An analysis of federal health data by NBC 4 New York’s I-Team and ProPublica found patients at some dialysis centers are less likely to get organ donations than those at others.

There are many things I really like about this piece, but the work we did with the standup really does stand out. Many of my clips use graphics extensively to help drive home the point of the story. With this package, I felt it was really important to use the actual locations as our easel to visualize the numbers uncovered in our research.

A good effect can help push along the story and explain a point, a bad one will just distract the viewer. I used a couple of techniques here to help sell the effect on this standup.

For one, the standup is chopped into three segments. This keeps the pace consistent with the rest of the piece. It would have been a lot easier to have Chris standing still in front of a blank wall, but that would slam the brakes on the entire package. While building the graphic, I felt the whole bit dragged a little at the end, so I created a camera move (quick push) to emphasize the third statistic and keep up the pacing.

Paying attention detail is the other part of selling this kind of effect. The viewer knows that we’re not actually writing numbers on the building. They get that this is computer generated, but I like to do whatever I can to let the viewer put that idea in the back of their mind. We need them to pay attention to story, anything distraction could destroy that.

You can see an example here at 1:27. While addressing the camera, Chris bobs to his right, blocking our “easel” and doing so, blocking the graphic behind it.

To help sell this effect, I tracked and matted out the points where Chris’ head and shoulder would block the graphic. It is such a minute detail, but I feel this really helps the audience suspend their disbelief, and focus on the reporter and the data.