Entertainment

World’s first virtual reality expedition film at Pakistan’s Karakoram

Karakoram 500

WRITTEN BY

Sadaf Sher
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

From experiencing the gaming characters for real, while sitting in your room to operating a patient sitting oceans apart, we sure have stepped into a new phase of scientific advancement. Each day brings along with it a novel innovation that takes us to a whole new level of epiphany and joy. The same goes for Virtual Reality. The paradoxical term of “Virtual Reality” has the world gasp with awe, for its utterly revolutionary aspect. Amazed by its unusual characteristics and unique outcomes, filmmaker Steve Henderson, came up with the idea of directing a purely Virtual Reality film. And that too, in Pakistan’s Karakoram Range. It’s the first of its kind, which is sure short of mesmerizing viewers with its beautiful sights of Karakoram, not forgetting to mention that it is being considered as world’s most challenging expeditions to summit.

According to Henderson, such a film is surefire disparate than that of a traditional play committed to introducing the kind of entertainment which previously we were not familiar with. Being a different storytelling medium it will make people experience personally rather than just witness, the location, its people, environment, and stories altogether so as to perceive things in a different manner. Mr. Henderson said;

When you put on a Virtual Reality headset, it transports you to a new world. You connect with people, culture, and place on a much more profound emotional level that traditional film doesn’t provide.

Steve Henderson

Steve Henderson on-location in the Canadian Rockies

Karakoram 500 – Cinematic VR Experience

The name of film being, Karakoram 500 – Cinematic VR Experience, refers to the 500 kilometers of the trek through the dangerous peaks of the world. The Karakoram is among the 14 eight-thousanders independent peaks in the world, for its height ranges some more than 8000 meters above sea level making it difficult and deadly as well. The five-week journey is set to start on 1st of July, 2016. Henderson also started a crowdfunding campaign so as to balance the cost of Virtual Reality equipment while offering different perquisites to the volunteer supporters.

The whole team is comprised of 4 members including Steve Henderson himself – the Director of “Karakoram 500 – Cinematic VR Experience”, David Allen – the Cinematographer, Tim Symes – Photographer / DIT / Post-Production Supervisor and Hamid Hussain – the Guide.

This rare form of storytelling technique would narrate the gripping tale of a big mountain expedition through varying perspectives indulging viewers in the challenges and joys being simultaneously faced by the mountaineer while exploring the lives of locals, and how the mountain welcomes or challenges the climber. So the viewer may not be physically there, but they sure will be virtually experiencing all these aspects of hiking while sitting in the comfort of home.

This whole adventurous journey would start off from the captivating northern areas of Pakistan and all the way through Nanga Parbat across Himalayan Karakoram range and finally to K2 Basecamp, the world’s second largest mountain after Mount Everest.

Do you know: K2 being the second-largest peak in the world, has 2nd highest fatality rate among the eight-thousanders. About one person dies on the mountain for every four who summit the mountain (Source: Wikipedia)

Mr. Henderson is expecting it to be an adventurous tour which according to him would take long because of acclimatization of the altitude and the whole procedure of filmmaking. Explaining Virtual Reality, Henderson said,

You connect with people, culture, and place on a much more profound emotional level that traditional film doesn’t provide

This will be a significant breakthrough, based on the adventures in Pakistan; people from around the world will witness the beautiful places of Pakistan. The so-called negative perception of Pakistan would probably shatter for people will get to witness not only the natural beauty of Gilgit-Baltistan, which is the main route to the Karakoram but they will also get to see (and meet) the kind and loving locals residing in those parts.

Karakorum 500

Karakorum 500

Pakistan sure is a land of immense splendor where the northern areas of Pakistan are known for their mesmerizing lakes, refreshing vegetation and other breathtaking views of nature. The beautiful places of Azad Kashmir like Banjosa Lake, Toli Pir, the enthralling valleys of Neelum and Leepa are treat to the eyes. This is also likely to increase the tourism in Pakistan.

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