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'March' of the Pop Ups

23 Jan, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Warner Home Video On Demand, the video-on-demand unit of WHV, March 1 will re-release the acclaimed documentary March of the Penguins with “pop up” windows of related movie information.

The VOD offering marks the first time a movie is available with “pop up” technology throughout the entire film; not just on bonus material.

Penguins, which bowed theatrically in June and on VOD and pay-per-view in late December, was released on DVD Nov. 29.

WHV is mulling similar technology for DVD releases.

WHV On Demand launched “Movies that Pop” in December when proprietary consumer research indicated 77 percent of respondents appreciated the “pop up” feature in bonus material, and 70 percent said they would like to see an entire film with the “pop up” feature.

Warner titles Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Dukes of Hazzard have all been released on VOD with “pop up” extras.

The Feb. 1 VOD release of romantic comedy My Date with Drew will include “pop up” bonus material.

The studio is still determining the extent viewers would tolerate “pop ups” during an entire film, according to Michele Edelman, VP of marketing for WHV On Demand. She said the typical bonus material is about 20 minutes in length compared to 90 minutes for Penguins.

“Maybe we will do two versions of a film, we don't know yet,” said Edelman. “The good news is that Penguins is one of those films that almost screams for [“pop ups.]”

Edelman said creating the information that appears in the “pop up” window on screen doesn't require much time other than locating the information and sourcing it.

“You are not building animation or motion capturing anything,” said Edelman. “You are just laying text over film.”

She said there is a lot of information available from a movie set that could be applicable to most films (as a “pop up”) and consumers what to know about.

“That's what we are bringing to the forefront,” Edelman said.

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