British naturalist Sir David Attenborough, best known as "the father of the modern nature documentary," is showing how even at 87 years of age, he's got some new tricks to immerse us in the beauty of living things.
Attenborough is working with Atlantic Production on the forthcoming documentary "Conquest of the Skies," about favorite ancient creatures "come to life." What makes this particular project special is that it will be filmed not only for audience at home and in front of the big screen, but also for those with access to the virtual reality platform Oculus Rift.
"We're now filming for the Oculus Rift," director John Morris said last week
, "so when we filmed our recent flight in Borneo, we filmed with an eight-camera rig, so you got the full 360° experience."
Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion last month, will shortly allow consumers with its Rift headset to be immersed in virtual reality worlds that track the movements of a user's head.
"When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote
. "The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you're actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it's different from anything they've ever experienced in their lives."
In a statement, Attenborough said: “The Natural History Museum has always been a special place for me. I’m excited to make a film using new 3D technology, which will take the viewer on a journey through one of my favorite museums and look at it – and its inhabitants - in ways never seen before.”
Added Morris: "In terms of the creative challenge, we look at this as being comparable to the beginning of the film industry."
A release date for the Rift has not yet been announced, but expectations are high that a consumer version may appear online later this year.
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