Sir David Attenborough making nature documentary for Oculus Rift

Conquest of the Skies will be the first major wildlife production made for the device.

Sir David Attenborough, famous for his career in nature documentaries, will write and present a new project filmed for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

Titled Conquest of the Skies, the documentary is currently being filmed in Borneo with an eight-camera rig that can capture a full 360 degree image, Atlantic Productions’ commercial director John Morris told realscreen. He said that the production company has already secured several Oculus Rift development kits and that Conquest of the Skies, will be the first major wildlife production for the device. “In terms of the creative challenge, we look at this as being comparable to the beginning of the film industry,” he said.

Morris said he thinks of virtual reality as “a new platform you can monetize,” and that “we’ll see million of these thing being sold.”

That is precisely what Oculus VR is hoping for. Mark Zuckerberg even mentioned movie experiences like this as one possible use for the Oculus Rift shortly after he acquired the company for $2 billion.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

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Written By

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.

Discussion

71 comments
Johny_47
Johny_47

Can't wait for that, really like his Planet Earth stuff.

Skele7or
Skele7or

Planet Earth was one of the greatest things ever created. I literally cannot wait for this. 

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

This will be one hell of an experience! :)

angry_cowtipper
angry_cowtipper

I love David Attenborough's nature stuff. And I have a Rift. This should be awesome!

WoodenStick
WoodenStick

Gamespot i have to ask you, what exactly do articles like this have to do with gaming? edit: forget it.

devilzzz1983
devilzzz1983

Oculus Rift is dead to me.  So glad there will be other VR options and if they fail and Oculus is the only one left in the game I still won't buy it.

Northuz
Northuz

That's a really cool usage of VR. We've seen nothing yet, it's like '92 and trying to predict what the net will become. "Global network of computers? For what purpose? Won't take off, who wants to interact via a computer screen?"

hystavito
hystavito

I suspect this won't really be a documentary, but rather mostly just nice video that you can experience in a VR setup.  Anyone remember when OTA HD channels first started to appear?  I remember my friend bought an early HDTV and hooked up the antenna.  The only local HD channel at the time was PBS.  Every time we watched it, it was just HD videos of nice landscapes and flying through the air and such :).


I'm just a bit annoyed with what so called documentaries have become.  So many of them now are borderline fiction movies, or showing off special effects, and so on.  Maybe I went a little off topic :).

pip3dream
pip3dream

This is awesome.  I just ordered my rift DK2 yesterday. :)   Can't wait until July.

C-THREE
C-THREE

I want the WWE to incorporate the 360 degree view so we can have ringside seats at pay per views. It would be sweet for concerts as well.

Goddammitj
Goddammitj

Sweet. I hope they utilize the rift to its full potential!

Butt_Chunx
Butt_Chunx

I would only be interested if Sigourney Weaver or some other woman narrated it. I have never liked this guy and I don't understand how so many people can listen to some old british geezer drone on for hours at a time.

BelaidKL
BelaidKL

Fantastic... Can't wait!

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

I think VR could really shine for things like this.  Being able to look around freely in another environment from the comfort of your own home is something that appeals to me.  I also think it needs productions like this for VR to gain wider appeal and adoption.  I can definitely see why Facebook wanted to get behind the Oculus Rift for this kind of use, as well as other 'virtual tours'.

naz99
naz99

David Attenborough is a bloody legend...I love that man and I love VR, so no doubt I will love the 2 together!


Hopefully they wont replace the voice for americans and have bloody operah winfrey or the like narrating it,whos idea was it to replace that man's amazing voice in the american versions of his documentries for people that do not even know about nature??

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

WANT.

I sure as hell hope this ends up coming to other VR headsets though and not just the rift.

It's like when Sky have exclusive Attenborough series, it sucks. Educational factual programmes should be available to the public as much as possible, not privatised. It's brilliant for kids.

kyelo
kyelo

In 2 minds about this. Attenborough is one of my heroes and his shows are the top of class but all that a VR nature show would be beautiful but why Rift? Maybe I will wait to hold judgement.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

Not a huge nature documentary person, but I'm interested as to how this will do.

starhowl
starhowl

raping the name of sir david attenborough

for the name of oculus rift

Oculus Rift sure needs a lot of impressively freaking often name dropping from all kinds of different icons for being that potent!


Name dropping is needed if you can't be something by your own achievements, so you raise your value with other's names.

catsimboy
catsimboy

Blink your right eye twice to 'Like' this.

maneauleau
maneauleau

Films which will be VR compatible would be worth being watched many many times if you can look 360 around I guess there would be many ways to experience each scene at each view. Now if we could get that and to set the volume of dialogues, music and sound effects separately that would be a big improvement.

Though with games getting more more photo realistic and some game genres clearly more and more borderline to movies and now with movies set to get more interactive with VR it really feels like we are entering a new era where the video media is getting many different levels of various interactivity and the frontiers are blending. 

