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Monthly Enewsletter from Midnight Oil Productions
Vol 3, Number 9 | September 04
The New Fall Season Edition
Welcome 40 Days Friends
Monthly Media Download
Fall Seminar Schedule
Sept-Oct Seminar Dates
Worship Software Revue
Pencil Drawing Graphic
On Purpose Media
If you haven't noticed the large graphic in the center of our front page, you might want to check it out! We've produced an official resource for a very popular church growth campaign that is sweeping the nation and the globe. If you're participating this fall, and you haven't already picked up On Purpose Media, now is your chance. Campaigns are starting soon!

Put your own titles on these 8 new themes with video and graphics using our customizable files. Learn more now. At $45 for 8 sets of media, it's high-quality media your church can't afford not to have.
The Monthly Media Download
Unless you’ve lived on a desert island since 1951, you probably know that September is the start of the new television season. It’s the time of the year that broadcast networks debut a bunch of new shows and hope that one or two of them doesn’t get the boot. This, we’re told, has become much more difficult with the inventions of the remote control, the mouse, and the TiVo.

Connecting with people in worship in a remote control world can be challenging. Enter our latest monthly media freebie, Channel Surfing. This video, from flame volume 1, captures some of feel of what it’s like to minister in such a world. Use your existing email and password login, or sign up and get one, to download the video with title here. To access the video version with no title and the matching graphics, get the spark and flame volume 1 bundle here.
spark volume 3
One of our own debuts for the fall is spark volume 3, which will go live any day now. Regularly $45 for 30 sets of professional, cutting-edge worship graphics, volume 3 of our flagship worship media library is currently discounted on pre-order to $40. Or, buy the spark/flame volume 3 bundle for only $70 and get flame 3 when it releases later this fall.

You can view images from the volume here.
Get it soon, because as soon as spark 3 releases the credits will roll on our pre-order discount!
Congrats to our Pencil Drawing Tutorial Winner
September also means the beginning of the fall season for us. With 15 dates on the books between now and May, we’re excited about sharing and learning with you as we explore using media in worship. Don’t forget to sign up at one of these locations near you in the coming month:

Sept 11 Marshalltown, IA Digital Storytellers Seminar
Sept 21-23 Minneapolis, MN Convergence 2004
Sept 25 Nyack, NY (NYC) Digital Storytellers Seminar
Sept 30 Montgomery, AL Digital Storytellers Seminar
Oct 4-5 Vancouver, WA (Portand) Digital Storytellers Seminar

To learn more about the seminar visit the Digital Storytellers section of our site, or register through our secure online store. Registration fees are $99 for a single registration and $79 for a group of 2 or more from the same church.

Not in your area? Want us to be? For information on bringing the Midnight Oil Guys to your area, email us here, or visit the Digital Storytellers host section of our website.
In our final installment of a series of features on worship presentation software we're taking a look at Prologue's SundayPlus. Recently, we sat down with Prologue President Lou Douros to talk with him about his signature product. (Our policy at Midnight Oil is to not show preference, but to allow churches like yours to decide which program fits best for your needs--this is why we have 4 different product demos on our discs of spark and flame.)

So, tell us about SundayPlus.
SundayPlus is one of the many non-PowerPoint presentation options available to churches. We designed it originally as an answer to getting around the linear graphics and lyrics needed for Fresh Air Media's coverage of Promise Keepers events. SundayPlus controls non-linear live presentations, graphics, text, video playback, sound and PowerPoint.

Our design is not focused on technical know-it-alls. We're volunteer oriented. SundayPlus exists to calm the nerves of people who want to stay invisible. Volunteer media directors. The moment the lyrics are wrong and eyeballs turn from the platform to the back table is when volunteers become way too visible. We consider SundayPlus to be "Calm Technology.”

“Calm technology”—that’s an oxymoron to a lot of us. What are a couple of the features that make SundayPlus better than, say, PowerPoint?

PowerPoint is one of the best linear presentation authoring tools available. Unfortunately for PowerPoint users, most worship services change course without much notice.

SundayPlus, on the other hand, uses dual screens dynamically. That is, the operator at the back of the room can see thumbnails of images and movies, text files are broken into cells, the whole service is a random-access visual interface. Anything she clicks on goes to the projector. It makes for far more successful presentations.

SundayPlus is inclusive technology. We want churches to use it to build a media ministry. That's why every church has an automatic site license. Volunteers sometimes work from home; churches can load it guilt-free on home machines under the license. Where good art design meets willing hearts, you might find SundayPlus.

How do Midnight Oil resources work in SundayPlus?

Drag 'em in. Click 'em.

Sounds easy!

Oh, you mean how well? Very well. QuickTime is our movie playback engine. MPEG files play there, and we're optimized for any QuickTime file that exports from AfterEffects.

The Midnight Oil seminars are also a great way to learn to use presentation technologies. Having the right files is only half the picture. You guys are doing great work in helping churches build a vision for when and why to use multimedia. We're glad to be on the end of the chain from preparation to presentation.

We want media directors to be inspired to create great looking content during prep time. You need reliable playback that guarantees excellence during presentation time; that's where we come in.

Do you want to say anything about what makes SundayPlus stand out from other worship presentation programs out there?

Without doing a side-by-side comparison with each product, first let me say that we're all more alike than different. But we all approach the problem from different angles. So instead, let's just talk about us.

We're a very graphic-oriented interface. We have an onboard digital photo retouching program, Photo Ops. You don't have to learn or launch Photoshop to do basic transforms and color correction. We can imbed a PowerPoint presentation and play it on the second screen. We play sound files, AIFF, WAV, MP3 and MIDI. Churches trigger sound effects for their dramas and use the SundayPlus Loop feature to roll announcements before and after services. We play CCLI downloads as native files, so you've got the whole online license for the cost of your annual license. We play Flash and QTVR files. We have interaction with PC StudyBible and access to their ala carte translation downloads.

Probably the most cited difference is our unlimited site license for churches, free tech support and our Maximum SundayPlus seminars that travel to approximately 10 cities per year.

Anything coming up in Grass Roots Software future?

Long term, nothing I can talk about, of course. We maintain a wish list from our users. Almost every new feature we add comes from that list.

In the near run, we're about to release the completion of our version 2.4. It has a very cool text titling tool. Photo Ops, which can now be run as a standalone app, has some great revs too, including an area shader.

Most importantly, we've changed the underpinnings of SundayPlus to meet real-time production goals. That means that if part of SundayPlus has a conflict with anything in the system, the whole app isn't likely to go south.

For more information about SundayPlus, you can contact them at sales@sundayplus.com or toll-free at 877-274-7277.
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