Making Tracks with Studio One

A typical edit screen in Studio One software.

A typical edit screen in Studio One software.

StoryLab’s summer course offerings included a two-day audio production extravaganza, facilitated and engineered by John Hargis. On Tuesday, August 19th producers met inside the lab to learn about the exciting features offered by StoryLab’s new Digital Audio Workstation software: Studio One.  With easy-to-use drag-and-drop functionality and an incredible array of editing options, Studio One is quickly becoming a standard in professional audio production.  Class participants learned the ins and outs of various software tools by selecting an existing song and enhancing it with their very own instrumental treatment.

Day two of the audio production series involved a multi-track studio recording session from inside the Olympic Room. The recording featured singer/songwriter Ariel Duchesne and local musician Chris Meadors. Over the course of the day three country/folk songs were recorded: The Grass is Green, To Be Continued and The Old Cowboy. Throughout the process students observed the way in which many different instruments are recorded simultaneously and the unique relationship between artist and engineer as they collaborate to make the recording a success. This was the first recording course of its kind at Tacoma Public Library! To hear the music that was made go to:



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 –