New Frontier, with the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is commissioning a series of immersive journalism experiments which explore the craft of reporting through the medium of virtual reality. In these experiments, filmmaking teams engage with news organizations, such as The New York Times Op-Docs, to create works that meet the highest journalistic and storytelling standards.

Click Effect—the first project selected for this commission—is a collaboration between Annapurna Pictures, Vrse, journalist James Nestor, and filmmaker Sandy Smolan. It is a live-action, immersive VR experience, in which we follow two renegade marine science researchers as they attempt to free-dive a hundred feet below the ocean’s surface in a single breath, to capture the “click” communication of dolphins and sperm whales—the world’s largest predators.

YEAR 2015

SECTION NF VR Experience


COMPANY Vse.works

EMAIL tamsin@vrse.works

PHONE (323) 817-3300


Executive Producer
Directors Of Photography
Creative Director
Post Producer

Artist Bio

Sandy Smolan

Sandy Smolan is an award-winning director of features, documentaries, television, and commercials. His critically acclaimed debut feature, Rachel River, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 1988 Sundance Film Festival and took awards for Best Cinematography and Special Jury Prize for actress Viveca Lindfors. His most recent film, The Human Face of Big Data won the Jury prize for Best Cinematography at the Boston International Film Festival.

James Nestor

James Nestor is an author and journalist. His book, DEEP: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What The Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves was a PEN American Center Best Sports Book of the Year, Amazon Best Science Book, The New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and Scientific American Recommended Read. DEEP follows extreme athletes, adventurers, and scientists as they plumb the limits of the ocean's depths and uncover new discoveries that redefine our understanding of the ocean and ourselves.