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USA Gets ‘Cool' With VHS Special Features on Oct. 9

7 Sep, 2001 By: Jessica Wolf

Director Harald Zwart is a big fan of DVD. While filming his first full-length feature One Night at McCool's, he made sure to plan forplenty of extras, which allowed USA Home Entertainment to add a few tothe VHS.

For the first time, USA is offering special features on a rental-priced VHS cassette with One Night at McCool's, which streets Oct. 9 (prebook Sept. 17, Aug. 27 DVD). The VHS will include an alternate ending, which Zwart calls “the depressing ending,” star Liv Tyler's hair and makeuptests, and a Joan Osborne music video. More special features, like an early script readthrough and behind-the-scenes footage will appear on the DVD version.

“We think it [special features on the VHS] adds a great extra, both for the rental [market] and later when it goes to sellthrough,” says Stacey Lowe, v.p. of marketing for USA. “It's something that we as a companywill explore with our future releases.

“Harald was so involved in helping provide things for special features — he actually filmed a special behind-the-scenes reel just for the DVD — so we were able to duplicate some of them to satisfy the VHS customer without giving everything away.”

Zwart, a short-film, music video and commercial director from Norway, got the chance to work on the Michael Douglas-produced film after his agent showed Douglas a reel of his commercials. The dark comedy, starring Douglas, Tyler, John Goodman, Paul Riser and Matt Dillon, got a decent reception from critics but earned only $6.3 million in its theatrical release.

“We always knew it was a small movie,” Zwart says.“We didn't have a huge budget, we knew it was a small little quirky movie."

One of the best parts, Zwart says, was putting together the DVD. “Holding physically a DVD in my hand that I helped create, having admired so many other DVDs, it was kind of surreal.”

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