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Award season sparks tailor-made movie trailers and ad campaigns, but to what end?




Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer in Fox Searchlight's THE SHAPE OF WATER. Both actresses have been nominated for academy awards this year for their performances in the film.
Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer in Fox Searchlight's THE SHAPE OF WATER. Both actresses have been nominated for academy awards this year for their performances in the film.
Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchligh

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Though artistic merit is a large factor in a film being nominated for an award, it would be remiss to disregard the large, roaring engines of marketing machines that back a movie from start to finish.

The direction of a film’s advertising campaign depends on a number of components, such as intended audience and critical attention, but these components have a tendency to shift over time. As award season picks up and the accolades start coming in, it becomes crucial for marketing houses to identify how a film is being received and to capitalize on its strengths when advertising to Academy members. Cue a slew of freshly re-structured trailers and “For Your Consideration” ads, and those shiny gold statues seem a little less out of reach.

But is this strategy as effective as it’s made out to be? Some would argue that Academy members are more influenced by the results of previous awards shows such as the Golden Globes and SAG Awards rather than a two minute trailer or thirty second ad.  

Either way, FilmWeek wants to know: if you’re a member of the Academy, do these types of campaigns hold much weight with you? And if you’re a movie fan, how do you feel about the power of PR when it comes to award shows? Call 866.893.5722.

Guests:

Nick Temple, founder and editor of Wild Card, a theatrical advertising agency based in Culver City whose primary focus is event and Academy films; he has worked on films including “The Post,” “American Sniper,” “Lincoln,” “The Martian,” and “Bridge of Spies”

Stu Zakim, president of Bridge Strategic Communications, a public relations firm in the entertainment and cannabis business based in Montclair, New Jersey; he’s been a Motion Picture Arts Academy member since 1995, has held executive positions at Columbia Pictures and Universal and worked on films including Schindler’s List, Scent of a Woman, Apollo 13, and Jurassic Park