Groundbreaking Capturing Everest Virtual Reality Series Debuts With Multi-Platform Launch Across TIME Inc.'s Sports Illustrated And Life VR Properties
May 3, 2017 - Today Time Inc.’s (NYSE: TIME) Sports Illustrated and LIFE VR, in partnership with Endemol Shine Beyond USA, premiere Capturing Everest, the first-ever complete ascent of the world’s tallest mountain in virtual reality. The first-of-its-kind VR documentary series launches on LIFE VR—Time Inc.’s dedicated virtual reality platform—in concert with comprehensive coverage across SI’s print and digital properties, including a microsite onSI.com with 360-video versions of the episodes and a cover story in this week’s issue. This also marks the first-ever augmented-reality issue from SI, allowing users to scan select images in the magazine to instantly activate multimedia content on their mobile device using the LIFE VR app.
The unprecedented VR production is presented in a series of four episodes following the harrowing journey of three climbers with uniquely inspiring backstories as they attempt to reach the top. One of these climbers is Jeff Glasbrenner, a Paralympian and 25-time Ironman who became the first American amputee to summit Mount Everest on this expedition. He is featured on the new cover of Sports Illustrated with the line, “Capturing Everest. Ultimate Challenge. Ultimate Experience,” and profiled in a feature by SI’s Austin Murphy. The other two climbers featured in the experience are Lisa Thompson, a breast cancer survivor who quit her job to take on Everest, and Madison Mountaineering guide Brent Bishop, son of the legendary climber Barry Bishop, a member of the first American team to summit Everest, in 1963. The VR experience is presented in four chapters: The Journey, The Blessing, The Icefall and The Summit.
The Editors of SI write of the project: “It was no ordinary expedition, and it was captured in an extraordinary way…. You've seen photos and video from the peak. But you've never felt Everest like this… Capturing Everest is yet another example of how SI is delivering the access and storytelling for which we’ve always been known in cutting-edge ways—and it’s the jumping-off point for a new idea of what a magazine can be.” Read the full SI Editors’ Letter introducing Capturing Everest, here.
Capturing Everest was shot on location over a two-month span last spring, which was the first climbing season on the mountain after two years of cancellations due to bad weather and safety concerns. The team of climbers employed a variety of 360-degree video capture methods while enduring some of the planet’s most extreme conditions. Specialized cameras rigged to zip lines and body harnesses on the climbers offer first-person views of Mount Everest in unprecedented fashion to make cinematic history with the production.
“We are thrilled that Capturing Everest is getting this amazing launch platform thanks to our partners at Sports Illustrated and LIFE VR,” says Bonnie Pan, President, Endemol Shine Beyond USA. “This is such a special series, featuring an amazingly brave team of climbers who captured a view of Everest that has never been seen before.”
This week’s issue features another innovation from Time Inc. and its advanced storytelling platform LIFE VR, as it introduces augmented-reality capabilities—powered by technology partner RYOT Lab—blending print and digital in a new and unique way. The first-ever AR issue of SI features multimedia content that can be unlocked by activating the AR camera in the LIFE VR App—users can simply hover their phone over select images throughout the issue and watch them come to life. This includes an exclusive Capturing Everest 360-video experience which launches from the cover and AR-enabled advertorial content from sponsor Coors Light integrated into a front cover flap and back cover.
“An integral part of LIFE VR is finding unexpected ways to bring the LIFE Magazine DNA into a new medium, to a new audience,” said LIFE VR Managing Editor Mia Tramz. "LIFE was meant to be a window onto the world, to take its readers to places they may never otherwise get to go. This project, in so many ways, carries the sprit of the original brand into the forefront of storytelling for our era – it is as innovative and awe-inspiring now as the photographs in LIFE were for so many in its day.”
To watch the full Capturing Everest experience and explore more exclusive virtual reality content download the LIFE VR app for iOS and Android or visit si.com/capturing-everest to watch in 360. It will be made available across additional VR platforms in the coming weeks. The new issue of Sports Illustrated hits newsstands today.
ABOUT TIME INC.
Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is a leading content company that engages over 150 million consumers every month through our portfolio of premium brands across platforms. By combining our distinctive content with our proprietary data and people-based targeting, we offer highly differentiated end-to-end solutions to marketers across the multimedia landscape. Our influential brands include People, Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Real Simple and Southern Living, as well as approximately 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom. Time Inc. has been extending the power of our brands through various acquisitions and investments, including Viant, an advertising technology firm with a specialized people-based marketing platform; The Foundry, Time Inc.’s creative lab and content studio; and the People Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). The Company is also home to celebrated events, such as the Time 100, Fortune Most Powerful Women, People’s Sexiest Man Alive, Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year, the Essence Festival and the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
ABOUT ENDEMOL SHINE BEYOND USA
Endemol Shine Beyond USA, the digital studio of Endemol Shine North America, is focused on developing original series across a wide array of platforms. Endemol Shine Beyond USA recently developed and produced “The Keys of Christmas” for YouTube Red, set an exclusive production partnership with Mashable and is launching “Capturing Everest” with Sports Illustrated and LIFE VR, the first-ever bottom-to-top climb of Mt. Everest in VR.
Danny Leonard, 212-522-0361, [email protected]