DVD enthusiasts may know all about so-called "Easter eggs," but it was a phenomenon I learned about from a friend. Apparently, Easter eggs of the electronic sort originated with computer programmers who buried secret bonuses in their software applications. Many were difficult to unearth, but now a cult has developed and producers of DVD movie releases have begun to include all manner of Easter eggs, even going so far as to advertise the bonus "eggs" available on a DVD release. While some might label egg hunts as utterly mindless, I nevertheless endorse the activity as good, stupid fun. At the least, it offers pleasant escapist relief from the trials of everyday life and sometimes an intriguing glimpse into the more arcane pockets of show business and movie creation.
Here's a sample of some DVD movie releases with buried "eggs" you can unearth:
You can find satires of daytime soap operas by going to this DVD's Special Features. If you click on A Reason to Love, you will access nine episodes of Betty's favorite show. Now click on the up arrow key until the logo of A Reason to Love is highlighted. This will take you to a special tenth episode with Nurse Renee Zellweger and Dr. Greg Kinnear.
You can access an outtake of stars Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor kidding around when Kidman can't keep in character during a take. To find this "egg," go to "The Cutting Room" section on the bonus disc then click on "Main Menu." Then you keep hitting the left arrow on the remote until a red windmill appears. Click on the red windmill.
Glengarry Glen Ross Special Edition:
Playwright David Mamet's tough, punchy dialog writing is a favorite choice of actors for audition pieces. To view a bunch of unknown actors trying out some Mamet dialog, go to the main menu on Disc 2 of this DVD set and enter Special Features. Highlight the "Main Menu" at the bottom of the screen, then press the left arrow button to light up the "Bar" sign. This will take you to the audition pieces. It's a fascinating study of acting skills, or lack of them, as these unknowns tackle David Mamet's dialogue.
Got any Easter Egg secrets of your own?
About the Author
Alan Lofft was, for 13 years, Editor in Chief of Sound & Vision, Canada's largest and most respected audio/video magazine. He edited Sound & Vision (Canada) until 1996, when he moved from Toronto to New York to become Senior Editor at Audio magazine.
Lofft has been writing about hi-fi and video professionally for over 20 years, ever since his first syndicated newspaper column, "Sound Advice", began appearing weekly in The Toronto Star, Canada's largest-circulation daily newspaper. In the late 1970s, he became a contributing editor, columnist, and equipment reviewer at AudioScene Canada, the leading national consumer electronics magazine at the time.
He also wrote on consumer electronics for Maclean's magazine and made occasional appearances on TV on "Canada AM," the national CTV morning show, and on June Callwood's national afternoon TV talk show.
In 1983, he was appointed editor of Sound Canada magazine, which he relaunched in 1985 as Sound & Vision, incorporating video content and reviews as well as hi-fi and audio features. He also became a contributing editor to Stereo Review in New York, and an audio columnist for Music Express, a Canadian rock magazine.
An audio and electronics enthusiast from childhood, Alan began building vacuum-tube hi-fi gear for his father, who was an audiophile in the 1950s. Lofft's passion for audio continued through college, during which time he hosted and produced "On Campus", a radio show taped on location (on a portable Ampex 650 open-reel recorder) at Wilfrid Laurier University and broadcast locally in Kitchener, Ontario.