Taylor Morden has to create
Taylor Morden is a man that has to create. A musician, husband, and filmmaker, he is driven to create art that celebrates his passions. He won’t wait and he can’t sit around. For Taylor, it is as necessary for him to create as it is for him to breathe. And it is just as necessary for him to share the results of his creativity with other people. He deeply believes that the communal experience of art, through music performances, museums, and movie theatres, is a vital part of the human experience. After talking with Taylor, you come away with vision that civilization requires communal experience of art. Taylor has created a career around creating art that is meant to be shared with others. Taylor seems to have found his perfect medium in filmmaking. As he says, “movie theatres are the museums of film.” It is very clear in talking with Taylor that making
A documentary filmmaker in non-Covid life, Taylor’s most recently released project was called Project 88, a fan remake of Back To The Future Too. After a conversation with a fellow filmmaker, Jesse Locke, Taylor created a website for the project, divided the film into 88 sections, and began taking sign ups for people willing to created one of 88 segments of the film. He did all of that in one day, between noon and 5pm. The response was huge. People from all over the world signed up. The finished film was a wild amalgam of animation, live action, puppets, kids, cardboard and CGI. It doesn’t sound like it would work, but the finished product is entertaining as hell. As Taylor said, “none of it’s perfect, some of it’s awful, but that’s what makes it good.”
Taylor set a one week deadline for the everyone to shoot their scene. Taylor strongly believes that limitations lead to creativity, and that perfect too often becomes the enemy of the good (or, as in this case, good enough).
Taylor repeatedly talks about how much raw creativity he saw in the finished clips people sent in. He found inspiration in the way kids especially saw no problem in handling scenes for which they had no props, no actors, and no way to make anything that was in the scene. Taylor says, “they made it out of Tupperware, hot glue and yarn… it’s all just storytelling.”
Taylor has made a life driven by creativity, by the desire to connect with the people who share his same passions. As he talks, it becomes clear that he has taken inspiration from Project 88. He says that where before he saw limitations as blockades that would stop him from making a project happen, the lesson he has taken from Project 88 is that limitations are only the fire that feed creativity.
Project 88 provided an outlet of creativity, entertainment, and connection for everyone involved during a time of separation and anxiety. For Taylor, a man who has created a life centered around celebrating and sharing his passions, Project 88 was also a reminder to not let obstacles stop us, but to instead let our creativity find a way forward, no matter what.
As I write this, Taylor is finishing his next documentary about the last Blockbuster Video store in Bend, Oregon. Tune in to what he is up to. Support his work. We need people like Taylor to remind us that our passions are important, that our creativity is important. Get out there. Make something. Have fun.