Harvardwood

  • responded to Call for sketch comedy groups - LA 2015-08-10 15:03:47 -0700

    Call for sketch comedy groups - LA

    Sony Pictures Television and Tenth Planet Productions are currently searching for the best and funniest sketch comedy groups to participate in an 8 episode prime-time series for a major broadcast network. The first episode (PILOT) as currently scheduled shoots during the second half of October. The remaining 7 episodes are tentatively scheduled to shoot in late spring of 2016. 

    During each show, groups will be featured doing short comedy sketches that could range from any of these touchstones of sketch comedy: 

    • Original Characters

    • Celebrity Impressions

    • Mockumentary 

    • Commercial Parody

    • Musical Comedy

    • Fake Movie or TV Trailer

    • Fake Reality

    • Grounded Sketch

    • Themed Sketch

    All groups should have experience performing on-stage in front of a live audience and shooting comedic short films.  There will be celebrity comedy experts on-hand to critique each performance, and the live studio audience will play a big part in how performances get scored. The groups with the highest scores will have a chance to win a cash prize every week.

    The Biggest Laugh is not a typical elimination competition. We want to give every group the best possible chance to succeed, so groups will be given several opportunities to show off their comedic skills before the first group gets eliminated.  At the end of the series, one group will win the biggest prize of all and be declared the Biggest Laugh Champion.

    More info here: http://www.thebiggestlaugh.com/.


  • published Issue 127 | August 2015 in HIGHLIGHTS Magazine 2015-08-01 13:44:00 -0700

  • published August 2015 | Alexandra Petri '10 in Alumni Profiles 2015-07-31 19:44:03 -0700

    August 2015 | Alexandra Petri '10

    Alexandra_Petri.jpgAlexandra Petri AB '10
    (Playwright, Author, Washington Post Columnist/Blogger)

    By Dayna Wilkinson

    Photo courtesy of Trina Sobotka

    “I love being able to communicate with people and tell stories. People ask, ‘why do you spend so much time writing?’ Well, why do you eat cake?”

    Writer and humorist Alexandra Petri ‘10 had a happy but slightly unconventional upbringing. From the time she was a child, she traveled from Washington D.C. to Wisconsin to campaign for her father, former Congressman Tom Petri ’62, HLS ’80. “There were parades,” she recalls. “Lots of parades.”

    Alexandra was always a voracious reader, but not of the books you’d expect. “When I was really young my mom (Anne Neal ’77, HLS ’80) said she’d either read me her old art history text book or a graphic novel of Othello with the unabridged text.  I chose the latter, and just loved it, though as you’d expect a lot of it went over my head. After that, we’d read King Lear and other works out loud.”

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  • Seeking a volunteer to serve as Harvardwood Chicago's Co-Chapter Head!

    Chicago.jpgThe Chicago Chapter of Harvardwood is seeking an enthusiastic Co-Chapter Head to help direct Harvardwood programming and events in that region.

    We have a great volunteer interested in reviving Harvardwood's Chicago chapter, and we're seeking another volunteer to help serve as Co-Chapter Head. Ideally, this person is energetic, full of ideas, people smart, and able to organize events and programs effectively. In addition to having an interest in the arts, media, and entertainment, the Co-Chapter Head should be based in Chicago to help coordinate, for example, guest speaker events, film screenings, a writers' group, etc.

    If you are in the Chicagoland area and have an interest in cultivating the Harvard arts, entertainment, & media community in that region, please email programs@harvardwood.org to tell us more about yourself and your arts-related interests!


  • VIP Lunch with Noah Oppenheim AB '00

    Senior Vice President of NBC News, Executive-in-Charge of the Today show, and Screenwriter

    Noah_Oppenheim_Headshot_1_.jpgNoah Oppenheim is Senior Vice President of NBC News and Executive-in-Charge of the Today show.  He oversees all aspects of the morning show franchise – both broadcast and digital.  

    Also a screenwriter, Oppenheim co-wrote The Maze Runner, which has grossed $300M+ since its release, and the upcoming The Divergent Series:  Allegiant.  His original screenplay, Jackie, produced by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman is currently in production.

    Oppenheim began his career in news—leading political talk shows such as Hardball with Chris Matthews and Scarborough Country.  An Emmy winner, he also helped create Mad Money with Jim Cramer, has covered three presidential elections, and reported from Iraq, Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, and Libya. 

