Nat Geo to launch virtual reality studio

At the annual NewFronts presentation in New York, the 128-year-old media company revealed that it will be launching NG VR Studio, a virtual reality studio that will place audiences on the ground with explorers, photographers and storytellers.
May 9, 2016

National Geographic is the latest media conglomerate to enter into the virtual reality space.

At a NewFronts presentation in New York, the 128-year-old media company today (May 9) revealed that it will be launching NG VR Studio in an attempt to bring audiences “to the front lines of action,” and give viewers on-the-ground access to various brand explorers, photographers and storytellers.

The studio will offer a mix of original and franchise experiences that touch upon the stories covered in critically acclaimed docuseries Explorer, following photographers Brian Skerry and Renan Ozturk – the latter of whom was a subject of the documentary Meru – and traveling to the Red Planet ahead of the November premiere of documentary-scripted hybrid series Mars, from Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment and Radical Media.

Nat Geo also unveiled its digital programming slate for 2016-17, which included National Geographic Channel’s first-ever digital shorts series Before Mars, a prequel to Mars. The six-part series, which is set in the present day, tells the story of change, exploration, discovery and friendship while providing a narrative arc to the larger series.

Nat Geo Wild will also venture into the digital space with Wild_Life with Bertie Gregory, featuring the filmmaker’s journey into the Pacific Northwest in search of coastal rain wolves.

Also announced were Animal Close Up, providing a closer view to cute and strange animals; Get Out: A Guide to Adventure, featuring insider tips and tricks from adventure experts; InTime, providing a hyper-lapse journey to iconic travel destinations; Invisible, a slow motion examination of nature with scientists and psychologists; and Limitless, exploring the bodies and minds of individuals who seem “almost super-human.”

Rounding out the newly announced digital series are NGenius, an original web series that sets out to answer intriguing questions from across science and history; NG Gold, offering wild and unbelievable moments around the globe; and The Real (City), which uncovers hidden gems in cities across the globe.

Meanwhile, National Geographic will lean on its 48.4 million Instagram followers to produce an original series across the photo-sharing website. MoviNG Pictures will capture intimate moments from photographers in the field through short videos.

“Consumers and corporate partners alike come to us for our unparalleled access to the people and stories that are impacting our ever-changing world,” said National Geographic Partners CEO Declan Moore in a statement. “Engagement with our brand can be seen most significantly by our massive social media footprint that now generates more than 1.6 billion monthly actions.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.