LOS ANGELES: Miramax, perhaps Hollywood’s most adept player of the publicity game, has unleashed its annual assault on Oscar.
LOS ANGELES: Miramax, perhaps Hollywood’s most adept player of the
publicity game, has unleashed its annual assault on Oscar.
Marcy Granata, the studio’s president of publicity and corporate
relations, said the company has begun to develop strategies similar to
those that made Good Will Hunting and Shakespeare in Love big winners on
behalf of The Cider House Rules, The Talented Mr. Ripley (a
co-production with Paramount) and Holy Smoke.
The studio scored a major PR coup in getting an astonishingly
sympathetic multi-page cover story on Ripley in the Dec. 12 New York
Miramax was so confident in the movie’s star power (Matt Damon, Gwyneth
Paltrow, Cate Blanchett) and lineage (it is directed by The English
Patient director Anthony Minghella and is adapted from the Patricia
Highsmith novel), that it made the unusual decision to screen a rough
cut of the film to key press.
’You never like to compromise a filmmaker by showing a film before it’s
finished, but we felt strongly that we needed to do it to have the right
positioning,’ said Granata.
While some attributed Miramax’s initial success to fortuitous timing and
luck, the company’s Oscar campaigns are as well-calculated and cunning
as anything within the realm of PR.
The studio typically holds the release of films that are likely to
garner kudos from critics until late December, when it opens them on a
limited number of screens in New York and Los Angeles. The studio then
builds the screen count in January and February, ensuring strong
national press and making their films a must-see for voting Academy
Granata said rough-cut screenings made films such as Patient and
Shakespeare critical favorites and allowed the company to base marketing
campaigns on the raves.
’We intentionally keep the December screen count low, because the big
studios release all of their holiday films everywhere and a small movie
can get lost,’ Granata said.