Disney Blu-ray Special Features: Second Screen

Adam Gregorich

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During the recent Home Theater Forum event we had the opportunity to meet with Brian Kwan from Disney who walked us through some of the special features created for their Blu-ray releases including second screen applications. Here is most of that presentation:

I'm Brian Kwan, I'm the senior producer of content enhancement production for the studio. And that's kind of a funny way of saying that amongst other things my team produces all of the bonus features that you see on our in-home releases. And you know, whether it's our behind the scenes materials or our short films or our interactive apps or anything else, one of the things that we always strive to do is we try to extend the film's universe and we always want to try to do something unexpected. And so when they asked me to show the best of 2012 initiatives instead of showing you just a bunch of individual clips I thought we put together a sizzle of some of our favorite bonus features in 2012 in case you missed any of them. And so with that we can roll the video.
[Shows 'best of special features" video]

Those are some of the special features we worked on in 2012 and some of the stuff that we're working on now. Hopefully some of those clips are familiar, if so it meant you saw our bonus features, so I hope you enjoy them. Right now I wanted to focus on two recent innovations that we worked on in 2012 and they were really big for us this year. The first one is Disney Second Screen. Now, how many of you have either heard of or experienced Disney Second Screen? Okay, a few of you. Okay, great. For those of you who don't know anything about it, or are unfamiliar with it, just a quick primer, Disney Second Screen was something that we pioneered in 2011 with the Blu-ray release of Bambi and Tron: Legacy. And basically they're free apps that you can download to your iPad or in some instance your iPhone, we also built it in flash, so it works on any computer, PC or Mac. And what happens is when you launch the app, the app will run in sync with your Blu-ray or digital version of the movie and will actually deliver content to you in sync to where you are in the film. So in essence you're watching bonus features in context to the movie, so what I like to do is just show you very quickly a few examples of the Disney Second Screen.
All right. Now, in terms of the Disney Second Screen, most of them have a general user interface and the content or at least the way you navigate around Disney Second Screen is similar throughout the apps, but each one has its own sort of unique property and unique innovation as well. So first one I want to start with is Lady and the Tramp. [https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/disney-second-screen-lady/id494948109


Here is a listing of other events we had during the week.
 

Sam Posten

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I think Second Screen is a really neat idea.... For the home! They mentioned some intitiatives to try to get it going in theaters and I'm VERY nervous about that!
I LOVE the intermission idea too. Perfect execution on the Muppets, I want more of that!
 

Aaron Silverman

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Now that we have an iPad, Second Screen is suddenly a *little* intriguing. :) I like that they're using it in clever ways, like the "flip book" and John Carter journal, rather than just making you use an extra device to access regular extras.
The Muppet intermission is a hoot.
 

Andy_Munich

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Sam Posten said:
I think Second Screen is a really neat idea.... For the home! They mentioned some intitiatives to try to get it going in theaters and I'm VERY nervous about that!
I LOVE the intermission idea too. Perfect execution on the Muppets, I want more of that!
Yes! The thought of that technology falling into the wrong hands is terrifying!
Now that I've got a new iPad Mini at home, I'll have to investigate it further. But only at home!
 

Rob Willey

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I was a little torn by the Disney Intermission presentation. When I pause a blu-ray to, say, answer the phone, I want the disc to pause (and shut up!). I don't want it to keep going with different content! Oh well, different strokes for different folks.
 

Jason_V

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Here's a totally random and related story: I hadn't downloaded any of the Second Screen apps prior to the LA trip (I have since then!) and touring Walt Disney's apartment stuck in my mind from the presentation.

So, 2 weeks ago, my boss asked me to do a little training of a new employee while answering 401(k) document questions from a client on a call. Turns out, the client used to sell hotel packages for Disney and was well versed in everything related to the studio/parks. We started talking about the hotels and fun stories when she says there was a long-time manager of some kind who was given either a tour or some time in a room in the castle at WDW. I casually mentioned Walt's apartment and she said I couldn't have seen it since its closed to the public.

I pulled out what I remembered of the Second Screen app and said the tour was on the L&tT BD. When I mentioned it, the entire department poked their heads up over the cubes and stared at me. It was a great way to cement a new relationship with a client and show some versatility in my knowledge base.

Now, every time I e-mail this client, we try to "one up" each other. In her initial PS, she said "see ya' real soon" and challenged me to figure out where that came from. That's easy, of course. It's the Mickey Mouse Club theme song.

So, in a backwards kind of way, my hobby helped the job that puts food on the table. That's just awesome in my book.
 

captgoodguy

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Sam Posten said:
I think Second Screen is a really neat idea.... For the home! They mentioned some intitiatives to try to get it going in theaters and I'm VERY nervous about that!
I LOVE the intermission idea too. Perfect execution on the Muppets, I want more of that!
A valid concern Sam. However as I understand it from another group I've been affiliated with, the intent is to have the option available in theaters during a special showing for that very purpose. That way it won't disturb other movie patrons who aren't using the app.
 

captgoodguy

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This was a very enjoyable presentation. Disney gets it right every time. They always make sure to go to some very extreme details when creating a new product. This is no exception. As they mentioned elsewhere during their discussion, they like to think that Walt is looking over their shoulder. You can see they truly care about continuing Walt’s legacy. The “Muppet chickens” video was just a brilliant piece of work. Who else would think to create something for the viewers who are waiting for someone else to finish their business?
 

Frank Ha

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I really liked this part of our time with Disney. I wasn't aware of the Second Screen app until they told us about it. I've downloaded two apps so far, The Avengers and Lady and the Tramp and I'm enjoying going through them. I like being able to see Walt's apartment at Disneyland in a 360 degree view. It's cool.
I also liked seeing the Disney Intermission on the Muppet Christmas Carol. I think that's an ingenuous idea. I bought the Blu-ray last week, but will not watch it until my son comes to visit closer to Christmas. He loves the Muppet Christmas Carol, so I'm looking forward to seeing his reaction when we pause the movie.
 

Colin Davidson

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It was great to hear from Mr. Kwan about Disney 2nd Screen.
I have used this feature with past Disney titles and have always found it fun and entertaining. It definitely provides a more in depth look at the feature and provides some unique looks into not only the production but other aspects that make Disneys films so great.
 

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