Chornobyl360 — Interactive Virtual Reality Documentary
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Have you ever dreamed of seeing Chornobyl like nobody saw it before?
Using amazing VR technology, come with us to explore one of the most dangerous places on Earth!
360video trailer of Chornobyl360 documentary:
Quote: "The Chornobyl (in rus. Chernobyl) disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the town of Pripyat, in Ukraine (then officially the Ukrainian SSR), which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities of the Soviet Union. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the western USSR and Europe." Wikipedia
It was the worst nuclear accident in history of humankind both in terms of cost and casualties. It is one of only two classified as a level 7 event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011. The battle against contamination and a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 0,5 mln. workers and soldiers. During the first two years of liquidation, hundreds of people died, and long-term effects such as cancers are still being investigated. Most of the territory around the power plant of Chornobyl is still polluted by radiation and is a true wasteland.
Dare to dream of seeing Chornobyl and the sites around? Come with us to explore one of the most dangerous places on Earth with advanced virtual reality experience!
It’s said we should learn from mistakes and move on. But sometimes mistakes are of such magnitude that moving on isn’t possible. The 1986 Chornobyl disaster is one of those. We’re a team of young and motivated artists, IT-professionals and engineers working with the cutting edge VR technology. We managed to get an access and film the most restricted locations of Chornobyl Exclusion Zone - true "wasteland" of today. This is a unique opportunity to record the aftermath results of human pride and ambitions going wrong. Our primary goal is to attract your attention and let you discover with us places you would have never got into without risking your health and even life.
We are willing and committed to do this because we truly believe that future generations shall learn from our past mistakes. With help of our project we upkeep the global awareness and draw attention to the future of Exclusion Zone and sites like it. We care about the fate of local illegal self-settlers, scavengers, dwellers and others harmed by Chornobyl disaster. We want people to understand that it is not a game.
CHORNOBYL 360° PROJECT
At 01:23 am on April 26, 1986, the Chornobyl nuclear power plant exploded in the very heart of European continent. This became the worst nuclear disaster world has ever seen before. Over the past years more than 7 mln. people were directly affected. The territory of 30 km (about 17 miles) around the power plant was forcedly evacuated and became true wasteland, which is known today as Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. This is not dead or abandoned place however, as most of you would imagine. Besides of thousands of workers on site, who keep the ruins of the power plant safe, there are many residents who have voluntary returned to their homes or built new ones. Moreover, various marauders have been scavenging the local ruins for scrap. Wild animals are densely populating local forests causing even more troubles. The Zone lives its own live and there are hundreds of urban legends it gives birth to.
There are tens of documentaries and fiction movies made about Chornobyl. Most of them are focused on the events of the incident, lost lives or simply exploit various myths. Video games are following the same trail. None of them truly explore the life of today’s Chornobyl and the Zone. Our Project Chornobyl360 on contrary will demonstrate the true face of the Zone: starting with local employees who are making it safer and ending up with those inhabitants who are calling it "home". Our team does it with help of 360-degree virtual reality shooting technology allowing you with an unprecedented interactivity and decision making on what to see and where to explore next.
CHORNOBYL 360° EXHIBITION
Chornobyl 360 Exhibition combines all areas of contemporary visual arts. Photo, video, audio, multimedia, virtual reality, interactivity thereby forms single user experience. And creating the whole story of the world's largest man-made disaster. The project involves dozens of specialists. For all of them Chornobyl topic connected with their lives. This disaster started to fading away from our memories but it should not be forgotten as we must remember what happened. This horrific event is a very expensive lesson for humankind and a warning to future generations.
The uprising of VR technology seems to be a greater achievement than introduction of voice in motion pictures. It enables a completely new approach to storytelling and shooting in documentaries and fiction movies. Based on interactive choice made by a user every viewer’s experience is now different. One gets a unique exploration opportunity and endless fun.
Our interactive documentary will be available as an App for all VR headsets and smartphones including Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus, HTC VIVE and other platforms.
