Making the Residency Video: Mills James Creative

Fri, Jun 15, 2012

Xan Palay and Arthur James of Mills James Creative

A few months ago we introduced you to a new video about the Wex’s Artist Residency Awards. Now we would like you to meet our partners on the video project, Mills James Creative Media. The company, which has been a corporate member of the center since 2002, partnered with us to produce the video as a generous corporate contribution that extended over two years. Arthur James, vice president of video and interactive at Mills James, notes: “We jumped at the opportunity to help tell this story. The Wexner Center is at the heart of the vital creative community here in central Ohio, and we celebrate what that means for us as members of that community, as a business and as part of the audience.”

Xan Palay, a producer/director at Mills James and also a Wexner Center member, shepherded the project with us from its beginnings, as we sifted through mountains of archival images and miles of video and film in every format used over the last 20 years. She also coordinated at least eight separate video shoots, plus hours of editing time as we tweaked the video. Along the way she truly became an expert on the Artist Residency Awards program and on the artists who have participated in it. “I feel lucky to have seen the complex dynamic of the Wexner Center’s Artist Residency program up close,” she says. “It’s a very flexible proposition that changes with each participant’s artistic vision—and it’s exactly that flexibility that makes the program such a gift to the artists, the Ohio State University community, and audiences here and the world over.”

The video Xan, Arthur, and their colleagues at Mills James produced with us captures impressions about the residency program from artists, curators, Wexner Center donors, and university and community leaders. Visual artist Mark Bradford discusses how the Wexner Center enabled him to turn “a whisper” of an idea “into a roar.” Choreographer Bebe Miller, who premieres A History, her latest work and most recent Wexner Center residency project, here in September, describes support for such past projects as Landing/Place (2005) and Necessary Beauty (2008). Jerry Dannemiller, the Wexner Center’s director of marketing and communications, remembers: “The creative and technical know-how that Mills-James (and Xan Palay, specifically) brought to the making of this video was at the highest level. To be able to help us craft, capture, and tell the story of our residency programs, condensing 20 years into 8 minutes, would have been next to impossible on our own. Their support of the Wexner Center—with this feature and with several previous projects—has advanced us on multiple fronts.”

Mills James founders Ken Mills and Cameron James describe their company as “dedicated to the art and science of modern storytelling.” All of us at the Wexner Center thank everyone at Mills James for helping tell some of our most compelling stories with such care, insight, and vitality.

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