Twist and Shout

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

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Trentonian TV Production Notes: Brunch at Tiffany's

TRENTON -- Those are students in Trenton High's culinary program who provided the prompt, courteous wait service for Friday's "Brunch at Tiffany's" gala at the Board of Education building on North Clinton Avenue. Whoever put the shindig together deserves big kudos. The ambiance, food and wait service by those smiling kids couldn't have been better.

That is a student dressed in her Sunday best on a Friday morning, staring at a picture of Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with a pearls strewn over the frame. These are some of the moments Trentonians don't see much of. Is it the media's fault? I don't know. Is it? I didn't even know about it until 9:30 Friday morning after a phone call jolted me from sleep. The caller said Mayor Tony Mack would be at the Board of Ed to talk to parents and that this would be a great opportunity for Trentonian TV. The caller didn't say Mack was speaking at a lavish education ceremony.

I raced over there but realized I didn't have the plug-in mic or power cords necessary for live broadcasts, so I went to the newsroom. In those 12 minutes to and fro, I missed Mack's speech to the audience full of sharp-dressed men and beautifully-dressed girls and women in Chapeau du matin hats that would have made Holly Golightly proud.

A few people said Mack's speech was short but effective.

My production wasn't so hot, which is why I've edited 23 minutes of footage down to what you'll watch in the video. The footage is somewhat grainy because of the dimmed lighting, and the web cam was 10 feet away from the speaker's podium. But I think you can see the speakers for the most part. Their words are more important, anyway. Don't be jarred in the opening 30 seconds by the explosive sound of the Trenton High band. I used my Galaxy S-II to shoot that footage, standing inches from the violinists and drummers and horn section.

All in all, I think I captured the main thrust of the event held to celebrate and honor those Trenton parents who take an active role in championing their children's education.

At the start, Monica Carmichael, who is the assistant director of Trenton's Early Childhood Program, said the city has 2,070 preschool students. I don't know why, but that seems like a lot. The search is underway for a new superintendent. I hope that the city's top educator makes it a priority to see that every one of those 2,070 boys and girls earns a high school diploma -- not just 13 out of every 100 that do now.

If the quest for excellence in Trenton's education system does not begin today, it never will.

Here are the highlights of "Brunch at Tiffany's" in Trenton.