A Doritos commercial starring and co-written by a Burbank resident was a co-winner of an annual contest sponsored by the snack company and it aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The ad shows a boy who has created a time machine and he tricks a neighbor, played by Burbank resident Daved Wilkins, into entering the contraption in a ploy to steal his Doritos. When the machine "takes off" using simple maneuvers created by the boy, Wilkins believe he's being transported into the future.
Wilkins worked on the 30-second spot with two longtime friends Ryan Thomas Andersen and Raj Suri, both of whom live in Phoenix. The duo has submitted commercials in the Doritos contest before but never made it to the finals.
Wilkins lived in the Arizona city before moving to Los Angeles with his wife, Melissa, on June 3, 2010 —their fourth wedding anniversary — to pursue an acting career.
The idea for the commercial sprang from a conversation Andersen had with his 6-year-old son, Gavin, while they were watching "Back to the Future" and the boy began asking about time machines.
Andersen created a time machine out of a refrigerator box so Gavin, who is featured as the boy in the commercial, could go on imaginative journeys.
While Wilkins earned a degree in global business and has held some non-acting jobs, including a car salesman, he knew that acting was his calling.
"It was always in the back of my mind. I was supposed to be an entertainer," he said.
His wife, who is a pharmacist, encouraged him to go after his dream and he got some acting work in Phoenix, but the leading roles always went to actors from Los Angeles. So, they made the move here to hopefully improve his chances.
While Wilkins hasn't landed many paying gigs yet, that could change if his Doritos commercial makes it on the airwaves during the Super Bowl.
It's probably one of the least expensive finalists. It was filmed in seven hours in Phoenix with a $300 budget, which "went mostly for food," Wilkins said.
Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam.