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商业 - 传媒与文化

如何拿下2016年奥斯卡奖?秘密在这里

Chris Lee 2016年02月29日

对于那些有幸获得提名的演员和制片商来说,争夺小金人的过程一点不比拍电影轻松,整个过程就像“总统竞选”一样忙乱。

要想拿奖,得砸下几百万美元。

2月29日早9:30(美国当地时间2月28日),第88届奥斯卡金像奖面向全球直播颁奖,吸引了约3000-4000万美国观众。然而,奖项的角逐早在直播之前就已悄悄展开。对此,《财富》杂志网站采访了多位深谙奥斯卡大奖季的操作人士。据他们介绍,对那些有幸获得提名的演员和制片商来说,争夺小金人的过程一点不比拍电影轻松。

熟知好莱坞影视操作的人都知道,在奥斯卡金像奖的各项提名公之于众后,会进入一个让人兴奋的、俗称为“第二时段”的活动期(相对应的,之前叫做“第一时段”)。这段时间就是获得提名的演员和制片商的游说时间。这有点像“总统竞选”。

辛西娅•施瓦兹所在的娱乐公关公司Strategy PR/Consulting负责为《归来者》、《史蒂夫•乔布斯》、《45年》和《房间》做奥斯卡奖宣传。她评价:“这段时间非常忙乱,要参加各种各样的活动。先去领美国演员工会奖,然后去英国参加英国影视艺术学院电影奖角逐,再赶回来。得到处出差。很多时候,提名电影还得去海外市场宣传,也得挤出时间。”

施瓦兹为《撞车》、《低俗小说》、《芝加哥》、《拆弹部队》等多部赢得奥斯卡提名的影片做过幕后宣传。她说:“大家都想把提名当成推广工具。所以这几周日程非常紧凑。”

竞逐之路

进入奥斯卡奖的淘汰环节后,各位获得提名者要在多个活动中走红毯,在新闻发布会上微笑留影,和媒体寒暄,与学院评委们觥筹交错,还要跟评委们自拍合影。此外,他们还要出席多个电影业评判委员会和等级低于奥斯卡的奖项开幕式。

在第一时段,各大电影制片公司可能投入1000万美元用于广告宣传、制作专供评委和影评人观看的内部预览版光碟;还要举办丰盛的自助餐、音乐会和香槟酒会招待评委。

第二时段规则

美国电影艺术与科学学院制定了一系列规则,指导获得奖项提名者在第二时段宣传各自的影片和取得的成绩,规管该阶段里所谓的“增加附加值机会”。

其中首要的一条规则是:任何评选活动均不包括招待会和其他供应食品或饮料的活动。在介绍影片主创的问答环节结束后,不得进行超过四次放映(以此限制影片投票期间的明星效应)。在争取提名阶段,秉持的是“发动一切力量摇旗呐喊、博得喝彩”的营销理念,而第二时段拼的则是推广思路,因为每周只能发送一封宣传电邮,也只能送给每位评选一张DVD提名候选片光碟。

每年从美国的劳动节(9月第一个星期一——译者注)到圣诞节,是非正式的冲奖季节,一年里最有份量的电影纷纷上映。这几个月里,各类机构的评委会投票选出奥斯卡各奖项的提名。比如导演评委会选出最佳导演奖项提名者,录音剪辑师、服装设计师等专业人士也会选出各自领域的提名者(因此奥斯卡颁奖典礼或许可以称为最引人瞩目的业内精英认证大会)。不过,第二时段不会有来自机构的投票,美国电影艺术与科学学院的全体成员都可以为各个奖项投票。

奥斯卡颁奖前的各类工会奖是关键

战略分析师认为,这就是为什么奥斯卡提名者出席各类工会奖,不管是颁奖还是提名都很重要。这三大工会奖包括分别于1月23日、1月30日和2月6日颁发的美国制片人工会奖、美国演员工会奖和美国导演工会奖。除了让赢得提名者提高获奖自信,出席这些奖项其实和美国大选初选有异曲同工之妙:让获提名者保持公众曝光,也有机会和广大潜在投票者面对面接触。

但第二时段不只提供了大量拍照的机会,还关系到角逐风向的重大转变,直接导致一些后来居上的大逆转。2011年,《国王的演讲》在评选期间一直不为众多影评家看好,落后于《社交网络》,直到宣布奥斯卡提名当天,才开始展现黑马之姿,最终一举夺得最佳影片、最佳男主角、最佳导演和最佳原创剧本四项奥斯卡大奖。最后一刻翻盘的经历同样出现在2013年,本•阿弗莱克并没获得奥斯卡奖最佳导演奖提名,可他执导的《逃离德黑兰》却在第二时段能量爆发,最终夺得最佳影片和最佳改编剧本大奖,上演了一出灰姑娘变公主的好戏。

今年,虽然在整个获奖季都被《聚焦》甩在身后,但《大空头》已经后程发力,跻身最有可能夺走奥斯卡最佳影片奖的领跑者之列,部分原因是该片已经拿下美国制片人工会奖。

是否太过关注得奖?

施瓦兹是业内普遍视为最优秀的奖项宣传人士之一,她的声望来自每年同对手电影公司竞争推广影片的资历。和一些业内人士一样,她也认为,第二时段经历了由电影业内部关注到公众关注的变化,转变的过程也与媒体报道奥斯卡奖项角逐的时间一致。如今,提名者雀屏中选的几率要看每天的舆情,有时甚至要关注每小时风向变化。

“起先,媒体主要报道影片内容,但现在变成了类似体育赛事的报道,主要关注‘谁得奖机会上升了?谁阵势下去了?’”施瓦兹说,“真是遗憾。报道视角的偏移让人忽视了获得提名本身的荣誉。其实得到提名本来就是一件光荣的事。如果提名没有那么重要,为什么像‘奥斯卡太白’这种质疑白人提名者太多的话题会引起不满?人们在乎的就是提名!”

