Darth Vader Director: More Super Bowl Ads Will Be Released Online Next Year (Video)
The famous Darth Vader Volkswagen ad had been streamed more than 10 million times before it aired during Sunday's Super Bowl.
And the director behind it, Lance Acord of Park Pictures, thinks that will be the new model in future years.
"It's a relatively new phenomenon the way commercials are pre-released this year. A lot of the popularity of the commercial is attributable to YouTube and the Internet," he told The Hollywood Reporter.
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"It will continue to grow. The commercial - the way it happened - in the years to come, people will try to use it as a model to get attention and buzz going," he added. "So by the time it airs, people are looking forward to seeing it because they've heard about it or a friend sent a link. And people wanted to see it, so they were paying attention."
Acord admitted he had "mixed feelings" about the 30-second version of the spot that aired Sunday, versus the 60-second version that streamed online.
"I was worried [people wouldn't like it]," he said. "The response was really good to the 30."
He said the ad agency and Volkswagen "looked into getting a 60 for it -- but the whole schedule was pretty compressed" by the time editing was done -- just two weeks before the game.
Lucasfilm "loved the script and they loved the idea," says Acord, who did not reveal the budget for the commercial. (A 30-second spot costs $3 million to air, though.) Approving the usage of Darth Vader "went through amazingly fast and very smoothly."
The commercial was filmed January 12 and 13 in L.A.
"It was fun. We had a great time," said Acord. The 6-year-old star, Max Page, "is a great kid. He's an amazing little actor, and has an incredible ability for his age to stay focused and concentrate and he's very, very patient."
"Of all the kids we auditioned…75 to 100 kids," added Acord, "he was one of the few who had never seen the movie before. He had a looser interpretation, a little bit of ninja mixed in." (The auditions were held in full wardrobe, so the actors had to be "expressive with their hands… it was funnier the smaller the kid was," jokes Acord.)
"It was a nice surprise it took off like it did," added Acord, who also served as the cameraman. "There was something simple and down to earth about this, which people related to. The script was straight forward: a kid using the force around his house."