Britannia: Ground-Breaking Immersive TV Experience

EI has to declare an interest here as we are big fans of this show, the second series of which was launched on the Sky platform this week.

Its mix of psychedelia, drama, fantasy, contemporary music and beautiful cinema photography is a joy and is the kind of high-quality broadcast content that could drive new customers towards high-end AV and cinema experiences.

Building on the high-quality approach from shows like Peaky Blinders and Game of Thrones, this show perhaps even has the edge in terms of delivering a pleasing and almost hypnotising experience.

The show has something however few of its rivals has, its very own immersive experience called Britannia VR: Out of Your Mind.

This new experience is available now on SteamVR and is coming soon to the Oculus store as well.  

Britannia VR: Out of Your Mind was created by Sky VR Studios and developed by Hammerhead. It uses cutting-edge VR photogrammetry and volumetric capture techniques.

The creators worked with Dimension studios to realistically capture the visually stunning sets, props and cast which included MacKenzie Crook, Liana Cornell, Ben Bailey Smith and Steve Pemberton.

In the VR experience fans can choose to be immersed in a world of Druid magic and mysticism or enter an intoxicating world of Roman imperialism and power.

Throughout the experience they will be presented with several fun and engaging unique interactions.

The first choice they make is whether to drink wine from a Roman goblet or inhale the magic smoke from a Druid bowl of plant and flowers.

If they inhale the Druid concoction, they learn the druid ways with Ania (Liana Cornell) and join tranced out dancers at a dark rave in the woods.

Dressed as a druid they will witness the intense power of Veran (Mackenzie Crook), as he leads the druids to resist the Daemon of Rome.

If they drink wine from the Roman goblet, they become immersed in a world of Roman imperialism and power as they worship the Roman Gods with Rufus (Ben Bailey Smith).

They will be able to bathe in a luxurious bath, pour liquid silver to make money, dress as a Roman soldier as well as witness the pomp and ceremony of Emperor Claudius (Steve Pemberton) and his five-tonne elephant enter the Roman Oppida.

Neil Graham Executive Producer for Sky VR and Sky Cinema, says, “We are delighted to bring the world of Britannia to life through this truly immersive interactive VR experience.

By blending cinematic and game production techniques, we are able to truly showcase the epic scale and ambition of Britannia. Working together with Vertigo and Hammerhead we are extremely proud of what we’ve been able to create together”.

Simon Windsor, Joint Managing Director, Hammerhead & Dimension, “Britannia VR continues our work creating highly realistic and emotive immersive experiences – bringing fans into the world of Britannia to interact and experience the drama and magic as though there themselves. Sky’s pioneering approach to new volumetric production techniques helps connect fans with the characters and their stories in powerful new ways and we’re thrilled with our latest collaboration.”

Britannia VR: Out of Your Mind is one of many Sky VR experiences created for Sky original productions which include A Discovery of Witches and Curfew. Britannia VR: Out of Your Mind was directed by Kim-Leigh Pontin and produced by Daniel Bougourd, Neil Graham and Kim-Leigh Pontin for Sky.  Steve Jelly, Sally Blake and Simon Windsor lead the production for Hammerhead.

All ten episodes of Britannia series two are available now on Sky and TV streaming service NOW TV. Series two is written by Jez Tom and John-Henry Butterworth. Produced by Rupert Ryle-Hodges and executive produced by Vertigo Films’ James Richardson; and Neal Street Production’s Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and Nicolas Brown with Jez and Tom Butterworth.

Are we seeing a new dawn where TV shows morph into multi-platform experiences rather than just passive viewing entities able to deliver just one type of experience? Lets hope so, the creators here have not only made a show that just looks and sounds fantastic, it enters the realms of other immersive formats too.  

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