Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The 100 Most Spiritually Significant Films

Thanks to Andrew for this link:

Even before Mel Gibson grabbed hearts and headlines with The Passion of The Christ, Christians were finding a new fascination with the spiritual significance they're encountering at the multiplex. Every month sees a new film-and-faith book hit the shelves, film clips are showing up in Sunday sermons like never before, and believers gather in study groups where the VCR and DVD player are almost as important to the proceedings as Bible or concordance. Jesus "spake not except in parables," and the spiritual impact of story didn't end with Christ.

The folks at Arts & Faith, an online discussion group comprised of film critics—including Christianity Today Movies critics Jeffrey Overstreet, Peter T. Chattaway and myself—and other movie buffs have been carrying on a lively conversation about spirituality and film for years. Recently, the participants forged a terrifically diverse and intriguing list of 100 Spiritually Significant Films—an incomparable resource for anyone interested in exploring transcendent themes in the movies.

This is an interesting list of the top 100 most spiritually significant films, it's alphabetised, not ranked (which is a great idea) and includes small commentaries as to why they are each spiritually significant.

My example is Dogma by Kevin Smith.
Just how close to the cliff's edge of apostacy does God permit a searcher to go? How far is too far for a church and the clergy to go in the quest to attract the hip, happenin' younger generation? How much dissonance, offense to propriety and scruples can you endure for His sake in the daily challenge of being an Ambassador for Him. These questions and more will occupy the viewer willing to brave non-stop profanity and vulgar images. Just because the story revolves around a world weary lapsed Catholic, does not mean that protestants and evangelicals will be immune from the implications of this story. A scene in which a bored, exiled archangel toys with the mind of a religious calls to mind the lapses this devout christian has suffered while letting spiritual dry patches get the best of him. This film has rewards a plenty for the brave.

Link of list: Link
Get invollved in the discussion for 2005's list: Link
Andrew Careaga's Blog again: Link
Andy got the link originally from Christian Movies today: Link

Friday, June 25, 2004

may the font be with you

I'm a font junkie. I admit it. I have way too many.

I have some favourite font designers. Here are some...

The Type Quarry - home of "Marydale" and some great old style handwriting, not to mention "Speed Bump" with its sensational dingbats that I've used on many occasions
Robot Johnny - home of "Girls are Weird"
Font Diner - great retro stuff
Kiwi Media - the amazing 'violation'

A few freebies on these sites.

Some of these may be Mac only....


Thursday, June 24, 2004

Lego Jesus? Virtual Church? Welcome to LEGO CHURCH

Kippax UCA in Canberra are developing a series of movies (low tech) that they've titled Lego Jesus while another mate in Victoria is slowly developing his Lego Jedi Jesus project, one day we might add them both to the blog... Well, today I bumped into something that wipes them off the planet of insanity...

Yes, it's LEGO CHURCH!!!!!!!

Ok... perhaps this isn't youthmultimedia, but it was too good to pass down.

free images from osbd

free images from osbd

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Best Kept Secrets

No doubt some of you know Lamb very well and some have never heard of them. Well I've heard of them for a while and just got their "Best of" album - "Best Kept Secrets".

I know nothing about the duo except that people keep mentioning them... Much of the album is stunning and makes me want to check out the rest of their stuff.

Andy Barlow does the instrumentation - an astonishing mix of lush, fat, backward, odd-tempo and weird beats and sweeps. From sublime to strange, from chill to choke, from dream to dance, from sigh to spew (yeah, some it doesn’t work for me).

Lou Rhodes does the vocals. On many tracks she has gorgeous phrasing but you feel you want her to come back and sing it in 10 years time, just because her tone is still getting there. But that is to understate her ability and interpretation. On many of the tracks she is fabulous. I don't know who writes the lyrics but the overall interpretation is moving. Here is the sense of a band pushing towards something, and in doing so they stretch us towards something as well.

One of Lamb's gifts is that they keep surprising you in every song. The beats and sounds change, the songs have several 'movements'. The mood goes places that songs rarely go. Not up or down but other places.

The lyrics of the songs that hit me are a mix of spiritual and sensual. "God Bless", "Gorecki", "Heaven", "Gabriel", "Wonder" and "Stronger".

Love songs? Questions? Dreams? Yes.

I hope some others might tell more of their music and background.

