I like DVD’s!

Here are some recently released DVDs with big bonuses
Not only are filmmakers keeping the DVD version in mind as they make new movies, but studios also are sifting through their vast libraries for films that can be mined for special treatment ó and renewed sales.
Special-effects bonanzas such as Pearl Harbor and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring have spawned multiple versions, including four-disc sets. But nearly all DVDs arrive in stores with a slew of extras, such as behind-the-scenes footage, commentary and music videos.
“Most consumers know that, and that is why DVDs are selling so well,” says Eddie Feng, associate review editor of the DVDTown Web site.
Studios know that bonuses can make the difference in whether a consumer buys a DVD. Disney’s Buena Vista Home Entertainment surveyed consumers and found that 63% consider bonus materials important in purchases.
Most Disney DVDs have a “Disneypedia” feature, with facts about Hawaii in Lilo & Stitch, and pirates in the forthcoming Treasure Planet DVD. “These are all-family games and interesting features, ways to talk about the movie … things they can’t find elsewhere,” says Buena Vista’s Bob Chapek.
As demand increases, the process gets more hectic. Warner Home Video’s DVD production staff is usually working on 100 or so DVDs simultaneously and has more than 250 due in 2003. The crew has been involved from the outset on films such as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (DVD due April 11) and The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (in theaters May 15 and Nov. 7, respectively), says Paul Hemstreet of Warner Home Video. “We really get involved as early as we can.”
But, Feng says, the rush to retail results in “a lot of discs filled with junk. The studios sometimes don’t have much time to create extras, so they’ll resort to cramming it full of promotional items … of little value in the long run.”
But in most cases, independent DVD producers who create and design the bonus materials are getting much more cooperation from studios and filmmakers than in the past, says Alita Holly, who has created extras for Rush Hour 2 and Swingers, Collector’s Series.
“They want their (discs) to be really cool, so they have been opening their doors in ways they hadn’t before,” she says. “They realize that DVD is where their movie is going to live on.”