While most major filmmakers are still taking a wait-and-see approach to the coming high-def disc formats, one of America's greatest auteurs has already jumped in head-first.
Last year, Francis Ford Coppola launched Zoetrope Aubry Productions (ZAP), a high-def production arm of his Zoetrope Studios that has been using HD to both produce content both for today's standard-def DVDs as well as for the coming next-gen formats.
Home Media Retailing recently profiled Coppola's resident DVD guru, Kim Aubry, who has produced all of the bonus content on the director's recent DVDs in HD, including 'The Godfather Collection,' 'One From the Heart,' 'The Outsiders: The Complete Novel' and 'Rumble Fish.' Acknowledging the expense of working in HD so early in the game, Aubry says he and Coppola are hoping to both expand the boundaries of what is possible on disc as well as pioneer a new market
"We’re doing it because we want to learn how to do it," Aubry told HMR. "We're kind of seeding the market -- using HD transfers of the film to make the bonus materials. The possibilities.. are very interesting because we can have the film presented beautifully, and we can annotate interestingly."
Regardless of the fate that awaits the next-gen high-def disc formats, HMR reports that Coppola and Aubry have some interesting projects in store for early adopters. Zoetrope is currently putting the finishing touches on new disc editions of the director's 'Bram Stokers Dracula,' which will include a first-ever "art student" viewing option, while the new 'Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier,' will be what Aubry describes as a "kitchen sink" multi-disc set featuring the two versions of the movie and extensive documentary material.