Bringing 1901 into 2022 – The Decaturian

The 1901 production began as Millikin’s graduate and former Justin Taylor’s major capstone project. Developing a film company, however, took Taylor into uncharted territory, both personally and professionally.

Taylor’s initial interest caught the attention of several students in the film and production program, and this inspired him to consider ways to expand Millikin’s program with technology studies on the art.

Justin Taylor

“It’s like, this is great, but what if it’s an extension? During this time, I also went to the movies with my friends. I started working on a couple of local projects, whether it was helping them as a pseudo-production assistant, or helping them mic up,” Taylor said.

After seeing the success of other college-based manufacturing companies, Taylor began to wonder why it wasn’t founded at a school with such a strong arts and humanities program. Taylor.

Taylor asked, “Why don’t we do this in Millikin? Why don’t we approach the English department for those who want to be creative writers? Why doesn’t the media side of art make it to the video side and vice versa? Why is everything in this school so divided?”

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These early development questions seem to have overestimated the power of 1901 Productions: its ability to unite Millikin’s independent programs and departments, not only among themselves, but within the local community as well.

Art Technology Teacher Eric Hector has seen first-hand the value of collaboration and cooperation between various Millikin-based organizations and throughout the community and their promotion through 1901 Productions. .

Acknowledging Millikin’s Center for Entrepreneurship with the support of 1901 Productions, Hector emphasized the unique campus and local resources that make Millikin an excellent institution to support entrepreneurial ventures. students, from the Center for Theater and Dance to Lincoln Square Theater and Lavelle Hunt.

“The Millikin Business Center has been a great help to us. We put together a proposal for them, which is a proposal for growing, moving forward and building it into something bigger. They were our partners then. I can’t say enough good things about everyone there. They really let it happen,” Hector said.

Hector described the 1901 Writing Assistance Center as being very helpful in writing. He explained, “They gave us a lot of money to really develop the program.”

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While finance is an indispensable element in the development of 1901 Productions, Hector described the importance of the creative element that sets 1901 apart from other student-run companies. These factors influenced the company’s decision to focus exclusively on film production after receiving subsidies.

“In my opinion, the way to monetize content is to make a movie or a TV show or something. We can’t make a TV show, but we can make a movie,” Hector said.

Regarding the creation of the film with 1901 Productions, Hector left a large part of the development in the hands of the students.

“After seeing people do full features and seeing the work they’ve done, I thought it would be great to bring it up to them and just say, ‘Hey, do you all want to do these next two semesters?’ make a film that we can show?’ and they really took the ball and ran with it,” said Hector.

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After working diligently to develop an impressive production list, Hector praised the learning experience provided to the students involved in the company.

“You’re really one step in the way of running a business? How do you reach these deadlines? How do you do that when there’s an event coming up?” asked Hector.

This experience recently allowed students to develop several projects into anthology films. “It was a nice natural progression from their shorts to an anthology feature,” explains Hector.

Throughout the development of 1901, from its early stages to its recent success, the participation of students and talent has remained the most important thing in its list of productions.

“We have very good players. We have the ability to teach them the history and get them to understand the technology and then, turn it into a business because of our relationship with the community,” Hector said.

The success of 1901 Productions demonstrated the value of Millikin’s performance-learning methodology as not only a major campus initiative, but also a community-supported technology collaboration.


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