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'Spider-Man' Crew Touts Second-Screen App

9 Nov, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey

CENTURY CITY, Calif. — Ask anyone involved with the second-screen application for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s The Amazing Spider-Man Blu-ray Disc (Nov. 9), and they’ll put it up against the best second-screen apps out there, from Warner’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows to Disney and Marvel’s The Avengers.

“It’s really, really cool,” said director Marc Webb, comparing the appeal of The Amazing Spider-Man second-screen app to “texting while driving.” You just can’t help yourself, he said. “We worked on it for a very long time.”

Six months to be exact, according to Sony representatives. The studio included additional scene-specific content for practically every moment in the film, and released new content for the app every week from early October to street date. Sony Pictures offers fans not one but two interactive options with the app, one revolving around the timeline of the film, the other dedicated to production elements.

Trivia, interviews, featurettes, photos, storyboards, pre-visualization sequences, concept art, stunt rehearsals, social networking, you name it, you’ve got if you sync a Sony or Apple tablet to the Blu-ray. And Sony made this second-screen application stand out in two ways: Users can relay some app content back directly to their living-room screen, and the studio managed to keep second-screen features and disc bonuses from being redundant.

Still, for all the attention paid to the second-screen app for The Amazing Spider-Man, tablets and bonus content played a distant second fiddle to getting 3D right for Blu-ray and the home, according to Rob Engle, 3D visual effects supervisor. Sony is offering a 3D Blu-ray combo pack, with UltraViolet, among its retail SKUs.

“We knew it was going to be seen in 3D on the small screen, and we were thinking about that the entire time [while filming],” he said. “Thinking about it in 3D pays dividends all the way down the road.”

That meant applying 3D for Spider-Man sparingly, director Webb said. He stressed that any 3D shot in the film was meant to enhance “vertigo, volume and velocity,” and that 3D was never used as a “gimmick.”

“I don’t want people to even think about the 3D,” Webb said. “I want it to enhance the [film], not pull you out of the story.”

The Amazing Spider-Man pulled in more than $750 million at the worldwide box office, and Sony has marketed the release accordingly, partnering with “Wheel of Fortune,” Skippy peanut butter and Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s to support the home entertainment release. The studio expects 2.75 billion TV, digital and out-of-home consumer impressions for the film — more than enough to justify a The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

“I think Jamie Foxx is electrifying,” Webb said, hinting at who may play Electro, the next Spider-Man villain.

Sony Pictures is eyeing summer 2014 for the theatrical release of the sequel.

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