×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall

Motion Picture Showmanship Award

A lot has changed in movie promotion since producer Frank Marshall carried around a tray of slides at sci-fi conventions in order to generate advance buzz for films such as “E.T.” and “Poltergeist.” Nowadays, the challenge is to somehow contain the buzz, which Marshall experienced while producing last year’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” (His wife and producing partner, Kathleen Kennedy, executive produced the film.)

“We were trying to keep things a secret,” Marshall says. “We wanted people to discover things in the movie theater, not online, not in a blog, not on YouTube. We were trying, on the set, to not have someone with a phone camera shoot the set. There are all these new challenges today.”

Kennedy echoes this sentiment. “We have a real proliferation of media now, so it’s difficult to know if the message is getting out there. And you have such a short window of time.”

Popular on Variety

Yet through all the shifts in the media landscape, Kennedy and Marshall have kept up, and worked diligently with both studio and independent publicists and marketers to do whatever it takes to get the word out — or keep it reined in — on their movies.

On “A.I.,” Kennedy was instrumental in persuading Steven Spielberg to acquiesce to Warner Bros.’ desire to create a Spielberg-oriented marketing campaign in Japan, where the director has an enormous following. And as far back as “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the duo were financing their own behind-the-scenes footage to be aired on TV (this was before the advent of DVD “extras”). Whether it be “The Bourne Identity” or “The Sixth Sense,” or even smaller films such as “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” and “Persepolis,” the pair understands that a movie’s success hinges on more than just filmmaking.

“I learned a lot of lessons from Jimmy Buffet, who is an expert at this kind of thing –figuring out how to get your brand out there, what you’re selling,” Marshall says. “I learned from the master.”

More Film

  • Colombia’s ‘Valley of Souls’ Wins Marrakech’s

    Colombia’s ‘Valley of Souls’ Wins Marrakech’s Etoile d’Or

    The 18th edition of the Marrakech Intl. Film Festival awarded the Etoile d’Or for best film to Colombia’s “Valley of Souls,” directed by Nicolás Rincón Gille. In his acceptance speech the director said: “Colombia is a country that people know very little about. But in this film I try to offer a glimpse of the [...]

  • SAFF Winners 2019

    ScreenSingapore: Philippines Projects Take Top Prizes at SAFF Market

    Projects from the Philippines took away the top prizes awarded Friday at the conclusion of Screen Singapore’s Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market. The event is part of the Singapore Media Festival. The winners included director J.P. Habac’s musical comedy drama “Golden” about homeless gay seniors who reunite to perform as drag queens to [...]

  • THE FAVOURITE

    'The Favourite' Wins Big At The 32nd European Film Awards

    Yorgos Lanthimos’s “The Favourite” scooped the 32nd European Film Awards, winning best film, best comedy and best actress for Olivia Colman who previously won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Queen Anne in the film. “The Favourite” was leading the nominations along with Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” Marco Bellocchio’s “The Traitor” and Roman [...]

  • Ed-Skrein-Erica-Rivas-Fernando-Trueba-Lucia-Puenzo

    Ventana Sur 2019: Big New Titles, Argentina-Mexico, Deals, Trends

    BUENOS AIRES   —  The last few years have caught Ventana Sur – Cannes Festival and Market’s biggest initiative outside France – taking place as the industry debated radical change. This year saw the Latin American industries in a state of  transformation themselves, wracked by headwinds – Jair Bolsonaro’s government in Brazil – or looking [...]

  • 'Free Guy' Trailer: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie

    'Free Guy': Ryan Reynolds, Taika Waititi, Jodie Comer Star in First Trailer

    The first trailer for Ryan Reynolds’ “Free Guy” premiered Saturday at the CCXP convention in Brazil. Reynolds stars as Guy, a bank teller and NPC (non-playable character) who discovers he’s living in a video game. In the trailer, hostage situations, buildings being blown up and people shooting guns off in the street is depicted as [...]

  • KARMELE

    Asier Altuna Preps Basque Historical Drama ‘Karmele the Hour of Waking Together’

    Basque cinema is booming, and director Asier Altuna is part of the vanguard leading it forward. The Spanish filmmaker, behind 2005 Youth Award winner “Aupa Etxebeste!” and 2015 Best Basque Film “Amama” at the San Sebastián Intl. Film Festival, attended this year’s Ventana Sur Proyecta sidebar with his next project, “Karmele, the Hour of Waking [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content