CMU School of Drama

Thursday, May 04, 2017

How Sports Illustrated Made The First Live-Action VR Film On Everest It’s famously “there,” so a whole lot of people want to climb Mt. Everest. But the vast majority of them will never get anywhere near the peak in the Himalayas. Now virtual reality can take anyone to the top of the world’s tallest mountain.

For some time, it’s been possible to “climb” a computer-generated Everest, thanks to “Everest VR,” which lets users of high-end VR systems like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive ascend to 29,035 feet in an entertaining, albeit facile, facsimile of the experience of summiting. Save for a scene or two in which you disappear in a fog of wind and snow, though, you don’t get much of a sense of how incredibly dangerous climbing Everest is.

1 comment:

nick waddington said...

I, like many, have always dreamed of climbing Everest. now while i know it is just a dream, and it is highly unlikely that i will ever even make it to the base camp, it is still one of those things that my heart has always clung to. sometimes when I'm hiking or ice climbing or bouldering i will think of what this could be like in a scenario where there is no room for mistakes. this article also brought up something that hit me pretty hard, because amid all of the hassle of arcade and the end of the year, i hadn't heard that Uri Steck passed away not 5 days ago in the Himalayas. Uri Steck was a hero of mine from around age seven after i watched a movie with my dad about climbers who solo and free solo some of the most incredible ascensions in the world. thats when i decided i was going to become a climber and joined the Planet Granite climbing team at home.

the fear of heights being one of the most widespread phobias in the world, i can understand why the Virtual reality experience of climbing Everest would be desirable, but one of the things they mentioned about it was that they wanted it to feel like you were actually there sending the face yourself. but what they miss is the rush of climbing, the feeling when your fingers are so cold, you're not sure if you are going to be able to hold on, and then the first breath after safely finishing a crux in the climb, and looking down at the seemingly impassable slab you just scaled.

although i don't climb much any more, and the prospects of me climbing something like Everest are slimmer than ever, i am beyond excited to see the Sports Illustrated video of the ascent. I think the hardest thing for them to do will be to convey the rush of emotions that flood the climber when climbing at this scale, but i hope they are able to at least do it justice.