Bear71

Client: NFB, GOOGLE

An interactive documentary that explores how quickly freedom can turn into prison.

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Bear71 is the true story of a grizzly who had been monitored by the wildlife conservation offices for over a decade. Users are invited to follow Bear71 through her journey, from the moment she is tagged to the moment of her untimely death, in an experience that TIME Magazine calls “a virtual reality film you should experience right now”.

Originally released in 2012 by the NFB as a ground-breaking interactive doc, Bear71’s heart-wrenching story allows users to walk a mile from the perspective of the bear, through a data grid comprised of 1 million images that illustrate her encounters in Banff National Park.

The project was at risk of being silenced by the death of Flash. This became an opportunity to use the latest technology to deeper explore the connection between humans, animals and the idea of being watched, allowing users to connect with the content seamlessly through gaze-based interactions. And so the NFB partnered with Google to reimagine Bear71 in virtual reality.

Optimized for the Google DayDream, Bear71 works across platforms in WebVR without the need for a download. Using VR data-visualization to explore the connection between humans, nature and technology, Bear71’s legacy lives on.

Three facts that will impress:

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