Neal Augenstein, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - If you've seen "Animal House," you no doubt remember the scene when John Belushi's character squished mashed potatoes from his cheeks and proclaimed himself a zit.
A new smartphone application allows you to embed short written messages in classic movie scenes with 3-D special effects -- a technology the app's developer believes will expose a younger audience to movies their parents loved.
"When my kids saw the scene of John Belushi they were sold, they were like 'I've got to see this movie,'" says Julie Steiner, president of Percy 3DMedia Inc., which developed the PercyFX app.
Currently, the app is available on the iPhone, iPad, and BlackBerry phones, featuring films from Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures.
A user can choose a scene from the selected movies, and type a few dozen characters which are integrated into the movie.
"Our personalizations take place in 3-D space, making them more visually dynamic, and frankly, cool-looking," says Steiner.
Steiner says companies willing to allow smartphone users to manipulate their trademarked images could reap the benefits of widespread distribution through Twitter, Facebook, texting, and YouTube.
"We define ourselves by sharing with others what we've found," says Steiner.
"I'm a mother of teenagers, and I see the way they communicate and the way they discover content -- it's all about their phones," says Steiner. "My kids don't watch television, they watch their computers, and the phone is just an extension of that."
Steiner believes this and other technologies that allow smartphone users to control content open the door for advertisers to younger audiences.
"To be able to communicate with your target audience, in the way they want to be communicated to, it's hugely important," she says.
Check out some examples of the app in practice, courtesy of WTOP's Neal Augenstein:
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)