Check Out the WE THE ECONOMY Animated Shorts, Adam McKay’s “The Unbelievably Sweet Alpacas” and Chris Henchy’s “GDP Smackdown”

     October 21, 2014


Financial institutions have a leg-up on the American populace because economics are difficult to understand.  They’re also kind of boring, and Americans love to be entertained.  We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss is a series of short films that attempt to use entertainment as means of educating people about the economy.  Funny or Die has released two animated shorts from the anthology: “The Unbelievably Sweet Alpacas” directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) and “GDP Smackdown” by Chris Henchy (writer on The Campaign).

These are interesting shorts, but they unintentionally reveal another problem in America: confirmation bias.  For example, those who deny income inequality exists in America or that any solution is “socialism” won’t be swayed by McKay’s short. There’s no argument that can upset their worldview.  These shorts may use entertainment to convey economic facts, but in America, the only “facts” we want are the ones that don’t make us reconsider the world.  Hit the jump to check out the short films.  We the Economy is now available on multiple platforms.

Via Funny or Die.

we-the-economy-animated-shortTo learn more about We the Economy, here’s the press release:

Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions and Morgan Spurlock’s Cinelan

Challenge Traditional Film Distribution Model with

WE THE ECONOMY 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss

Simultaneous release on October 21 across more than 50 digital, cable, television, and mobile platforms including Amazon, AOL, CBS News, CNBC, Comcast’s Xfinity TV, Condé Nast Entertainment, Facebook, Funny or Die, Hulu, iTunes, LinkedIn, MobiTV, Netflix, Pivot TV, reddit, Time Warner Cable,Twitter, Verizon FiOS, Yahoo and YouTube

Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions and Morgan Spurlock’s Cinelan, in partnership with FilmBuff, today announced distribution agreements with more than 50 partners for the groundbreaking new film series WE THE ECONOMY 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss. The series uses innovative storytelling to cultivate a more informed understanding of the U.S. economy, and leverages technology to challenge the traditional distribution model. On October 21, these entertaining short films will launch simultaneously and at no cost to the viewer across more than 50 digital, cable, television and mobile platforms in order to reach the widest possible audience.

WE THE ECONOMY will feature a robust website with additional content and tool kits, as well as interactive iPhone and Android apps, to enhance the viewer experience and reach audiences at every level.

Carole Tomko, General Manager and Creative Director of Vulcan Productions states, “The unique distribution model for WE THE ECONOMY is all about audience access.” She continues, “There’s not enough accessible, bite-size information that’s easy to digest about the economy. We wanted these short films to help people understand the fundamentals of the economy and in order to reach the widest audience, we decided to make them available across as many channels as possible, and at no cost. There’s an appetite for this entertaining, informative short-form content, and we know that our extensive group of distribution partners guarantees that everyone in this country with a computer, a smartphone or a television will have access to the series.”

Morgan Spurlock, WE THE ECONOMY executive producer and co-founder of Cinelan, adds, “When we first met with Carole Tomko and the Vulcan Productions team about the series we immediately agreed to take the normal distribution model and smash it to pieces. No windows, no fees, just get it to the public. My biggest goal was getting these films simultaneously in front of every American wherever they watch content.”

WE THE ECONOMY pairs world-renowned filmmakers, including Adrian Grenier (Entourage)Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli), Steve James (The Interrupters), Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA), Adam McKay (Anchorman)James Schamus (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), with leading economic advisors such as Adam Davidson, founder of NPR’s “Planet Money,” and Greg Ip of The Economist, in order to spark a better public understanding of the economy through informed and engaging storytelling. The economic advisors provided editorial guidance to the filmmakers on 20 essential economic questions, which are the focus of these five to eight-minute films.

The distribution partners of WE THE ECONOMY are as follows:

On-demand distribution partners include Amazon Instant Video, AOL On Network, CBS News, CinemaNow, The Scene powered by Condé Nast Entertainment, Crackle, Dailymotion, Facebook, Fandor, Funny or Die, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, LinkedIn – The World’s Largest Online Professional Network, Netflix,, SnagFilms, Sony PlayStation Store, TV Guide, Twitter, Vimeo, Vutopia, Xbox Video, Yahoo Screen and YouTube.

Cable and television distribution partners include CNBC, Comcast’s Xfinity TV, Cox, iN DEMAND, Pivot TV, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS.

Mobile distribution includes WE THE ECONOMY Android and iPhone custom apps and MobiTV-powered live TV and video products across U.S. tier 1 carrier partners.

In addition, Landmark Theatres will host a special, one-night-only free theatrical sneak preview event at 7pm on October 20 in 20 cities nationwide.

For more information on WE THE ECONOMY and to watch the series trailer please visit

You can also follow WE THE ECONOMY on,, and


Vulcan Productions and Cinelan have partnered to produce 20 short films by award-winning directors — with their own creative vision — to drive awareness and a better understanding of the U.S. economy and reach the broadest possible audience. This short film series, which features animation, comedy, musical, nonfiction and scripted films, seeks to demystify the U.S. economy for audiences while empowering individuals of the next generation to take control of the planet’s economic future – and their own economic trajectories. Top economic experts, including distinguished professors, policy analysts, journalists and historians helped identify 20 key topics about the U.S. economy that every citizen will benefit from understanding. The directors then worked closely with select economic advisors who provided editorial guidance for these five to eight-minute films, which have been organized into five chapters: What is the Economy? What is Money? What is the Role of our Government in the Economy? What is Globalization? What Causes Inequality?

The Directors are Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes, Goodbye Solo), Bob Balaban (Gosford Park, The Exonerated), Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost trilogy), Jon M. Chu (Step Up, G.I. Joe: Retaliation),Marshall Curry (Street Fight, If a Tree Falls), Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp, Detropia), Adrian Grenier (Entourage, How To Make Money Selling Drugs), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen),Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol), Chris Henchy (The Campaign, The Other Guys), Lee Hirsch (Bully, Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony), Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli, Menace II Society), Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself), Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, American Dream), Shola Lynch (Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, Chisholm ’72), Adam McKay (Anchorman, Funny or Die), Jehane Noujaim (The Square, Control Room), James Schamus (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain), Morgan Spurlock (CNN’s Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man, Super Size Me), Miao Wang(Beijing Taxi, Yellow Ox Mountain) and Jessica Yu (Last Call at the Oasis, In the Realms of the Unreal).

The Economic Advisors are Dean Baker (co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research), Yoram Bauman (economist and author, The Cartoon Book of Macroeconomics), Jodi Beggs (educator and economics professor, Northeastern University), Adam Davidson (co-founder and host, NPR’s “Planet Money”), John Steele Gordon (author, An Empire of Wealth), Greg Ip (U.S. economics editor, The Economistand author, The Little Book of Economics), Neil Irwin (senior economic correspondent, New York Times and author, The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire), Markus Koch (financial journalist, N-TV), Annalyn Kurtz (business and economics reporter) and Diane Lim (chief economist, Pew Charitable Trusts).

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