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CBS VFX Transports ‘Super Bowl LVIII’ Fans Back to 1980s ‘NFL Today’ Studio

VFX reel highlights work that takes viewers back in time ‘digitally’ to the iconic 1980s with anchor Brent Musburger at his desk; VFX extends off-screen to ‘Paramount Expedition Vegas: Journey to the Peak’ a 4-minute gondola and cinematic experience up the Paramount Mountain.

CBS VFX, a leader in television and streaming visual effects, treated Super Bowl LVIII fans to sights that would once have seemed impossible. During the pregame show, football lovers experienced a digital re-creation of the legendary studio home of The NFL Today as it existed during the 1980s when Brent Musburger hosted the program. With digital magic from CBS VFX, Musburger returned to the anchor desk on Sunday, more than three decades after his final broadcast.

Football enthusiasts also were treated to the return of two legendary moments in sporting history: Miami’s Orange Bowl, the only stadium ever to host two back-to-back Super Bowl games, in 1968 and 1969, and Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, where the “immaculate reception” stunned viewers in December 1972. Both the Orange Bowl, demolished in 2008, and Three Rivers, which imploded in early 2001, came back to life during Sunday’s Super Bowl preshow broadcast, paying tribute to former Raiders owner Al Davis.

Go behind-the-scenes as Brent Musburger walks through the virtual set:

“Football has an incredible history, so it was a huge honor to bring these important places back to TV screens,” said CBS VFX executive director Craig Weiss. “Pete Radovich and the creative team at CBS Sports challenged us to use all of our experience in television visual effects production, especially our skills with virtual sets, to bring something new and exciting to fans.”

To continue the VFX magic off-screen, Paramount+ tapped CBS VFX to create visuals for a one-of-a-kind immersive location-based attraction, the “Paramount Expedition Vegas: Journey to the Peak,” a four-minute gondola ride “up” the Paramount Mountain narrated by Tony Romo and Jim Nance. Nestled within the gondola, enveloped by an immersive panorama, passengers experienced a cinematic experience featuring iconic characters and moments inspired by Paramount+’s most popular series and films.

“We’ve created virtual-reality experiences and immersive entertainment before, but nothing quite like this 360-degree view that needed to be both fun and engaging and a little bit exciting,” Weiss said. “It’s been a treat to reach into our digital bag and use every tool we could find in service of Game Day.”

For over 30 years, CBS VFX has expanded the boundaries of creativity through visual effects, virtual production, and post-production creative services on some of the most acclaimed projects on television across network, cable, and streaming. Its recent work includes visual effects for CBS’s series Fire Country, Rabbit Hole, and The Offer for Paramount+. Working across all major networks and streamers, CBS VFX has also created visual effects for Beef on Netflix and Hacks on HBO.

CBS VFX maintains a dedicated visual production soundstage and works extensively with virtual production, digital set extension, and real-time previz technologies.

Source: CBS VFX

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.