VR & 360° Video In Sport

 

The Live Experience

Virtual reality can be used to give fans the experience of "being there" at their favourite team's stadium, no matter where they are in the world. That's pretty incredible and you can already watch sport in VR thanks to forward-thinking people at UEFA, Fox Sports, and the French Open, to name a few.

Going Deeper With VR

Companies like LiveLike and NextVR are focusing on delivering the ultimate live streamed VR experience. At East City Films, with our history and expertise in storytelling, we are looking to give fans more than just a live stream. We want to immerse fans in the whole world of the sport, from the fan experience in and around the stadium, to the player's experience on the pitch and on the training field. VR in sport can give you so much more than just the virtual experience of being at a match. VR in sport can give you the impossible - the experience of everything: from the gym to the ring, from the coin toss to celebrating with the trophy, from the jockey weigh out to the weigh-in, from the inaugural European Cup final to the first ever Grand Prix, you can be there.

Eubank Jr. wins the IPO Super Middleweight world title and is captured in VR by East City Films for ITV.

Eubank Jr. wins the IPO Super Middleweight world title and is captured in VR by East City Films for ITV.

Why East City Films?

We like to tell stories and give fans access that they can only dream of. We have been lucky enough to work with the 6 Nations, The Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival, Chris Eubank Jr and ITV delivering compelling VR content that goes well beyond the live stream and into the realms of being part of the event. From sparring with Eubank Jr to standing next to The Chair as the Grand National runners stream past. We create virtual reality in sports marketing and entertainment that is filled with emotion, jeopardy and exclusivity, giving fans not just the experience of being there, but of being part of it.

Pushing Things On

We are constantly looking to transfer what we’re learning in other genres to what we do in sport. Our most recent VR documentary Common Ground, which just premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and is due to show at Sheffield Doc Fest next month, is a case in point. The 30 minute experience charts the history and current predicament of the Aylesbury Estate in South London. Through a combination of stereoscopic 360° video, photogrammetry, CGI, 6 degrees of freedom and a visual technique which integrates archive footage from 50 years ago and onwards, Common Ground is a journey from the birth of this iconic estate through the 80s and 90s to the present day, its current regeneration and controversial subjection to social cleansing. It is a rich, multi-faceted experience which leaves viewers feeling like they’ve stepped into the estate, lived through its decades and met its residents inside their homes. It is this ambition and these storytelling techniques that we are looking to apply to sport, and particularly sporting organisations with a rich and long history and a story to share. Football clubs, major tennis and golf tournaments, motor racing, the ECB, the Rugby World Cup, I’m thinking of you.

A Passion For Sport

We have a real passion for sport here at East City Films and we believe that that shines through in our work. In my opinion VR and sport is genuinely a match made in heaven, and our approach to VR can give it an angle that blends documentary, live experience and the virtually impossible. To visualise what I say, and to hopefully trigger some new ideas, here are a few of the VR experiences we have created in sport, from rugby to racing.

For more information on Common Ground, click here or get in touch with Ash for a viewing.

RBS 6 Nations England v Wales VR Experience

We were given access to capture the 6 Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham to produce a VR experience which took fans from the coin toss to the winners presentation, as if they were VIP’s with a AAA ticket. With match footage and incredible access around the stadium and on the pitch, this piece opened our eyes to what sport in VR could be. To see the case study click here.

 
 

360° Video Highlights Of The Cheltenham Festival - ITV

We filmed the 4 day festival in 360° video delivering fast turnaround highlights videos at 7pm at the end of each day. With 4 cameras and post production facilities on site, we exploded the myth that VR has to take weeks in post. The videos were posted on Facebook and YouTube and earned 2 million views across the week. Case study is here.

360° Video Highlights Of The Grand National - ITV

After the success of Cheltenham we were commissioned by ITV to produce a 360° highlights video of the biggest jump race in the British racing calendar, The Grand National. With 8 cameras we captured the day from the horse’s arrivals and weigh outs to the race itself and trophy presentation. Posting on Facebook the following morning at 9am, the video earned over 1 million views. For more info click here.

QIPCO British Champions Day 360° Promo - ITV

To promote ITV’s coverage of the QIPCO British Champions Day - the richest day in racing - we produced a super slow-motion 360° promo, using the Phantom camera. Ribchester, worth over £30 million was our hero, and due to his strict training regime we had one chance to capture him at full pelt. See how we did it here.

Junior - A VR Documentary for ITV

To promote ITV Box Office’s live coverage of the IPO Super Middleweight Championship bout between Chris Eubank Jr. and Arthur Abrahams we produced an emotional VR documentary called ‘Junior’. Getting incredible access to Eubank Jr’s training gym in Brighton and the locker room and ring side access at Wembley Arena, this was a complete experience for any fan of the sport. For an in depth look at production click here.

 
Ashley Cowan