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Artisan debuting 'Witch 2' DVD/CD combo in March

By Brett Sporich

LAS VEGAS (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Artisan Home Entertainment is using its film "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" to introduce a first-of-its-kind DVD/CD combo disc to retailers March 13, it was recently announced here at the Video Software Dealers Assn. Convention & Trade Expo.

The new patented DVD/CD disc technology will allow consumers to view the film, its extra chapter materials and DVD-ROM extras on one side and then flip the disc and play the film's soundtrack on the CD side.

While all DVD players are able to play both DVDs and CDs, this new combo disc allows users to play the CD soundtrack in cars and portable CD players, Artisan Home Entertainment president of sales and marketing Jeff Fink said.

"The value-added audio and video features on the 'Book of Shadows: BW2' disc will greatly enhance its collectibility with consumers and boost sales and rentals," he said.

The CD side of the disc will include "The Reckoning" by Godhead and a live version of the song from the Blair Witch Webfest, among other songs from the film.

Putting a new spin on the concept of DVD "Easter eggs," one of the disc's DVD-ROM special features, "The Secret of Esrever," allows computer users to play the sequence backward to reveal clues to discovering ghost-like images hidden within the feature film.

DVD Easter eggs are special hidden elements in DVD-ROM enhanced discs that, when found by the user, reveal hidden messages or images.

This isn't Artisan's first foray into new DVD technology. The studio was the first to introduce DVD-18 technology with "Stephen King's The Stand."

Most DVDs are made on either DVD-5 or DVD-9 discs, which are called single-layered and dual-layered discs, respectively. The DVD-18, which some DVD manufacturers have said is too costly and too difficult to produce, is basically two DVD-9 discs glued together in a very exacting process. Artisan's reasoning behind placing "The Stand" on a single DVD-18 disc was to provide more content on a single disc rather than produce a multidisc set, which has been the standard approach by other Hollywood studios.

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