Here's the official website


Some live video stuff there too

"God Bless" - Lamb

You're gonna feel the wind at your heels you know
You're gonna feel a sparkle in your step
Everything will touch you in a different way
Let it come, soon come, let it come
'Cause I'm gonna make you feel lighter than the air above
Let me breath it into you
Let me breath it into you
Let me breath it into you

Here's to happiness
God bless the day
That made my feel this way

An angel's smiling on everything we do
Let them try to stop this good thing growing
'Cause there's no dark cloud
Gonna leave a shadow on there
Gotta keep it strong
Keep it true
Keep it strong
I'm gonna build you up
And build you up
Keep this natural thing
Keep this precious thing
Gotta keep it going on and growing strong

Here's to happiness
God bless the day that made me feel this way
Here's to happiness
God bless the day that made me feel this way, feel this way
Here's to happiness
God bless the day
That made me feel this way
Feel this way
Here's to happiness
God bless the day that made me
Feel this way
Feel this way
Gotta keep this naturel thing
Gotta keep this precious thing
Gotta keep this naturel thing
Gotta keep this precious thing
And I'm gonna keep it going on
And growing strong
Here's to happiness
God bless the day that made me feel this way, feel this way

Here's to happiness
God bless the day that made me feel this way
Feel this way
Here here here heres to happiness
Here here heres to happiness
Here here here here to happiness
To happiness
To happiness

Monday, June 21, 2004

Small Fire - Worship Resource

Smallfire is a website that is part of the ministry that Steve Collins offers. Steve's also a part of the crew that bring us other wonderful projects like alternativeworhip.org . The blurb for the site reads:

"The movement known as 'alternative worship' has released the creative and artistic gifts of many people; but the fruits of their labours often last only a short time. Environments of startling beauty come and go in a matter of hours, enjoyed by just a few.

These photographs were taken to record these artworks for the future, and to give a wider audience some idea of what is going on.

But photographs can only hint at the experience - the music, the discussion, the sense of relaxation, the scent of incense or fruit, the taste of bread and wine, the presence of God..."

This site's full of stunning images and great ideas for people looking for different ways to use Medias in their worship.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

When IT, Art, Culture, Space, Friends, Multi Medias, Music and God Meet

Karen Ward's blog just mentioned that the Living Room in Seattle is now open for business.

Now, this might not be a techie thing, it might not tell you how to DO something, like put together a powerpoint presentation or how to watch movies on your pc, or how to create a dvd (which as it happens I'm doing right now). BUT. This reallly shows one of the possabilities that could come out when the rubber hits the road in this weird Multimedia world in which we live...

living:room is a new, north fremont tea bar/net lounge/art gallery and small performance venue. Living:room was launched by church of the apostles, fremont, as a non-religious, not for profit (501c3) cafe/gallery, to foster small-batched, micro-brewed and open-sourced artistic expression and community.

as a 'linux vibed' space, what happens here depends on you and what you bring to share, so make yourself @ home... sip some tea, coffee or soda, view some art, read a zine, wifi surf with free dsl.

if you are an artist, musician, poet, dj, visualist, band... bring your art, music, poetry... with you, and book a night to share your stuff.

in the evening, tote some friends, tell some tales, slack around, view a film, chill to live or dj music... just like a house party, just like home.

visit the website here

Plug-Ins for iMovie

If you're an Apple iMovie person (and which newbie film-maker isnt?) then you might like to know about the plugins you can get to allow you to do VFT (very funky things)

Some of these plugins are OK and some are pretty cheesy. Some have free samples, most have free demos.


As someone who uses Final cut for serious stuff, I can't say i've tried them. The eZedia stuff look pretty good though.

BTW these were all listed on the Apple website.

Using Video in Powerpoint

I thought I'd post a few old emails to the egroup. Thanks to all for getting this up and running.

Indezine is an excellent Powerpoint site, with loads of technical info and free and commercial resources.

They have recently run a couple of articles on the use of video in Powerpoint. This is mainly aimed at PC users rather than Mac because for Macs its a quite straightforward. (However the article has some useful info about movie file types which will be useful to all.)

Indezine also has a free email newsletter to which you can subscribe here.

The site also has a number of links relating to Expression, the (currently) free vector painting program which I wrote about recently. Click here.

