Category: On The Job (page 1 of 2)

Spell It Out

20140706-232640-84400193.jpgI-Team: Generics Not Always the Same as Brand Name Drugs

We have a whole slew of ways to highlight words and phrases in documents, but sometimes we need to put emphasis on a difficult word or concept that’s not printed on a sheet of paper.

When it’s absolutely vital to get a concept across, I like to put text on the screen to reinforce the idea.

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I-Team: Generics Not Always the Same as Brand Name Drugs

“While many patients believe that generic drugs are exact copies of their brand name brothers, the body often absorbs generic medication at a different rate, and federal regulators do not routinely disclose the slight chemical differences.”


Obscuring an identity is something we face all too often. With this piece, we were asked to meet our subject in Central Park. This location gave me a number of opportunities to make our interview visually interesting, while still protecting the subject.

You can see a number of different angles used here. The park offered a variety of objects to place in between the camera and the interview. These foreground/background shots help set the location, and they also give the viewer something to look at besides a blurred mush of pixels.

With these situations, it’s vital to get some reaction shots of the reporter. Having those shots helped me avoid jump cuts and kept the editing nice and smooth. When shooting the reversals, I like to “dirty up” the shot (relax, it’s a film term). I make sure to frame part of the subject close enough to the camera so they’re out of focus. This supports the already established location of the subject and reporter in the frame. Having a dirty frame also helps to orient the viewer to the reporter’s eyeline, avoiding confusion.

When discussing this story the idea came up to open the piece with the effect of the vanishing newspaper.

It would have been pretty simple to just do static shots of the stoop, but really, where’s the challenge in that?

So I decided to make the shots a little more dynamic. The clips where there’s a natural wipe were pretty easy to accomplish. Just shoot the same frame and the same action. The moving shots were a different story.

I’m not a robot.

As closely matched as the different shots may be, there’s no way I can, by hand, mimic the exact speed between camera moves so as to seriously sell the effect. Even a pan a few frames slower would destroy the illusion.

A motion controlled computerized tripod head could accomplish this.

I do not have a motion controlled computerized tripod head.

And, I’m not a robot.

Enter Final Cut Pro.

• I laid down the bottom layer shot with the newspaper in frame.

• Set an in point on the timeline at a significant spot in the move, say, when the last iron bar hist the left side title safe mark.

• Next, scrub forward to find a significant out point. I chose the point where the last iron bar just leaves the frame. Set an out point on the timeline.

• Now in my shot sans newspaper, in the viewer I set the in and out to match the points on the timeline.

• Target a higher layer track (V2?), and do a fit to fill edit. That will adjust the speed of the clip to match the duration of the in/out segment on he timeline.

At this point I dragged down the opacity of the top clip to check the timing. Once that got to a happy place it was just a matter of place the dissolve.

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