Chornobyl360 project is a unique opportunity to visit and experience activity on the site of the world worst ecological disaster without endangering your health. One can see the Exclusion Zone from the birds-eye view with a 360-degree look. He can pick into a window of an abandoned house in Pripyat town or almost physically meet people who live and work in the Zone and hear their stories and experiences. Nobody ever did this before.
Chornobyl360 team enables you to virtually visit restricted areas accessible for authorized personnel only – places you cannot get into even if you happen to go there. These sites include:
- The Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant
- High-radiation contaminated areas including so called Machines Graveyard;
- Ghost town of Pripyat;
- Areas of the post-apocalyptic wasteland inhabited by illegal settlers;
- Exclusion Zone Inside the nuclear plant;
- The control center – with interactive managing of the reactor. Can you prevent the meltdown?
- The new Safe Confinement site - the largest moving facility ever built by humans (it’s larger than two football fields and higher than the Statue of Liberty);
- Photogrammetry technology in action - you can almost touch it.
- The reactor chamber – witness the nuclear fuel-loading machines in action, something rarely seen even by personnel working there;
- The most technologically advanced nuclear waste processing plant where only robots are allowed - help in selection of dangerous waste;
- And much more if you support us with our stretch goals.
We will show you amazing scenes shot at Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and nearby Exclusion Zone. Using a virtual reality headset the viewer will be able to see these sites from the inside. In addition, one will have a chance to get a closer look at the construction process of the new sarcophagus and fly over the Exclusion Zone. However our project is not only about the sites of the Zone, but it is about people. Living witnesses of those tragic events will open their memories and show you how they live their life inside the Zone. We will introduce you to the plant workers, engineers, and locals who returned to the Zone and are trying to make it inhabitable again. Keeping the plot secret for now we can only tell that it will consists of individual stories that can be watched in the way of your choice. While playing the App a user will listen to characters whom he/she would interact with in order to discover the full storyline.
Virtual reality environment allows its user to experience immersion, the brain-induced feeling of being inside and a part of the observed world. But our brains are not so easy to full around with. In order to achieve this effect our team has been working in the field of virtual reality solutions and 360-degree video production for more than two years.
For shooting and production, we used the latest technologies and the most advanced equipment affordable for indie projects. Capturing images of Chornobyl360 was done with the help of 6 Ultra HD cameras and military-grade drones modified for our purposes and advanced computers for fast processing data. In some cases, we needed to shield semiconductor equipment against radiation. We also added some cool effects and amazing 3D sounds in order to provide you with a truly fascinating experience. Although main locations were already filmed in 360-degree manner, we enhanced it with generated 3D-content including photo-realistic scenes from the inside of the power plant. Moreover, we used photogrammetry and stereoscopic 360-video capturing for some closer look parts of the Project.
Experience is a great teacher. But it comes at the cost.
Recording hundreds of hours of footage in the Zone led to dust contamination of the equipment. It can be hardly used elsewhere afterward without causing damage to user’s health. This is one of the main drivers behind the costs of the project. We wish to make it unique and technologically advanced. This demands better and more expensive equipment and its greater quantity.
Given the preciousness of footage, we have employed only top professionals to make sure the raw footage is properly used. Working in a hazardous environment is not a pleasant entertainment they accept gladly. Their services need to be adequately compensated.
We started this project with a great deal of enthusiasm. Spending hundreds of hours and our time and tens of thousands of dollars of savings brought us to a workable demo App. We learned a lot and we have so much to share with you. However, our indie team has drained down almost all of its internal resources. This is why we need your help.
Why do we think this project worth your donation? First of all, because it is a noble mission. It may serve not only as an entertainment but also as an interactive education documentary. Our goal is to expose the drama of the results of human activity.
Second, we consider our Project to be beneficial for people with limited capabilities, and all those who may not have a chance to visit some places by themselves. It is hard to imagine how a person who cannot walk, for instance, feels about being inside of a virtual reality world where everything is possible.
