Local filmmakers vie for Super Bowl fame
CARBONDALE, Colorado – Some local filmmakers are hoping for a playoff spot and a chance at some NFL Super Bowl commercial fame in February.
Brothers Austin Lottimer of Carbondale and Maitland Lottimer of Boulder co-wrote and directed an entry in the annual Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest.
The 30-second spot was co-produced by their father, Barclay Lottimer, a partner with his sons in Bujin Productions, and Steve Kaufman, through his newest Roaring Fork Valley venture, Future Force LLC.
The segment was shot on location in November at Russets Restaurant in Carbondale.
It stars a pair of accomplished local actors, Jennetta Howell and Sean Warnecke. In the commercial, the two go out on a blind date and have an interesting encounter involving the popular snack chip. Little did we know that the flavoring on a Doritos chip delivers aphrodisiac powers that can set your pants on fire.
“I found out about the contest with only about a week and a half to go before the deadline,” said 25-year-old Austin Lottimer. “I wasn’t sure if it was possible, but we pulled it off with a lot of help.”
They’re now in the mix with about 600 other entries, which run the gamut from amateur videos to studio-quality shoots, all seeking to become one of the five finalists chosen by Doritos officials this week.
Each of the five will receive $25,000 and is entered into the final round, to be conducted through online voting by the general public between Jan. 5 and Jan. 31.
The ultimate winning team will receive $1 million and have their commercial featured during televised coverage of the Feb. 5 Super Bowl professional football championship.
“I had a lot of different ideas in my head and called my brother, and together we wrote eight different spots,” Austin said. “We had a lot of corners to cut with the time limitations.”
The chosen story line was a little easier to conceptualize, he said, “and played more to the demographic of people who are interested in their product.”
The Lottimers’ entry can currently be viewed at http://www.crashthesuperbowl.com/#/gallery?video=16904.
This was the second creative project for the Lottimer family production company. Recently, their movie “Pen Your Short” was a winner in the Olympus 48-Hour film contest. It was featured in last year’s Vail Film Festival.
For the Doritos project, Austin and Maitland, 23, did much of the production planning and script work via the Internet, using Skype.
When it came to finding a film location, Austin said he knew the second he walked into Russets that it was the place. Restaurant owners Susan and Claude Van Horton were more than willing to oblige.
“They were so amazingly generous. It was just what we needed,” Austin said.
“I was actually rather flattered,” Susan Van Horton said.
A casting call was done before settling on Howell and Warnecke for the acting.
Two other locals, Shelli Craig and Laura Fey, handled makeup and hair for the shoot.
Howell said she knew of the Lottimer siblings’ reputation from the Vail Film Fest.
“They were fantastic to work with,” said Howell, a Glenwood Springs native. She’s an American Music and Dramatic Academy-trained actress who honed her skills in Los Angeles and in several Off Broadway productions.
She’s currently one of the stars in the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue.
“I knew they had the skills for what they were doing,” Howell said of the crew for the Doritos shoot. “I knew I could take my comedy skills from the Vaudeville show and translate it to this.”
Howell had also previously worked with Warnecke, in the Aspen Theatre production of “Little Red Riding Hood,” in which he played the Big Bad Wolf.
For the shoot itself, the Lottimers rented a Canon 60D camera. The shooting was done overnight on Nov. 15 and 16, so as not to interfere with the restaurant business.
“It was the first time I got to sit and watch something like that,” said Claude Van Horton, who also catered the event.
The first take ended up being nearly a full minute in length, Austin said.
“It was really difficult to get it down to the required 30 seconds,” he said.
Added co-producer Kaufman, “So much of the joy of this was the craziness of it. That short time pressure adds to the fun.
“And, it’s really nice when you work with nice people,” he said.
If selected as one of the finalists, Austin said he would launch an extensive social media campaign to get people to vote for their entry.
“I’d also like to do a behind-the-scenes documentary,” he said.
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