By Natasha Baker
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Movie fans don't need to wait until the red carpet is rolled out to get in on the excitement of this year's Academy Awards.
The Oscars app, developed in partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Disney-ABC Television Group, provides a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood's biggest night of the year.
"It's like an Oscars companion that can be with you from the minute the nominations are announced all the way through the event," explained Karin Gilford, senior vice president of digital media for ABC.com.
The free app, available for iPhone and iPad, provides fans with original interactive content, such as interviews with movie insiders, backstage pass highlights and historical Oscar moments.
"Every day the fans will be able to go on there and they'll be presented with new videos, and it will be really easy to see at a glance if something has been added," Gilford said.
Additionally, a game called My Picks will be launching within the app this week for fans to cast their predictions on this year's winners, and keep score with their friends.
On the big night, February 26, the app will host a dozen live feeds from the event captured by strategically placed cameras -- including the thank you cam that gives winners an extended period of time to thank their supporters, or any of the other backstage cameras capturing behind-the-scenes action.
"Imagine the football analogy, where you're seeing a grid of tiles with all the different football games going on," she explained.
"We're going to have a very similar interface, so fans will be able to look at this and see what's happening on the cameras, and then just touch and click to that camera and have it expand to get see what's going on."
Gilford said that last year these cameras were able to capture many memorable moments.
"One of my favorite moments was Jeff Bridges who was so excited and giving all the thank yous he couldn't give on stage to the camera, to the extent that we had to get him a chair because he just had a lot to say," Gilford said.
(Reporting by Natasha Baker; editing by Patricia Reaney)
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