The Antarctica Experience

Four people posing before a screen displaying title 'The Antarctica Experience'.
Briege Whitehead (second from left) at the premiere of her virtual reality film The Antarctica Experience, with Minister Simone McGurk (left), WA Museum CEO Alec Coles and Australian Antarctic Division Operations Manager and former Davis Station Leader Robb Clifton (right). (Photo: Nisha Harris)

A lucky audience received an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience of Antarctica at the premiere of The Antarctica Experience at the Western Australian (WA) Maritime Museum in August.

The 360-degree 3D film allowed viewers to learn more about life at Davis research station, penguin research, and climate science on the Sørsdal Glacier, alongside Australian Antarctic Division personnel.

The film was shot at the station in February by Perth film maker Briege Whitehead, London-based VR and digital producer Phil Harper, and Perth drone operator Dean Chisholm (Australian Antarctic Magazine 34: 6-7, 2018).

During post-production Ms Whitehead worked with sound designer David Raines at Warner Bros and in consultation with Dolby Atmos, in Los Angeles, to create an immersive sound experience for the film. She also collaborated with multiple award-winning special effects firm DNEG (who have worked on the Harry Potter and Marvel films, amongst many others) to do the visual effects. Her final coup was snagging Australian actor David Wenham to provide narration.

The film featured at the WA Maritime Museum until October and is now touring Australia and internationally.

Correction: Our story about The Antarctica Experience in our last issue neglected to mention that the film received funding support from the Western Australian Museum, Screenwest, Lotterywest and Screen Australia. Atlantic Productions were not involved with the film.

Wendy Pyper