Last but not least, our plans go far beyond finishing of this Project. We are prepared to move on with new even more fascinating topics. If successful we will continue producing more social and educational projects using virtual reality tools.
Our stretch goals are to offer extra episodes that will have more educational flavor and teach one on how to act at the site of a nuclear disaster. That is particularly important because these accidents may still occur from time to time. Fukushima nuclear catastrophe is a good but sad example of the likelihood of such a tragedy.
Additionally any non-digital backer can order the following extras:
(EUR 25 each, shipping included for 1 pcs. per backer)
Kirill Pokutnyy – Author and Producer of Chornobyl360, co-founder of Verum Visum. It was Kirill idea to produce this documentary about Chornobyl. His father has been working at the site of the accident for many years and was responsible for a public relation of Chornobyl disaster consequences. In Chornobyl360 project, Kirill is responsible for communication with Chornobyl Zone and NPP administration, shooting 360 videos, supervising postproduction, project management of application development, and talent management of the crew.
Alona Stulii – Director and Editor. Alona has a Master's degree in Film Directing from Kyiv Karpenko-Karyi National University of Theatre, Cinema, and TV, where she currently is a lecturer. She was a participant in a Web-Doc workshop held by The French Institute in Kyiv in 2013. Alona has taken part in social video projects related to resources saving and urbanism and has worked at documentary and fiction films since 2010.
Victor Chernyavsky – Art Director, UX Architect Victor has over 10 years of professional experience designing UI/UX for web, mobile, virtual reality embedded and desktop applications, and creating brand identity.
Sergey Tereschenko – Executive Producer, CEO, co-founder of WIT LLC and Verum Visum Fund, which specializes in virtual reality solutions development and 360 video production. Sergey has over five years’ experience in a company of the software development and integration of the interactive technologies.
Alexander Livshits – Director and co-founder of Verum Visum Fund, Executive Producer. Alexander has over 10 years of experience in venture capital sector. His family, like the one of Kirill, is directly involved in the nuclear energy industry. He was one of the first and one of the main sponsors of the Project and dedicated it to his father – radiation measurement expert, who launched 8 atomic reactors in 3 countries. Alexander contributed a lot of practical experience, critical thinking, general sense and supervision to the Project.
Evgeniy Vaschenko (V4w.Enko) - Sound Designer Evgeniy has created music with digital algorithms since 2007. He’s performed in a number of festivals and events such as Ars Electronica, FIBER, CynetArt, Mutek, Kvitnu, and others.
Egor Shevchenko - Game design. Egor was involved in more then 10 game projects, some of them: Vivisector, Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason, Metro last light. He is responsible for game mechanics in documentary.
Kyryl Telizhenko - Software architect
Dmitry Likhachov - Lead developer
Artur Merkulov - Post Production
Maksym Antonenko - Compositing
Maryna Tkachenko - colorist
Vera Olevskaya - Head of PRAnastasiia Marushevska - Head of Marketing
We employed more than 25 specialists in filmmaking, coding, UX design, motion design, sound design, 3D modeling, etc.
Partners: Drone.UA, Pixelated realities
Sponsors: Ecotest - Radiation Detection Equipment Manufacturer
Supporters: Chornobyl NPP, Novarka consortium, The Ukrainian National Chornobyl Museum, US Embassy in Ukraine, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, chernobylwel.com
Risks and challenges
This Project has a highly motivated and experienced team which heavily backs its success. Our experience and commitment is a proven fact and therefore we foresee no technological obstacles that we cannot deal with.
However, some events may bring down the expected results and extend delivery timing. Ukraine today is a country in transition and therefore in a certain civil distress. Although the region of Chornobyl and Kiev, where the core of the team is located, are not affected today any escalation of the situation may potentially cause some troubles. So far we do not forecast severe changes in the security regimes on sites of the Zone, but it may be caused by some political events and make it more difficult to get a permission for filming. Still we have a solid foot on the ground and are capable of resolving these issues. It may only cost more time.
- (34 days)