First-time filmmakers Mary Bryant, Emily Anderson and Jennalyn Ponraj got the most of a one-day workshop led by Jason Ganwich. This video tells the story of the magic of books and how a positive attitude yields the greatest finds.

The February 8, 2014 Deadline for the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival Approaches!

And the questions have been pouring in!  We are so excited that Tacoma is responding to the film festival.

Just in case you have been pondering some of the same questions we’ve already received, here’s some commonly requested information.

So you want to check out a video camera from the Media StoryLab, but you don’t know how to make it happen?

P1060905Here’s what you need to check out a camera:

- The educator or minor child/teen creating the film submission must attend a 1.5 hour orientation at the Storylab.  In the case of a minor their parent/guardian must be present.

- The person who will be using the lab must become a registered user, which requires photo i.d. such as state or military i.d. and a valid library card.

Do these things, and check out a camera the same day!

Saturday mornings @ 10 a.m. are a standing drop-in orientation period.  Otherwise you will need to make an appointment.  Call 253.292.2001 ext. 1795 to make an appointment. The StoryLab hours are Tuesday-Friday 2-5:45 p.m. and
Saturday 9 a.m. -5:45 p.m.

To use our film editing software drop-in the StoryLab anytime during open hours, but keep in mind we get busy occasionally.  It might be helpful to call the number above and reserve a computer in advance.


1. Your video should be 90 seconds or less. (Okay, okay: if it’s two minutes long but absolute genius, we’ll bend the rules for you. But let’s try to keep them short.)

2. Your video has to be about a Newbery award-winning (or Newbery honor-winning) book.  

3. No book trailers! No video book reports! We’re looking for full-on dramatizations, with mostly child actors, that manage to tell the entire story of the book in 90 seconds.

4. Upload your videos to YouTube or Vimeo or whatever and send the link to and Make the subject line be “90 SECOND NEWBERY” and please tell me your name, age, where you’re from, and whatever other comments you’d like to include, including whether you’d like me to link to your personal site. You can give an alias if you want; I understand privacy concerns.

5. Sending the link to the addresses above grants me (James Kennedy) and the Tacoma Public Library the right to post it on our blogs and to other websites (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and to share at public readings, school visits—and hopefully the “90-Second Newbery” Film Festival screenings!

6. The deadline for the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is February 8, 2014

You may see a different deadline on James Kennedy’s website.  This is because is he is the spokesman for several Film Fests, and it does not refer to ours.
February 8 is the Tacoma 90-Second Film Festival Deadline. 

The 20 best films will be screened at Film Festival Party
March 1, 2014. 
All films will be aired on the StoryLab website!

Regarding publicizing a child’s image: 

In the rules it says you may use an alias.  If you are concerned about people knowing a child’s name, you may want to exercise that option.  Also, it’s important to note that when anyone posts a film publicly on Youtube or Vimeo they are basically giving the world access to it, consider your decision to enter the contest carefully if anonymity is important to you.  

If you haven’t already looked at James Kennedy’s Blog, I strongly encourage you do to so.  It has a ton of info about the Film Fest both here and elsewhere.


Can you used Copyrighted music in your film?  

Regarding copyrighted music:  To be 100% legit in regards to copyright, you need to get permission from the creator & give them credit (which is not as hard as it sounds). This is a lot more feasible if you aren’t going montetize the video AKA make money off the film. 
Here’s a tutorial on how to get permission to use a copyrighted song.
If you enjoyed that, the guy who did that tutorial did a second one that’s a bit more detailed.
Alternatively you can acquire music which is public domain (copyright has expired) or under creative commons (creator gives some permission to use their music).
Website with links to creative commons music.
Public Domain Songs: There are a lot of sites for this.
Locations you shoot at should be fine if they are a public area.  Whole books have been written on this topic, so do some research if you need assurance. If it is private property or a business, then you would need to get permission from the owner.
Questions?  Email me, and I’ll do my best to answer them!
Sara Sunshine Holloway –

Want to become a member of the StoryLab and learn how to check out a video camera? Attend this orientation session!

Learn more about the orientation session here!

If you want to become a member of the lab. Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 2.57.27 PMIf you want to check out a video camera. If you want to use our equipment to make a 90-Second Newbery Film Fest Submission.

Then you should attend our awesome orientation session this Saturday, January 4, 2014 @ 10 a.m. in the StoryLab!  See you there!

Attend a Film Workshop

P1060911Attend a Film Workshop

It’s a great way to prep for creating a submission for the
90-Second Newbery Film Festival

We will offer 3 free film classes or workshops over December 2013 and January 2014 for 90-Second Newbery contenders and youth curious about film making.

Here students will learn and apply some of the basic skills needed to create a short film, including story, scriptwriting, directing, videography, editing, and more. They will be working with HD cameras and editing software to create projects that can range from scenes to a complete short film.

Film Workshops for Ages 9-14
Saturday – January 11, 2014 @
10 a.m.- 5 p.m.,  Main Library
Tuesday – January 21, 2014 @ 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Main Library

Film Workshop for Ages 12-19
Saturday – December 28, 2013 @ 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Main Library

Once you have the skills….
Drop-in anytime during StoryLab Hours! Use our digital media software to edit a film. Our wonderful staff will be there to assist you on the spot. If you become a vetted StoryLab member, you can even check out a video camera to film your submission!

Software we offer includes:

  • iMovie
  • Final Cut Pro





Spoken Word Workshop
Poetry at the Speed of Sound
December 14, 2013
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Main Library

Join Tacoma’s new poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo in a writing and spoken word workshop designed to move your message from the paper to the microphone to digital media, all in one day. Explore your writing voice and performance identity Folks who take this workshop will come away with the ability to:

*Write original works of poetry with full of life and absent of stereotypes
*Revise works into lean pieces of spoken word
*Prepare performance for recording that will move new listeners and viewers
*Develop finished audio works that can be partnered with various forms of digital media, Find renewed pride and power in their emerging voices

Advance registration required. Bring a sack lunch. Teens ages 11 – 19 can register online or by telephoning the library at 253.292.2001

Click Here to Register!