He always had a love of home movies and upon entering several competitions in college and getting good feedback, Callner decided to switch his focus.
“It gave me confidence and I switched my major to Science Technology and Culture,” he said. “It was a great major and I absolutely loved it.”
The Decatur resident is now one of five entries for this year’s Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest. His commercial “Goat 4 Sale” is up against “Road Chip,” “Fashionista Daddy,” “Express Checkout” and “Fetch” for the Super Bowl ad spot during the games Feb. 3.
Fans can log on each day and vote for their favorite commercial at www.facebook.com/DoritosUSA through Tuesday.
Callner first heard about the contest years ago, but was still in college at the time. He made an entry just two years ago, but said looking back he was not too proud of that video.
“And then this year, I wasn’t gonna enter again and my mentor Steve Colby mentioned his pet goat eating and crunching food,” said Callner. “I’m pretty sure he said it out of the blue and he kept saying it … and eventually he said we should do a Doritos commercial with them.”
The commercial, which had a Nov. 16 deadline, was a one-day shoot at Colby’s home.
In mid-December Callner learned by a surprising phone call from film director Michael Bay that he was a finalist in the competition.
“I usually don’t like anything that I make because I’ve seen it so much, but the feedback is surprisingly good,” said Callner of his chances in the competition. “I’m optimistic and a lot of people seem to like it.”
Callner is hoping his commercial gets aired, because this is the career path he would like to continue to pursue.
“This would be a huge break for me,” he said. “Then you get thrown into the mix with all these other Super Bowl commercials.”
According to a news release, two ads will air — one selected by America’s votes and one by the Doritos brand team.
The finalist whose ad scores highest on the USA Today Ad Meter ranking will be awarded the career-changing opportunity to work with Bay on the next installment of the “Transformers” movie franchise, along with a shot at a $1 million bonus.
Callner said the amount of support shown to him from family and friends has been touching.
“I’ve been telling everyone I already feel like a winner because the amount of support I’m getting is kind of unreal … that’s been the best part,” he said. “No matter what happens that’s gonna stay with me. You wouldn’t think a commercial would do that for me, but it did.”
To Vote: www.facebook.com/DoritosUSA