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Strategy and Tactics of an Oscar ® Campaign

Date and Location TBA

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"Strategy and Tactics of an Oscar ® Campaign: The Hollywood Insiders' Guide To Gold."

Meet the team behind the Oscar ® - winning campaigns for "Green Book," "Black Panther" and "BlacKkKlansman," plus get a sneak peek of upcoming releases our panelists are working on.


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Justin Balsamo, Director, Awards Publicity at Focus Features (Universal Pictures)

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Scott Feinberg, awards columnist and host of the 'Awards Chatter' podcast
for The Hollywood Reporter

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Ric Robertson, former COO of The Oscars ® and Principal of Robertson Taylor Partners,
a leading awards consulting firm in Hollywood

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Jonathan Taylor, Principal, Robertson Taylor Partners


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Erik Steigen, CEO, USA Media Rights, Inc. and president, NACC Los Angeles


Justin Balsamo is Vice President of Awards & Publicity at Focus Features.  Since joining the company in 2017, he has orchestrated awards campaigns for titles including BlacKkKlansmanWon’t You Be My Neighbor?, Mary Queen of Scots, Boy Erased, Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread and Victoria & Abdul. This resulted in 22 Academy Award® nominations, 3 Academy Award® wins, 11 Golden Globe® nominations, and 1 Golden Globe® win.  In this role, Balsamo is responsible for the planning, managing, and executing all facets of the awards campaigns, including but not limited to tastemaker events, industry mailings, media & advertising, and asset management, and special screenings. Titles have ranged from live action, animation, documentary and short films.

Prior to Focus Features, Balsamo served as a Sr. Manager of Integrated Marketing & Awards at Sony Pictures Entertainment.  There, he worked on campaigns including Captain Phillips, American Hustle, Spectre, Passengers, Concussion, Fury and Sausage Party after joining the company in 2013.  He began his career as an executive assistant in Publicity at Walt Disney Studios in 2011.

Balsamo graduated Summa Cum Laude from The George Washington University with a B.B.A. in Marketing.  

Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter is one of Hollywood’s most experienced, trusted and widely-read awards columnists, employing his writing and interviewing abilities, knowledge of showbiz history and deep Rolodex to take THR readers behind-the-scenes of and inside the annual Oscar, Emmy and Tony races.

Some of Feinberg’s work appears in THR’s print editions, but most of it lives exclusively online — specifically, on his THR blog ‘The Race.’ There, he regularly posts breaking news, incisive analysis and oracular projections. (His weekly ‘Feinberg Forecast’ has long been considered the industry’s gold standard and correctly projected 21 of the 24 eventual Oscar winners in 2018, best among awards pundits.)

‘The Race’ is also where you can find Feinberg’s THR podcast ‘Awards Chatter,’ an hour-long episode of which posts at least once a week. Among the hundreds of luminaries who have been in Feinberg's hot seat: Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Lorne Michaels, Barbra Streisand, Justin Timberlake, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence, Eddie Murphy, Gal Gadot, Warren Beatty, Angelina Jolie, Snoop Dogg, Jessica Chastain, Stephen Colbert, Reese Witherspoon, Aaron Sorkin, Margot Robbie, Ryan Reynolds, Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Winslet, Jimmy Kimmel, Natalie Portman, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Gervais, Judi Dench, Quincy Jones, Jane Fonda, Tom Hanks, Amy Schumer, Jerry Seinfeld, Elisabeth Moss, RuPaul, Rachel Brosnahan, Jimmy Fallon, Kris Jenner, Michael Moore, Emilia Clarke, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Helen Mirren, Tyler Perry, Sally Field, Spike Lee, Lady Gaga, J.J. Abrams, Emma Stone, Ryan Murphy, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Dolly Parton, Will Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Sacha Baron Cohen and Carol Burnett.

Ric Robertson spent three decades at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Oscars®), most of that time in a senior executive position leading day-to-day operations. In 2016 he formed Robertson Taylor Partners, a strategic consultancy that manages successful communications campaigns, builds brands and identities, and offers useful guidance to companies, associations and individuals. 

Jonathan Taylor spent the first half of his career in entertainment journalism, with senior editing positions at Variety, the Los Angeles Times and others, before transitioning to strategic communications, holding corporate communications and program PR positions at Starz Media, and more. In 2016 he formed Robertson Taylor Partners, a strategic consultancy that manages successful communications campaigns, builds brands and identities, and offers useful guidance to companies, associations and individuals.

Earlier Event: September 4
After Work Wednesday
Later Event: October 2
After Work Wednesday