ITV Champions Day Promo

A 360 Video for ITV

QIPCO Champions Day is racing’s big finale, the climax to the European flat season which brings together the World’s finest jockeys and horses. With this film, we want to ramp up excitement with a truly stunning and memorable film that will whet the appetite of all sports fans ahead of Saturday’s special occasion.
— Ed Ross - Head of Marketing & Media, ITV

The Challenge

ITV challenged us with coming up with a 360 video that would be a first in 360° and VR. The video was to promote their broadcast of the QIPCO British Champions Day. With this being the richest day in racing, and the finale of the flat season it had to be special. We got to work.

Champions Day

Following on from our 360° highlights of the Grand National which showcased the big race the day after the event, we needed to come up with a piece of VR content that was released before British Champions Day. ITV wanted content that would encourage people to tune in to the TV broadcast on 21st October. The key feature of British Champions Day is that it is the champion horses of the season racing for the biggest purse in a single day. We decided that any content that we produced needed to focus on the best the sport has to offer. And to show it off in a way that had never been seen before. We thought big.

The Solution

We thought that putting our viewers within just 3 metres of a champion horse as he gallops past them, but in super slow motion, would be a pretty amazing experience. So we approached the most successful trainer in racing, Richard Fahey, to see if we could film his most successful horse Ribchester at his home in North Yorkshire. Ribchester is the best horse in Europe, worth £25 million and was training for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. A race worth £1.1million. Thankfully he agreed but we only had one take to get it right.

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Super Slow Mo

With super slow-mo in VR being very rare, and certainly, it having never been done with live animals, we knew that this approach was technically incredibly challenging. But with plenty of testing and some detailed mathematics, we came up with a unique solution that would enable people to gain a view of Ribchester that simply isn't possible in real life. We filmed on the Phantom camera at 1000fps as he galloped past at 55kmph. This gave us a few seconds worth of footage which then translated to 40 times that in the video once it was slowed down.

The goal for us here at East City Films was to do something completely innovative and evocative in the lead up to Champions Day. To capture a champion racehorse in all its beauty and power in super slow motion and turn that into a 360 live action VR film was technically challenging. We had one shot at filming the horse at 1000fps and we achieved our aims. We are thrilled with the results and think the film will give the ITV viewers a totally unique view of Ribchester, and bring racing fans even closer to the action.
— Darren Emerson - CCO, East City Films

The Result

The goal for us was to create something completely innovative and evocative. We believe the resulting video has given ITV viewers a totally unique view of Ribchester, bringing racing fans even closer to the action.

Huge Impact

With nearly 300,000 views on Facebook, the video made a huge impact. With just 48 hours before British Champions Day, we're pretty certain that it drew new viewers to the ITV broadcast on the Saturday. To sum up, that's success.

Directed by Darren Emerson | Producer Ashley Cowan | Editor Conan Roberts | Audio Mix by Coda | DOP Jon Boyce | VR Technical Supervisor Andrew Yardley | Voice Over Artist Phil Cheadle | Director of Commercial Partnerships Dominic deTerville