VIDEO: 360 Views of Mt. Everest Expedition

AMSTERDAM–A new achievement in the world of virtual reality production has been accomplished: Captured views from the summit of Mt. Everest. Out now is a trailer of a soon-to-be-released VR series produced by Dutch Picture Industry, a production and marketing company based in Amsterdam. The documentary simulates what it’s like to take part in an expedition to the summit of Mt. Everest by following Noel and Lynne Hanna, a veteran Mt. Everest climbing couple.

The production crew experimented with several types of VR camera setups using GoPros mounted on custom rigs. “One of the rigs we had was eight GoPros with a 3D printed rig and for a backup we used a 360 box,” said Przemek Siemion, the documentary series director, who climbed up to about 7,500 meters of Mt. Everest. For reference, the summit sits at approximately 8,848 meters.

“Then the two cameras that went to the summit were on a rig that had a custom enclosure over the GoPros where you can also attach different lenses.” The Hannas were the only two in the group to actually reach the summit. It was decided that the two man production crew should be left behind while the couple captured the money shots with one of the GoPro rigs.

GoPro cameras were chosen due to their weight, an issue Siemion says, that came about frequently throughout the hike. Other problems arose due to the nature of the expedition. “They [expedition guides] don’t care that much about your filming. We had to work around other people and we didn’t always know what was going to happen because they [expedition guides] didn’t always know themselves,” Siemion added.

Siemion says a large portion of the trip involved transporting equipment to and from camps and developing a backup plan for the cameras and batteries.

There’s no word yet on when the VR series will be formally released.