Title: Senior VP of content development
While his future within Time Warner remains murky as the conglom both absorbs and dissolves New Line’s infrastructure, Mike Mulvihill’s past as one of the pioneers of the DVD bonus feature is certainly clear enough to anyone who ever popped in one of the groundbreaking “Lord of the Rings” DVD releases.
Moving onto Blu-ray, the added-value guru is most bullish on BD Live, the format’s social networking component that enables users to share playlists of favorite scenes, online.
New Line developed a similar feature for the HD DVD version of “Pan’s Labyrinth” and had planned on doing more of the same before the company’s future got complicated.
Of all the features that could entice consumers to upgrade to Blu-ray, “BD Live is the biggest, most revolutionary aspect,” Mulvihill says.
He notes that, with the advent of iPods, YouTube and TiVo, consumers have gotten used to personalizing their entertainment choices, and BD Live plays into that.
However, he stresses that studios need to consistently add that feature in order for consumers to associate it with the format. New Line was a leader in developing bonus features for DVD and consistently added them to their discs, even at a time when other studios were stamping out bare-bones versions.
“Rather than take four to six titles and go all out on them, we need to have base features on every title,” Mulvihill says. “Then you can build from there.”
Mulvihill’s also keen on audio 7.1, believing it could also tip the scales in Blu-ray’s favor, as long as it’s consistently employed.
POV: “Right now, we’re at the point where we’re seeing the options solidify,” he says. “It’s really exciting.”