February 10, 2012

Sling Baby Wins Big

SCA Alumni win Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” contest



On the first day of film school, students are told that working with babies or producing elaborate stunts is bad business in low-budget filmmaking. Naturally, when USC School of Cinematic Arts alumnus Jason Dennis ’03 decided to enter a commercial into the Doritos: Crash the Superbowl contest, the idea of flinging a baby on a slingshot came to mind.


Jason Dennis '03. Photo Courtesy of Ehrin Marlow

“The director pitched two ideas to me and I said, ‘you can’t go wrong with a baby and a grandma.' I want to produce the sling baby one,” said Dennis. “Everybody worked for free, but that didn't stop us from working our butts off.  This was the ultimate team effort, and that’s the reason we came out on top.”

The commercial was selected as a top five finalist out of over 6,000 entries and was voted to be one of the two to play during the Super Bowl.  After airing, Sling Baby went on to place number one in the USA Today Facebook Ad Meter, snagging a million dollar prize from Doritos.  In addition, Nielsen rated the commercial "Most-Remembered" and "Best-Liked" Super Bowl ad of 2012, "a rare distinction" according to the Nielsen ratings system.

The crew included alumnae Heather Chalecki ‘98 as the first assistant director.

“I hadn’t done much in the way of visual effects,” Dennis continued. “Luckily we had an amazing VFX person, Justin Folk, who’s also the father of baby Jonah, who stars as Sling Baby. I think he spent around two hundred hours working on the visual effects.”

This is the second year in a row that SCA alumni have won the Doritos: Crash the Superbowl Contest. Last year the producers of Pug Attack were awarded the grand prize and the USA Today poll.

“We were at the editor’s office in El Segundo tweaking the final cut and we got to a moment where we all looked at each other and just smiled," continued Dennis.  "We knew we had a shot at going all the way.”

To play Sling Baby the video game, please visit: http://armorgames.com/play/12785/sling-baby