Earlier this summer the BBC revealed a couple of immersive virtual reality (VR) experiences it was working on Make Noise and 1943 Berlin Blitz. Today, the broadcasting corporation has announced that 1943 Berlin Blitz will be available this Thursday for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive owners.
Originally premiering at Venice Film Festival, the film puts you in the shoes of Wynford Vaughan-Thomas, a BBC war correspondent and sound recordist, Reg Pidsley, as they document their flight on a genuine bombing run during World War 2. You’ll be able to listen to his dramatic commentary of the action taken from the original radio broadcast that went out over the airwaves on 4th September 1943, all from the BBC Archive.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response to Berlin Blitz so far. People are finding it profoundly moving,” said Peter Rippon, editor of BBC Archive in a statement. “The authenticity of the audio and the nobility of the characters involved, combined with virtual reality means audiences can now relive with past with an intensity not previously possible.”
A collaborative effort between BBC VR Hub, BBC Northern Ireland and Immersive VR Education (Titanic VR), the experience transports viewers into the belly of Lancaster bomber ‘F for Freddie’. This gives a sense of what it was like to fly over Berlin while anti-aircraft shells burst all around.
“This film is a wonderful example of how virtual reality can bring the BBC’s archive to life in a way we’ve never really seen before,” adds Zillah Watson, head of BBC VR Hub. “VR adds a vivid, tangible dimension to an exceptional and extraordinary piece of journalism, and brings the past and future together beautifully – using a 75-year-old broadcast to demonstrate the very best of what this new form of storytelling has to offer.”
1943: Berlin Blitz will be available this Thursday on the Oculus and Steam stores for Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive headsets. Versions for Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream will also soon be available. For any further updates, keep reading VRFocus.