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Dramatic Opener for EA Sports

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Full-service production company Iron Claw brings the chills in a powerful opening sequence for EA Sports' blockbuster video game "Madden NFL 13" featuring Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis. In the two-minute piece, Lewis sits in a dark locker room sharing his battle-tested insights into what it takes to be the best, and to build a legacy in the NFL.

"The crew at Iron Claw was instrumental in this project," says Jean Adams, EA Sports "Madden NFL 13" Creative Director. "They captured the emotion of the NFL and created a piece that describes our product better than words could convey. The community loves this piece and describes it as the best intro in sports games. They get chills every time they see it and for the first time, refuse to skip it before going in game."

"As a video game brand, Madden represents the best NFL interactive experience," adds Jeremy Wabiszczewicz, Iron Claw Art Director, who directed the live-action opening sequence. "It has a mass dedicated following. Our challenge to engage the player in an unexpected way from the moment the game boots up for the first time. This sequence was all about legacy. Ray Lewis has a tremendous ability to motivate people, and gives off this indefinable savage energy. I wanted to exploit that visually. From there, the concept wrote itself."

The boot flow or opener for "Madden NFL 13" differs from the more traditional motion graphics piece for "Madden NFL 12," which Iron Claw also created. This time around, the client gave Iron Claw a canvas to create a true narrative. Wabiszczewicz says the user has a more personal role in the game, developing teams and players, and connecting to friends and others through the hub of the game experience.

"EA wanted to focus on Lewis and his career along with some key additions to the Madden game itself," explains Wabiszczewicz. "They were implementing the Infinity Engine, which inserts physics into the game for more organic movements of the football players. This more or less changes the core feel of the game, and the in-depth depth career mode is like a role-playing game for Madden players. It was up to us to create a piece that encompassed these elements, and build a story out of it."

Iron Claw produced the shoot in Los Angeles , using the increasingly popular RED Epic camera. The team jumped immediately into post, augmenting the live-action shots with CG using Maya and composited with After Effects.

"Ray Lewis played a big part, beyond just being the feature of the piece," concludes Wabiszczewicz. "He's clearly a creatively-minded guy and understanding of the process of a visual effects-heavy piece. It was great to collaborate with Jean Adams, [Executive Producer] Anthony Stevenson and [Post Production Director] Steve Brooks. The kernel and vision started with these guys, and we just took the ball and ran with it. EA has been a fantastic client through the years and offers a lot of creative latitude. The gaming industry has really created a new landscape for the visual narrative."

Project: EA Sports "Madden NFL 13" Opening Sequence
Airdate: August 28, 2012

Client: Electronic Arts
Creative Director: Jean Adams
Executive Producer: Anthony Stevenson
Post Production Director: Steve Brooks

Production Company: Iron Claw/ Los Angeles , CA
Director: Jeremy Wabiszczewicz
DP: Stacy Toyama
Executive Producer: Greg Talmage
Producer: Carmen Bosley
Where shot: Los Angeles , CA

Editorial Company: Iron Claw/ Los Angeles , CA
Editor: Davon Ramos
Assistant Editor: Anthony Golibersuch

VFX Company: Iron Claw/ Los Angeles , CA
Executive Producer: Greg Talmage
Creative Director: Jeremy Wabiszczewicz
Production Coordinators: David Thomas, Judy Bowers
3D Animators: Brendan Eddy, Kevin Lim, Tim Ryan
2D Animators: Ryan Levitus, Ramzi Hogan, Link Huang, Adam Smith, Luis Vega

About Iron Claw:
Iron Claw is a boutique full-service production company that specializes in design and visual effects for the film, television and video game industries. Recent clients include NBC Sports, ESPN, EA Sports, Toyota , and Suzuki.

Last changed: Sep 04 2014 at 3:17 PM

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