Last month Time Inc. launched a new multiplatform virtual reality (VR) called LIFE VR to deliver immersive stories from around the world. Now Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated and Endemol Shine Beyond USA, have collaborated on a 360-degree documentary series following the journey of four climbers during their 2016 summit of Mt. Everest.
The production, called Capturing Everest was shot on location across a two-month period, utilising specialised 360-degree cameras rigged to zip lines and body harnesses on the climbers offering first-person views of Mt. Everest.
The series follows a team led by Garrett Madison, a six-time Everest summiteer who has led 37 climbers to the summit, as well as Brent Bishop, a three-time Everest summiteer, who is the son of legendary climber Barry Bishop. There’s Jeff Glasbrenner an American amputee hoping to be the first to summit Everest, Lisa White, the lone female member of the team and a cancer survivor, and Nick Perks who’s fulfilling a promise to climb Everest in memory of his late father.
“Attacking the world’s highest summit seemed like the perfect place to go with our new VR initiative, and by partnering with Endemol Shine and adding in the world-class storytellers from Sports Illustrated, I think we have something truly special and unique to offer our audience,” said Mia Tramz, Managing Editor of LIFE VR. “We can’t wait to bring viewers along for this once-in-a-lifetime journey. This is exactly the type of experience LIFE VR was created for.”
Capturing Everest will premiere in early 2017 on Time Inc.’s new LIFE VR platform and SI.com in 360-degree video. Sports Illustrated will also feature coverage of this endeavour across its print and digital properties.
“This groundbreaking production is going to allow anyone with a smart phone to virtually climb Mt. Everest,” says Bonnie Pan, President, Endemol Shine Beyond USA. “VR is allowing us to tell stories in new and unique ways, and with this series, our brave team of climbers captured a view of Everest that’s going to blow people’s minds. And who better to partner with for such a breathtaking series than the teams at Sports Illustrated and LIFE VR at Time Inc., who are really pushing the scale of these experiences.”
“Summiting Everest has captivated the imagination like few other athletic feats,” said Chris Stone, Editorial Director of Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated Group. “Capturing an ascent in VR makes the unattainable seem attainable while at the same time reinforcing the mythology of Everest. This production is both extraordinarily real and unreal all at once. We are thrilled to bring the viewer along for the odyssey.”
The LIFE VR app is free for iOS and Android, with support for the Google Cardboard head-mounted display (HMD), as well as Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.
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