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Online stardom just a click away

For kids dreaming of taking a turn on the silver screen, the wait may be over, thanks to NY tech firm Oddcast. Its new 3-D VideoStar software can put any average Dick or Jane with a digital headshot in the picture, and the company wants to expand the application's footprint.
January 6, 2009

For kids dreaming of taking a turn on the silver screen, the wait may be over, thanks to NY tech firm Oddcast. Its new 3-D VideoStar software can put any average Dick or Jane with a digital headshot in the picture, and the company wants to expand the application’s footprint.

VideoStar got its first workout this past fall through an online promotion with Twentieth Century Fox. At MyMovieMoment.com, users’ pics get superimposed onto an actor’s body in a given movie scene. For example, site visitors can duel with the malevolent six-fingered Count Rugen as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, or more gruesomely, come out of an astronaut’s abdomen as one of Ridley Scott’s infamous ETs in Alien.

Fox launched MyMovieMoment.com just before Halloween, testing the waters with its slate of horror films. Response was so strong that it has extended the deal, and now each season will see a new selection of film scenes added to the lineup. This past Christmas, the site featured family-friendly films Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, Jingle All The Way and Home Alone.

Oddcast CEO Adi Sideman says that the app’s minimal effort and maximum impact have propelled its popularity. ‘You just do one simple thing like upload a photo, and all of a sudden, you’re in a movie with the production values of a Hollywood studio.’ And, of course, the site also includes links that let users email the clips to their friends, creating the much-desired viral effect.

This is Oddcast’s first foray into working with a major studio to modify branded content, but Sideman says that he’s definitely open to opportunities with other content companies, kid-focused ones included. In fact, at press time, Sideman was in the process of closing deals to integrate VideoStar into upcoming advertising campaigns for kid- and family-friendly packaged goods, an effort that will see kids star in commercials they’ve only been able to watch passively until now

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