The Cinematic Legacy of CEI Studios

As blog readers have probably heard by now, CEI is moving. We’ll be setting up shop in a newly-renovated space on the 7th floor of 1310 L Street NW as of Monday, August 15th. Over the years we’ve hosted a lot of policy and social events in our current office, but we’ve also written and filmed some creative videos as well.

Our very earliest efforts at video production harken back to our even older offices on Farragut Square, but it was here at 1899 L Street that we built it into major project. First under the direction of Peter Suderman and Erin Wildermuth and finally Drew Tidwell, “CEI Studios” experimented with a range of video lengths and styles, sometimes as part of a series and sometimes with standalone products like the much-loved movie parodies screened every year at our big annual dinner.

Starting in the infancy of the YouTube era and moving with the times to more sophisticated techniques, our goal was always to bring the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty to the widest possible audience. Today our productions involve a wide range of collaborative partners, and the studio lights and green screen rarely make an appearance in our office itself. But we’ll remember those early efforts with affection, and we extend our thanks to all of the current and former staffers who learned their lines and put themselves in front of the camera.

You might remember the CEI staff from such classic web videos as…

A Night in Casablanca (2016)

One of the most famous film of all time becomes a perfect match for CEI’s message of resistance to government tyranny.

Capitalism Never Dies (2013)

In this James Bond parody we welcomed CEI’s second president, Lawson Bader, into our secret world of espionage and intrigue. Our intern room neatly doubled at Q’s laboratory, and the basement parking garage concealed a deadly conflict.

The Dinner Movie (2011)

A light-hearted take on “making of” featurettes, this one allowed us to use all of the characters and costumes we always wanted, and was able to feature more staff members than any previous effort.

It’s a Wonderful Institute (2009)

The beloved Jimmy Stewart tale of second chances gets a public policy remake in this version filmed in our conference room, elevators, back alley, and, of course, studio space. We even included previous footage of our own office suite while it was still under renovation.

The Department of Pre-Regulation (2007)

For a taste of the really early days, check out this dystopian look at a possible authoritarian future, filmed in our even-older office, arcoss the street in Farragut Park, around the corner alongside Connecticut Avenue, inside the old Cato Institute auditorium, and in multiple rooms at our director’s parents’ house. 

You can always watch these and other CEI videos on our YouTube page.