×
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.”

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

  • promenade Cannes Croisette Cannes Placeholder

    Cannes Market Claims Record Visitor Numbers

    The Cannes Market, the Cannes Film Festival’s commercial wing, says that its 2019 edition welcomed a record number of participants. It reported 12,527 attendees. The largest group by nationality was from the U.S. with 2,264 participants, followed by France with 1,943 participants, and the U.K. 1,145. Comparable figures for 2018 were not available. The number [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Alien' at 40: Ridley Scott Explains Why 'You Don't Show the Monster Too Many Times'

    It’s difficult to imagine Ridley Scott’s sci-fi/horror classic “Alien” without the clear-minded, strong presence of Tom Skerritt as Dallas, the captain of the ill-fated Nostromo. But originally, the actor turned down “Alien,” which celebrates its 40th anniversary on May 25, though he thought Dan O’Bannon’s script read well. “There was nobody involved at the time [...]

  • The Poison Rose

    Film Review: 'The Poison Rose'

    It is 1978 in the City of Angels and the hard-drinking washed-up sleuth Carson Phillips is having another boozy day through its atmospheric streets. There is a hint of innate coolness and self-deprecation in his elongated voiceover intro — you might even briefly mistake Carson, played by a one-note John Travolta, for a Philip Marlowe [...]

  • 'On a Magical Night' Review: A

    Cannes Film Review: 'On a Magical Night'

    Most of us, in our romantic lives, meditate here and there on the other roads we might have traveled, and movies are uniquely equipped to channel those alternate-universe-of-love possibilities. That’s the idea at the (broken) heart of “Casablanca.” And the fantasy of getting to see the turns your life didn’t take play out right in [...]

  • Zach Galifianakis Jerry Seinfeld Netflix

    Film News Roundup: Zach Galifianakis' 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie' Coming to Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie” is unveiled, “Friedkin Uncut” gets a fall release and Sony Classics buys “The Traitor” at Cannes. MOVIE RELEASES Netflix has set a Sept. 20 release date for Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” based on his 11-year-old talk show. Galifianakis made the announcement during [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content