White Spark Pictures' VR film "Beyond the Milky Way" to launch in Europe

After a massively successful run in Australia, the immersive doc will debut on the Royal Institution in London.

22 JUN 2023

"Beyond the Milky Way"

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Australian prod co White Spark Pictures announces that its latest Virtual Reality (VR) film "Beyond the Milky Way" will have its UK and European premiere in London this summer at the Royal Institution. Launching on 24th July and running until 19th August, visitors to the Royal Institution will find themselves transported first to remote parts of Western Australia and then out into the Universe in a truly unique immersive experience.

Narrated by Professor Brian Cox (Universe), "Beyond the Milky Way" tells the story of one of the greatest-ever scientific endeavours in human history – the SKA Observatory, a global effort to build two of the world’s largest radio telescopes.

Filmed with specialised 360-degree cameras capable of extreme resolution, the 30-minute VR experience was shot in the radio-quiet Western Australian outback where the SKA-Low Telescope is being constructed.It takes audiences on a tour of InyarrimanhaIlgari Bundara, the CSIRO Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, and out into the Universe -guided by the people already using the world-class instruments at the observatory, the astronomers who will use the SKA telescopes in the future, and the Wajarri Yamaji, the Traditional Owners and native title holders of the observatory site.

Katherine Mathieson, Director of the Royal Institution, says:“As a place of world-shaping scientific exploration and discovery for over 200 years, we are delighted to be the first major venue outside of Australia to host 'Beyond the Milky Way'. Our purpose is to connect scientists and the public and we have a reputation for finding innovative and imaginative ways to do it. Not only is this film about a historic and ground-breaking scientific endeavour, it also uses the very latest VR technology to engage our audiences. We’re looking forward to a summer of immersive shared experiences of science at the Ri, that just aren’t possible anywhere outside of Australia at the moment.”

Briege Whitehead from White Spark Pictures adds: “We are thrilled that Beyond the Milky Way’s first major international run is taking place at such a prestigious and well-loved venue as the Royal Institution. If our experience in Australia is anything to go by, it will prove an excellent draw for people looking for a unique experience and will be a big hit with young and old alike, who will get the opportunity to visit both the stunning remote outback and outer space without leaving London. And for the Ri, and indeed any other interested venues, it’s an exciting time to be at the forefront of new mass audience VR cinema experiences, especially as our proprietary ‘plug and play’ distribution method is totally scalable, can be delivered quickly, with minimal set-up and investment.”

Beyond the Milky Way has already seen great success, over multiple seasons and venues, notably the Western Australian Museum, National Museum of Australia in Canberra and at the Slamdance Film Festival in the US. "Beyond the Milky Way" is being represented internationally by Wild Thring Media, who first introduced the Royal Institution to the film.