That super power belongs to the star of filmmaker Han Parker’s commercial for the local brewery, which won him first place in the inaugural Sudsie Awards held May 13 in Sparks.
Parker, a 30-year-old filmmaker in Reno, said he heard about the “30 Seconds in 30 Days” contest, which gave contestants only the month of April to produce their material, on April 1 while eating at Great Basin. Within three weeks, with the help of his friends, Parker had created the winning commercial.
“It only took us about six hours to get all the shooting done,” Parker said. “The editing took longest because it is very heavy on special effects.”
Parker staged a few of his friends waking up from a long night where they realize they had been struck by lighting the night before. The first two men, the “good-looking guys,” are able to shoot lightning bolts and produce force fields from their hands. The third man, the “dorky guy,” tests out his super power and projects a bottle of beer from his hand.
“I ran through a couple of ideas before I landed on that one, which was fun because of the stereotypes and wound up being pretty cool,” he said. As an independent filmmaker, Parker worked with clients such as Wal-Mart and Lego in his hometown of Los Angeles before coming to Reno six years ago. In 2008, he won an award at the Reno Film Festival with his documentary “Keep’n It Reno,” which was then adapted into a television show on a local channel and he continues to make commercials in the Reno area.
Parker’s winnings included a trophy, made out of a 22-ounce beer bottle painted gold and mounted on a coaster, 150 pounds (his weight) in beer and a $100 gift card to the brewery.
Second place prize winner Brian Hansen, of Lake Tahoe, received a five-gallon keg of beer and a $50 gift card. Third place prize winner Jason Spencer, of Reno, received three growlers of beer and a $25 gift card.
Don Darue, sales manager for Great Basin’s location in Sparks, organized the event and said the turnout was great for the brewery.
“We were at standing-room-only because the commercials were partly being judged on audience reaction,” Darue said. “All the contestants brought their posse with them and everyone was really into it.”
Darue said the audience and the judges experienced exactly what the brewery hoped for: humorous, spontaneous ideas that represented their beer positively. Commercials were also judged on originality, message and “beerness.” A panel of three judges included members of the Reno News and Review and the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Great Basin plans to use the commercials by the contestants on local cable channels, which is an advertising avenue they have seen succeed in the past.
“We ran several commercials on channels we were told nobody would watch and we saw our business raise by about 15 percent,” Darue said. “People who come in still talk about them.”
Darue said they look forward to holding the contest again and may look into giving the contestants a chance to use three minutes of video footage. The submissions will be available at Great Basin Brewing Co.’s website soon.