作者克里斯•李曾是美国娱乐杂志《娱乐周刊》(Entertainment Weekly)、《洛杉矶时报》(The Los Angeles Times)、《新闻周刊》(Newsweek)和新闻网站《每日野兽》(The Daily Beast)的专职撰稿人。他在洛杉矶做娱乐、文化与商业报道。

译者:Pessy

校对:夏林

It costs millions.

Oscar watchers won’t know the big winners until Sunday when the 88th Academy Awards are broadcast to a projected national audience of somewhere between 30- and 40 million viewers. But the awards race quietly reached the finish line with the official end of Oscar voting on Feb. 23 — a deadline that caps the frenzied, 33-day span of last-minute campaigning known among Hollywood insiders as “Phase 2.”

Kicking off Jan. 22 with the Academy Awards nominations announcement, Phase 2 involves no small amount of legwork for the actors and filmmakers being honored in marquee categories, according to several awards season veterans contacted by Fortune.com.

“It’s a very hectic time,” says Cynthia Swartz, whose firm Strategy PR/Consulting is running Oscar campaigns for The Revenant, Steve Jobs, 45 Yearsand Room. “It’s going to the various events. You’ve got the [Screen Actors Guild] awards, then you go to the UK for the BAFTAs. Then you come back. There’s a lot of traveling. And a lot of the time, films have to do international promotion so they’re trying to shoehorn that in.”

Swartz has worked behind the scenes on campaigns for such Oscar-anointed films as Crash, Pulp Fiction, Chicago and The Hurt Locker. She adds, “Everyone wants to utilize the nominations as a marketing tool to drive business. It’s a very compressed several weeks.”

The campaign trail

Just to reach this Oscars’ knock-out round, the nominees have already strolled a procession of red carpets at gala events, smiled for cameras at press meet-and-greets and raised toasts and posed for selfies with Academy voters — in addition to attending numerous industry panels and lower tier awards ceremonies.

And during Phase 1, major movie studios can spend as much as $10 million on ad campaigns, watermarked screeners; and feting balloters with lavish buffets, concerts and champagne receptions.

The rules of Phase 2

A demanding set of rules laid down by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences governs how nominees can promote their films and performances during Phase 2, regulating what are known as “value-added opportunities.”

Chief among them: “no screening event may include a reception or otherwise offer complimentary food or beverages.” No more than four screenings followed by question-and-answer sessions featuring the talent from the films (thereby limiting the overall effect of star power on balloting). And unlike the nomination phase, where a “let’s run everything up the flagpole and see who salutes” marketing mentality reigns, Phase 2 maintains a limit of one promotional email per week and just a single screener DVD to each member.

Over the months that unofficially comprise awards season — roughly from Labor Day through Christmas when the year’s most prestigious movies reach the theatrical marketplace — Oscar nominations in specific categories are voted upon by members of various branches. Directors vote for directors. Sound editors vote for sound editors. Costume designers, for costume designers, and so on (hence the Oscars’ renown as perhaps the world’s most glamorous employee recognition party). During Phase 2, however, the silos between the branches vanish and every Academy member can vote in every category.

Guild awards before the Oscars are key

Which is why, according to awards strategists, nominees’ attendance as both presenters and nominees at various guild awards — the big three being the Producers Guild Awards (Jan. 23), The Directors Guild Awards (Feb. 6) and the Screen Actors Guild Awards (Jan. 30) — becomes crucial. Above and beyond furthering perceptions of themselves as winners, such appearances function as campaign stops not unlike an election primary: they give those nominated a chance to press the flesh with a wide swath of potential voters while remaining squarely in the public eye.

But more than the sum of its photo opportunities, Phase 2 is associated with momentum shifts that can result in stunning come-from-behind victories. In 2011, after trailing The Social Network across a raft of critics awards in the lead-up to Oscar nomination day, the historical biopic The King’sSpeech began a dark-horse run that ultimately yielded Academy Awards for best picture, best actor, best director and best screenplay. Likewise, after Ben Affleck was snubbed by the Academy in the best director category in 2013, Argo found a burst of new energy during Phase 2 that resulted in Oscars for best picture and best adapted screenplay to become the year’s Cinderella story.

And this year, after trailing Spotlight throughout awards season, The Big Short has surged to the front of the pack as the odds-on favorite to take home the Academy Award for the Best Picture, in part due to the fact that it won the Producers Guild Award.

Is there too much attention on winning?

Swartz, widely considered one of the best awards campaigners in the business, has cultivated thisreputation by working on competing films from rival studios on any given year. Still, she is among those who think the evolution of Phase 2 from an industry concern into a matter of public scrutiny has coincided with media coverage of the awards race.Nowadays, gurus of gold handicap nominee odds on a daily — and sometimes hourly — basis.

“It went from being something the press primarily covered the films to being this thing of, ‘Who’s up? Who’s down?’ Really aggressively covering it like a sport,” Swartz said. “That’s unfortunate. It’s taken away from the honor of just being nominated. They really are honored to be nominated. If it isn’t an honor to be nominated, then why is everybody so upset by #OscarsSoWhite? People care about the nominations!”

Chris Lee is a former staff writer for Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He covers entertainment, culture and business in Los Angeles.

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