Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Trentonian TV Production Notes: El Latino TV en Vivo! Episode 4

UPDATE: Some of the rage is creeping back in. I uploaded the Livestream recording into our Trentonian player that wraps it with an advertisement, but now the graphics don't show up. I also uploaded the video to my YouTube page and again, no graphics. But the graphics clearly show up on the Livestream recording.

UPDATE 2: What a complete fustercluck. Apparently, strips the graphics from the recordings, too. See below. 

TRENTON -- I was ready to blow a gasket less than a minute after El Latino TV en Vivo! had completed Episode 4. The Livestream Procaster asked me to save the recording, which I did, but what appeared in the storyboard library was an empty case meaning no recording.

I was about to go nuts. For five minutes I searched Livestream's library hoping like hell that the previous 51 minutes hadn't been a complete waste of time and energy on my part, but more importantly, on the part of El Latino Expreso Editor Carlos Avila and his guests. To make a long story short, Livestream's record button hadn't been turned off even though I hit stop on the Procaster record button; I never had to turn off the Livestream record button, though, so I can't explain why it happened today. It happened a few weeks ago when I couldn't find the recording from a live broadcast with Jeff Edelstein.

Regardless, episode 4 of El Latino TV en Vivo! was a success. Carlos engaged his guests like the pro he is, and on my end the production mistakes were kept to a minimum. To help you better understand the way Livestream works, look at the photo below.

Under the pink bar with the right-pointing arrow are 5 tabs: overlays, full screen, ticker, branding and chat. I don't utilize branding and chat, and rarely do I use the ticker. I mainly use the overlays and full screen. The overlay is used to show a person's name, and if you want to, the person's title or organization on the second line. The overlay activates left to right, which is why I tell guests to sit next to me. If you're looking at the picture, Harry Luna is on the left. I'm sitting to his right. Next to Harry is Carlos Avila. The only bad thing about the overlay function is that it doesn't activate right to left, so when I show Avila's name, it will show up under Luna or whatever guest is sitting there. I was happy to see that the overlays had stuck to the recording today. They didn't stick during L.A. Parker's show "Live with L.A." on Wednesday, and I'm still not sure why.

Another source of my frustration is that for the first 5 minutes or so, Livestream runs banner ads at the bottom of the screen, and the banner ad covers the overlay graphic. I get that those ads make it so basic services are free. You can bypass those ads by paying $350 a month, but that's a ton of money.

Anyway, between guests shuffling in and out of their seats in the studio -- read: my desk -- I utilized the full screen function today with "El Latino TV en Vivo! En Contacto con la Comunidad" because Avila thought it was an important message to convey to the audience. That graphic stuck to the recording, too. As far as the overlay and full screen graphics, I was on the ball. I did a much better job hiding guests' names before activating the Procaster's 2D screen-in-screen function -- I think it was less than 5 times that I forgot. For the next show, I want that number to be zero. Part of the issue is that my desk sits in the middle the Trentonian newsroom, so there is always traffic behind me, and I have to focus a big part of my attention toward making sure people don't make too much noise. We're in the process of cleaning up a room in the photo department. It will become the studio for live shows on Trentonian TV and El Latino TV en Vivo!

Avila's guests were community activist Evelyn de Leon, Luz Maria de Leon, sports impresario Alex Maldonado and businessman and former Trenton School Board candiate Harry Luna. All of them spoke loud enough and didn't wiggle in their chairs too much and made great eye contact with Avila -- and vice-versa. And while I took 3 years of Spanish in junior high and high school, I had no idea what they were talking about unless they said certain words or mentioned names. Avila must have asked Evelyn de Leon, the first guest, what she thinks of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack and his efforts within the Latino community because she stopped and laughed then said, "Are you kidding me?!" That was very funny. Luz Maria de Luz wasn't on the original guest list, so I'm not sure what role she plays in the community. A native of Guatemala, Maldonado spoke about soccer, and every so often I showed photos of Guatemalan soccer players -- two of the times I forgot to hide his name were when I activated a picture of the Guatemalan flag and of a Guatemalan futboler.

Below is Avila interviewing Luna.

Luna, also from Guatemala, was the final guest. He and Avila had plenty to talk about, including Mayor Mack. I got the sense Luna talked about how Mack doesn't care about, or engage with, the Latino community. Great conversation, and it's one of the reasons I was so angry minutes after the show ended because I felt the entire process went for naught. And then Evelyn de Leon said it's too bad because Luna "said very important things." And that made me a thousand times angrier, though I didn't let her see the volcano erupting inside my mind. But I calmed down after I restarted the computer and returned to the El Latino TV en Vivo! Livestream studio to see that the record button hadn't been switched off. That didn't make any sense, though, because it's not the button I use to hit record. But I really didn't care this time because after hitting the stop button the clip appeared in the library. All was well in Kulkville.

El Latino TV en Vivo! gets 3.5 stars out of 5 for content, production and execution. Below is the Livestream recording in full, without. Below that is the recording uploaded to my YouTube account, also without the graphics. It is infuriating. The only place to see the recording with graphics is at The Trentonian's website HERE.

If anyone in Greater Trenton wants to host a show on Trentonian TV or El Latino TV en Vivo! e-mail