Want to help a Moorestown alum make a Super Bowl appearance?
Cal Hanlon, class of 2006, is one of 35 people across the globe competing for a chance to have their commercial featured during Super Bowl XLVI.
Hanlon, 23, created the 30-second spot—which you can view by clicking on one of the two links below—through a contest sponsored by Mofilm, which organizes competitions like this to give amateur filmmakers a chance to create video advertisements for major corporations such as Pepsi, Best Buy, AT&T or, in this case, Chevy. Hanlon said he won an award in the fall for an ad he created for Pepsi.
To view Cal Hanlon's commercial, click here for a direct link to the video.
Steven Trauger, a member of Ocean City High School's technology staff, was in the running for a . His video, which featured a pair of local surfers, failed to make the final cut.
“Nobody ever makes movies entirely for themselves. You’re trying to communicate with a larger audience,” said Hanlon, who currently teaches English as a Second Language in Madrid, Spain. “If I was able to do that on a scale of 167 million people, that’s sort of the goal.”
Communication also happens to be the theme of Hanlon’s commercial, titled “Found in Translation,” which features he and a friend, Manu Alpuente, arguing over “futbol” (soccer to Americans) vs. “football,” and “Chevrolet” vs. “Chevy.”
“Whenever I would talk about football (in Spain), I would have to say ‘Futbol Americano,’” he explained. “I knew it had to be sort of funny and theatrical for the Super Bowl.”
Were Hanlon to win—the pool of 35 will get narrowed down to five, one from roughly each continent, and from there one will be selected to air during the big game—it’d represent quite a journey for the kid who started out his filmmaking career shooting Jackass-style videos of he and his friends skateboarding and playing pranks on each other around Moorestown.
Hanlon’s mother, Janet, said her son has always been kind of a self-starter. Back in middle school, when he first got into video, he bought his own camera, she said, and parlayed his natural talents into a stint at the governor’s school for film and a student Emmy at a competition in Cape May.
The person who ran the competition told Janet her son, who was only in 8th grade at the time, “had ‘it.’”
“He’s a great originator,” she said.
Whether Hanlon has enough of “it” to win Mofilm’s Super Bowl video contest remains to be seen, but he’s not preoccupied with winning.
Though he admitted (perhaps intentionally understating the obvious) it would be “cool” to have his commercial play in front of the world, his main goal is to garner some attention, get his name out there.
The winner will be selected by a panel of judges. Hanlon’s not sure how much a particular video’s popularity—i.e. number of views, number of Facebook shares, etc.—plays into the selection, but it certainly can't hurt.
“I’m trying to hedge my bets and get as much of an online presence as I can," he said. "I just want my video to do well, make people laugh.”