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Monthly Enewsletter from Midnight Oil Productions
Vol 4, Number 9 | September 05
Fall Seminar Dates in Full Swing
Workshop Schedule Fall 05
Christmas is Coming !
Midnight Oil Growing
Monthly Media Freebie
New Design Matters
Creative Worship Planning with spark/flame
Flame volume 3 Now Shipping


Our fall speaking tour is almost here!

What is Digital Storytellers, you say? It’s a hopefully inspiring one-day overview of how media and worship interface. It's a combination of reflection on media and ministry, and training, tips, and tricks. Without tooting our own horn too much, we almost always hear of happy attendees. You can learn more about it here:

With new babies and an eye toward home, we’re traveling a bit less this fall with 6 events lined up. For those of you looking for our Utica (Detroit) seminar, we’ve moved it to February. Here's the list:

Sept 22 Omaha, NE Digital Storytellers Seminar
Sept 24 Toronto, ON Digital Storytellers Seminar
Oct 29 Northwest Arkansas Digital Storytellers Seminar
Nov 11 Balt/DC metro Digital Storytellers Seminar
Nov 12 Harrisburg, PA Digital Storytellers Seminar
Nov 19 Central IL Digital Storytellers Seminar
next Feb Detroit, MI Digital Storytellers Seminar
Anytime Your Computer Virtual Digital Storytellers Seminar

If none of these events are in your fall plan and you want to come, or maybe you want to come back with your team, then stayed tuned. Along with our Detroit date, we also have possible events coming in Chicago, Milwaukee, Houston, Dayton, New England, Atlanta, and more.

If you want to attend Digital Storytellers but never see your preferred city listed, give us a shout here. Maybe we can arrange a trip to your town.
Christmas is Coming!

It’s amazing to us how early some of you plan for Christmas! We’ve begun selling Christmas resources already. I guess the stores aren’t the only ones who think about Christmas as soon as the Labor Day grill cools off. But, hey, if you won’t get to Christmas worship planning until after Thanksgiving, we empathize. We could do the same thing in your shoes. And we have. Unfortunately.

In addition to our popular Follow the Star and Rediscover Christmas full-featured Holiday Media resources, as well as the Christmas-themed Fresh Out of the Box vol 3, we have another Holiday Media resource coming out this season: Personal Connection. We’re excited about this resource and hope you will be too. Stay tuned for more details and click here for more on our Christmas resources.

The Midnight Oil Familt Grows Again
Midnight Oil is growing again! Our newest addition is a healthy baby boy named Ethan Robert Moore, born August 23 at just 6lbs 12oz. Mommy and Daddy, Michele and Jason, are thrilled to death with their little guy, and are enjoying being new parents.

Little Ethan will be making his acting debut in a couple of forthcoming Christmas resources, so keep your eyes open for a spunky little infant Jesus. Don’t say you didn’t expect that!
The Monthly Media Freebie
It is with a heavy heart that we at Midnight Oil put together this month’s media freebie. Images of devastation have become all too familiar in recent years. With the fourth anniversary of 9/11 being remembered last week and the recent tsunami still effecting countless lives, there was already enough on our minds, but now, we have collectively been shocked once again at the devastation in the Gulf Coast as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
Many ministries of all stripes are stepping forward to assist in the recovery process. We here at Midnight Oil want to do our part to assist those who are headed to the front lines of relief. This month’s Monthly Media Freebie, an image set we call Search and Rescue but you can edit to whatever you need, will hopefully help raise awareness in your church for relief efforts.

Midnight Oil honors those who are serving in the recovery and rescue effort and prays that those who have suffered know God's peace.
Design Matters: Light and Shadow
It’s amazing to us when we enter a new church building how often we observe that fonts are the “unwanted stepchildren” of design. Many worship screen designers are focused on a set of words or a basic image, but give little thought to how those pieces look on the screen, randomly choosing a font and slapping on text at the last moment. Those who make this mistake can destroy the power of what would otherwise be an inspiring image. As fonts are one of the most significant elements in design, choose them with careful consideration, keeping in mind the overall tone and theme of the graphic. Hint: Avoid Helvetica.
The Joy of Hosting

We go a neat note recently from Andy Hutchinson of New River Fellowship in Texas. Andy and his team recently did a worship series using our Compass image from spark volume 1. Here’s what he had to say:

How long have you been using images in worship?
We’ve been using graphics since we started new river 6 years ago.  Of course the graphics have become more and more complex as the level of excellence grows.  Right now we use a hybrid of resources for those graphics.  Much of what we use is from Midnight Oil and the other portion we do in-house.

How many are on your team?
We have a creative team of six who come up with the concepts based on the vision from our sr. Pastor, phillip hearn.  From that meeting there is a second production meeting with our presentation designer, michele wilfer and our graphic designer, tray witherspoon.  We proof and reproof before we move ahead.

Tell us about the series you did using our compass image.
Our last series, “Navigating God’s Will” the Sr. Pastor felt that the body has walked through a time of accusation and confusion and needed to hear a series on knowing, operating, and understanding god’s will while moving forward on your journey.  He termed it as a navigational theme.  That got the design team searching for navigational type pictures and items.  We found “True North” on spark and flame volume 1.  After watching the video the real creative juices began to flow.

Cool! That’s what they’re supposed to do.
In the next creative meeting we decided to turn the stage into the helm of a ship. The compass led us to purchase different navigational devices starting with the compass.  We used these items (i.e. Binacle compass, sextant, ships wheel, telescope, and brass navy bell) to symbolize the spiritual instruments you need to navigate God’s will. The color schemes in the graphic were used to set the entire stage design. The red/orange and gold became our sail/fabric hangs.  We placed a 19ft. mast with support ropes in the center of the stage. Our lighting scheme included the reds, golds, and a slight blue flavor to draw the midnight graphic into the stage theme.  We also changed the text on the video that we used as a sermon intro before each weekend message, to match the sermon titles.  Below are the sermon titles used in the series.  The Midnight Oil graphic and video seemed to fit like a glove even with our custom titles.

Any feedback from the congregation?
There was definitely a wow factor that happened.  Imagine walking into your worship center and staring at an authentic replica of a vintage ship of old.  One person asked if we got the stuff from a museum.  The main comments were about how everything seemed to tie so closely together and make the messages memorable.  It really helps you leave it and live it.  The hardest thing was keeping the dad’s and kids off the ship’s wheel and telescope.

Andy and the team are doing some awesome things at New River. We’re just glad to be a small part of a dynamic and creative ministry.
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