Lionsgate continued its virtually misstep-free existence last night, by guiding Crash to its best picture trophy. Apart from that whole Usher thing, the little company that could has been magic from day one, mixing low-budget cash cows like the Saw franchise with indie flicks and clever marketing campaigns to catapult itself to the forefront of an industry that usually favors the monster studios with massive budgets.

Though Crash was released well before the other best picture nominees, Lionsgate was able to keep it in the forefront of voters' minds via a $4 million advertising budget, the bulk of which was spent sending a DVD of the film to each of the 120,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild. (Because of Crash's early release and availability on DVD, the studio didn't face the pirating issues that would normally scuttle such a marketing campaign.) And, like most everything Lionsgate does, it worked - as Crash writer/director Paul Haggis himself put it, "We had a tiny picture, we opened at the wrong time, thank God for Lionsgate."