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Harvardwood Highlights - 04/2008
April 2008 | Issue 39
In this Issue:
* Message from the Membership Directors
* Message from Mia
* Harvardwood Summer Internship Program
* Harvardwood NYC Spring Party
* Member Profile: Nick Stoller '98
* Industry Successes
* Pencil Me In -- Harvardwood Presents...An Introduction to Film & TV Casting with
* Featured Member Posting -- Industry Joblist with Employment Opportunities
In the meantime, enjoy this month's profile on Nick Stoller '98.
As always, thanks to everyone who contributed to this issue.
Congratulations to all of you and please continue to share your
stories, as your participation is what Harvardwood is all about!
Angela and Kibi
Message from Mia
has officially sprung, and April showers are upon us from
coast-to-coast (yes, even in LA)... While away those rainy-day blues
by checking out the alum-directed films hitting theaters this month --
first up is Vanessa Parise
JACK AND JILL VS. THE WORLD, which opens tomorrow in select cities (see
below for more info on Vanessa and the film). FORGETTING SARAH
MARSHALL, directed by this month's profilee (Nick Stoller '98
) opens on April 18th.
And an important piece of news from our alma mater... Longtime Harvardwoodian and advisory board member Robert Kraft '76
is running for one of six elected positions on the Harvard Alumni
Association Board of Directors this year. Those ballots will be
arriving in your mailboxes soon, so please cast your vote and spread
the word -- this is a great opportunity to make sure the arts &
entertainment community continues to have a voice at fair Harvard!
-MiaHarvardwood Summer Internship Program
Started in 2003, the Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP)
provides a list of summer internship opportunities in the arts, media
and entertainment to interested Harvard students. In addition, HSIP
facilitates career-related activities throughout the summer for
participating students and companies in NYC and LA. The
HSIP opportunity list is now
posted on the website -- it will be updated daily as new postings
come in, so please check back regularly. If you are a company wishing
to list an internship, please contact us for details... To view full
posting, please visit:
Harvardwood NYC Spring Party
Hey, Everybody! It's time for our big 2008 FABULOUS SPRING PARTY! (Er, that is, our very
serious spring networking meeting.) It's going to be on Friday, April 18
starting at 8 p.m..! A Harvardwood member has very
generously volunteered her living room as the space for the party.
Everyone is asked to bring something to eat or drink. To RSVP and to
get the full details, visit the NYC page on the Harvardwood website: http://www.harvardwood.org/members/group.asp?id=10051
Member Profile: Nick Stoller '98
by Stacey Collins
It was a treat to interview Nick Stoller,
Class of '98. A man with a funny bone, he's also had the smarts to
hone those skills to advance his writing and directing aspirations.
These are exceptional times for this young filmmaker. His debut as a
feature director happens this month; FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL,
starring Kristen Bell and Jason Segel, and produced by Judd Apatow,
will be released by Universal on April 18th.
Nick made friends
with Segel eight years ago while working on "Undeclared" as a staff
writer. The two men shared a sense of humor. "Both of us thought
there was nothing funnier than seeing a grown man cry."
On the set of KNOCKED UP,
Nick learned that Segel was working on a feature film script about
relationships and that the screenplay included grown men crying. The
script would eventually become FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL. With the support of Judd Apatow, Nick convinced Universal to allow him to direct it.
shares writing credit with Apatow (creator of "Undeclared") for the
2005 feature FUN WITH DICK AND JANE, starring Jim Carrey and Tea
Leoni. YES MAN, another Carrey film for which Nick wrote the
screenplay, is in post-production.
Nick has always dreamed
of being a writer-director. He remembers being ten or eleven years
old, watching "Saturday Night Live" and reading humor columnist Dave
Barry's articles, thinking how neat it would be to do the same. "You
can write stuff, and it makes people laugh."
comedy" since he was a kid, Nick met like-minded people at the Harvard
Lampoon. For him, the Lampoon provided a clear path and better
understanding of comedy. Working on the Lampoon was a "trial by fire"
experience for writers, and in some ways it prepared him for a career
in Hollywood. During the "comp," the application process in which
Lampoon hopefuls submit writing samples for consideration, "[current
Lampoon members] can write harsh comments." After comping twice, Nick
joined the Lampoon his sophomore year and in due course became
One of his Lampoon connections helped Nick launch his career. Mike Schur '97
recommended Nick for a show called "The Austin Powers Animated
Series". Although the production was ultimately canceled, Nick signed
with United Talent Agency as a result of that experience. A year
later, Judd Apatow was seeking talented writers represented by UTA.
addition to the Lampoon, Nick credits the Immediate Gratification
Players improv group at Harvard for its influence on his writing.
Improv taught him that it's okay to throw jokes out, and he gained
performance experience that informed his writing process.
event that shaped Nick's writing was an advertising stint in New York.
Although he found writing sketch comedy to be more fun, working in the
advertising world taught him discipline. He says it forced him to
"write about things you don't want to write about." He doesn't believe
in writers' block, and although he acknowledges some days will be
better than others, he states that "you just push through" no matter
His career isn't the only facet of Nick's life that has benefited from his Harvard roots. Nick met his wife, Francesca Delbanco '95,
through a playwriting workshop organized by a group of friends from
Harvard. The first time they met, they were both dating other people –
and Nick was sporting a beard. A year later, when Nick was
clean-shaven, they met again through the same workshop, and a romance
sparked shortly after that.
What's on the horizon
for Nick Stoller? He's working on two scripts, both in collaboration
with Jason Segel. One of the projects is another comedy, FIVE-YEAR
ENGAGEMENT, with Nick helming and Segel starring. The other is the
next Muppet movie for Disney, which they are cowriting.
