White Spark Pictures, the award-winning Australian production company established by Briege Whitehead, announced the completion of its latest Virtual Reality (VR) documentary project, “Beyond the Milky Way,” about one of the biggest-ever scientific endeavors in human history – the SKA, the world’s largest radio telescopes. The 25-minute VR film, narrated by professor Brian Cox, will have its world premiere at the WA Museum Boola Bardip in Perth, opening to the public on December 11.
“Beyond the Milky Way” was shot at the remote site in Western Australia where the SKA-Low Telescope will be constructed, and takes audiences on a tour of CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory (MRO) and out into the Universe through the eyes of the people using the world-class instruments already at the observatory, the astronomers who will use the SKA in the future, and the Wajarri Yamaji traditional landowners.
The construction of the SKA telescopes is being billed as one of the world’s greatest-ever scientific endeavours. When completed, the SKA will be a virtual time machine, allowing us to see further back in time than ever before to understand how our Universe came to be, and giving humanity its best-ever chance of discovering if there is other life out there. As well as the upcoming SKA project, audiences will experience two of the telescopes already at the MRO: SKA precursors the Murchison Widefield Array and the ASKAP radio telescope.
Filmed with specialized 360-degree cameras capable of extreme resolution, “Beyond the Milky Way” will provide audiences with a unique immersive experience. It is expected to play in a wide range of museums and other theatrical venues in Australia ahead of launching internationally.
“Beyond the Milky Way” is White Spark’s second Virtual Reality film. Its first, the award-winning “The Antarctica Experience,” is one of the most commercially successful VR documentaries of all time, and ranks within the top 10 highest grossing Australian documentaries to date.
“The SKA is a ground-breaking, truly international project, and I am honored that these leading scientific institutions have put their trust in me to share their endeavors with the world. This new immersive VR film will allow a wide range of people to virtually experience this landmark project before construction begins, and look into the future at its immense potential. It will also give people a chance to explore a remote and extraordinary part of the world which few will ever visit,” said Briege Whitehead, Founder and Creative Director at White Spark Pictures.
Alex West, Head of Documentary at Screen Australia, commented: “Having proven its ability to engage audiences with the very successful ‘The Antarctica Experience,’ we are excited to support White Spark’s new project ‘Beyond the Milky Way,’ which is set to take audiences to the far reaches of the universe, and I’m confident will leave them with an unforgettable experience”.