2007 Harvard in Hollywood

The Future of Film

Saturday, April 28, 2007
8:30am - 2pm
Luxe Hotel, 11461 Sunset Boulevard

Harvardwood, the Harvard Business School Association of Southern California, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Southern California are pleased to present the third annual HARVARD IN HOLLYWOOD symposium:

8:30 - 9:00 am | Check-in, registration, and continental breakfast
9:00 - 9:45 am | Keynote address by Michael Lynton AB '82, MBA '87, Chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures.
9:45 - 11:15 am | Panel 1: "Blindfolds and Dartboards: What Movies Get Made and Why"
11:15 - 11:30 am | Break
11:30 am - 1:00 pm | Panel 2: "Are Movies Dead?"
1:00 - 2:30 pm | Buffet lunch

PANEL 1: Blindfolds and Dartboards: What Movies Get Made and Why


  • Ron Bass JD '67 (screenwriter/producer - Rain Main, The Joy Luck Club
  • Stokely Chaffin AB '92 (producer - Sweet Home Alabama, Out of Time)
  • John Davis MBA '81 (producer - Norbit, Eragon, I Robot)
  • Lucy Fisher AB '71 (producer - Memoirs of a Geisha, Jarhead)
  • Aleen Keshishian AB '90 (partner/manager - Brillstein Grey Entertainment)

PANEL 2: Are Movies Dead?


  • Paul Attanasio '81, JD '84 (screenwriter/producer - The Good German, TV's "House")
  • Debra Martin Chase '84 (producer - The Princess Diaries, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants)
  • Daniel Lin '99 (SVP Production, Warner Bros)
  • Keri Putnam '87 (Pres. of Production, Miramax)
  • Ed Zwick '74 (director/producer/writer - Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai)

    Speaker Biographies

Michael Lynton AB ’82, MBA ’87 became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) in January 2004. As Chairman and CEO, Lynton manages SPE’s global operations, which include motion picture, television and digital content production and distribution, worldwide television channel investments and the development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. Prior to joining SPE, Lynton had been President, Time Warner International; President, AOL International, and CEO, AOL Europe, since 2000, where he was responsible for the successful turnaround of AOL Europe, and for extending AOL's global leadership in Asia and Latin America. He joined Time Warner from the international media company Pearson plc, where he served as Chairman and CEO of Pearson's Penguin Group from 1996-2000. From 1992-1996, Lynton served as President of Hollywood Pictures, a division of the Walt Disney Company.

Ron Bass JD ’67 is a distinguished and prolific Hollywood film writer and producer with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. He received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Rain Man in 1988. His screenplays and producer credits include Mozart and the Whale, The Lazarus Child, Passion of Mind, Snow Falling on Cedars, Entrapment, Stepmom, What Dreams May Come, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Waiting to Exhale, When a Man Loves a Woman, The Joy Luck Club, and Rain Man. A native of Los Angeles, Ron received a J.D. degree in 1967 from Harvard Law School.

Stokely Chaffin AB ’92 is a film producer whose company, Stokely Chaffin Productions, was most recently affiliated with New Line Cinema, where she served as Executive Vice President of Development and Production from 2001 to 2005. For New Line, Chaffin oversaw such films as Snakes on a Plane, Freddy vs. Jason, and Friday after Next. Before joining New Line, Chaffin worked for seven years at Neal Moritz’s Original Film, producing such films as Sweet Home Alabama, I Know What You Did Last Summer 1 and 2, Out of Time, Soul Survivors, Held Up, Volcano, and HBO’s The Rat Pack. Chaffin lives in the Hollywood Hills with her six-month-old daughter Royce.

John Davis MBA ‘81, Chairman of Davis Entertainment Company, is one of Hollywood’s most prolific producers. His 70 plus film and television productions have earned more than $4 billion worldwide. Recent theatrical releases include Norbit, Eragon, When A Stranger Calls, and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. Some of Davis’ other feature film credits include Paycheck, Fat Albert, Daddy Day Care, First Daughter, Alien vs. Predator, I Robot, Garfield, Life or Something Like It, Behind Enemy Lines, Dr. Dolittle 1 & 2, Heartbreakers, Out to Sea, The Firm, Grumpy Old Men, Grumpier Old Men, Courage Under Fire, The Chamber, Daylight, Waterworld, Richie Rich, Predator 1 & 2, The Thing Called Love, License to Drive, and The Hunted. Davis’ small-screen credits include made-for-TV movies The Jessie Ventura Story, Little Richard, Asteroid, and Truman Capote’s One Christmas for NBC, Miracle at Midnight and Volcano: Fire on the Mountain for ABC, and This Can’t Be Love for CBS.

Lucy Fisher AB ’71 is a film producer and the former Vice Chairman of the Columbia Tri-Star Motion Picture Group. She is partnered with husband and Oscar-winning producer Douglas Wick as co-head of Red Wagon Entertainment and has worked with some of the most accomplished filmmakers in the world, most recently on Memoirs of a Geisha directed by Rob Marshall and Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes' Jarhead, starring Jamie Foxx and Jake Gyllenhaal. Fisher served as vice chairman at Sony Pictures from 1996-2000. Before moving to Sony, Fisher served 14 years as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Production at Warner Bros. Her numerous awards include the Producer’s Guild of America’s ‘David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures’. She is currently running for Harvard’s Board of Overseers. Fisher and Wick have 3 daughters, including Sarah ‘10.

