Matthew Kennedy

1K Studios

Title: Co-founder, 1K Studios

Apioneer in the realm of DVD menu design, Matthew Kennedy’s decade-old authoring and compression shop has branched out over the years, with a team of more than 30 designers, animators and editors creating content not just for discs but also for everything from Internet banner ads to vidgames to movie trailers.

1K had become a go-to shop for HD DVD before the format’s abrupt usurpation. Kennedy says developing HD DVD — which, on an interactive level, was much further along than Blu-ray — yielded “enlightenment” that has been readily transferable. With Blu-ray looking to expand beyond early adopters, 1K faces the challenge of designing interactive features that wow family auds in a way DVD can’t, yet aren’t too sophisticated to use.

On Par’s “Spiderwick Chronicles,” for example, 1K designed icons that — in selected mode — trot out at the bottom of the screen when certain characters appear in the film. The watcher can select these icons, and “animated factoids” will pop up offering some of the literary background behind each character.

POV: “We’re finding that producing Blu-ray is more like creating content for the Web than DVD in terms of the way things are programmed and created,” he says.

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