Twist and Shout

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Trentonian TV Production Notes: "Live with L.A." episode 5

TRENTON -- I was back with L.A. for the first time since the second episode. The live show went really well, the best of the three with me in the producer's chair. In my absence the last two weeks, Joe D'Aquila did a great job running the show. The only negative today is that the graphics the audience saw live didn't stick to the recording. It's disappointing because I want the audience to know who is speaking at all times, so I've got to rectify that issue.

OTHERWISE, I was pleased with the audio levels, the lighting, the framing of L.A. and his guests and the ability to find appropriate pictures and web pages to display in the Livestream Procaster 2D picture-in-picture feature during each segment. There are several steps to ensure the 2D is done the right way. First you have to find the image or website in a separate browser tab and move the vertical and horizontal parameters to frame what you want the audience to see. Then you hit the "2D" button on Procaster, which activates the picture-in-picture. Whatever you want the audience to see pops up as the main window while the live screen window falls into the bottom-left corner. Only twice this episode did I not have the right tab open when hitting the 2D button, so the audience briefly saw a shot of the Livestream studio tab. But I quickly went back to the full-screen and clicked on the tab with the picture or website then hit the 2D button.

L.A.'S GUESTS were Christine Donahue of the Trenton St. Patrick's Day Parade, Ken Gordon Jr. of the Southern Burlington County NAACP and Bishop Earl Jenkins of True Servant Ministries in Trenton. Throughout the show, Pup Bolding picked his guitar. We even gave him a 2-minute solo between guests, and he closed out the show with another 90 seconds of soulful plucking. The guests spoke with appropriate volume, clarity and tone, and they stayed on point and enunciated their ideas while L.A. -- sporting his Terrance Trent D'Arby lid -- did another terrific job steering each conversation to prevent them from getting stale. Gordon brought the best energy and drove the conversation for stretches. He and L.A. spoke about the NAACP in relation to being black in relation to President Barack Obama being disrespected worse than any other president because of the color of his skin in relation to black culture on a whole in 2012.

L.A. ASKED GORDON if the NAACP is still relevant. Gordon said, "Absolutely it is. When you look at what's going on in the country now and take a look at some of the problems of race and lack of diversity, it's still relevant. We've made progress, but we haven't arrived. Can we do better? Absolutely. Can we come more into the times? Absolutely. Is there a different style that is necessary now? Absolutely. We cannot be that organization that's banging on the podium calling people racists. It's about collaboration and education and helping them understand why diversity is a good thing instead of telling them that they're wrong." Gordon is a well-spoken man, and the longer he speaks the more you think "leader."

THE NEXT FEATURE we hope to use in L.A.'s show -- or any show -- are questions from the audience via Twitter. We're also trying to rig up a phone system to take questions from callers. Do you have an idea for a Trentonian TV show? E-mail

Below is "Live with L.A." episode 5 in full.