1 June, 2020: PHORIA, an award winning technology studio, today announced the worldwide online release of ecosphere, a groundbreaking Virtual Reality nature documentary series produced in partnership with Facebook’s Oculus, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Silverback Films. The series is narrated by Emmy Award winning actress and WWF Ambassador, Anna Friel, and will be available to experience on Oculus Quest and Oculus Go VR headsets from June 8, 2020 via the ecosphere app.
ecosphere is an ambitious VR experience that immerses viewers in the wildest places on earth. The series features never-before-seen cinematic 5.7k stereoscopic VR footage at 60fps, shot with the latest pre-production 3D-180 cameras. Custom VR stabilising technology allowed filming to take place in incredibly technically challenging environments — from the air and deep into the ocean.
ecosphere gently guides viewers through some of nature’s most fragile and diverse ecosystems, highlighting indigenous and community-led efforts to protect our most precious wildlife. With an emotive original musical score, the series transports viewers into our extraordinary world — to the great savannahs of Kenya (Africa), the ancient jungles of Borneo (Malaysia) and the rich coral reefs of Raja Ampat (Indonesia).
Evocative storytelling takes place across ecosphere’s three episodes, as local communities come together to help nature recover from the impact of modern human life. The series focuses on uplifting and inspiring viewers, bringing home the idea that when human beings create space for nature, humanity and nature thrive together.
The ecosphere team is led by award-winning international filmmakers Joseph Purdam (PHORIA), Angie Davis (Anicca Media), Daniel Huertas (Silverback Films), Eric Cheng (Oculus) and Colin Butfield (WWF).
“ecosphere sets a new standard for natural-history storytelling on the Oculus platform,” said Eric Cheng, Head of Immersive Media for Facebook’s Oculus. “High-resolution, high-frame-rate 3D-180 stories are combined with thoughtful spatial audio production to create one of the most compelling immersive video experiences we’ve seen.”
“ecosphere takes natural history production to a new level,” said Daniel Huertas, Silverback Films. “VR gives viewers a rare chance to immerse themselves in someone else’s story, in their hope for a positive future.”
“This is wildlife documentary filmmaking like you’ve never seen it,” said Angie Davis, Anicca Media. “We overcame all the technical challenges of filming in remote climates, in VR, and so that in itself is extraordinary.”
“WWF couldn’t be more proud of this team,” said Colin Butfield, WWF. “The uplifting messages of ecosphere are important to hear now, as people come together during these challenging times. ecosphere is truly an experience to inform, empower and most of all, inspire action to protect our precious planet.”
“ecosphere will open the hearts of viewers to the beauty of the natural world,” said Joseph Purdam, PHORIA. “These diverse stories and voices are on the frontline of community-led environmental activism. It’s a privilege that ecosphere can help raise awareness for rewilding efforts and reveal just how nature and humanity can co-exist together, in harmony.”