Simon Fuller & Verizon Debut ‘Serengeti River Crossing’

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NEW YORK & LONDON, 22 April 2021

First Oculus VR Experience born from ground-breaking partnership to be launched 22nd April 2021

Link to trailer here

Today Simon Fuller’s immersive entertainment partnership announced its first production with Verizon: “Serengeti River Crossing”.

The eight minute VR journey into the heart of Africa is a dramatized story that takes the viewer inside of this stunning east African ecosystem following the largest mass migration of animals on the planet reaching and crossing the treacherous currents of Africa’s Mara River.

The content launches worldwide exclusively on the Oculus platform on April 22, 2021, Earth Day.

“Serengeti River Crossing” is the first of a number of content innovations to come out of the Verizon 5G innovation partnership with EMMY Award winning creator Simon Fuller and founder of XlX Entertainment. The companies have plans for immersive experiences leveraging 5G to come later this year.

The content was filmed in the Serengeti National Park over the last six months during lockdown by a team of experienced film makers working alongside local staff from the Park under the direction of renowned wildlife filmmaker John Downer; it is a co-production between XIX Entertainment and John Downer Productions. It uses an industry-leading blend of 2D and 360 3D cameras and uses the superior spatial audio of VR headsets to capture the drama of real life in this celebrated African national park.

It is accompanied by a thrilling soundtrack composed by Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory and Grammy Award-winning songwriter Cathy Dennis. The original lyrics and music scored for the film, mixed with ambient natural sounds, the roars and growls of the animals, creates a new and emotional form of VR experience.

As part of Verizon’s ongoing commitment to climate protection, last year Verizon pledged to sponsor the planting of 20 million trees by 2030. To advance its efforts and to mark the release of “Serengeti River Crossing”, Verizon will be planting 500,000 trees in Kenya in partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects. The company has planted more than six million trees since 2009.

Serengeti River Crossing is available for free in Oculus TV on Oculus Quest and Quest 2 VR headsets.

 

For more information and to download Oculus TV for your Quest headset, visit:  https://www.oculus.com/experiences/quest/1931356740318898/?locale=en_US


QUOTES:

Simon Fuller:

“Nature provides us with exhilarating and remarkable spectacles of wonderment. One of the most extraordinary is the great Serengeti migration. To celebrate Earth day with Verizon and Oculus, John Downer and myself have created a short film utilizing the very latest immersive technology to tell a simple story reflecting the majesty and drama of these incredible animals. We have attempted to create a full sensory extravaganza, with state of the art sound and 3D 360 visuals with a specially written song and score to enhance the experience. We are delighted to be exploring this new frontier of creativity to define new forms of entertainment made possible by all the extraordinary technology now available. These evolving new entertainment experiences will leverage the remarkable power and capabilities of a 5G network, which will provide previously unimaginable mobile entertainment to the world.”

John Downer:

“I have spent my professional life trying to film ever closer inside the animal world. This Serengeti River Crossing 360 film was the culmination of that dream. The animals tell their own story as they take us inside one of nature’s greatest events. I’m still in awe of much of the imagery, often captured remotely with no human presence.”

Erin McPherson:

“Verizon understands that immersive entertainment requires innovative creators like Simon who are not afraid to experiment with new technology and new storytelling formats. Serengeti River Crossing gives consumers unprecedented access to the natural wonder of the Serengeti, made possible through the groundbreaking production techniques Simon and his team embraced throughout our partnership. Verizon, together with Simon and XIX Entertainment, is pioneering the future of entertainment through new immersive experiences built right.”

Eric Cheng, Immersive Media Lead, Facebook Reality Labs:

“Immersive entertainment will evolve by providing innovative creators like Simon Fuller with new technology and storytelling tools including 5G Ultra Wideband. The “Serengeti River Crossing” VR experience gives consumers unique access to the natural wonders of the Serengeti, made possible through the groundbreaking production techniques Simon and his team embraced throughout our partnership.  Verizon, together with Simon and XIX Entertainment, is pioneering the future of entertainment through new immersive experiences built right.”

Link to Artwork / Image Assets

Media Contacts:

Bernie Karkar (XIX)
bernie@xixentertainment.com | +44 207 801 191

Julian Henry (XIX)
julian@xixentertainment.com | +44 208 801 1923