Acad teaser courts youth

HOLLYWOOD — Coming soon: the Oscars. But the annual Academy Awards trailer has a new twist this year.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences annually produces a trailer for the kudocast, to air in theaters and video stores.

In past years, the trailer was put together after the noms were announced, touting nominees for picture, actor and actress. Last year’s accelerated awards, in late February, made the trailer impossible to produce in the one month between the nomination announcements and the ceremony.

“We had to basically reinvent it into much more of a promotional-type trailer,” said Academy special-projects director Randy Haberkamp. “The good news is that it allows us to begin promoting the awards much earlier.”

This year’s trailer follows that format, but it’s shorter. Recognizing that theatrical advertising space is becoming increasingly pricey, the new trailer was halved to 30 seconds.

It splices together ceremony and red-carpet footage from past Oscarcasts and includes clips of Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, Charlize Theron, Catherine Zeta-Jones and this year’s first-time host, Chris Rock.

Over the next six weeks, the promo will play on 20,000 movie screens in the U.S., including AMC Theaters, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, Regal Cinemas, Carmike and Cinemark, and on screens at 5,000 Blockbuster outlets.

In a gesture toward younger TV auds and moviegoers, the trailer is set to the tune of Black Eyed Peas’ Grammy-nominated “Hey Mama.”

“Basically, we are trying to not offend our base of people who are regular Oscar watchers, and yet at the same time we realize that (some of) the people that go to movies are not necessarily that same base,” Haberkamp said.

Trailer was produced by freelance producer Cochise in association with Dig and Media Island. Film stock and processing services were donated by Eastman Kodak and Deluxe Laboratories, respectively.

ABC’s telecast of “The 77th Annual Academy Awards” will air live at 5 p.m. PST Sunday, Feb. 27, from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

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