Join us at The Hydrous (a 501c3 non-profit) in creating a beautiful and compelling 360º underwater VR experience to share the magic and the science of the ocean with everyone.
We have been working on this project since June of 2017, and, in early 2018, collected footage in Palau and in the Philippine coral reef exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. For underwater footage, we used the leading underwater VR cameras- the VRTUL1 and VRTUL2. For above-water footage, we used the Yi Halo.
We have finished production and are fundraising to complete post-production. Our Quiet Campaign rose $25,000 in June 2018, and now we are raising an additional $25,000 through this Public Campaign. If we hit this mark, we are on track to complete this short, live action 360° film by Spring 2019.
The ocean is over exploited, under protected, and out of mind. Too few people have the opportunity to explore marine environments such as coral reefs, which are rapidly degrading. This 360/VR film is therefore designed to take the viewer on an immersive, underwater journey to generate awareness, scientific understanding, and empowerment to protect our beautiful and threatened ocean.
Why VR for Science Education and Ocean Immersion?
Virtual Reality is a unique venue to share ocean environments like coral reefs, which few people get to experience. In addition, leading research suggests that VR is a promising medium for immersive, interactive science education and has the potential to increase empathy towards complex environmental issues.
The film will be submitted to festivals and will be widely available to view on platforms like YouTube and Facebook. In addition, it will be featured in the Hydrous Ocean Education Kits for middle school classrooms.
Themes: Science, Love, and Magic in the Ocean
The structure of the film is similar to a dive profile. The viewer dives in at the beginning, descends, explores the reef, and ascends towards the end. Our goal is to immerse the viewer and show them the beauty and complexity of these ecosystems (as well as the threats they face), introduce them to people that rely on coral reefs, and share a strong, science-based message of ocean optimism.
Behind the Scenes
Jason is a virtual reality specialist and the Chief Creative Officer of Horizon Productions, with over 20 years of experience in designing across all mediums with dozens of local and national awards to his credit.
Rick is a photographer / filmmaker, designer, educator, and the founder of 22 Degrees, an eco-minded outdoor gear company.
Csilla is a VR/AR producer who has worked on the production of multiple immersive experiences, including Disney Star Wars: The Last Jedi, One Republic music video Kids, NASA NBL Space Walk documentary, and Heroes art dance piece.
Casey is the creator of the first Underwater 360 3D cameras and has been a leader in underwater production since 2015.
Matt is a VFX Supervisor specializing in VR/AR and stereoscopic 3D. He has been involved with groundbreaking VR experiences and helped design the leading underwater VR camera system.
Dr. Rebecca Albright (California Academy of Sciences), Dr. Ruth Gates (University of Hawaii), Shayle Matsuda (University of Hawaii), Dr. Grace Young (Oxford University), Allison Fritts-Penniman (California Academy of Sciences)
Dave Greenberg, Bob Concannon, Okorie Puryear, Vaughn Hester, Cecilia Dobner, Pete Niesen, Andrea Murchie, Glenn Bucksbaum, Richard Barnden, Matt Boyle, Paul Collins, Ford Castillo, Rozer Tatsuo, Steve Lindfield, April Peebler, Charley Peebler, Dakota Peebler, and Aliyah Tadao.
Look to the right for descriptions of other rewards, including film credits, events, and workshops.
Risks and challenges
If we reach our fundraising goal, we are on track to complete the linear, 360º film by Spring 2019. Unforeseen factors that may delay the project include changes in personnel and unexpected expenses. We currently have a committed team and have outlined a clear budget and timeline, so don't expect to run into these issues. If the project is delayed, we have a strong community and proven fundraising record that will ensure completion.
We are planning to extend this work by adding interactive elements and CGI to provide greater immersion and agency into the experience. The creation of this will require a separate fundraising effort on a separate timeline.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (44 days)