The World's Toughest Mudder competition is a relentless physical challenge for 1,500 brave participants. In the heart of the Las Vegas desert, entrants attempt to complete a 5-mile course layered with 21 demanding obstacles as many times as possible in a 24-hour period.
World's Toughest Mudder 360 took viewers beyond the confines of a traditional telecast by providing an entirely new, first-person perspective of the toughest obstacle course competition on earth. By combining 360-degree technology with a cinematically shot, narrative-driven storyline, CBS created an immersive sensory experience for its viewers.
With this project, we had three key objectives.
1) Drive awareness for CBS' World's Toughest Mudder broadcast on Christmas Day 2016
2) Set a new standard of excellence for 360-degree video in sports
3) Offer an in-depth, personal look at Tough Mudder's athletes beyond the traditional broadcast
To showcase the depths and heights of the course, CBS used an array of six mounted cameras. These cameras captured 2D angles which were then stitched together to create unique 360-degree visuals. In addition to these cameras, the production team employed a drone to create sweeping overhead visuals of the arid desert landscape. Further, CBS utilized a mini remote-control rover vehicle and attached a body rig to one of the participants to provide a first-person perspective of the five-mile course. In the piece's defining shot, an underwater 360-degree camera recreates the impact of jumping off a 30-foot cliff into a reservoir.
While showcasing the awesome scene was important, CBS strived to allow viewers to experience the event's range of human emotion and true test of will, determination, and grit through storytelling. CBS provided an inside look with two Tough Mudder icons, Kyle Railton (Coach) and Eric Botsford (E Rock), to document their inspirational journey through the competition. The two ran in honor of their former training partner, who had recently passed away. Their goal was to achieve 50 miles, a mark their friend had tried to reach at previous World's Toughest Mudder competitions but had never accomplished. Kyle and Eric reached their goal and pushed beyond it to complete 65 miles.
We judged the success of this project against our three key objectives.
Drive Awareness: Leading into our broadcast, the piece reached a massive audience, delivering 20.5M impressions and 3M views on Facebook.
Set a New Standard for 360: In "Waiting for the Light," we created and executed entirely new approaches to VR. On top of taking our cameras to new heights & depths, we leveraged specialty beta post-production tools to perfect the final piece.
Showcase the Athletes: The piece introduced viewers to these amazing athletes. Response from fans was overwhelmingly positive.
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