“The new commissioner of the city’s child welfare system has a tough job ahead of him — the agency receives some 60,000 calls a year reporting child abuse or neglect, and like all city agencies, the department has to manage with a tight budget.”

Behind the Scenes:

Stories that talk generally about victims are often very difficult to put together for TV. We have to have some sort of visual to help carry the narrative, but at the same time, we have to be careful not to associate innocent unrelated people to the actual victims. It’s a struggle. I was lucky with this story, in that I had a chance to shoot nondescript b-roll at a local day care center.

When I don’t have this kind of luxury, I resort to an old standby – the face blur. Andy’s Region Blur is a fantastic (free!) tool for Final Cut Pro. I’ve found it very fast and versatile. It’s very easy to apply a blur to a face and add keyframes to compensate for motion in the shot.

The interview with the ACS Commissioner was shot on a Panasonic HPX-170. The lighting setup was pretty simple, just a Lowel Pro Light (softened down with a white umbrella), a small LED inside the table lamp, and another small LED (daylight balanced) kicking up the stone fireplace in the background.