If you're not impressed
enough already, consider that this talented writer-director also
contributed to the film BLADES OF GLORY – as a songwriter. As he
modestly points out, Nick's song was enhanced by professional
songwriters – nevertheless, versatility and a willingness to take risks
are clearly part of his repertoire.
Vanessa Parise's JACK
AND JILL VS THE WORLD opens in limited theatrical release on April 4.
It is directed, co-written, and produced by Vanessa Parise and along
with Parise stars Freddy Prinze Jr., Taryn Manning, Kelly Rowan, Robert
Forster, and Charles Martin Smith. In this romantic, funny, and
thoughtful film, the lead character suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, a
terminal lung disease. It's not every filmmaker who would choose to
treat a terminal disease in a romantic movie, which Parise herself
describes as a "love story for cynics." But by design, Parise's films
are more than pure escapist entertainment; they're life-affirming,
multi-dimensional and socially-aware – and also lots of fun. Says
Parise, "If we can affect people — by making them think about their
lives in a new light, or by making them laugh or relax ...even smile —
then this nonstop 4-year intensely challenging yet magical endeavor
will be worth it." Parise graduated Magna Cum Laude in Biology from
Harvard and was accepted into Harvard Medical School. But with her
heart in acting from the age of five, she decided to turn down Harvard
Med to pursue a career in acting. She was accepted to the prestigious
Circle in the Square Theatre School in Manhattan and never looked back.
Acting as well as writing and directing have brought Parise out of her
head and into her heart, a transition Parise has fully embraced. The
JACK AND JILL VS THE WORLD fundraiser/red carpet film premiere is on
April 3, 2008 in Beverly Hills and opens in Los Angeles on April 4 with
East Coast showings the following week. Please visit http://www.jackandjillvstheworld.com/ for more information.
Jamie Mayer won the $5000 first prize in the Hollywood Nexus screenwriting competition with her script "Crowbar Smile" (http://www.hollywoodnexus.com/). She is represented by Rogers Hartmann at Code Management.
Julio Vincent Gambuto '00 invites
you to jump on board the Staten Island Ferry (well, actually, you can
just come to Times Square), for an evening of
sit-down-stand-up-storytelling comedy (yes, that's a technical term)
that follows Gambuto from the fifth and oft-forgotten borough of Staten
Island to the ivy-covered gates of Harvard Yard to the streets of South
Brooklyn. Come one. Come all. Julie from Staten Island, A Comic Stage
Memoir about Getting In, Fitting In, and Tryin' to Follow All the
Rules, April 10-13, Theatre Row, New York City. Tickets are $20 and are
available online at http://www.ticketcentral.com/. Additional show information at www.juliovincent.com/julie.
Sue Chan '92 has
signed with the Mirisch Agency to represent her for film, television,
and advertising work as a Production Designer. Past credits include
"Punch Drunk Love", "Shopgirl", "In Good Company" and "Shall We Dance"
as art director and the feature films "Shades of Ray" and "Dancing in
September" as Production Designer. Check out her work and reel at www.suechanprodes.com.
Peter Fox's play ACTS OF GOD will get an extended run at the Ojai Art Center Theatre until April 19th. Interested parties should go to http://www.ventanamonthly.com/ for a March cover story about Fox and the play.
Miranda Yousef '98
is headed to the AFI Dallas International Film Festival with three
films. "Collectibles," a comic short she directed and edited, will have
its world premiere in the Shorts Competition. "FOOD FIGHT," a feature
documentary she edited, will screen in the Community Showcase section.
And she worked as a contributing editor on "I.O.U.S.A.", the latest
feature doc from "Wordplay" director Patrick Creadon, which played
Sundance 2008 and will screen in the AFI Dallas Documentary
Competition. Check out http://www.afidallas.com/ for more information, and look her up if you're in Dallas between April 1-6!!
DARK MATTER, written by Billy Shebar '79,
starring Liu Ye, Aidan Quinn and Meryl Streep, will be released in ten
cities, starting April 11. The film won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at
Sundance in 2007, and was recently shown in Lincoln Center's Film
Comment Selects series. DARK MATTER is about a young Chinese physicist
whose radical ideas about the cosmos put him at odds with his American
mentor. Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng, it's a provocative look at culture
clash and campus violence. For more information and to view the
trailer or poster, please visit: http://www.darkmatterthefilm.com/ or http://www.myspace.com/darkmattermoviermovie
Miles Fisher '06
has landed a recurring role in A&E's "The Cleaner," starring
Benjamin Bratt. He's onscreen as Tom Cruise in Dimension's "Superhero
Movie" and his credits include "Gods and Generals" and "Lone Star
Pencil Me In
Harvardwood Presents...An Introduction to Film & TV Casting with
is pleased to announce our upcoming on-campus seminar,
"Harvardwood Presents...An Introduction to Film & TV Casting with
Lisa Beach", cosponsored by the Office for the Arts and Office of
Career Services. Lisa Beach, Harvard Class of 1980, has spent the last
20 years as a casting director for feature films and television. She
has cast over over 50 films, TV movies, TV pilots and series, winning
three Artios Awards (given by the Casting Society of America) for her
work on “Wedding Crashers”, ”About Schmidt”, and “Election”. Lisa will
be conducting on-campus workshops for student actors from May 2-4.
Registration will be announced shortly, with Full Members of
Harvardwood given advance notice and preference to attend the program
events. For more details, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=20228
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