More than a website, Gallipoli: the First Day is an immersive experience that recreates and explores the first 24 hours of the 1915 ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in rich, interactive detail. The site offers audiences the opportunity to experience the landing as if they were there, with stories of great bravery and suffering, desperate attacks, defence, confusion, mistakes and lost opportunities of this historic battle.
The basis of the site is a sophisticated 3D map of Anzac Cove, which was built using topographical data from 1916. Visitors to the site can move anywhere around the landscape – along beaches, up cliffs and over hills – creating the visual and aural feeling of actually being at the battle itself as the day unfolds.
The site offers an hour-by-hour timeline of the landing, broken up into four main chapters. Each chapter conveys a number of key events illustrated in great detail, with 3D dioramas and fly-throughs across the landscape.
The narrated sequences carry audience members through the story of the day as a whole, and are voiced by actor Lucy Bell. Detailed 3D dioramas illustrate key moments of the day in greater detail, providing dramatic and poignant insight into what the experience might have been like for soldiers on both sides; whilst the fly-throughs better illustrate points of strategy and the broad scale movement of troops. The ABC worked in collaboration with leading 3D art, animation and visual effects studio Plastic Wax to model the soldiers and equipment used in the project.
Each key event also contains a wealth of supplementary media to explore, including diary extracts and letters voiced by Hugo Weaving, video interviews with survivors from Gallipoli and photographs from behind the trenches. This material offers an amazing opportunity to hear first-hand accounts from the soldiers – accounts that are heightened by this 3D, interactive experience.
The site offers background material about the broader Gallipoli campaign, including expert opinion by renowned historian Harvey Broadbent, information about the weaponry and transport used by ANZAC and Ottoman soldiers, and short biographies of each soldier highlighted in the project.
The site also links to a Google Earth layer which plots the movements of soldiers across the landscape and offers a selection of supplementary media from the site.
Gallipoli: The First Day now at abc.net.au/gallipoli.