The Click Effect

Created by Sandy Smolan & James Nestor for Sundance New Frontier, The MacArthur Foundation, and The New York Times


New Frontier, with the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, commissioned a series of immersive journalism experiments which explore the craft of reporting through the medium of Virtual Reality. The Click Effect – the first project selected for this commission – is a collaboration between Here Be Dragons, Producer Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, 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.

The Click Effect premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and followed with another viewing at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.



Here Be Dragons, New Frontier, The MacArthur Foundation, The New York Times, Annapurna Pictures

Sandy Smolan, James Nestor

Megan Ellison, Chris Milk, Patrick Milling-Smith, Tamsin Glasson, Bill Medsker

Executive Producers
Priya Swaminathan, Samantha Storr, Sammy Cher

Director of Photography
Kate Wurzbacher

Underwater Photography
Fabrice Schnöller, Fred Buyle

Dan Oberle

Music by
McKenzie Stubbert, APM Music

Legend VR




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