Watch this Gorilla’s 360 Video ‘Selfie’ that Inspired the Creation of a VR Company


This 360 degree VR video of a young mountain gorilla taking an accidental ‘selfie’ was so affecting, it drove the photographers to create their own company, VR Gorilla, in honour of the event.

Capturing the intimate and private world of wildlife has long been a challenge documentary makers have attempted to tackle, often resulting in groundbreaking leaps in technology and photographic methods.

Now, a new video featuring a young mountain gorilla during a moment of playfulness has spurred the film-makers to create their own 360 video company.

The crew filming Lake Mutanda on location in Uganda

The 3 minute video is the accidental result of an expedition to Uganda to make a virtual reality travel experience for a tour operator. “One of the majestic animals we were hoping to be able to capture in virtual reality film was the mountain gorilla. In 2 beautiful trackings we managed to shoot some awesome footage,” says Daan Taan of production company Het Amsterdams Filmbedrijf. “One shot is truly amazing: while filming, a young mountain gorilla grabbed the camera and unknowingly created the first ever wild mountain gorilla selfie video: a video we’ve edited to about 3 minutes with incredible sharp and close up images of this young gorilla.”

The results, as you can see, are a wonderful peek into the private world of one of the world’s most magnificent animals and an amusing introduction for animal lovers to the world of immersive VR video.

The production company also documented their adventure to capture the footage which they’ve also shared (see below). The crew went equipped with a camera rig comprising Freedom 360 Explorer, with 6 GoPro Hero 4 blacks to capture the footage, turning to Autopano Video + Giga for stitching duties.

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The new company, appropriately named VR Gorilla, will focus on creating and publishing quality immersive video in readiness for the forthcoming VR revolution. “With this brand VR Gorilla we will focus on producing immersive virtual reality films. We want to tell stories and inspire people. We want to deliver experiences to people that they might not be able to have otherwise,” Taan tells Road to VR “We have a lot of cool ideas in the pipe and will start looking for partners shortly.”

This is what a gorilla taking a 360 selfie looks like, in case you were wondering.
This is what a gorilla taking a 360 selfie looks like, in case you were wondering.

You can catch other 360 videos over at the company’s website here, one of which includes a beautiful 360 film of a hot air balloon safari over Uganda. VR Gorilla says that they will make available footage for viewing on the Oculus Rift and other headsets in time. The company is also working on a ‘Virtual Safari’ app which “works with Gear VR, Oculus and Cardboard and has 3D sound, made possible by audio production company”

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.