A long, long time ago
When the internet was still relatively new (1998), childhood friends Pete Infelise and Clinton Harman (both also relatively new) were having a conversation about PhotoShop. That conversation would be the first of many about design and the internet of things. However, this particular conversation led to the decision to start a company. They had no idea what it would become, but Planet 19 was born.
Planet 19 was an overnight success and before they new it, they have more work than they could handle. Both still students at the Illinois Institute or Art, it was decided education had to be the main focus, and Planet 19 would need to go in a different direction. So Planet 19 become a playground for media and design, where Mr. Harman and Mr. Infelise could expand upon their education. One notable project was the internet’s first viral and social media campaign, “We Needz Flutie“.
The creative triumvirate
The web started to feel a bit stale for the two propaganda specialists. A new challenge was needed to continue pushing the boundaries of what could be. Enter Todd Murray, another student at the Art Institute and a mad genius in video. While most student were just learning about the basics of video he was authoring his own DVD portfolio.
With Mr. Murray on board and a new challenge ahead Planet 19 Media Productions finally starting earning its name and scenes like the one pictured above became common place. The trio filmed whatever and wherever they could and soon began work on its first short film, Super Psycho Man meets Davey Crockett. Although never officially banned by Disney it was the start of many creative collaborations and the exploration of video and motion graphics.
The dawn of a new era
Another conversation, another goal to achieve and Planet 19 Presents is born, with the simple slogan of Artists Promoting Artists. We began small with a crew of 5 and as our number grew so did the challenges we overcame. We filmed bands, local artists, improve groups and even some tongue in cheek commercials. You may recognize the logo to left from one of the stickers that made its way into many of Chicago’s more popular establishments.
When season one was complete, it aired on CAN-TV for almost three years. Even though a show is supposed to be taken off after it runs through its entirety three times, you can still catch the occasional re-run today. It seemed like nothing could stop us as our popularity continued to grow with our aspirations for creating greatness, and having fun.
A time to get serious
As much as we avoided maturity, it caught up to us, and as we got older we became many unexpected things: spouses, parents, managers, leaders, producers and more. It seems the skills that we had acquired over our many escapades had prepared us for bigger and better things than we ever imagined.
So, it became time to take a step back and reassess. Some went their own way and others continued collaborating on various side projects and new endeavors. Regardless of direction we all continued to hone our skills and to create great work.Once someone is part of Planet 19 they never really leave because it becomes a part of you.
We still have fun, but instead of only concerning ourselves with the journey we’ve learned to consider the destination. With that in mind and returning in full force to our roots in Web Design, and expanding our skills with User Experience. we have found we can increase our client’s success as well as our own.