Aleen Keshishian AB ’90 is a partner at Brillstein Grey Management. Her clients include Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laura Linney, Christina Ricci, Rodrigo Santoro, Julianna Margulies, Paul Rudd, Emily Mortimer and Freddie Prinze, Jr. Keshishian also represents directors Jesse Peretz, Frank E. Flowers and Alek Keshishian. In 1993, Keshishian was hired as an agent at ICM in New York where she worked for six years under the tutelage of Sam Cohn and Toni Howard. In 1999, she made the switch to become a manager and was hired to run the Talent Department at Artists Management Group (which was bought out by The Firm in 2002). Married to her college classmate Kit Troyer (who is a criminal defense attorney), Keshishian lives in Hancock Park with their two children Lulu, (5 ½) and Jesse (4).

Paul Attanasio AB ’81, JD ’84 wrote the screenplays for “Quiz Show” and “Donnie Brasco.” Both screenplays were nominated for the Academy Award. He is also an executive producer of the Emmy-winning hit Fox series “House” and created the critically-acclaimed NBC series, “Homicide: Life on the Street”, winner of three Peabody Awards. He received the British Academy Award for “Quiz Show” and has been honored as Screenwriter of the Year by both the National Association of Theater Owners and the London Film Critics Circle. A graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Law School , he was formerly the chief film critic of the Washington Post. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, producer Katie Jacobs, and their three children.

Debra Martin Chase JD ’81 is an Emmy nominated film and television producer. Her company, Martin Chase Productions, is an affiliate of the Walt Disney Company. Chase is the executive producer of THE CHEETAH GIRLS 2 and its platinum plus selling soundtrack, the hit sequels to the Disney Channel original musical and soundtrack. She produced THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS for Warner Brothers, and hit Disney films THE PRINCESS DIARIES, and THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT. She executive produced the Lifetime Television series, MISSING, and the Emmy-winning RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA for ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney. Chase was the producing partner of Whitney Houston in BrownHouse Productions from 1995 to 2000. Prior to that, she ran Mundy Lane Entertainment, Denzel Washington’s production company, where projects included DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, THE PREACHER’S WIFE, COURAGE UNDER FIRE, and HANK AARON: CHASING THE DREAM, a two-hour Oscar and Emmy Award-nominated documentary.

Dan Lin MBA ‘99 is a Senior Vice President of Production for Warner Bros. Pictures. He recently oversaw the development and production of the Academy Award-winning film, “The Departed”. He also oversaw the WB/Weinstein Co. re-introduction of the Teenage Mutant Turtles franchise, “TMNT.” Lin is overseeing several films that will be released in 2007 and 2008, including “The Invasion,” a sci-fi thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig; “10,000 B.C.” an action-adventure film directed by Roland Emmerich; and “Trick or Treat” a horror film produced by Bryan Singer. In addition to his work in domestic feature production, Lin also works with Warners’ Asia offices in the development of Chinese language films for Warners in China and Hong Kong. Lin received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1999 and received his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Keri Putnam AB ’87 is President of Production at Miramax, the Walt Disney Company’s specialty film division. Miramax's recent releases have included Patrick Stettner's "The Night Listener," Stephen Frears' "The Queen," Lasse Hallstrom's "The Hoax" and Roger Michell's "Venus." Putnam was previously at HBO Films, where she had been executive VP overseeing development and production. During her tenure at HBO, she was involved with some of the unit's most acclaimed projects, including Gus Van Sant's Palme D'Or winner "Elephant," Joseph Sargent's "Warm Springs," George Wolfe's "Lackawanna Blues" and the Fred Schepisi-helmed miniseries "Empire Falls." She had previously served as senior VP at HBO since 1999 and was veep at HBO NYC Prods. for three years prior to that, working on such projects as "If These Walls Could Talk," "In the Gloaming" and "Subway Stories."

Ed Zwick AB ’74 began his feature film career directing ABOUT LAST NIGHT. He went on to direct the Academy Award winning film GLORY, LEAVING NORMAL, the Academy Award winning LEGENDS OF THE FALL, COURAGE UNDER FIRE, THE SIEGE, THE LAST SAMURAI and BLOOD DIAMOND. Zwick and Bedford Falls Company partner Marshall Herskovitz also produced TRAFFIC -- winner of two Golden Globes and four Academy Awards -- as well as the Academy Award nominated film I AM SAM. Zwick and Herskovitz co-created the critically acclaimed television series THIRTYSOMETHING, MY SO-CALLED LIFE, RELATIVITY and ONCE AND AGAIN. His numerous other awards include three Emmys, the Humanitas Prize, the Writer’s Guild of America Award, two Peabody Awards, and a Director’s Guild of America Award; he received his first Academy Award as a producer for 1999’s Best Picture SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE.

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