then, he’s struggled to find a full-time job.

“It’s been really tough,” Capel said. “I’ve been working on side projects and doing some comedy sketches on YouTube. I’ve always had a passion for directing videos, but I never found the right opportunity to go for it.”

In addition, he points out, “All the other finalists are a part of a production company and have people working for them. Some finalists have entered this competition before and have been finalists in previous years.

“We’re just two small-town guys trying to make our dream a reality.”

“We’ve wanted to enter for a number of years, but we wanted to wait until we had an idea worth doing,” Price said during a telephone interview this week.

The idea they developed, titled “Office Thief,” involves a bland office setting and a geeky-looking office worker who steals other people’s Doritos.

“We wanted to find a common problem that everyone could relate to,” Price said of the food-theft theme. “Once we came up with the idea, we rolled with it.

“We shot the scene in Hollywood inside an office of this guy that I knew and sent it off to Doritos. We never knew we’d make it this far.”

The five finalists were selected from thousands of submissions, contest organizers said.

Price, Capel and the other finalists will learn who the winner is with the rest of the world when the commercial airs during Super Bowl halftime Feb. 2.

If they win, Price and Capel hope to donate a portion of the prize money to charity.

“I grew up with 13 siblings, and seven of them were adopted from Ethiopia,” Capel said. “I hope to use a big chunk and give it to a charity to help the kids in Africa.”

Both he and Price hope Santa Clarita Valley residents will vote for their entry. Voting continues through Jan. 29 at www.doritos.com.

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