Sean W. Malone
Executive Producer at Return on Ideas
About the Author
Sean W. Malone studied music performance and composition for film and multimedia at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Bachelor of Music, 2005) and New York University (Master of Arts, 2007), before working in various creative roles in the music and film industries in New York and Los Angeles.
In 2011, he relocated to Washington, DC to develop professional media production capabilities at various for and not-for-profit organizations, while producing music and videos for clients like Reason, the Institute for Justice, and GoRemy through his own company, CitizenA Media.
As Director of Media since 2016 and as Creative Director since 2020, Sean has been proud to build the Foundation for Economic Education's versatile, world-class creative team from the ground up.
His on-going video essay series "Out of Frame" and FEE's other popular shows like "Common Sense Soapbox" have generated tens of millions of views and recently earned FEE a Silver Play Button award from YouTube; and his documentaries, such as "No Vans Land", "Locked Out", "Farming in Fear", "Rigged", and "Made in Mekhe" have screened at film festivals and on college campuses around the country, winning numerous awards, including a 2019 Silver Telly Award for Best Online Series.
Sean now resides in a lovely house in Atlanta with his wife Marian, a talkative Shiba Inu, and a moderately cuddly hedgehog.
What inspired you to start writing?
I've been writing short fiction stories since I was very young, but I think what really changed my perspective and allowed me to see myself as a "writer" were the habits I formed writing hundreds of blog posts in the late 2000s. At this point, although I am officially a multimedia producer and creative director, I probably spend more hours of my working life writing than any other specific task, and I love it.
What are your hobbies / interests?
Apart from my professional work making videos, graphic designs, podcasts, music, and writing about doing those things, I like to draw and sculpt, and I am slowly working on a few different fictional screenplays. Besides creating new artistic content, I spend a lot of time at movie theaters with my wife, I enjoy reading (or listening to audiobooks), shooting (archery and firearms), and cooking. I've recently begun mastering the art of smoking meats. On a rare occasion I try to find time to play video games and at some point I hope to bring some friends together again for another round of D&D.
My interests are film, music, entertainment, media and aesthetic theory, psychology, neuroscience, human behavior (which is what led me to economics), and moral philosophy.
Who are your personal heroes?
Anyone who uses their mind to create innovations that make billions of people better off is worthy of our highest praise. Anyone who stands in the way of human creativity, ingenuity, and voluntary interaction is a villain.
How did you discover the freedom philosophy?
I reasoned my way into it at perhaps 15 years old, mostly by thinking about the nature of self-ownership. Working from a premise of individualism, everything else kind of fell into place and got more thoroughly developed over time.
Who are your favorite writers?
Expanding to include thinkers & artists of all kinds: F.A. Hayek, Frederick Douglass, Voltaire, Bastiat, James Madison, Charles Darwin, Daniel Levitin, Matt Ridley, Isaac Asimov, Ayn Rand, David Mamet, Blake Snyder, Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Edgar Rice Borroughs, Jim Henson, John Lasseter, Hayao Miyazaki, Brad Bird, Travis Knight (of Laika Studios), Edgar Wright, Guillermo del Toro, Errol Morris, Frank Frazetta, Richard Williams, Gary Burton, Milt Jackson, Tito Puente, Jerry Goldsmith, Erich Korngold, Ralph Vaughn-Williams, Gustav Holst, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Johannes Brahms, Franz List, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Yoko Kanno... This list could probably go on endlessly.