What’s unique about “The Wild Immersion” VR experience is that its the first virtual nature reserve at Sundance. Endorsed by conservationist Jane Goodall, the VR experience delivers a strong message about the desperate situation of species extinction in the world today, particularly to younger generations.
“We have created the world’s first virtual reserve experience,” says its creator Adrien Moisson. “Virtual reserves have already been set up in Europe and China, and we are now looking at upcoming rollouts happening across the world.”
Moisson says the idea behind “The Wild Immersion” is to teleport people into nature via technology and connect them intimately to the wild. “We are trying to create wonder, trying to bring people out of their heads and deep into nature, showing them how incredibly beautiful the world really is. Our end goal is to finance real reserves and purchase land to plant trees and save species.”
Three 12-minute VR experiences were created after 4 months of production, filming animals in the Amazon, Australia, Canada, Colombia and Sri Lanka via 360-degree VR cameras, which is the technology that enables the capture of fully immersive experiences.
“It’s important to realize that 60% of earth’s species have disappeared in the last 40 years,” Moisson continues. “We are now experiencing our 6th mass extinction phase on earth, and it’s happening much faster than before. So we need to take care of the world—but If people don’t know the facts, then they just don’t care. That’s where we step in, taking people out of their heads and into nature, getting them to live in close quarters with wild animals. The goal is to educate people on why we need to protect our planet.”
Discussions are underway to bring the experience into malls, zoos and theaters. Electronics company Lenovo are the technology gurus currently partnering with Moisson, using its Mirage Solo headset to plunge spectators into 360° films—an experience that gives the uncanny feeling of being out there in the middle of the wilderness.
“The most important part of the shoot was to have the right angles to bring viewers as close to the animals as possible,” Moisson adds on shoot dynamics. “We really want people to feel as if they are living with these incredible animals, that they are part of their clan and the natural environment. We also shot from many different perspectives to play with surprising the audience, even forcing them to investigate by looking around to discover where the animals are hiding.”
Moisson sees Sundance as the perfect locale to showcase all of these experiences, deep in the heart of a festival using storytelling to drive change: “This is part of a wider plan to develop social, economic and ecological projects with conservation at their core,” says Moisson on the project’s mission. “It makes you look everywhere, be curious and be inspired,” he says.