6 Key Art Awards Netted in Sony's Spider Web

Virtually every high-level studio marketer was in attendance as Sony
Amped-up star power and a return of home video categories marked The Hollywood Reporter's 32nd Annual Key Art Awards Friday evening at the International Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

Virtually every high-level studio marketer seemed to be in attendance as Sony captured the night with six wins, four of those tied to its summer 2002 blockbuster "Spider-Man."

Miramax entries made a strong showing, with four awards for three different films ("Chicago," "Frida" and "Gangs of New York"). The trailer for "Chicago" won for drama trailer and was also voted best in show: A/V by the audience. DreamWorks SKG also scored three wins for three films: "Catch Me If You Can," "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron" and "Road to Perdition."

On hand were such stars as Sharon Stone, Tobey McGuire and Rob Schneider; directors McG and Kevin Smith; and producer Gale Anne Hurd. Presenting duties were deftly handled for a second year by Peter Adee, marketing chief of MGM.

Adee joked in his opening remarks that he worked at MGM, "which is a lot like working in the movie business." He poked fun at the studio's reliance on its bread-and-butter James Bond franchise, displaying mock posters of such MGM hybrid projects as "Legally Bond."

Sharon Stone was the first celebrity presenter to make an appearance. She joked about having a Final Cut Pro editing system in her garage that she "fools around with after my husband goes to sleep," on which she cuts the occasional "sizzle trailer" for Disney. Looking very slim and sporting a pixie-ish short haircut, she charmed the audience.

For the second successive year, The Hollywood Reporter included a student category in the awards. This year's competition garnered more than 300 entries (twice as many as last year) from 28 schools in California and New York; a total of $22,000 in cash prizes was given away to first, second and third place winners in the two categories of student poster and student trailer based on either Universal Pictures' "A Beautiful Mind" or 20th Century Fox's "Moulin Rouge."

In his introductory remarks, Robert J. Dowling, editor-in-chief and publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, said the Key Art Awards were about "honoring terrific work that plays a key role in the fortune of every film." He called movie advertising "an art form" that The Hollywood Reporter would like to have recognized within and outside of the industry. To this goal, he noted THR's continued sponsorship of the UCLA Archive of Motion Picture Advertising.

Universal vice chairman Marc Shmuger presented the awards to the student winners. Meredith H. Carty of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandise won for best poster (based on "Moulin Rouge"), while Oscar Daniels of the American Film Institute won for best trailer (based on "Beautiful Mind"). The two gave brief speeches thanking the judges and acknowledging their professors, with Daniels also thanking last year's student trailer winner, Radu Ion, for "all his advice."

Adee -- who was abruptly replaced as head of marketing for Universal just before last year's Key Art ceremony -- got one of the biggest laughs of the evening after returning to the stage following Shmuger's student awards presentation.

"Thank you, Marc Shmuger," he said. After a beat, he added: "I believe hell will now freeze over."

Presenter Kevin Smith, the writer-director of such films as "Clerks" and "Chasing Amy," also got hearty laughs with his musings on how marketers sucker people into going to movies by making them look better than they are. He joked how this happened to him with Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes," and said he was now being interested in seeing this year's "Seabiscuit" by the tug-at-the-heartstrings marketing.

Universal's Ken Graffeo and 20th Century Fox's Mike Dunn took the stage to announce winners in home video Key Art categories for the first time in four years. The elaborate package for "Pearl Harbor: The Director's Cut" scored a win for Buena Vista Home Entertainment in the category of DVD/VHS packaging. Special recognition went to "Band of Brothers" Boxed Set Collector's Edition," while consumer TV spot awards went to Fox's "Ice Age" and Buena Vista's "Pulp Fiction" trailer created with Alkemi Entertainment.

A new honor was added this year, the Movie Marketer's Dream, which recognizes the entire moviemaking team that contributes to the marketing success of a film campaign. Sony marketing chief Geoffrey Ammer took the stage to introduce Amy Pascal plus "Spider-Man" producers Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad, along with star Tobey McGuire, to fete the huge marketing and boxoffice success of that movie. Pascal proclaimed Sony's marketing team "the most kick-ass in the world."

Bemis Balkind founder and CEO Peter Bemis was this year's Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Balkind was introduced by Warner Bros.' Joel Wayne, who recalled hiring him several decades ago at Grey Advertising.

For the second year in a row, the best in show category was voted on by the audience. Results were monitored and tabulated by National Research Group, which, like The Hollywood Reporter, is owned by VNU. The Ant Farm's and Miramax's trailer for "Chicago" won in the A/V category, while Bemis Balkind's and Sony's "Adaptation" won for print. The results were announced by "The Hot Chick" star Rob Schneider, who returned after presenting duties two years ago.

This was the first year The Hollywood Reporter launched a Web site allowing the public to vote on their favorites among the Key Art nominees. The "By the People" results often differed from those of the Key Arts judges, though the trailer for "Chicago" was a big hit with both panels. Disney marketing head Oren Aviv announced the Web results, with about 60,000 votes cast.

Several short films created by film advertising vendors were shown throughout the evening. These included an opening film by New Wave Cinema; a Key Art Awards highlights reel by Winston Davis & Associates; a tribute by Trailer Park to last year's bombs such as "Pluto Nash" and "Swept Away"; an L.A. Times movie ad parody, also by Trailer Park; a humorous take on "truth in advertising" by Hammer; a spoof of the changing fortunes of home video overseen by Kathy Kuchta; and Peter Bemis' tribute reel, created by In Sync Advertising.

A record 1,200 entries were received for this year's awards. A panel of more than 200 industry judges voted on the entries, using a system designed and regulated by PricewaterhouseCoopers Llc. This year's sponsors included Avid, CFI, Technicolor and Turning Leaf Vineyards.

More than 1,700 people attended the ceremony, up from about 1,200 last year thanks in part to the larger venue (last year's awards we
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