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Midnight Oil Productions
volume 3, Number 2; February, 2004

In this Issue


Easter Video Download
As Easter quickly approaches, we at Midnight Oil are excited to offer our brand new Easter video at absolutely no charge. Beyond the Tomb picks up where last month’s Tomb Tutorial left off. This high impact one-minute video/animation brings motion and emotion to the still image that many of you have already built. It incorporates some of the same Photoshop elements used in the tutorial.

Supported by a haunting choir, this piece starts with a long shot that slowly pushes in on silhouettes of three crosses on a hill. The subtle movements of Jesus on the cross play against dissonant voices that build as wind and thunder hammer the sky in the background. Time passes in a dissolve from the crosses to the tomb. Then, an earthquake begins as light cuts through the stone and it moves.

We invite you to download and use this clip for your own Easter or Lenten worship services. If you’d like the tutorial to build the matching graphic, you can download it at this link.

We hope you enjoy Beyond the Tomb. Make sure to see a variety of other Easter resources on our special Easter at Midnight Oil page, too.


The spark*/flame library
Hey did you know that we have other media resources in addition to the free media piece of the month? Well if not, you may be thrilled to learn of the spark*/flame library.


The current library includes 60 metaphor-based images with Adobe Photoshop and Elements layered files and, for easy drag and drop use, flattened BMP versions that will drop right into PowerPoint or your favorite worship presentation software. The library also includes 20 matching videos that come with and without titles for maximum usability.

With the library discount you can save $30 off the individual CD-ROM price. That’s over a year’s worth of media for only $150! If that’s not in your budget, you can take advantage of our other bundle discount of $80 that allows you to buy 30 graphics and 10 videos at a time for $10 off the individual price.

To view the media contained in the library and to download workable samples, visit our resource section here.


Get Wired!
There's a strong possibility you're going to like our newest training opportunity. We’ve been burning the midnight oil a lot lately to put together the online version of the Wired Church CD-ROM.

Years ago we collaborated on our first project as Midnight Oil when we produced the CD-ROM to the book The Wired Church. In fact, our name, which is based on Matthew 25:1-12, was born while we were planning the CD-ROM production late one night. After 5 months of work designing, creating, and compiling the videos, graphics, animations, tutorials, and other great info on the CD, we sent it all off to our publisher, who authored it.


Now, almost 6 years later, we have a chance to author it ourselves—this time for the web. Some users have experienced problems with the CD’s outdated software, so we’ve created it in a language that most web browsers can understand. The CD contains a variety of technical information, sample media, and another graphic tutorial. Some of you may be excited to see that it is the same “Middle C” tutorial we build during our Digital Storytellers conference. Now you have the opportunity to build it on your own!

You can access the CD here in our new training center. QuickTime is required, and high speed Internet is highly recommended. Have Fun!




We Have a Winner!
Midnight Oil’s first ever contest has come to its successful conclusion. Over 250 of you have downloaded the Tomb Tutorial, and 11 were confident enough with the results to submit entries for the contest. We were thrilled by what we saw, so without further ado…the envelope please… And, the winner of the February Midnight Oil Tutorial Tomb Graphic contest is…

Jon Wilcox of Denton, Texas!

As a prize, Jon had his choice of any item in our store up to $50. He chose spark* volume 2. We asked Jon to share a bit about himself and his experience with the contest. Here’s what he had to say:

How long have you been creating media?
I've been creating "media" my whole life. I've wanted to be an artist as long as I can remember. I got my first computer about nine years ago which is when I first started working digitally.

What is your position at the church?
I have no official position at my church, but for the past three years since we installed our projection system I have been creating all of the media for use in worship on a volunteer basis.

Well, show your pastor this newsletter. Maybe you'll get a job. What was the most challenging thing about the Tomb tutorial?
The most challenging part of the graphic was putting on the finishing touches - adding just the right elements that would communicate visually what I was seeing in my head.

How long did it take you to complete the image?
It's hard to say how long it took me. I worked on it over a period of several days until I felt it was done.

Since this is an award contest, do you have anyone you’d like to thank?
I'd like to thank the guys at Midnight Oil for creating such a powerful ministry and for giving us the tools we need to communicate effectively. Keep up the great work. And I'd like to thank my wife who doesn't always understand how I can sit for hours on end in front of a computer screen, but loves me anyway. I love you.

Jon's image was extremely well executed and his creative additions such as the crosses on the hill, the cloudy sky and the modified text bar pushed his entry above the others. We liked them so much, we incorporated some of them into the Easter video. Congratulations Jon, you’re our big winner. Be on the lookout for future tutorials and contests from Midnight Oil. To see all of the entries, click here.


It Only Takes a spark*...
If you enjoy our resources, our seminars and/or our books we could use your help. Midnight Oil is completely funded and supported by those of you who read this newsletter, attend our events, and read our writings. We’ve been at this ministry now for nearly 2 years, and we’re amazed at what God is doing with our meager efforts. We owe many of you a big thank you for your support. If you read these newsletters, and think to yourself “I’d like to see this Midnight Oil thing flourish” then we’ve got two ideas to help you help us make that happen:

1.) Tell your friends. They can sign up here to receive our newsletter, just like you.

2.) Request our products from your favorite retailers. If you’d like to see our resources offered by Youth Specialties, Lifeway Bookstores, Sermon Central, Communication Resources, or any other retailers, visit their contact pages and request Midnight Oil resources. The more our products are offered in the mainstream church world, the more it helps us give away high quality monthly media in our enewsletters. We want to keep the gratis stuff coming, and our resource sales make that happen!

And, above all, thanks for your prayers and support of our work.


Spring Seminar Dates
We’re on the road again with quite a few dates to choose from in the next few months. We’re pumped about the opportunity to get around the continent some more and meet many of you who are doing powerful ministry with media. Here’s a partial sampling of some dates coming up:

March 22 Dayton, OH Digital Storytellers Seminar
March 23-25 Columbus, OH Convergence 2004
Mar 27 Spring Arbor, MI Digital Storytellers Seminar
April 28 Dallas, TX Digital Storytellers Seminar
May 10-13 Charlotte, NC Inspiration 2004
Jun 7-10 Los Angeles, CA ShowBiz Expo- Worship Keynote

Don't forget that you can register for any of our Digital Storytellers seminars online by credit card through our web store.


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