First there was Scorcese and Last Temptation of Christ. Then there was the uproar over Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code and Ron Howard’s film adaptation. Now: Cinema Cake has gotten into the mix? Huh?
Yes, that’s right. Cinema Cake. That is the name of the studio owned by Dave Williams, a wedding and event filmmaker out of Philadelphia, PA. Dave is a visual genius. A true artiste. In the words of Kung Fu Panda, if you were to watch one of Dave’s films, you’d probably be blinded by the sheer awesomeness. So what has David done to piss off the Catholic church? He made a Doritos commercial.
Dave and his crew of filmmakers is one of the dozens (if not hundreds) of entries into the “Crash the Super Bowl” commercial contest. First prize is one meeeeelyon dollars. (No really. It’s $1,000,000). Dave’s team submitted the video “Feed the Flock,” where a pastor prays for a sign, hears a crunch, then starts offering Doritos chips a la communion to a line of church goers. Dave’s corresponding Pepsi entry has the pastor offering Pepsi in little communion plastic cups. It’s actually a very clever and funny commercial with amazing production values. (It was shot on a 5D Mark II. See other specs below the video.)
The controversy lies in the fact that the commercial pokes fun at one of the most holy and sacred rites and sacraments in the Catholic church. (To be fair to Dave, they made it a conscious choice to refer to the main character as a pastor not priest. They also never show a cross, a chalice, and notice what the church sign says at the end of the video.) To Catholics, the bread and wine in communion don’t just represent the body and blood of Christ, they believe that they actually become the actual body and blood of Christ. That’s why the priest will finish off any of the wine that is left as opposed to throw it out.
After dozens of positive comments, Dave’s entry started getting negative comments from Catholics and other Christians as being highly offensive. That if he were to have made a video poking fun at Islam or Judaism, there’d be a bigger outcry (I think there’s some truth to that). He even got phone calls and emails. A number of people are up in arms over it.
A Bit of Irony
On one of the videography boards I frequent, many came to Dave’s defense, calling these guys who are complaining “quacks”. Now, for the record, I’m a Christian and I did not find the ad offensive (but, I’m not Catholic). And I know many other Christians who were not offended. So, I obviously don’t agree with the take these other believers have on Dave’s commercial. But, I wouldn’t go so far as to call them “quacks.”
In fact, if I recall, just a few days ago I blogged about an Epson ad which kind of compared wedding videographers to hot dog vendors in the way of a photographer at a wedding. Guess what? A bunch of videographers were very upset over it. They wanted to Tweet bad things about Epson. They wanted to jam Epson’s blog with negative comments about how offensive that ad was to professional videographers. I wonder if the powers that be at Epson were calling us “quacks” for our reaction to that ad?
The thing is, we’re just videographers, not saviors of the world or revered deities. So, if we can get our underwear all in a bunch over that Epson ad, how can we in the very same week call quacks the devout believers who were offended by Dave’s commercial? I think one could argue that a person’s faith is a tad more serious than wedding videography. If they’re quacks, then we are too. (And I’m the HEAD quack because I wrote the blog post about the Epson ad).
Don’t Worry About Dave
Dave knew ahead of time this video would be controversial, so don’t feel sorry for or worry about him. Whether or not he wins (and I can’t imagine Doritos or Pepsi touching it with a 10′ pole), the exposure he’s getting over the controversy (this blog post included) is priceless. Given the creativity and execution of those videos, I wouldn’t be surprised if the “Mad Men” come calling on his services. The people you should feel sorry for are the brides he won’t be able to shoot videos for because he’ll be too busy shooting commercials. 😉
Great work Dave.
Film Geek Info
- Shot on a Canon 5D Mark II
- Crane shots done with a 25′ jib
- Lenses: 24-70, 70-200, and 85 1.2 – all Canon L-glass
- Cinevate Atlas for slider shots
- Crew of 8, 5 paid actors and 35 unpaid extras