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, 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.



Experiential Work Reel