Alumni Spotlight: Thane Economou

Cinema-Television program alum Thane Economou (B.A. ’10) explains how his experience in the Division of Film & Media Studies impacted his career as a screenwriter and director in Los Angeles, CA.

Alum Thane Economou (B.A. '10) is a screenwriter and director in Los Angeles, CA.
Alum Thane Economou is a screenwriter and director in Los Angeles, CA with multiple films and scripts in his credits.

Thane Economou (B.A. ’10) is this week’s featured alum in our new Alumni Spotlight series for the This Week at Meadows e-newsletter. Each week, a different Meadows alum will be highlighted for their accomplishments post-graduation.





Thane Economou, a graduate of the Cinema-Television program in Meadows’ Division of Film & Media Arts, has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry as a successful screenwriter, with more than five films in his credits. Over the last few years Economou has sold a few scripts, including a musical to Lionsgate, and credits Meadows with providing the filmmaking classes that has helped make it possible.


“The screenwriting courses I took at Meadows gave me a foundational knowledge of screenplay structure that I still use to this day,” explains Economou, who honed his craft by working on a variety of student films and held three internships during his time in the program. “Take every opportunity you can for hands-on experience while you’re at Meadows.”


Recently, he has also expanded into the world of directing. One of his projects, which he wrote and directed, was an independent film called The Wedding Party. The movie, which was released in 2016 and streamed on Netflix, was filmed entirely in one continuous take and took a considerable amount of skill and planning in order to pull off. Economou and his team worked for over a year to map out every detail of the production, shot by shot, and included a three-week rehearsal period with the actors and camera operators. Due to the intense preparation, the finished film was completed by only the fifth take.


“This is the perfect time to get experience on sets and make connections with your peers and future collaborators,” he advises current students. “It was the friends and colleagues I met while at Meadows, many of whom I still work with today here in Los Angeles, that helped shape my career.”


The connections he made as a student continue to serve Economou today. In fact, three major players in his film The Wedding Party are also Meadows graduates, Will Kamp (B.A. ’10) who served as director of photography as well as Ryan Hawkins (B.A. ’10) and James Lentzsch (B.A. ’10), who both served as producers. He is now focused on the pre-production of a new independent film alongside a team of producers who are also SMU alumni.


Learn more about Meadows' Division of Film & Media Arts here.


Alum Thane Economou (B.A. '10) directs actors on the set of his movie, The Wedding Party. 

Thane Economou directs actors on the set of his 2016 movie, The Wedding Party.