Interview: Madden NFL 15 Sneak Peek With Brian Murray
Madden NFL 15: Kaepernick’s tattoos
Brian Murray, Presentation Director of EA Sports, joined The Power Hour to discuss Madden NFL 15 as far as graphics and what we can expect in terms of game-play. The game is scheduled to come out Tuesday, August 26.
Listen to the full interview or read the transcripts below:
What is a Presentation director?
“Basically at the end of Madden ’25, everyone was looking for someone who could bridge the gap between editing and pasting visuals and camera work and basically an overall story teller of the game. Essentially I was doing the HBO Hard Knocks documentary with the Cincinnati Bengals and EA came calling and I couldn’t say no them and came down here and now I’m kind of the overall bridging of the gaps here.”
How did you get started in cinematography?
“I went to Michigan State University and studied abroad at the British Home Institute and that’s where I fell in love with cinematography and documentary film making. My professor there was Steven Friers, who’s an Academy Award winning writer/director of The Queen. I came back my sophomore year of college and was hooked. I went into NFL Films right out of college, four days after I got my diploma. It became my religion.”
Who are your film influences?
“There are so many of them. Obviously you have to give the homage to Rem Brent as a painter. They say he’s the best cinematographer there ever was. So first and foremost him, and then people like [David] Fincher and Roger Deakins. Cinematographers who, basically what we say here is ‘If you notice the cinematography, we’re doing something wrong’ so a lot of the cinematography goes unnoticed. So that’s what we’re pushing towards here and that’s what those guys do.”
How hard was it to get all the tattoo details?
“The tattoos came in later in the year for us. We didn’t know if we were able to [have the tattoos in game] legally so when we found out that we could we went full boar after it. With a lot of photo reference and put a lot of time in. It’s difficult to do something like that without scanning him and things like that so for us we were just really excited to get permission to do it and then our art team just kicked the heck out of it. It looks so good.”
Biggest difference compared to past years?
“We finally have a Gen 4 game so it’s a lot of things. First of all, we really focused on defense this year so usually defense is half of the game when you’re playing. Normally I’m a liability when I play defense so finally we developed tools and worked really hard to make game-play on the defensive side of the ball fun and actually able to play. So for us that’s really big. Graphics is huge. You guys just said Kaepernick looks amazing but he’s one of like 90 people in the game that absolutely look amazing and are lit so well. And that’s what we think of a Gen 4 game. It’s something that looks so close to reality that if you squint it looks like you’re watching a real game on Sunday. And obviously presentation on our end, on my end here, we really wanted to make it seem like you’re watching a real game on Sunday and flow that way. Not just like fade to black and come back from black and you’re in a different time and space. For us the game should feel real. Our post-play is alive. So it really is like a game on Sunday, you’re seeing real accurate cameras, people celebrating. It’s really strange to see players pick up other players and get them off the field and we’re paying all that off with real presentation.”
More about ‘player sense 2.0.’
“In Madden ’25 in previous years in our post-play, normally what we’d go to is a ‘scriptable’, so it’s kind of like a pre-canned video and it’s of celebrations and things like that and it’s shot as best we could but in essence they’re not celebrating what previously happened, it’s just kind of us guessing for editing. This year with player sense, they’re actually celebrating what play just happened. And like I said you’re having like two man get ups, people signaling first downs, dejection shots, it’s really amazing. It’s actual reactions on the field to you as a user what you just did.”
Can we expect every player to look as amazing as Kaepernick?
“Not every player will look as good as him. We’re making a huge initiative this year to make our ‘A’ quarterbacks and coaches and people who get seen more than others to look that good. We’re just shy of 100 people that look that good. As far as priorities we went for quarterbacks and coaches.”