/News 27.02.18


Briege Whitehead of White Spark Pictures is leading a team in Antarctica, producing and co-directing a world-first one-off factual virtual reality (VR) project The Antartic Experience, filmed on the isolated continent.

White Spark Pictures is the only media company to travel to Antarctica’s Davis research station for the 2017/2018 season with the Australian Antarctic Program (AAP).

The filming expedition and production of The Antartic Experience has been made possible with the logistical support of the AAP and with On-Demand Content funding support from Screenwest and Lotterywest.

Rikki Lea Bestall, Screenwest Head of Production and Development congratulated Ms Whitehead on pioneering in the VR space.

“Screenwest is very excited to have Briege, an emerging, female producer/director taking VR to new heights for Western Australia. The Antartic Experience is poised to be like no other VR experience, providing audiences with extraordinary access to a land that very few have ever been.”

The Antartic Experience will use the latest technology in 3D and 360-degree VR cameras, drones and other technologies, and will be specially designed with a soundscape, visuals and audio to fully immerse audiences in the frozen landscape. Guided by scientists and expeditioners, the viewer will have the option to choose their own adventure, creating their unique behind the scenes tour.

To deliver such a layered experience, Ms Whitehead has partnered with BAFTA award-winning director Phil Harper, known for his work on David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef VR Dive.

Ms Whitehead developed the project recognising how rare it is for people to have the opportunity to visit the continent.

“I feel incredibly privileged to be producing this project. The access we’ve been granted combined with a subject as important as this, it’s going to be incredible bringing the region to life on a whole new level,” said Ms Whitehead.

Whitehead and her team recently arrived at Davis research station to meet the local scientists and follow their ground-breaking research. Activities such as monitoring penguin colonies during the chick-rearing season, flying over enormous glaciers and undertaking survival training will be captured for The Antartic Experience audiences to immerse themselves in.

The project’s premiere exhibition is anticipated for June 2018 at the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle, Western Australia, where viewers can interact with the film, choosing their own path and customising their personal experience within the virtual frozen world.

The Antartic Experience is proudly supported by Screenwest and Lotterywest, in partnership with the Western Australian Museum.

Image credit: Briege Whitehead