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Monthly Enewsletter from Midnight Oil Productions
Vol 3, Number 7 | July 04
New training opportunities to pass those summertime days
Our Newest Tutorial
The Value of Good Design
Redesigned Website
Monthly Media Freebie
Worship Software Revue
Pencil Drawing Graphic
Create Your Own Pencil Drawing Treatment
Pencil Drawing graphicHave you ever wished you could take a pencil and paper and draw amazing lifelike images that would inspire all who look upon them? Maybe you have trouble with stick people, but no worries! This tutorial will allow you to take virtually any photo, and make a pencil drawing worthy of a spot in the Guggenheim.

Our online Photoshop tutorials are proving to be very popular, with over 1587 downloads in the past two months for our Parchment tutorial and 1600 downloads since February for our Tomb Tutorial. Since it seems so helpful to your ministry, we decided to do another, and here it is!
Pencil drawing Tutorial
And this month you could be rewarded with fabulous prizes. OK actually just one fabulous prize...The winner of this month's contest will be awarded a free copy of the soon to be released Spark Volume 3.

To enter our contest with your version, submit your graphic here. Entries need to be a flattened 720-540 JPEG file. Many entries will be added to our tutorial gallery.

As always, be on the lookout for new tutorials every few months as we continue our quest to train media ministers in the creation of their own high quality creative media.
Our Latest Article: Design Matters
If you’ve been to one of our seminars or read any of our stuff, you know that we talk a lot about experience and design in communicating the Gospel. This emphasis on experience is only getting stronger in the world around us, and a powerful way to cut through the clutter is with design. Organizations throughout the world are learning that Design Matters.

We are transmitters of the Word, which is infinitely more powerful and transforming than hawking stuff like dog food and sausage. So why do we suffice with mediocre means of presenting the Word when others are creating such compelling “experiences” of dog food?

As media ministers, because we believe so strongly that design is a critical component to any message, we’re devoting an entire series of articles to principles of good design. These articles, which will be co-published in Church Production magazine and on our website, will look at 6 key principles for design. Our purpose is to move your use of media in worship from simply projecting headshots, song lyrics, bullet points and nature backgrounds to something that captures the spirit of how the culture communicates.

Click here to read why Design Matters, and be on the lookout in coming issues for specific ways that you can elevate your media from bullet point slides to something powerful and transforming.
Debuting Our New-Look Website
WebsiteSpeaking of design, we’re excited to debut our re-designed resource section and store on our website!

The new look and layout of our store is designed (there’s that word again) to facilitate your ministry by making it easier to view the media available on each of our products and select the ones that best fit your ministry’s needs. We've spent a lot of time and energy so that you can spend a little less time and energy preparing for worship. Highlights of our new look include:

Better navigation between products
All previews on one page for easier browsing
Preview media now available for the Fresh Out of the Box series
Clearer checkout process in our online store

So if you have a moment, we’d love for you to check it out and give us your feedback. Thanks in advance for supporting our commitment to good… design.

The Monthly Media Download
Catch a WaveWhat better way to get into the vacation spirit than by catchin' a wave! This month's media download is the Wave metaphor from our upcoming release, spark volume 3. Your congregation will cool off from the summer heat and feel refreshed just looking at this ocean of blue.

Also, this month we are debuting a new way to access our media. In an effort to keep you from having to re-enter all of your Monthly Media Downloadcontact information every month, we have set up a simple email/password feature. Beginning with this month's download, simply fill out the form as usual, and you will be sent an email containing the password to use in future months.

Click here to go to our new monthly download login page.
Media Shout SoftwareContinuing a feature that started with the June 2004 newsletter, this month's worship presentation software feature highlights MediaShout, from MediaComplete Corporation. The second interview of the series is with Nate Reagan of MediaShout (as usual, our policy at Midnight Oil is to not show preference, but to allow churches like yours to decide which program fits best for your needsthis is why we have 4 different demos on our discs of spark and flame). Nate and company are excited about the upcoming version 3 release of MediaShout:

So, tell us about MediaShout.

MediaShout V3 is a dual-platform (Windows & Mac OS X) worship presentation software application designed to seamlessly present virtually any type of digital media, while editing and creating your presentations on the fly. MediaShout has always had a mission of equipping ministries with the highest-quality multimedia presentation capabilities to assist in the delivery of 'life's most important message' to a society built around a very visual (and multi-sensory in general) method of learning and communicating. If you’ve been to Youth Specialties, Worship Together, Soul Survivor, a Chris Tomlin or SONICFLOOd show, or any number of media-driven events around the world, you’ve seen the power of MediaShout being used by visual worship leaders to enhance the worship experience.

What are a couple of the features that makes MediaShout better than, say, PowerPoint?

PowerPoint is a powerful tool, and a lot of churches use it. The drawback to using it is that PowerPoint was designed for business presentations—

No kidding.

—whereas MediaShout was designed for church ministry, although we do have businesses catching on and using MediaShout for their presentations as well. We have created MediaShout V3 to make the presentation of your message easier by providing for the display of song lyrics, multiple versions of the Bible, virtually any format of graphics, digital video and DVD, external cameras, Flash animation and independent audio files and audio playlists. In addition, MediaShout incorporates its own text editor (meaning you can create text cues without any outside applications—a rarity in presentation software) as well as direct integration with PowerPoint, Logos Bible software and your favorite graphics, text and Flash animation editors.

And how do Midnight Oil resources work in MediaShout?

Our users love Midnight Oil resources because they include the editable Adobe Photoshop and AfterEffects files. Photoshop or your favorite graphics editing program can be chosen as the preferred graphics editor in MediaShout and can be accessed from the program directly.

You want to say anything about what makes MediaShout stand out from the other worship presentation programs out there?

That’s just it – everything else out there IS just ‘worship presentation software”, designed to display song lyrics with a few Bible verses and a video thrown in. But let’s face it, there is so much more to a ministry’s presentation needs than just worship. There's sermon support, pre-service announcement loops, support for drama, children's ministry, youth ministry, Bible studies, Sunday School, seminars, retreats, conferences... the list goes on. From the very start, and now more than ever, MediaShout is designed as a complete ministry presentation solution -- because ministry lasts longer than 20 minutes of singing on a Sunday morning.

We're saying that all of the time. Go on...

Aside from the additional features and technical specs that make MediaShout truly a stand-alone presentation software, our vision and active role in using media to impact our world is what really takes us to the next level. Our vision is to empower the ‘tech guys’ out there with the sense that they are not merely someone making sure the audience can read text on a display surface, but someone who has an active part in worship, creatively using their artistic gifts to visually lead others into the presence of God, in much the same way that Matt Redman may lead others through song. The ability to spontaneously change the mood in a room through the use of visuals is not something one should take lightly.

Anything coming soon in MediaComplete Corporation’s future?

We launched our MediaforMinistry.com site a few months ago, which gives anyone, regardless of their preferred presentation platform, the ability to dialogue with others trying to figure out how to use media more effectively, read articles about multimedia use as well as finding media resources by the many Christian media producers working together to impact the Kingdom through visual creativity. In addition to MediaforMinistry.com we are developing a few advanced tools and additional versions of MediaShout that will blow your mind, and that’s about all we can say right now.

Click here for more on MediaShout v3 and look out for another media software review in next month's newsletter.
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