Take a closer look at one of history’s most treasured cathedrals in this stereoscopic 360-degree experience.
*UPDATE [4.15.2019]*: Earlier this morning an apparent electric fire has resulted in permanent damage to large portions of the Notre Dame Cathedral. French authorities have confirmed that the primary bulk Notre-Dame’s structure and two towers have been saved, although lasting damage has been done. One firefighter was reportedly injured during the blaze.
Accidents such as this only further highlight the necessity of VR technology in terms of the preservation of historical landmarks. Permanently immortalizing landmarks and locations using technology such as photogrammetry and depth capture.
Every day, over 30,000 visitors flock to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to tour the exquisite architecture made even more famous by Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. With its gothic style and storied past—construction began in 1160!—the Cathedral maintains an air of mystery and awe.
With the release of VR cinematic experience, The Man Behind Notre Dame, TARGO hopes to explore the unique fascination with the revered Cathedral’s history and secrets that has made it a global phenomenon. “In our modern societies, we constantly question our cultural heritage but the Notre Dame Cathedral creates a sort of magnetic consensus, even among nonbelievers. Notre Dame speaks to everyone. It goes way beyond religion, and we wanted to know why,” said director Chloé Rochereuil.
Shot in stereoscopic 360 VR, the 8-minute documentary follows the daily life of the Cathedral’s Rector-Archpriest, Patrick Chauvet, as he takes the audience on a behind-the-scenes journey of the Cathedral and his unique role as a churchman in the modern age. “We met the Rector of the cathedral and it clicked: he was the man who was going to open the closed doors of the cathedral and share its secrets to our audience,” said Rochereuil.
And open the doors he does; with the Rector-Archpriest himself as tour-guide, the audience gains unprecedented access to the Cathedral’s towers, sacristy, office, and rooftops that are closed off to the general public.
Producer Victor Agulhon credits VR for the documentary’s success in bringing the mystery of Notre Dame to life: “When you are in a virtual reality headset and stand one meter away from the bells, when you are behind the gargoyles, it’s a child’s dream. It’s all this untouchable human heritage that becomes tangible.”
The Man Behind Notre Dame is streaming now on Samsung VR, Inception VR, Littlstar, CineVR, Veer VR, Oculus Video, and MYTF1VR and can also be seen in 360° video on YouTube and Facebook.