Climb Everest VR: No Mountain Too High for Virtual Reality
When I first heard about Climb Everest VR, its Kickstarter funding project has already failed, falling short of its goal by over 20,000 euros.
The team producing the project, however, did not abandon ship.
Milan Collin, executive producer of this epic VR experience, told us that the idea about Everest VR has been in gestation as early as in 2016. He was preparing for a mountaineering project called 4 Peaks in 4 Weeks in the Everest mountainous region, working with Noel & Lynne Hanna, experienced climbers and the first married couple to have mounted Everest from both sides (South side in 2009 and North side in 2016). Though unable to secure the funding necessary for the completion of this project, the team had invested too much to bail; two months into their financial plight, they boarded a plane for Kathmandu with full gear for this make-or-break endeavor.
The entire production cycle took longer than a year. “Planning and executing an adventure like this is your worst nightmare,” Milan says candidly. “There are so many things to tackle and all are intertwined with each other.”
When you believe so strongly that something will happen, it's difficult to turn around. ——Milan Collin, Everest VRClick To Tweet
In the end, they managed to record 24 hours of great footage; footage above 7500 meters was shot by Noel Hanna.
The main challenge the production team faced was the sheer height on which they had to work. Every movement, even those unnoticeable ones like tying your shoes, took a lot of energy. Choosing to climb Everest from the north side also posed a greater challenge for the team members’ stamina and skills. Tibet’s Remoteness, rawness, and sense of timelessness, and Everest in all her mighty seen from the north Tibetan site, struck a deep chord with them.
What’s most essential to the completion of this project? Milan says it’s “believing”. Every time when he was on the verge of breaking down, and ready to throw in the towel, his belief pushed him to forge on. Admitting that he’s gotten a few years older dealing with all the disappointments and hiccups throughout the whole production, he’s appreciative that none of his team of four flinched or dropped out. When it seems natural to just walk away from trouble, you need to “hold on and not let go”, Milan says, and that’s how you can truly achieve something in life.
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