ATLANTA--"It feels surreal you know, it hasn't really sunk in yet," 30-year-old Eric Haviv told 11Alive's Catie Beck.
It was the surreal image of an ostrich sitting in an office chair that pushed Haviv into the national spotlight. The Doritos ad titled "Breakroom Ostrich" opens with a boss sitting behind a desk. "It's very disappointing that someone has been eating all of the Doritos in the break room," he says to a man and an ostrich.
The thirty second spot aired on the Today Show Friday morning as one of five finalists in the Doritos Super Bowl commercial contest. The Atlanta native was up against 5,000 other entries. Originally that group included several others from Atlanta. Three-year-old Nicholas Golden starred in an entry about his dad giving him Doritos before leaving for overseas duty. Another ad submitted by locals was called "Sending Love" and was among the most viewed during the early stages of the contest. Haviv is the only local contestant to make it to the finals.
VIEW VIDEO of all five finalists
"There was just no telling," Haviv said. "You're competing against the best amateur film makers in the world."
Even the best have to do some grunt work. Haviv tells 11Alive News that Ostrich wasn't really in an office. It was at Birdbrain Ostrich Ranch in North Carolina.
SEE behind the scenes photos of the ostrich filming
"Shooting these ostriches was like a complete nightmare," he said. The crew brought an enormous green screen to the farm, but getting the birds to flock in front of it wasn't exactly easy. "These ostriches were scared to death of this thing, it took us 8 hours to get the 15 seconds of ostrich footage that there was in this commercial," Haviv said.
They had to film the ostriches in their natural habitat and edit it all together.
Another inside fact: the actor is Haviv's roommate. He's not an actor, just a lawyer doing him a favor.
Haviv majored in film production at The Art Institute of Atlanta. Recently, Haviv and a group of friends started up a small production company. He said if he wins the money, he'll put it back into the company.
The finalists won't know the winner until the night of the Super Bowl. They'll be watching live from a stadium box together. He'll find out if his $800 commercial will win him the million dollar prize.
"I didn't see myself getting this far so the fact that I'm here is sort of blowing my mind," he said.
You can vote HERE once a day for the best Doritos ad through January 29th. Two ads will air during the Super Bowl. One chosen by voters and one by the Doritos brand team.
The two winners will have the opportunity to work with Marvel Studios on the set of "Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron". The creator of the ad that wins the most fan votes also wins $1 million.