Don't forget that there's a list of sites for Powerpoint templates at the Mission Resourcing Network website.


This is the most beautiful website... www.ikon.org.uk

This is what they say about themselves:

"In short, ‘Ikon’ is a wayward inn for heretics, raggy dolls and wandering stars. It is the first few words of a new language, the first few notes of a new melody, the first tentative moves of a new-born life."


Friday, June 18, 2004

From Madonna to Esther...

So Madonna is changing her name to Esther...

I wonder what she particularly likes about the story... or what it is about Esther that she identifies with...

Coincidentally, I've been thinking about Esther over the last few days (I'm about to do some writing on the story). I love the book (and how it doesn't mention God at all! - don't read too much into that), and have always thought of the story as a kind of anti-fairytale. It's the kind of "marry the prince" story that you would want your daughter to hear... strangely, though, I don't ever remember hearing it in church (gosh, there's a surprise)... How nice that Madonna's got the story out there again...

fuel for the creative nation

good news from the bbc which has plans to make archive footage available for use from the autumn...

"The Creative Archive is fuel for the creative nation," said Paula Le Dieu, co-director of the initiative. "It allows people to download these excerpts and be able to edit them and incorporate them into their own creative works."

it will start off with thousands of three minute clips of nature footage. great news for VJs, altworship etc etc and it will be available for non commercial use

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Duncan's Adland

Just working out how to amend the headers and footers etc. I've developed the graphic I want to use
(a very wide screen adapted from an Istock image). Now all I have to do is host the image on my bigpond site so its the size I want.

Duncan's AdLand Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Cafechurch Resources

The Beatitudes
This post taken almost straight from the Cafechurch website:

Cafechurch Glebe is meshing art with technology as a way of enriching their gatherings for worship.

From 2001 - 2003, Cafechurch employed a digital artist, Rick Bull, who produced animations - prayers, scripture passages, visualised themes. They have been using these as a regular part of their worship. Think of them as contemporary stained glass windows in motion.

This program has now expanded - in 2004, Cafechurch secured the services of Rob Thwaites (theatrical practitioner, digital artist) as Arts Facilitator, and Cameron Semmens (performance poet and wordsmith) and Pete Harding (musician and digital artist) as Artists in Residence.

Download their free samples from here. You will need Flash Player to view them. If you do not have it, download the plug-in from Macromedia. If you want to play movies without the web browser, full-screen, download the additional free-standing player from GlobFX.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS Click this link to find out how they'd like you to use their free samples.

Weekly Distribution Network. Do you want to see more? Get on their 12 month subscription, where you will be emailed weekly animations and art pieces to be used in your communities.

Info Sheet and Order Form for more info (PDF - 22k).

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Canon Digital Photo Gallery - Uluru(Ayers Rock)

Just found some great caches of high quality digital photographs provided free by Canon. There's an excellent section on Uluru. Also - nice pics of flowers and fruit, animals etc.
Canon Digital Photo Gallery - Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Free Vector Painting Program

Some time ago, FractalDesign (who created "Painter" - at least i think it was them - now owned by Corel) put out a wonderful program called Painter - a 'natural media' painting program. Then FractalDesign became MetaCreations...

They also put out "Expression" which was a vector painting program. Imagine being able to paint a brush stroke on computer and have the stroke as vector art rather than bitmap art. Anyway MetaCreations folded (mmm... maybe it wasn't them) and "Expression" was taken over by "Creature Expression", whoever they are.

THEN Microsoft bought "Expression"....
(Get to the point - this is getting more complicated than J-Lo's love life)
Well Microsoft aren't sure what they're doing with the thing, so in the meantime you can download it FREE - for Mac OS 9 and X and Windows. Definitely worth a look. Click here to download it.

You can get additional free brushes for it here.
And who said Bill wasn't a good guy?

And for Mac people....

If you're interested in more brushes for Expression or addons for a wide variety of creative applications (Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Synthetik Studio Artist, CinePaint, Macromedia Freehand MX and other applications). Dozens of free collections available. To find older collections, go to the search page here, and perform a search for the word "download." (some of these would work on Windows versions as well)

Monday, June 14, 2004

another free images site

i had a look at the mission resourcing network site listed a couple of posts back - great site. another one to add to that list...

if u ever want a nice photo of somewhere in the world, or of anything as far as i can see... go to www.danheller.com - he seems to have been everywhere and taken good photos...

