Big Ideas on the Big Screen: How Economic Thinking Can Make You a Better Filmmaker

Start Friday, April 25, 2014 12:00 PM

End Sunday, April 27, 2014 6:00 PM








Chapman University | Orange, CA | April 25-27

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.”  John Maynard Keynes

Film can be a powerful medium for spreading ideas, influencing cultures, and changing our perceptions. Whether you are making comedies or dramas, documentaries or fiction, blockbusters or indie films, ideas will drive your film both on and off screen. Filmmakers often neglect economics because they fail to see the significance it brings to their lives and to their art. However, economic thinking can be a powerful tool for understanding human behaviors and motivations and for helping to make your film a reality.

With sessions led by economics professors, filmmakers, and expert storytellers, this seminar will give you a foundation of economic thinking that will help you see the world in a new way as well as important instruction in cinematic storytelling, distribution, and promotion.

This seminar is open to students 18-24 who have a demonstrated interest in filmmaking and is limited to 30 students, so apply early! 

Applications close March 8th.

Friday, April 25

12:00 pm – 4:00pm: Hotel Check-in
4:00 pm – 4:30:00 pm: Seminar Check-in
4:30 pm – 4:45pm: Welcome
5:30 pm – 6:45pm: Dinner
7:30 pm – 7:45pm: Turning Point
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm: Social

Saturday, April 26
7:00 am – 8:30am: Breakfast
8:30 am – 9:00 am: Check-in
9:45 am – 10:00 am: Break
10:00 am – 11:30am: Activity: I, Movie
11:30 am – 1:00 pm: Lunch
1:45 pm – 2:00 pm: Break
2:45 pm – 3:00 pm: Break
3:45 pm – 4:00 pm: Break
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm: Dinner
7:00 pm – 7:45 pm: Reading Discussion Groups
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm: Social

Sunday, April 27
7:00 am – 9:00 am: Breakfast
8:30 am – 9:00 am: Check-in
9:45 am – 10:00 am: Break
10:00 am – 10:45 am: Public Choice Case Study (filmmaker)
10:45 am – 11:00 am: Break
11:00 am – 11:45 am: Discussion Groups
11:45 am – 1:15 pm: Lunch
2:00 pm – 2:15 pm: Break
3:00 pm – 3:15 pm: Break
3:15 pm – 4:45 pm: Activity: Storyboarding
4:45 pm – 5:30 pm: That’s a Wrap!: Implementing Lessons Learned and Final Advice Panel (Lana Harfoush, Erin O’Connor, Maurice Black, Glen Whitman, Nick Tucker, Chander Tuttle)
5:30 pm – 6:00 pm: Turning Point and Closing Remarks
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm: Dinner

Monday, April 28
7:00 am – 11:00 am: Hotel Check Out


The seminar will take place at Chapman University in beautiful Orange County.

Click here to see the seminar's Location page.

Event Contact

If you have any questions, please check out our FAQs or email


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December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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