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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Boal’

Hollywood Pushes Back Against Zero Dark Thirty Critics

Zero Dark ThirtyWe haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty yet, but we are intrigued by the PR back-and-forth between the film’s makers/promoters and various members of the US government. A couple of questions are central to the controversy:

  • Does the film glorify torture and imply that information gained during torture sessions eventually led to the location and assassination of Osama bin Laden?
  • Did the filmmakers act inappropriately in collecting information from confidential sources within the Central Intelligence Agency?

This is a bi-partisan issue; California Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Arizona Republican John McCain both voiced concern over the fact that the movie might lead Americans to see “enhanced interrogation” as an acceptable element of the US military’s intelligence arsenal. The conversation grew so heated that director Kathryn Bigelow found the need to release a public statement calling herself a “lifelong pacifist”, disavowing the use of torture and reminding everyone in the media that retweets do not equal endorsements. The senators have also sent a letter to the acting director of the CIA asking for more information in terms of the filmmakers’ discussions with members of the agency’s intelligence community.

Now the pushback on behalf of ZDT is growing stronger–and it’s an interesting case from a PR perspective.

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Bin Laden Hits the Big Screen

Osama: Slytherin, most definitely

It took 10 years for U.S. forces to track down Osama bin Laden, but only hours for Hollywood to start planning movie versions.

An agent for former Navy Seal sniper Howard Wasdin, whose yet-to-be-released memoir SEAL Team Six documents his time with the elite counterterrorism unit that shot Bin Laden, says he’s already had several offers for a movie adaptation.

And (perhaps inconveniently) the terrorist’s death provides The Hurt Locker‘s Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal with a new, solid ending to their already-in-the-works thriller (working title: based in part on “a Delta Force commander’s” 2008 memoir Kill Bin Laden), about a U.S. special ops team on the hunt for bin Laden in Tora Bora.

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

CynthiaSwartz22.jpg

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.”