Oscar Winning – Good Movie-Making Or Good Marketing?

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – This year’s Academy Awards have come and gone, and there were few surprises as usual. Daniel Day-Lewis won best actor for his portrayal of Lincoln, Jennifer Lawrence received best actress for “Silver Linings Playbook,” and best picture went to Ben Affleck’s “Argo.”

But how the Academy chooses its winners, and what goes on behind the scenes before Oscar’s big night?

Edward Sylvan is CEO of Sycamore Entertainment, whose film The Eye of the Storm was invited by the Academy to be considered for this year’s awards, specializes in film industry financing, marketing and distribution. He says that it’s not all about who deserves the award, but who lobbies the Academy the most and works the system best that actually gets the win.

“An Academy Award campaign is pretty much like a race to the White House,” says Sylvan. “Armies of PR agents and lobbyists are hired, millions of dollars are spent to get the attention of the 5,800 Academy voters. It’s a $100 million dollar cottage industry.”

KDKA-AM’s Larry and John talk to Sylvan about how he thought the awards show went, what he thought of the winners and losers, and his critique of the Hollywood system that rewards good marketing over good movie-making.

And what does an Oscar mean to a movie?

“It means $25 to $50 million in DVD sales, and possibly another wide release of the feature,” says Sylvan. “At the end of the day, Warner Bros stands to make $50 to 60 million dollars.”

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