White Spark Pictures to be supported by $1 million museum funding partnership

Western Australia's Kimberley Region will be the subject of a new immersive documentary from White Spark Pictures.

Western Australian independent production company White Spark Pictures will receive $1 million across three years to develop a slate of new immersive documentaries as part of a partnership between the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, the Western Australian Museum, and the Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The investment will fund the production of The Kimberley VR Experience, a 360° documentary that takes viewers over the edges of the waterfalls and coastlines of WA’s Kimberley region; Journey of the Giants, a 360° dive into the world of whales, including explorations of their migration, history and the swimming patterns of humpbacks; and The Kermadec Islands, which will focus remote and pristine marine wonderland deep in the South Pacific Ocean.

It comes ahead of the international premiere of White Spark’s second VR film Beyond the Milky Way at London’s Royal Institution next week, the follow up to the company’s inaugural project, The Antarctica Experience, which has grossed more than $1.3 million since its release.

The National Museum of Australia, the Western Australian Museum and the Auckland Museum have each hosted (and continue to host at given periods) either one or both of the titles.

Briege Whitehead in Antarctica.

White Spark Pictures founder Briege Whitehead said she was “incredibly excited” to be working with the museums on a long-term basis.

“These venues are visionary in the way that they have embraced the opportunity VR presents,” she said.

“With technology improving all the time, and with venues and attractions constantly looking for unique new experiences to offer their visitors, demand for world-class, cost-effective, and scalable offerings like ours, which are the perfect fit for any site, will only increase. At present, lack of available content is a major barrier, so it is very astute of these museums to invest in their own pipeline.

“For my part, I hope this partnership also inspires TV and film producers to look into VR production. We are proving there is a demand for great immersive content and this in turn should provide a lot of opportunity for some of the amazing production talent out there to expand their capabilities. And with production slowing down in many parts of the world, now might be a great time to investigate.”

The Kimberley VR Experience is due to launch in the second half of 2024.