Soon we will buy just one media and it will contain a 2D/3D/VR movie and 2D/3D/VR game all in one depending on your mood or your energy level you will opt for one or the other.


Sorry better go back to my studies...

Quarkzquarkz
Quarkzquarkz

How can you watch an HD documentary when the Oculus Rift dev kits are chock full of problems such as 'screen-door' effect and 640 resolution? I mean countless videos say they can't even read the text when you're using that, let alone see crisp images so what gives?? =(

starhowl
starhowl

@Northuz Well here's the prediction: Crap


Check back later to verfiy. :)

starhowl
starhowl

@draken2533 "Planet Earth in VR" You talkin' as if there'd be anything left of it after you landed here.

wzdb
wzdb

@hystavito  Could be. But still, this has David Attenborough making it so it isn't unreasonable to expect a decent documentary.

Skele7or
Skele7or

@Butt_Chunx  Attenborough is a genius and his voice is like a British Morgan Freeman. Watching the Weaver version of Planet Earth is not even an option. 

lilmcnessy
lilmcnessy

@Butt_Chunx Because he is not some old British geezer, he knows his shit, he sounds awesome and he has character.

robertand71
robertand71

@Butt_Chunx  Don't watch British documentaries then. Mr Attenborough is beloved and well respected in the UK. Someone else on here has already detailed his experience in this field. Sigourney Weaver are you kidding? 

BuBsay
BuBsay

@Butt_Chunx That has to be the most non-sensical thing I've read on here in a while.

jennyford1
jennyford1

@Butt_Chunx  Maybe because he actually knows what he's talking about having a degree from Cambridge in Geology and Zoology or the the fact that he spent his entire life devoted to natural history which is the subject matter, what qualifications does Sigourney Weaver have? What intellectual content can she add to this? My dear American, if you don't have the intellectual vigor to watch a documentary my easily distracted chum watch Transformers or a Hollywood blockbuster. Your comment maybe the daftest thing I have ever read in a comment section but who knows what tomorrow will bring.

naz99
naz99

@starhowl  if you are a fan of David's you would realise even at his age he is always first in line to use new technology to present his docus in new and interesting ways...you should know this if you know anything about him.

fonkeemonkee
fonkeemonkee

@starhowl Yes, because companies never use name recognition for advertising or to draw interest for their product. 

starhowl
starhowl

@catsimboy But slowly please, cuz we need to scan your retina for the NSA database

starhowl
starhowl

@maneauleau Oh please, in my opinion we can go back 15 years in time if games going to be good then again.

MAD_AI
MAD_AI

@Quarkzquarkz  

640 resolution? You must be thinking of the first prototype, the DevKit 2 has 1080p resolution OLED screens and by far leaps ahead the first prototype, 

draken2533
draken2533

@starhowl @draken2533Huh have you ever seen the BBC show Planet Earth? Being able to see the rain forests, underwater, mountains like you couldn't experience in person all in VR

SphinxDemon
SphinxDemon

Here I thought I was the only person who said nonsensical *thumbs up*

Quarkzquarkz
Quarkzquarkz

@Stebsis @Quarkzquarkz  Alright but they have a TON of catching up to do, some movies are already showing at 4k resolution which makes the 1080p look like crud 

epidemic1975
epidemic1975

@starhowl @Quarkzquarkz @Stebsis  thats like saying 720p or 1080 is not needed because we had 640 by 480.


Tech will always evolve and always for the better  but by your logic why have next gen anything when we had the old tech.....close minded much? 

chad_schofield
chad_schofield

@Quarkzquarkz @Stebsis  The consumer version will most likely be 1440p.  They don't make a 4K OLED panel that is 5.5 inches and won't for some time.  Within the next generation or two of the Oculus Rift, they should have 4K displays.  There should be little to no screendoor effect at 1440p.


So they don't really have all that much catching up to do.  They've already made countless breakthroughs in getting VR to be a smooth experience.  Their consumer display should run at above 95Hz.  This means that it can take an input of 95Hz and display 95Hz.  4K TVs cannot do that.  The best they will be able to do is take an input of 60Hz and use their internal hardware to fake 120hz or 240hz like every 120Hz+ TV does now.  TVs just haven't had a need for anything above 60Hz but VR requires at least 95Hz or your brain isn't fooled into believing you are in another world.


And VR will definitely benefit from 4K when it is available.  Remember that you're taking a 5.5" screen and magnifying it so that it fills your entire field of view.  When magnified to that extent, you can see the pixels even at 4K even if you can't see the screen door effect.  VR will push displays up to 16K and 32K over the next 10-15 years.


If you want a better idea of how the Rift is progressing you should look at the second generation dev kit (DK2).  There are lots of videos of people reading text just fine.  In fact, they are even able to lean in to get a closer look at text and objects just like you can in real life.  That wasn't possible on the DK1.