In June 2016 we were commissioned by Sports Illustrated to produce a ground breaking 360 degree video of the women's eight U.S. Olympic rowing team on one of their training sessions. Shot on Lake Carnegie, the GoPro multi-camera rig required a specially constructed carbon fibre support to minimise vibrations from the boat. The 360° video is ground breaking material as it provides the closest experience of riding on-board with an Olympic rowing team in full flow. The resulting footage provides a unique and dynamic perspective for the viewer.
Mounting 360° camera rigs has become something of a speciality for the Gardner Creative team; we have had huge success with our unique mounting system which allows the viewer to access places where no human can go. The 360 video from the boat illustrates just how powerful a tool it is for storytelling. You’re actually ‘on’ the boat when Coxswain Katelin Snyder gets the news that her fiancé Nareg Guregian and his team mates Anders Weiss have been selected for the USA team rowing pairs at Rio. This was not a setup it was totally spontaneous.
In addition to the 360° video we produced an interactive 360° image and a stunning portrait of the team. The interactive 360° image puts the viewer in the incredible boathouse surrounded by the rowing team. On each team member is a hotspot which the user can click on to see a video interview – a ground breaking piece of 360° content for Sports Illustrated. Never before have users been able to get so close to the crew and the boats, and get a real insight into how the team prepares for the Olympics. Click here to view the 360° interactive image. The portrait, which is being used for the Sports Illustrated magazine and as a lead-in image for the online article, features all of the Women’s Eight rowing team. Click here to view the full article and see how all three content pieces feature in the online article.
The 360° video, combined with the 360° interactive image, represent the future of storytelling. Creatively using a combination of these different mediums we were able to give a unique behind-the-scenes insight into the team. We really ‘pushed the boat out’ with this project; delivering something that simply cannot be achieved using traditional techniques.