Warner trots out shorts in online promo for ‘Tango’

Stars Perry, Campbell, McDermott, Platt captured by hidden camera

Broadening Warner Bros.’ netcasting efforts and the marketing of its feature “Three to Tango,” helmer Damon Santostefano has directed a series of short docu-style promos for the film that will begin screening on the company’s Web site this week.

The shorts, which feature the pic’s stars Matthew Perry, Neve Campbell, Dylan McDermott and Oliver Platt talking about the film and captured in unscripted moments via hidden camera, will be broadcast by Warner Bros. Online beginning Wednesday. Pic hits theaters Oct. 22.

To collect the footage, Santostefano planted hidden Webcams in the stars’ trailers, offices, TV stages and gyms. He also shot additional docu-style footage of Campbell on the set of “Party of Five,” Perry at “Friends,” McDermott on “The Practice” and Platt on the set of his latest pic, to be integrated into the final shorts.

Sandler, ‘Giant’ steps

The move extends Warner Bros. Online’s efforts in broadcasting video on its Web site. Its broadcasts of Adam Sandler’s “The Peeper” and 10 minutes of “The Iron Giant” proved popular among Netizens.

“Damon understands the power of the Web completely,” said Don Buckley, Warner Bros.’ senior veep of theatrical marketing and new media. “We talked about the idea for about 30 seconds before he agreed to do this, and there was no stopping him.”

Santostefano said the “international obsession” with Webcams influenced the effort.

“I thought, my God, you get to go on those Webcams and see amusing but often very dull slices of life. Why not do it with a movie? Everybody’s beginning to realize how effective the Internet can be.”

Original pix, promotions

Santostefano told Daily Variety he hopes to produce Internet programming for each of his films, even with cameras streaming live from the sets. He also hopes to produce original pics for the ‘Net.

“‘The Peeper’ proved that there is a built-in audience for star-driven made-for-online programming, and we expect to generate a similarly record-breaking audience with the ‘Three to Tango’ mini-movies,” said Jim Moloshok, prexy of Warner Bros. Online.

Santostefano is developing two films to direct for WB: “American Girl,” a comedy about a New Jersey woman who crashes the party circuit of the British aristocracy, and “Confidence,” a comedy thriller about two couples who team up to pull con games in Manhattan.

He is also collaborating with Baltimore Spring Creek partners Barry Levinson and Paula Weinstein on an Americanized version of the 1985 European pic “Men,” from a script by Elaine May.

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