30 Second TV Commercial Competition Winner March 2012 Reelshow

The Winner of the Reelshow 30 Second TV Commercial March 2012

Doritos “The Heist” directed by Steve Bralver

I asked Steve to tell us a bit about the making of his commercial. Here is what he had to say.

‘It may or may not show, but what I was trying to do was create a character who is a world class spy. Someone unstoppable. He could dodge bullets, jump over cars, dive past trains… and with the ability to do all of that, his ultimate demise would come in the form of a 10 year old kid. That’s where I was hoping the big punch (or kick in this case) would be to get the laughs.

Originally I wrote this piece to take place in a museum. But then came two major problems. One was that I couldn’t afford a museum. And two was that I would have to light the interiors. When you have a very small crew, having to light is not your friend. And because I prefer natural light anyway, I rewrote to shoot this outdoors and planned each shot and location based on the time of day to get the best light.

As you probably can tell, this was a blast to make. Jumping over the police car was done safely and effectively using an air ram (youtube if you never seen one before). Escaping in front of the train was shot guerrila style in an industrial part of Downtown L.A. Both of those shots were done as composite shots, so there was never the risk of getting hit by the car or the train. Then, in post production, I created a mask frame by frame around the body to layer in over either the car or next to the oncoming train and the result is …well, movie magic. (there’s a little more to it than that, email me if you want the whole shabang).

The big entrance on the wire and quick exit was done using a decelerator and a ratchet pull. A decelerator is a device that allows you to harness into a cable and free fall, and the wire catches you at a desired height, usually just a few feet above the ground. The ratchet works in the reverse way and snatches someone from a stopped position and the speed and distance of the snatch is controlled by a range in air pressure.

The ladder slide was a real two story ladder slide.

And the police car skid was done the old fashioned way — for real.

We shot using two DSLR cameras. Sometimes at 24 frames per second, sometimes as 60 frames per second (60 frames for slow motion, yes there is a slow motion shot, see if you can catch it, email me when you think you found it).

You can talk about production until you’re blue in the face, but movies are made in the editing room. I knew pace would be important on this piece. So we shot everything with pace in mind. What I never expected was for it to fly as fast as it does. It’s a 30 second spot with 25 cuts! My original intention only had about 14 cuts, but the pieces all moved quickly enough and the pacing ended up just right and we had enough coverage to make it zing.

I create my commercials with storyboards, shot lists, and previsualizations. The hard work usually happens way in advance of ever showing up on set. If I have all my work done properly, executing the shots is the easiest part of the job.

For more of my director work, please check out my website:


email me at stevebralver@gmail.com

I am available to shoot whatever you are looking for – be it commericals, dramas, comedies, episodics, branded content, informercials…

Please contact me if you want someone with great experience and a knowledge of action, adventure, comedy, and drama.

I am constantly on set learning and honing my craft so that my next project will always be my best’.


Reelshow 30 Second TV Commercial Competitions 2012
Reelshow Film Competition Calendar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *