June 22, 2016
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS // DIVE INTO ‘SHARK WEEK’ WITH RIVETING VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY EXPERIENCES
– Fans invited to explore the underwater world with the second act of ISLE OF JAWS offered in virtual reality –
Silver Spring, Md. – SHARK WEEK dives headfirst into the stunning underwater world of sharks in thrilling virtual and augmented reality. Launching this week, with new releases throughout SHARK WEEK, shark enthusiasts will be going behind-the-scenes of some of the week’s most exciting shoots, with some experiences offering guided narration and on-screen commentary by award-winning shark cinematographer Andy Casagrande, Australian Navy diver and shark attack survivor Paul de Gelder and marine biologist Dr. Craig O’Connell. From spotting migrating great whites off the coast of Australia and swimming with hammerhead sharks in the Bahamas to getting nose-to-nose with puppies dressed as sharks, there’s something for everyone!
This year, in a Discovery first, a portion of SHARK WEEK will simultaneously be available in VR and 360 video through the Discovery VR apps for iOS, Android, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus, and on Shark Week’s Facebook page. On-air messaging in the first act of ISLE OF JAWS, premiering Sunday, June 26 at 10/9c, will invite VR aficionados and newbies to test the waters, giving them the option to watch the second act through Discovery VR on Facebook and Gear VR. In the virtual reality experience, Andy Casagrande guides viewers as he searches west along the known great migration route for great white sharks that have suddenly disappeared. In his search, he stumbles up on an incredible discovery – a concentration of male great white sharks off an unchartered island.
“SHARK WEEK is the biggest television event of the year, and we are excited to add virtual and augmented reality to the frenzy this year,” said Nathan Brown, SVP of Development & Operations for Discovery Digital Networks & Discovery VR at Discovery Communications. “With more than 800,000 downloads and 50 million views across Discovery VR, there clearly is a great appetite for engaging, quality content, and Discovery is leading the charge.”
Seven additional SHARK WEEK VR experiences are rolling out over the next week, allowing fans to go deeper this year than ever before:
- Surviving Sharks: Australian Navy diver Paul de Gelder has always loved the ocean and marine life – especially sharks. Even after personally being attacked by sharks, he hasn’t let the danger keep him from diving into the ocean depths. Viewers can join him underwater as he shares his personal story of survival and speaks to the importance of sharks in our oceans.
- Dare to Swim in The Shallows: SHARK WEEK has partnered with Sony Pictures’ The Shallows to take viewers up close and personal to the one of world’s most powerful apex predators and share a special look at the film, placing the viewer in the middle of curious great white sharks who don’t shy away from the camera.
- Sharks Among Us: A New Way: Shark encounters are more prominent than ever, and sadly, many solutions to protect humans result in the death of sharks. Marine biologist Dr. Craig O’Connell has been studying hammerhead sharks in Bimini, Bahamas for many years and looking for ways to protect both sharks and humans. This year, he takes viewers on a special dive at of his favorite sites. This site is also where he starts his research journey in the upcoming SHARK WEEK special SHARKS AMONG US. Along the way he is joined by curious nurse sharks and unpredictable bull sharks for a fully immersive, and very shark-filled experience!
- Sharks Among Us: Why Sharks?: Dr. Craig O’Connell fell in love with sharks when he was a child and no puts his life on the line to protect them. Craig shows us some of his favorite moments from the filming of SHARKS AMONG US. He also shares his story of why he loves these apex predators and conducts his research with some of the most dangerous animals in the world.
- Sharks Among Us: Getting the Shot: Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a cameraman for SHARK WEEK? This year, viewers can dive in and be in the middle of the action, going behind-the-scenes in Bimini, Bahamas with Dr. Craig O’Connell and the crew of SHARKS AMONG US.
- Shark Pups: Everyone loves sharks and puppies – so what about puppies dressed as sharks? Discovery VR will immerse viewers in a simulated underwater world of cuteness at the Washington Animal Rescue League, where Shark Pups recreate some of SHARK WEEK’s most iconic moments.
- Sharks 360: Dive into a high energy, fun compilation featuring some of our favorite shark species: hammerheads, bull sharks, nurse sharks, Caribbean reefs and the ultimate predators, great white sharks!
Additionally, within the Discovery VR apps, fans can access an exciting new augmented reality experience, providing an up-close-and-personal exhibit of their favorite sharks in a unique mobile setting – including a 360-degree interactive game and a thrilling shark breaching that takes place in the environment of the user. Each part of the experience features photo tools for sharing with fellow finatics. The AR experiences are powered byAIREAL, a leading geospatial augmented reality platform that leverages geospatial coordinates to anchor digital content at nearby locations.
To experience SHARK WEEK in VR and 360 video, go to the Webby Award-winning DiscoveryVR.com, download the Discovery VR apps for iOS, Android, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus, or head to the SHARK WEEK Facebook page and Discovery Channel on YouTube. To learn more about AIREAL, visit http://aireal.io.
About Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the leader in global entertainment reaching 3 billion cumulative viewers in more than 220 countries and territories. Discovery satisfies curiosity, entertains and inspires viewers with high-quality content through global brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and through the Discovery Digital Networks portfolio, including Seeker and SourceFed. Discovery owns Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.