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Future of the One Button Studio

By Robert Nelson

For almost a decade, the One Button Studio has been a highly used video production space for the University of Utah community, located on Level 2 of the Marriott Library. The background: Penn State University crafted a simple and effective way to generate video content without having to have access to staff videography personnel. You also did not have to be well versed in using a video camera to create content. 

A fixed camera, video monitor, shotgun microphone, lights, soundproofing and various screen backdrops on pulleys. 

Penn State pushed out the software. It is genius in its simplicity: 

  1. Plug in a flash drive
  2. Press the big, red One Button
  3. Lights turn on
  4. Camera gives you a five second count down to reach your mark
  5. Film recording begins
  6. Press the One Button to stop the filming
  7. .mp4 is written to the flash drive
  8. Remove flash drive and go 

Penn State’s generosity was in gifting the innovation and original software over a decade ago. Since, however, they have not updated the software to adapt to the various new Mac updates, etc. And now we are at the point where, at least for us in the Marriott Library, there is a breakdown in the ability for the one button operation. 

Long story short: the One Button Studio is offline for the foreseeable future. 

Internally, the goal will be: How to replicate the simplicity of the One Button Studio with the utility of a robust in-house system of maintenance. Few people are using flash drives when there is a plethora of cloud-based storage options for media storage. 

Can we retain the One Button concept: press button, lights turn on, camera begins recording? We are looking at a potential crowdsourced option where either internal funding or grant funding could hire a team of programmers to retain the core of the One Button Studio but make it functional on the programming back end. 

In the meantime, we can return to the original concept of filming projects in the Video Studio using the Media Studios Assistant in charge of film projects. 

Robert Nelson | Media Studios Librarian
Creativity & Innovation Services / Media Studios

1 Comment
  • Jason Jenkins
    Posted at 15:42h, 04 May Reply

    Four years ago, I embarked on a quest to build a One Button Studio kit, based on Penn State’s concept––one that I could sell commercially. Ultimately, I found the performance of the hardware and software combination lacking––so I designed a new One Button Studio configuration that I call the One Button Studio Plus. It features live compositing of the background, watermark and presentation, and allows the user to walk away with a completely finished video. For schools that want a fully automated, turn-key solution, it’s really the only option out there. I will reach out directly!

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