Hollywood Convergence At Its Best?

In the spirit of "if at first you don't succeed . . .," Hollywood is attempting every combination of interactive DVD/Internet "synergy" it can think of. Warner Home Video will be taking its latest stab at convergence January 17 when the company will be hosting a "Virtual Theater" event for their DVD release of The Perfect Storm.

The Perfect Storm director Wolfgang Petersen will host an online forum allowing Internet-connected film buffs from around the world to participate in a simultaneous full-length screening of the DVD and live chat event with industry representatives. The event is slated to take place Wednesday, January 17 at 6:00pm PST.

Warner explains that, to participate, users need a computer equipped with a DVD-ROM drive, The Perfect Storm DVD, and an Internet connection.  The company says it will deliver a cue via the Internet which will trigger the movie to begin at the same time for all users on their computers.  Users will then view the movie together in the "Virtual Theater" and will be able to ask Petersen questions.  Warner notes that users without a DVD-ROM computer will be able to participate in the chat only, and that users can register by going to "Online Events" in their DVD-ROM's menu or to www.warnervideo.com/Perfectstormevents.  Users can also submit questions in advance or find additional information at this site.

This isn't the first "Virtual Theater" attempted by Warner however. Previous guests include director David O. Russell and Mark Wahlberg on behalf of Three Kings and writers/directors Andy and Larry Wachowski and visual effects supervisor John Gaeta on behalf of The Matrix. The Perfect Storm's Wolfgang Petersen also directed Das Boot and Air Force One.