Click to find out about the Captured in Time & Space DVD Petition!

Captured in Time & Space
Petition Letter

On Tuesday, October 21, 2003, I sent the following letter to Mark Dunn at EMI Group. My research shows that EMI now owns the Star Song catalog and imprint; the name Mark Dunn was given to me by a correspondent as the director of their Christian division (verified based on information on the Web), but interestingly, this EMI news release indicates that he is also the senior director of their DVD division, and that he "...is responsible for developing and implementing strategies for growing EMI’s rapidly expanding DVD release programme [sic]!" Hopefully, this letter (along with all of your email "signatures"!) is enough to convince him that it is worth adding Captured in Time & Space to EMI's DVD repitoire!

UPDATE: Shortly after I sent the letter addressed to Mark Dunn, I discovered that he was (apparently) no longer at EMI, but I also discovered that the head of the EMI Christian division is now a gentleman named Bill Hearn (his father produced Petra's first album back in the early 70's!) and the head of a new EMI Christian Publishing division is no other than Eddie DeGarmo of DeGarmo & Key fame! Eddie's most recent big project is a rock opera called !Hero, and several weeks after I learned of the changeover I was to be attending the performance of !Hero here in Tulsa! So on the off-chance that I would run into Eddie DeGarmo at the show (I knew he had been spotted at several performances), I brought along a copy of the same letter I had mailed to Mr. Dunn at the EMI P.O. Box. I also sent an email to an address I constructed by guessing based on Mr. Dunn's (now defunct) email address. Well, we DID see Eddie DeGarmo at the show, and we were able to speak to him for a minute or two and pass along the letter... and on December 2 I received an email from him letting me know that he was passing our request on to StarSong to see if they had any interest in the project! Things seem to be moving along, guys!

October 20, 2003

StarSong Records
EMI Christian Music Group
Attn: Mark Dunn
PO Box 5085
Brentwood, TN 37024

Mr. Dunn,

My name is Michael Jones. I am an avid fan of Christian rock band Petra, and operate several Petra Web sites, including GuideToPetra.com and PetraTulsa.org. For the past few months I have been running a campaign at GuideToPetra.com to collect electronic "signatures" on a petition to show support for the idea of releasing Petra's groundbreaking in-concert rock video, Captured in Time & Space, on DVD. My understanding is that EMI Christian Music now owns the Star Song back catalog, and as the video was originally released on Star Song Music Video my assumption is that you are the person who would be able to pursue this project.

The petition "signatures" were collected via a Web page at GuideToPetra.com/CITS-Petition.html; visitors have to submit their email address and then respond to an email sent to them in order to be considered "confirmed." This proves that each email address submitted is actually under the control of the submitter and ensures a pretty valid list of unique individuals (I couldn't submit your email address, for example, because I couldn't respond to the resulting email). Using this method, within just a few months we have received and confirmed 395 email addresses; counting unconfirmed addresses (some of which may have been typographical errors and others of which may be people having trouble confirming their submission) we have well over 400 email addresses in the list. Demand for this 18-year-old video is so high that when VHS copies appear on eBay, they go for prices exceeding fifty dollars, and often run over one hundred dollars. I regularly receive emails and messages from people who want to know where they can buy a copy; sadly it has been out of print for quite some time.

Captured in Time & Space is Petra's only full-length concert video to date, and was one of the first Christian concerts to have been released on video in its entirety (Amy Grant had released a concert video only a few years earlier); it followed Talking Heads' groundbreaking concert movie Stop Making Sense (which was re-released on DVD in 1999) by only two years. It chronicles a version of Petra that was at the top of its game, at a peak of popularity that was unheard of for a Christian rock band at the time. Although Petra has been flying below the radar of many listeners for the past few years, their new release Jekyll & Hyde has received very positive reviews from CCM Magazine, hm Magazine, True Tunes, Christianity Today, and ChristianBeats.org, among others (see GuideToPetra.com/JAH for a list of reviews), and as of this date it has been on the SoundScan charts, both Christian retail and Combined retail, for eight weeks (source: ThePDAdvisor.com). The CD is on the Top 20 Best Selling CDs page in the Christian Book Distributors Christmas catalog, and has been within the top 5,000 best-selling CDs on Amazon.com since August, spending much of August in the top 1,000 and most of September in the top 2,000 and peaking at number 435. The reason I mention the success of the new CD is that (1) it has brought Petra back to the attention of both the Christian music industry at large, and former fans who had lost interest during the past 3-4 CDs, and (2) the CD has been hailed as something of a return to rock roots for Petra—many of the fans who have bought Jekyll & Hyde are fans from way back who have fond memories of the Beat the System era that spawned Captured in Time & Space. These fans, whether they have "signed a petition" or not, will buy a DVD of that performance! We would like to see an anniversary reissue of the concert video, restored and maybe even with a few songs added back in. It would also be great to see the album re-released on double CD so that the wonderful altar call song, "The Great I Am", could be included in digital format.

Captured in Time & Space is a piece of Christian Rock history that deserves to be revisited. I think the success of the 15-year anniversary issue of the DC Talk film Free At Last is an indicator of the success a 20th Anniversary DVD edition of this event will have. I have been in contact with Becky Volz, the original editor of the video, and she would be interested in a restoration project; I have also spoken with another ardent Petra fan who has decades of experience in restoring audio and video footage and who would be interested in working on the project. Although I have promised not to actually give my email list away, when the DVD project is underway we can use it to notify those 400+ fans when to expect the release and how to order. Please get back with me with your thoughts on this project; I can be reached at [email address], or daytimes at [phone number], evenings [phone number].

Thank you for your time; I look forward to communicating with you further about this!

Sincerely,

Michael Jones
GuideToPetra.com
PetraTulsa.org

I also included the following "fact sheet":

Captured in Time & Space video petition
Fact Sheet

Petition location: http://www.guidetopetra.com/CITS-Petition.html
Confirmed signatures on petition (10/20/03): 395 (see the Web page for current number)

Of confirmed signers:
   How many own a VHS copy: 382
   Average price paid: $32.65
   Highest price paid: $300.00 (four respondents had paid $100 or more)

Of people who reported what year they bought it:
   Bought it before 1995: 45
   Bought it after 1995: 21
   (note: I do not know what year the video went out of print)

Recent eBay Auctions
Date
Auction
Ended
Number
of bids
Selling
price
Comment
16-Apr-039$59.00 
21-Apr-0311$56.55 
14-Jun-0310$73.00 
30-Jul-037$202.50with Amy Grant "Age to Age" concert video
02-Aug-0312$82.35UK seller
29-Sep-0324$76.00 

I have removed the contact information I had for Mark Dunn, but if you would like to show your support via postal mail, you may be able to reach either Bill Hearn or Eddie DeGarmo at the P.O. Box in the letter above (no promises, though!)

WHAT? You haven't signed the petition yet? Well, click over and do it now!


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