Sunday, June 13, 2004

What on earth is a "bothy"?

Martyn Bennett
"Bothy Culture"

A couple of years ago, Martyn Bennett released a rather indescribable album called "Bothy Culture" - a collection of folk music blended with all kinds of stuff - beats, spoken voice and goodness knows what else. Great and challenging to listen to. And it was recorded at "Mouth Music Chip Shop" - what a great name.

A bit like the Afro Celts but much more individual and experimental.

He has liner notes like... "This tune has only four notes, but I haven't worked out what they are."
and... "There are lots of Punjabi folks songs about Kali that have loads of sex and sweary words, but this isn't one of them. This is a party tune with a pile of twaddle over the top."

The good news is that his website has some free downloads. Click here.

(and I thought before today that he was a bloody Irishman! He's a Scot!)

(descended from Scots and once confirmed as a Presbyterian)

Free Images Online

I thought I'd post some previous posts and pages from http://www.missionresourcing.net.au while we get up and running!

The Internet has quite a number of sites where you can download royalty-free images for personal and/or non-commercial use. Here are some of them. Please note that the photo quality varies. You need to check the usage conditions for each site.

Go to the Mission Resourcing Network website for a list of sites.

Multimedia and the multimedia-illiterate

I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this blog is for, but since Craig invited me, it can't simply be to share expertise... I feel a bit of an intruder on the multimedia stage (I joined the youth multimedia egroup mostly for the recipes). I don't know how to do much, and I have hardly any equipment, but I love the idea of it, and I love playing, and I'm so inspired by what others do, and I'm learning to do more (am about to make my first foray into animations)... I have no equipment - well, apart from an iBook at home and a clunky pc at work. We do have wireless broadband at home, but I was talked into that not because it would give me faster downloads and more opportunity to do multimedia-type things, but because my "IT advisor" said it would mean we could search the internet while drinking gin and tonic in the backyard on a sunny day... (We've got the gin and tonic ready, waiting for that elusive sunny day in Melbourne...). I'm trying not to feel like a complete idiot in every conversation I have about multimedia and technology... or at least, not to let feeling like a complete idiot stop me from being part of the conversation.

I'm currently working in a resourcing role across Victoria and Tasmania with the Uniting Church in Australia. My major focus at the moment is children and families, but my position is evolving, as we speak, into working with people and groups who want to explore alternative worship. I'm not quite sure what it means to work on alternative worship from within the centre of the institutional church, even whether it's possible to do that, but we're going to give it a try. It's a very new area for us to be working in, and I'm a tad excited that I get to do it...

Apart from all that... I write... Christian Education resources, poetry, worship stuff... and my perfect job would connect all of them... I also buy a lot of cd's, go to art galleries, read a lot of books, watch crap tv, and visit scotland as often as I can...

Saturday, June 12, 2004

a great step sideways

well, i have plans for something more permanent, so here's a temporary home for some stuff related to the "youthmultimedia" egroup - which is not just about "youth". What is "youthmultimedia"? It's an egroup I started 3 1/2 years ago. The "official" description is this...

"Use of Multimedia with Young People in Christian Education, Worship and Mission. Members include ove 100 pastors, youth workers, high school and tertiary chaplains, youth leaders and others, primarily from Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA and Canada. Members come from a range of Christian churches. The group shares technical information, info about new music and movies, ideas for use of multimedia, and occasional discussion of a more theological nature!"

What does that mean? Well, we talk about...
new music and movies
tech stuff
issues about using stuff in churches
country music (sometimes!)
six degrees of separation
WWW resources for multimedia
cooking (very sometimes)
free multimedia resources
data projectors
what 'online' community might be about
darren's exploits in canberra
alternative worship
where to see the spirit in media
Apple Macs (and those other computers from the dark side)
expressing the gospel through contemporary culture
computer music
obscure musical history
what young people are doing, wathcing ans listening to
use of multimedia in worship settings of all kinds
how to get started in a multimedia
what makes a good website

and a whole lot more!

