Studios Aim for More Director Interaction via BD Live30 Mar, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey
To Adam Gregorich, administrator with Home Theater Forum, Warner Home Video and Universal Studios Home Entertainment have done the best work with BD Live so far.
They’re the only two studios to get a director to sign on for a live chat with fans while the Blu-ray Disc version of the film was rolling, Universal and Guillermo del Toro in November for Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and Warner in December with Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight.
“The directors’ chats are a great use of BD Live, and so far have been, in my opinion, the best feature,” said Gregorich, who added that Forum members were among those who joined Nolan for his chat Dec. 18. “I am surprised that there have only been those two. But having said that, a downside to the chats is that there are so many users only a few can get their questions answered.”
Universal had more than 400 questions submitted for its chat, and Warner opened up its chat to 100,000 users, both had users vying for the directors’ time during roughly two-hour-long movies.
“I laud Universal and Warner — and mostly del Toro and Nolan — for doing these BD-Live director chats, as I think we need to explore the format,” added Van Ling, a freelance DVD and Blu-ray producer. “However, as with most chats, there are glitches and traffic issues, and having the movie running is difficult to synchronize with the incoming questions and time-consuming answers.”
Both Warner and Universal reported that the chats went off without a hitch.
“The industry’s first-ever BD Live chat with Hellboy II: The Golden Army director Guillermo Del Toro was a unique and exciting opportunity for fans of the film to connect directly, in real-time, with this brilliant, charismatic and very engaging filmmaker,” said Hilary Hoffman, SVP of brand and digital marketing for Universal Studios Home Entertainment. “It is emblematic of the big, immersive, interactive experiences Universal is creating using BD Live.”
And the directors themselves said before the events that they were excited about the chats.
“It will be like having a living commentary,” del Toro said at a launch party for the Blu-ray of the movie. “Blu-ray is a very young format, and there is a very real opportunity online … not to educate, that’s a very patronizing word, but to experience.”
“I don't think we’ve even scratched the surface of what the combination of BD Live and a high-quality presentation can do yet,” Ling added. “… I’m just hoping for the chance to explore, and that requires the Blu-ray format to be accepted by the public to a greater degree.”