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How PR Helped ‘The Hurt Locker’ Beat ‘Avatar’


Twitter already predicted the upset that took place last night, as “The Hurt Locker” beat out “Avatar” for best picture at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.

However, some traditional PR tactics are in part responsible for how “Hurt Locker” beat the much more well known, and well funded “Avatar.”

Hurt Locker distributor Summit Entertainment hired agency 42 West to handle PR for the movie’s best picture push. Specifically, former Miramax executive vice president of publicity Cynthia Swartz.

Reuters reports:

What Swartz did right was to center the campaign around [director Kathryn] Bigelow, a woman who directed with as much glory and guts as any man, and to feature writer/producer Mark Boal for his screenplay and real-life story as a journalist who was embedded with a bomb disposal unit in Iraq.

She had bound copies of the “Hurt Locker” script sent to every member of the Writers Guild of America, earning guild honors for the original screenplay and the same award at the Oscars.

A staffer at 42 West told PRNewser today that the film, “has been her life for the last six to eight months.”

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