I'm your host, Craig. I'm surrounded by a couple of Apple Macs, a scanner, USB audio/MIDI thingy, a borrowed Ensoniq keyboard, a Fender Telecaster and amp, a couple of video cameras (one mine, one borrowed), the digital camera from work, several bookshelves of multimedia resources, many hundreds of CDs, many more books on theology, Christian education, potery, sociology, a bunch of DVDs - and there's a family out there somewhere too! I hail from Adelaide, Australia where I work in mission resourcing with the Uniting Church in Australia at a state level.

I'm planning a 'real' website for the list but this will do while I get organised.

If you want to see the real list archives, go to www.yahoogroups.com and search for "youthmultimedia" and join up.

see you in cyberspace.


Mass Destruction Film Clip


Mass Destruction EP

Well today I bought the "Mass Destruction" EP and album "No Roots" by Faithless. The EP has the video clip for "Mass Destruction".
P>The clip is a provocative statement about the evils of war, racism, misinformation and fear as weapons of 'mass destruction", and features chilling black and white footage of British school children acting out 'prisoner of war' scenes. These scenes produced the desired shock reaction, particularly as the children act the parts of both captors and captives, aggressors and victims. One is prompted to ask what kind of world our kids are growing up in, or more pointedly, what is our society training them to become?

As he did with "We Come 1" from the "Outrospective" album, Maxi Jazz puts global violence in our faces to bring a message of peace. Although Jazz's particular religious beliefs show through more clearly than at some times ("An you aint goin to nirvana or far-vana, you comin' right back here to live out your karma") this is not a distraction from the thrust of the song as a whole - if anything it is a reinforcement that we reap what we sow.

For those who don't know Faithless, they are the masterminds behind "God is a DJ". a former band member, Jamie Catto, was one of the duo who put together the extraordinary 1 Giant Leap CD and DVD. And band member Rollo's sister is Dido who has also been part of the band on more than one occasion. Did o provides some vocals on this album.

Have a listen here:
Faithless Website

A great website too!

Lyrics to Mass Destruction:
With a long range weapon or suicide bomber
Wicked mind is a weapon of mass destruction
Whether you're stowaway's son or BBC 1
Dis-information is a weapon of mass destruction
You could a caucasian or a poor asian
Racism is a weapon of mass destruction
Whether inflation or globalisation
Fear is a weapon of mass destruction

My dad came into my room, holdin his hat
I knew he was leavin', he sat
on my bed, told me some facts, son

I have a duty, callin on me
You and your sister be
brave my little soldier,
and don't forget all i told ya
Your the mister of the house now remember this
And when you wake up in the morning give ya momma a kiss,
then I had to say goodbye

In the morning i woke momma with a kiss on each eyelid,
Even though im only a kid,
certain things can't be hid
Momma grabbed me, held me like i was made of gold,
but left her in the story untold
I said, momma it will be allright,
when daddy comes home, tonight

(Repeat Chorus)

Whether Haliburton, Enron or anyone
Greed is a weapon of mass destruction
We need to find courage, overcome
Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction
Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction
Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction

My story stops here, lets be clear
this scenario is happenin everywhere
and you ain't goin to nirvana or favana
You comin right back here to live out your karma
with even more drama
than previously, seriously
Just how many centuries have we been waiting for someone else to make us free
And we refuse to see,
The people overseas are just like we
Bad leadership, amigos, unfettered and free
They feed on the people they're supposed to lead, I dont need it
We need to pray away, for the lord to make it all straight
Its only now we do it right, cos I don't want my daddy, leavin home tonight

Understanding Video on Your Computer

Well, this is my first post to this meta-blog, thankyou to Craig for Inviting me to join. The first post I'll put to this link is something that Craig actually put together a while ago that I think should be on this blog. Lets call it "YouthandMultimedia Tip 1.0"

"Digital video is a major issue to understand and use. I've been trying for about 7 years now and I still get stuck. Usually people find they want to play back a movie on their computer and can't get it to work, or they want to put a movie into Powerpoint, or they've just bought a digital video camera and want to enter the secret world of video editing. There is a lot to learn but if you're patient you can get there! So here are some starting tips.

a) If you want to know about movies in Powerpoint, go check out the Indezine website.
b) If you want to know about software and hardware for working with digital video formats, go to the DVDRHELP website.
c) If you want the excellent Quicktime Pro movie player and converter for windows or Mac, go to the Quicktime Website."

More on "Understanding video on your computer" at the MRN website here.