It is known that films based on the books about Harry’s adventures were released on branded DVDs. At the same time, the disc with the film was accompanied by a disc with additional materials. There are 4 such discs in our collection, so we will consider only them. What could be found on such discs? Let’s remember.
Just make a reservation that the owners of the rights to Harry and his friends prohibit the demonstration of video fragments both from the film itself and from disks of additional materials. We would like to thank them for their great love for JK Rowling’s lovers of creativity and continue our story.
Each such disc contained two types of material: for playback in a DVD-player and with a computer.
The following was available for the DVD player:
1. Video menu stylized for each movie.
2. Interview with the filmmakers and actors (“our film is the best, we all love each other … just keep buying our films …” ;-))
3. Guided tour of one or more Hogwarts premises or institutions in Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley.
4. Mini-games based on questions or pressing buttons on the player’s remote control. When watching a disc using a software player, many of these materials become partially available, since you cannot start a button on a remote control that is not there.
5. Scenes from the film cut during editing.
6. Sketches of characters or objects.
7. Stories about how the film was made (the best film).
An interesting feature. The disc for the first film could only be learned by completing tasks for attentiveness and speed. For example, you had to first find a key in one of the videos. After that, you could take money from Gringotts and buy some things in stores, for example, a magic wand.
After buying a magic wand, materials about spells and mini-games became available.
Subsequent discs allowed immediate access to all contents.
If you inserted the disc into your computer’s DVD drive, you could find the following:
1. Demo versions of games for computer (there is no demo version for the third game, and one of two demos was available for the second game).
2. Very simple in structure and function mini-games based on technologies Flash and Director (Shockwave Flash). You had to play using a web browser or a proprietary disc shell.
Starting with the disc for the second film, an appendix on the main events of the wizarding world was available (time.dcr). Below you can see its version for the fourth film (for the third and fourth films there was nothing else for the computer).
3. For the first film, the following were additionally available: an email client and creating a mailbox on the copyright holder’s website, a demo version of an online card game, screen savers based on looped animations, which were very difficult to remove from the system.
4. The DVD for the second film contained PDF files with images of parts for assembling a three-dimensional model of the Great Hall, as well as bookmarks and labyrinths.
Oddities, mistakes and shortcomings
Despite the very interesting content, discs with additional materials could spoil the mood of their young users. How could they do this? Very simple.
1. To view the contents of the disc, it was supposed to use a proprietary player (InterActualPlayer), its installer usually started automatically (if autorun was not prohibited by the system settings). It was a mixture of a video player and an Internet Explorer-based browser. After installation and launch, it could easily show an error message and refuse to work. We were unable to appreciate its benefits either in the mid-2000s or later. What to do? Open the drive as a folder in Windows Explorer and view each folder. So what? You bought a branded DVD 😉
2. To play animations and video fragments, it was necessary to have additional components installed in the Windows system (some disks also functioned in MacOS): the latest versions of Flash players, Shockwave Flash, QuickTime Player. If they were not in the system, then an invitation to download them from official sites appeared on the browser pages. And in the mid-2000s, this was far from always possible. Since it was quite expensive to connect to the Internet.
3. After the playback of some videos, a splash screen appeared to remind that the copyright holder permits only the person who bought the disc to view the contents of the disc. And also to those who are his relatives. Do not try to show your neighbors outside your home 😉 Moreover, this screensaver could often “hang”, which caused quite understandable feelings.
4. Usually all computer materials were exclusively in English. Occasionally it was possible to find versions of programs in French or German.
5. Different videos on one disc could have one, four or more audio tracks and subtitles.
Summary. Despite all the shortcomings, the materials of the discs still gave the viewer a bit of magic, as it was possible to learn something new or take part in some events. And also feel the effect of being present from excursions.