Studio 300 September Programs

recycled-vinyl-record-crafts-1If you didn’t get a chance to take one of our programs during the summer, don’t worry. This fall we are holding a wide variety of digital media instructional programs. Many of our most popular programs are back, too.

To start, we recommend taking an Orientation which grants you access to all the equipment and rooms in the studio. Discover Studio 300 Macs and Software is another great hands-on program that highlights some of the software we have to offer and helps you get acquainted with Mac computers.

Here are additional programs:

On Tuesday, September 17th, transfer those old VHS tapes to DVD or skip the DVD and make it into a movie file that you can save to an external hard drive and view it on your iPad.  If you’re thinking of making family videos of your kids and their school shows or plays, Planning and Producing a Mini-Documentary on Monday, September 30th can help you organize your ideas and show you the proper way to record those special moments.

Thinking of recording something slightly more exciting than your children’s plays, like mountain climbing or wrestling a bear? Well, we have a really tiny camera here at Studio 300 that you can check out, mount on your head and record just about anything.  Go, GoPro, Go on Monday, 9/16 will show you how to use this camera and show you some cool videos shot with this tiny camera, too.

Of course it’s important and fun to edit your videos with titles, music and some fun effects.  Video Editing Made Easy on Thursday, September 19th and Wednesday, September 25th show you just that and then how to share it online using iMovie.

Here’s a full list of our September programs:


  • Mondays at 10:30 a.m.
  • Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
  • Fridays at 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays at 11:00 a.m.

Discover Studio 300 Macs and Software – Unleash your creativity by learning about our Mac computers and software

  • Monday, 9/9 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, 9/24 at 11:00 a.m.

Music & Sound

Making Music – This hands-on session uses GaragaBand and Studio 300’s instruments, microphones and other recording equipment to help you create your own music.

  • Friday, 9/20 at 2:00 p.m.

Create Your Own Ringtone – Personalize your phone by crafting an original tune in this hands-on workshop.

  • Monday, 9/23 at 7:00 p.m.

LP/Cassette to CD/MP3 – Transfer your old recordings to new formats

  • Tuesday, 9/24 at 7:00 p.m.

Voice-Overs and Podcasts – Learn to record and edit spoken word audio projects in this hands-on workshop.

  • Thursday, 9/26 at 7:00 p.m.


Go Go Pro Go – Capture sports action up close.  This tiny video camera can go places no other camera dares.

  • Monday, 9/16 at 2:00 p.m.

VHS to DVD – Convert and share old videos in digital formats.

  • Tuesday, 9/17 at 7:00 p.m.

Video Editing Made Easy – Discover how to arrange videos, add pictures, titles and music then share your project online in this hands-on iMovie session.

  • Thursday, 9/19 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 9/25 at 10:00 a.m.

Television Production – Learn to use our Tricaster production equipment and cameras to make original video programs in Studio 300.

  • Friday, 9/27 at 2:00 p.m.

Planning & Producing a Mini-Documentary – Need to share a story about a person, event, cause, or other aspect from your life?  Learn the basic steps needed to produce a short video.

  • Monday, 9/30 at 7:00 p.m.


Photoshop 101 – Discover Photoshop’s powerful tools and features in this overview session.

  • Tuesday, 9/17 at 11:00 a.m.

Photoshop 102 – Learn how Photoshop repairs scratches, dirt and general image problems.

  • Tuesday, 9/24 at 1:00 p.m.

DSLR Basic – This workshop explains the ins and outs of DSLR photography.

  • Thursday, 9/19 at 4:00 p.m.

Take Better Photos and Video – Learn the secrets of the pros and take your work to the next level.

  • Sunday 9/22 at 2:00 p.m.

Photo/Slide Scanning – Copy existing prints, negatives and slides to digital formats.

  • Monday, 9/23 at 11:30 a.m.


Producing Printed Promotions with Pages – Make stunning flyers, newsletters, brochures, and more with Apple’s powerful publishing software.

  • Wednesday, 9/18 at 11:00 a.m.


Stop Motion Animation – Bring objects to life in this hands-on introductory workshop.

  • Saturday, 9/21 at 2:00 p.m. for Grades 3-5
  • Saturday, 9/28 at 2:00 p.m. for Grades 6-8

Click on any link and it will take you straight to our programs calendar where you can sign up directly or call us at 630-685-4260 and we will sign you up.

Recording an Interview-Basics

Video recording an interview for a class project, promotional video, or documentary may at first seem rather easy. But there are some minor issues that often get overlooked. Bad lighting, distracting backgrounds, and poor sound quality can often take away from the actual interview content. Here are some tips to make sure your next interview is a success.

The best place to shoot an interview is in an already quiet place with good lighting. Avoid a plain white wall background as it can be dull. Consider using a background that reveals something about the person being interviewed.  If possible leave more than 4 feet between the wall and the subject.  Always frame the interviewee with some negative space in the direction they are looking and have them angled so that it looks like there’s a conversation between two people. It can also be effective to have a subject speak directly to the camera.  Whatever method you decide keep it consistent.

Another good rule to follow is the rule of thirds. To use this, simply divide the video frame into thirds both vertically and horizontally.  Avoid the spaces created by the imaginary lines and instead use the points where the lines intersect for the subject. We naturally gravitate to those imaginary intersections and it gives a better, more pleasing composition.

If recording at home, look for extra lamps or lights that can help light the face evenly and to light the head and shoulders as well to create some separation from the background.  Keep an eye out for glare on glasses and shiny spots on top of noses and foreheads.  Exposure guides on cameras such as Zebra markers that show white strips on the brightest areas can help with shine.

Using the camera’s built-in microphone is never the best choice.  We recommend using a lavaliere mic hooked up to the camera or a separate Tascam audio recorder.  These approaches are more professional and less intrusive to the viewer. Although, it may seem like more work to sync the audio and video together in post editing, the better sound quality will be well worth it. Use headphones and test the audio levels before you start recording.  If the levels reach 0dB in the red, the audio may be distorted and difficult to fix.  Keep in mind wind, hair or clothes rubbing against the mic will also cause distorted sounds.

  DSC00060   DSC00057

That is just some of the basics.  Come by Studio 300 and check out the cameras and microphones and any help you need setting up for an interview and editing it together.  To learn more, sign up for Planning and Producing a Mini Documentary

Teens make more videos

Once again, Studio 300 hosted a Video Production for Teens summer camp. This week-long program was for high school teens in grades 9-12. (For videos made by teens in grades 6-8, click here)

The teens learned about video cameras and editing with hands-on projects. The main project had them produce a short public service announcement. The teens formed groups and conceived, wrote, and drew storyboards of their ideas. Next, they recorded their short video using cameras from Studio 300.

On the final day, they edited their production in Studio 300 and then shared the final projects with the entire group.

The video below shows the result of their hard work.

Teens make videos

Studio 300 recently hosted the first Video Production for Teens summer camp. During the week-long program, the teens in grades 6-8 learned about video cameras and editing.

The main focus was to produce a short public service announcement. The teens formed groups and conceived, wrote, and storyboarded their ideas. Next, they recorded their short video using cameras from Studio 300.

On the final day, they edited their production in Studio 300 and then shared the final projects with the entire group.

The video below is the result of their hard work.