Melbourne filmmaker Peter Carstairs’ epic race for a Super Bowl commercial

Peter Carstairs beat more than 4000 entries with his Melbourne-made Doritos commercial. Carstair’s Doritos commercial.


Carstairs’ debut film, SeptemberSibylla Budd’s life after Secret Life

A Melbourne filmmaker stands to win $US1 million and the chance to work with Warner Brothers in Hollywood thanks to a clever 30-second commercial.

Peter Carstairs is a finalist in the Crash the Super Bowl competition, which for the past 10 years has given filmmakers the chance to create commercials to be played during the Super Bowl to an audience of 110 million people.

The Perth-born father-of-two, who is married to The Secret Life Of Us actress Sibylla Budd, beat more than 4000 entries and is the only person outside of America in the final three.

“I was surprised when I found out because there are a lot of really good, really funny ads,” Carstairs said.

His advert, which shows a pregnant mother and chip-munching father in an ultrasound appointment, cost just $2000 to make at Holmesglen TAFE, and has struck a chord with many parents.

“I think almost every dad feels a little – well I can’t speak for all dads – but I always felt a little inadequate when it came to childbirth because I wasn’t having the same experience as my wife was.”

“Without exception, every mother I’ve spoken to says it’s tapped into a universal truth. Maybe not as extreme as eating Doritos while standing over the ultrasound machine, though.”

Carstairs has already won $US100,000 as a finalist in the competition, but the process won’t be totally smooth sailing for the filmmaker.

He won’t know if he’s won the competition until one of the final three entries airs during the Super Bowl – the annual NFL championship – in San Francisco on February 7.

If he’s successful, Carstairs will walk away with $US1 million, to be shared among his team, along with a three-month stint alongside Zack Snyder on the new Justice League film.

“We go to the Super Bowl and sit in a big box and we’ll find out who the winner is when it literally comes up on screen.”

“They’ll be filming the whole thing so it’s a baptism of fire I suppose. I never planned to be on that side of the camera, that’s for sure.

While the final three entries were selected on merit, Carstairs’ fate lies in the hands of voters who must nominate Carstairs’ film on the Crash the Super Bowl website.

“Voting closes on the 31st of January. I’m not getting much sleep. I’m getting by on about three to four hours sleep a night.”

His commercial contains plenty of hidden quirks, including the fact the actors in the clip are a real-life married couple who were at the time seven months’ pregnant.

The baby shown in the ultrasound is also an animated version of Carstair and Budd’s son Freddy’s ultrasound, now 10 months old.

“It’s nerve-wracking but we’ve got a plan. It’s fair to say my wife’s probably more excited for three months in LA than I am,” Carstairs laughed.