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Home Theater Forum Goes to Hollywood: Sony Pictures

22 Oct, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Members of Home Theater Forum at Sony Pictures Studios.

CULVER CITY, Calif. — Tracey Garvin, SVP of worldwide marketing for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, did her best to stifle laughter every time she said “Boats ‘N Hoes.”

Members of the Home Theater Forum didn’t even try.

After spending the morning with representatives from Microsoft and Pioneer, Home Theater Forum members found the red carpet rolled out for them at Sony Pictures Studios, where they got the first glimpse at new BD Live special features for Step Brothers, the first look at Sony’s first interactive picture-in-picture Blu-ray Disc, and the first North American viewing of Resident Evil: Degeneration.

“I’ve had a long history with many of you, and I can’t tell you how much you mean to us,” Fritz Friedman, SVP of worldwide publicity for SPHE, told HTF members. A theater marquee and lunch greeted HTF members.

HTF members were treated to a hot-off-the-presses BD Live feature, which takes video clips of Step Brothers stars Will Farrell and John C. Reilly dancing on a boat with two women, flashing money and drinking champagne, and allows BD Live users to mix the clips to a rap song called “Boats ‘N Hoes.” Finished videos can then be uploaded to the BD Live network, and ranked by other BD Live users.

“We just finished authoring it last week,” Garvin said. “I have to give a disclaimer: It is a rap song and it is a bit raunchy.” She added that for this Blu-ray, the special feature is only in standard-definition, with SPHE aiming for high-def footage for future features like this one. One day soon, BD Live users may be able to take whatever clips they wanted from a movie, and mix them to music to make their own videos.

Next HTF members got first look at the new picture-in-picture feature SPHE is using for Resident Evil: Degeneration, the all-CGI horror flick streeting Dec. 30. The feature allows Blu-ray viewers to choose one of three streams to play along with the film: animatics, motion capture or storyboards. Users can switch between all three at any time while the movie is playing, and the picture-in-picture actually stays with the films when users fast-forward at 1.5-times speed. “It’s certainly coming together for us, and I think for the other studios as well,” Garvin said.

Lastly, HTF members got to see the latest “Resident Evil” offering before anyone else in America. While going direct to DVD here, it’s showing in theaters now in Japan.

Before heading off to a SVS sound presentation on Sunset Boulevard, HTF head Ron Epstein summed up the group’s Hollywood experience so far: “It’s been a blast.”

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