The concept for ‘Finding Haka’ was developed by Sky VR in partnership with Surround Vision to create an immersive 360° virtual reality documentary ahead of the Lions’ first Test in New Zealand and Sky’s biggest ever Summer of Sport.
‘Finding Haka’ brings rugby union to life like never before, allowing viewers to experience the Haka in a whole new light. We wanted to take the viewer on a cinematic journey using cutting edge techniques to build an exhilarating experience. As the viewer, you explore the intimate journey of a young Maori man and the ancient cultural traditions that drive the roots of rugby in New Zealand, discovering along the way the passion, dedication and understanding it takes to perform the famous ritual.
The film was released the day before Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions took on New Zealand in the first Test of the series and shown exclusively live on Sky Sports 1. The film is available on the Sky VR app, which is free of charge to download and available to view on iOS, Android and other select devices with a compatible VR headset. The film continues Sky Sports’ commitment to innovation and is Sky’s first full-length VR production.
The film’s award-winning VR director, James Hedley, commented: “I wanted to create a powerful and important film that highlights the significance of preserving cultural identity and heritage.The power, the rawness and the eruption of emotion of the Haka is overwhelming; it begged to be explored in VR. I hope the film will resonate with not only sports fans but also detached youths and history fanatics around the world.”
The British and Irish Lions tour was part of the biggest ever Summer of Sport on Sky, which also included live action from England cricket Test matches against South Africa and the West Indies, golf majors such as The Open, US Open and the Women’s British Open for the first time and F1 from Silverstone.
Gus Williamson, Sky Sports Head of Rugby, commented: “We are going all out this summer with our Lions coverage, bringing the excitement in New Zealand to screens back in the UK. From Scott Quinnell in the #FANVAN, to player holograms, bespoke documentaries and this virtual reality film, we are bringing all aspects of the Lions tour to life.”