From the only person to authentically recreate Shackleton's journey of survival,
Tim Jarvis AM brings you closer to the epic experience than ever before in a
20-minute historical re-creation documentary VR experience.


A world-first historical re-creation documentary VR experience being developed in Adelaide, Australia, Thin Ice VR will offer an unrivalled immersive experience that will leave viewers in no doubt about the devastating effect of climate change.

Producer's Statement

Why Thin Ice VR?

Thin Ice VR delivers the most compelling and immersive film experience ever produced on the subject of climate change.
It offers a highly personal experience and literally put its audience in the centre of the story.

The phenomenon of climate change is current, global and widely debated. For the first time, viewers will find themselves standing in the frozen wilderness of Antarctica over a 100-year timeframe to witness first-hand the devastating effects of global warming on the icy continent. It takes viewers to a place on earth that very few have actually been, delivering a ground-breaking virtual reality experience that will evoke awe, wonderment and deep thought.

Thin Ice VR represents a milestone development in cinematic history. It is a multifaceted production that is truly unique, educational and inspiring. Woven into what is essentially a natural science documentary are two seemingly disparate but undeniably powerful and interrelated themes;

One of the most epic tales of bravery that history has to offer. The true story of arctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

One of the most fiercely-debated topics of our time: climate change.


Thin Ice VR takes viewers on an unrivaled journey of discovery and is narrated by environmental scientist Tim Jarvis AM. Jarvis famously and faithfully recreated polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's legendary 1914 journey of survival that cemented his reputation as one of the bravest men who ever lived.

Aimed primarily at a family edutainment audience, Thin Ice VR is also a must see production for film buffs and growing VR audiences hungry for engaging content. It is a story to be shared in family homes, but also one that has a place in museums, libraries and education curriculum on account of its documentary approach.

There are no limits to Thin Ice VR's audience.

The intention is to produce a VR documentary that entertains, engages and educates both young and old and is relatable across all cultures and socio-economic demographics.

It will appeal strongly to travel and nature enthusiasts, history lovers, climate-change activists, people who create environmental policy, educators, tech geeks and anyone with a sense of real-world adventure.

The majority of footage required to produce Thin Ice VR has already been captured. The project requires support to develop and apply ground-breaking VR interactivity, photogrammetry and volumetric capture techniques to create one of the most captivating VR documentary experiences ever produced.

A production of the highest quality

Thin Ice VR will offer a premier entertainment experience. Its delivery extends beyond a 360-degree presentation of footage to viewers, capturing the Antarctic region in stunningly realistic high resolution interactive environments, using multiple techniques such as photogrammetry and volumetric capture to turn images into virtual environments.

Photogrammetry is the application of photography that captures a multitude of images of an object and its surroundings so that a virtual model of it can be produced as part of an immersive and realistic VR experience. In Thin Ice VR, the rocks that viewers can stand on and the objects that they interact with are exact reproductions, not artistic interpretations.

Volumetric capture is a video technique that captures objects, people and performance in three dimensional space – creating human holograms. The producers wish to create a deeper level of immersion for the viewer and the opportunity for them to move around a location and have Tim Jarvis and Ernest Shackleton in the 3D space talking to them – as if they're there – sharing the experience alongside the two adventurers.

Thin Ice VR is a ground-breaking application of Virtual Reality for documentary. By using VR, interactivity, photogrammetry, and volumetric motion capture, Thin Ice VR is hoped to have a creative and market advantage over other VR documentaries worldwide.

Thin Ice VR will also be the first VR experience to...

Capture the high peaks, glaciers and inhospitable locations of the magnificent South Georgia Island.

Recreate Antarctic locations using photogrammetry, allowing a deeper level of immersion for the user and an opportunity to move around a location and inspect objects, as if really there.

Engage with volumetric motion capture in the Antarctic regions with the creation of virtual representations of Shackleton and Jarvis to guide the user through the experience, giving first-hand accounts of the events that transpired.

Demonstrate, in parallel to Shackleton's epic story of survival, climate change has impacted the region and ultimately, the world.

We are actively seeking supporters for the production and release of Thin Ice VR. If you are interested in being a sponsor, brand partner or other supporter, please contact Monkeystack directly.

If you would like to support this project by making a tax-deductible donation, please visit the project on the Documentary Foundation Australia website, or download this form.


Thin Ice VR 360 Preview


An experienced team

The Thin Ice VR team have proven they can deliver projects to an award winning international standard. The team members
are at the leading edge of expedition experience and screen based technology and using both disciplines to re-define what a documentary is. By having the experience and access of a world renowned expedition team and by employing VR, photogrammetry, and volumetric motion capture techniques we hope to have a creative and market advantage over other
VR documentaries worldwide.

MONKEYSTACK — XR, Animation and Interactive Production Company
Established in 2004, Monkeystack has been designing XR experiences since 2012. Now, with a team of over 20 artists and technicians, the team has won many prestigious awards including the Best Game (AIMIA and ATOM) Peter Rasmussen Award for innovation (Sydney Film Festival), Most Creative and Original Game (Game Connection Development Awards, Paris), Best Serious Game (Simtect, Australasia) and Best Serious Game (I/Itsec, USA).

TIM JARVIS — Environmental Scientist and Presenter
Tim is an environmental scientist, author, film-maker, adventurer and public speaker with Masters degrees in environmental science and environmental law. He is committed to finding pragmatic solutions to major environmental issues related to climate change and biodiversity loss. He uses his public speaking engagements, films and books about his expeditions/ work to progress thinking in these areas. In 2013, Tim led the first authentic retracing of polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's “double” – sailing a replica James Caird boat 1500kms across the Southern Ocean from Elephant Island, Antarctica to South Georgia and climbing over South Georgia's mountainous interior using the same rudimentary equipment, period clothing and technology as Shackleton. Regarded by many as the greatest survival journey of all time, this is the first time since Shackleton that anybody has been able to authentically recreate it. A Discovery Channel/PBS documentary film and best-selling Harper Collins Book Shackleton's Epic: Recreating the World's Greatest Journey of Survival have been made about the expedition.

James is an educator, researcher, game designer and filmmaker with over 15 years' experience creating award winning content for all screen types. Most recently, James has focused his attention on teaching and research – particularly in the field of Virtual Reality for education. James takes a very practical approach to VR research, using his years of production and design experience to explore what's possible in this emerging field. James was also the recipient of the David Wilson award; an international research grant awarded to further explore the educational possibilities of virtual reality.

Justin is co-founder of Monkeystack, a South Australian XR, Animation and Interactive Production company. Throughout his career he has directed and produced animation series, films, VR documentary, simulations, visualisations and educational applications. His work has attracted dozens of national and international awards for excellence in animation and interactive design.

DOUG GIMESY — 360 Videographer and Photogrammetry
Doug is an internationally acclaimed photographer and a trained zoologist with a Masters of Environment and a Masters of Bioethics. Through his science and environmentally focused communication consultancy, The Framing Effect, he uses conservation and wildlife photography to educate and influence people on environmental causes. He is an active photographer for National Geographic, and his clients include BBC Wildlife magazine, The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Australian Conservation Foundation, New York Times and the Australian Geographic.

Thin Ice VR is supported by: