Shackleton Immersive Cinema

(temporary exhibition which ended November 2016)

Oslo’s Fram Museum charts the story of Polar exploration, in particular the exploits of Norwegian heroes Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen. But no recounting of the tales of Antarctic endeavour would be complete without the story of one of Britain’s finest, Sir Ernest Shackleton – especially on the centenary of his most epic adventure.

The Fram team had experienced Hurley’s Camera but the solo nature of the experience didn’t work for their upcoming Shackleton exhibition. They needed something that could immerse more than one visitor at a time. So we designed the Shackleton Immersive Cinema.

Built from scratch by the Fram Museum team under our supervision, our cinema evoked the hold of Shackleton’s ship, The Endurance, on 18th October 1915. Once inside, visitors stepped onto the wooden deck, could see the light of gently flickering gas lamps and hear the groans of the ship’s timbers buckling under the weight of the sea ice that had entrapped it.

A combination of surround sound, digital lighting and projection immersed the visitors in the events of that dramatic day. The chaos as the pressure of the ice floes pitched the ship up and out of the ice, the crash as equipment and supplies were thrown around and the frantic cries of ‘move, men, move – every able man topside!’ from Shackleton up on deck.

Shackleton’s cinema has been enthralled visitors to the Fram Museum between December 2015 and November 2016. And, despite the multiple immersive technologies it employed, it only had one technical hiccup – caused by the museum being struck by lightning – while it was installed.