In 1953 Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary were the first to successfully summit Everest, the world’s tallest mountain at 29,029 feet. Now, VR content house CGO Studios is teaming up with descendants of those first summiteers to recreate the momentous trek to be experienced in a historically accurate real-time VR experience.
LA based CGO Studios has demonstrated their ability to create detailed real-time VR content based on historical events with both First, which recreates the Wright Brother’s famous first flight, and Anne, focused on the trials of the Holocaust victim, Anne Frank. Now the studio is turning its sights toward the first successful summit of Mt. Everest in 1953.
Producer Jonah Hirsch, Founder of CGO Studios, is once again aiming to make historical accuracy a significant focus. Everest ’53 is being executive produced by Peter Hillary, Jamling Tenzing Norgay, and Norbu Tenzing, the sons of the very first climbers to successfully summit Mt. Everest in 1953. Both Peter Hillary and Jamling Tenzing Norgay have successfully summited Mount Everest themselves, and will be advising on the piece’s attention to historical detail and presentation of climbing techniques.
“In 1953 they were climbing into the unknown. Could it be done? Was the altitude going to be too much for our human physiology? And of course they were using old wooden ice axes to cut steps in the steep ice. They were literally at the limits of our knowledge and the alpine techniques of the time,” said Peter Hillary. “It was an extraordinary achievement, and the confidence of all humanity took another step up as a consequence.”
The piece will be directed by Danny Abrahms with visual effects by Los Angeles based VFX company Dilated Pixels.
CGO Studios says that, like their prior works, Everest ’53 will be a real-time VR experience which includes interactive elements. The experience is being created initially for the Oculus Rift and Touch controllers and will be demoed publicly for the first time this year. There’s no word yet on a public release of the experience, or if it might see support for the Vive and SteamVR at some point, but the studio says Everest ’53 has been in production for more than a year now.