    Oppenheim has also served as Head of Unscripted and Digital Development at Reveille, the production company behind hits like The Office and The Biggest Loser.  While at Reveille, he created and executive produced primetime shows for NBC, Fox, MTV, and Lifetime, as well as online programming for a variety of brands and platforms.  

    Oppenheim is co-author of the New York Times bestselling series, The Intellectual Devotional.  His essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Men's Health, and The Weekly Standard.

    Estimated Value: Priceless!
    Starting Bid: $100
    Bid Increments: $15

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  • published Issue 126 | July 2015 in HIGHLIGHTS Magazine 2015-07-01 11:23:04 -0700

  • Exclusive Q&A with JOSH BRENER '07 (Actor) & MARC BRENER (Writer-Director) of THE RUMPERBUTTS

    Congratulations to the talented Brener Brothers, whose indie musical comedy The Rumperbutts—starring Mates of State duo Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel, Arian Moayed (Appropriate BehaviourRosewater), and Vanessa Ray (Pretty Little Liars, Blue Bloods)—was recently released in theaters and on AmazonGooglePlayiTunes, and Vimeo.

    brenersredcarpet.jpg

    About The Rumperbutts: A married indie band duo (Mates of State) regretfully takes a job on a children's show The Rumperbutts. Despite money and success, their relationship turns to one of resentment. On one extraordinary evening, a magical man (Josh Brener) leads them on a path of rediscovery and gives them a second chance at happiness. Featuring original music by Mates of State.

    Actor Josh Brener AB '07 (above, left) has appeared on MaronThe Internship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, and Workaholics. He currently plays Big Head on HBO's hit series Silicon Valley.

    Marc Brener (above, right) wrote and directed The Rumperbutts. Marc is also known for his work on Say It Ain't Solo

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  • published July 2015 | Megan Amram '10 in Alumni Profiles 2015-06-30 18:52:12 -0700

    July 2015 | Megan Amram '10

    Megan Amram AB ‘10 
    (Author & Comedy Writer, Silicon ValleyParks & RecScience… For Her!)

    amram.jpgBy D. Dona Le

    Most classical musicians start taking lessons in early childhood. Olympic-level athletes often begin training as soon as they’ve learned to walk.

    But contrary to what her meteoric career as a comedy writer would suggest, Megan Amram ‘10 didn’t sprout from her mother’s forehead, fully formed and armed with the mighty pen. In fact, Amram wasn’t even funny as a child, describing herself instead as a math and science nerd.

    Her first foray into comedy writing happened shortly before college, when she took a comedy class offered at her high school. With the encouragement of her teacher, Amram considered a career in comedy writing as “something that maybe I could do” for the first time.  

    Maybe was quite the understatement. Five years after high school—about five months after Amram arrived in Los Angeles after graduating from Harvard—she landed her first writing job… for The Academy Awards.

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  • published May 2015 | Dan Goor '97 in Alumni Profiles 2015-06-03 22:29:01 -0700

    May 2015 | Dan Goor '97

    Dan Goor '97 (Co-Creator, Executive Producer, Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

    By Dayna Wilkinson

    goor.jpg“When I went to college I wanted to be a doctor and a comedian—like my idol Jonathan Miller, from the British comedy revue Beyond the Fringe.”

    Dan’s twin interests can be traced back to his upbringing in Bethesda, Maryland down the street from the National Institutes of Health. “I’ve always been very interested in science and molecular biology,” he says. “I grew up with it—my Dad and everyone around us worked at NIH. Scientists describe what they do as stories, and I think that fostered my fascination with storytelling.”

    His appetite for comedy emerged early. “My brother was a really talented pianist--he’s four years older. While he’d practice, I’d read Woody Allen short stories to him. We got hold of a video camera and spent hours making up sketch comedy routines and cracking each other up. We imitated what made us laugh on TV--Saturday Night Live, Monty Python, televangelists...”

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  • published Issue 125 | June 2015 in HIGHLIGHTS Magazine 2015-06-02 19:11:29 -0700

  • published June 2015 | Claudia Weill '69 in Alumni Profiles 2015-06-02 13:10:47 -0700

    June 2015 | Claudia Weill '69

    weill.jpgClaudia Weill '69 (Theatre, Film & TV Director, Girlfriends, thirtysomething, The Belle of Belfast)

    By Dayna Wilkinson

    Claudia Weill didn’t set out to be a director.  A first generation American, she grew up drawing and painting: “the arts were to my Swiss family what sports are to an American family, what you did on weekends.”  After her junior year in college, a summer job changed everything. “I was a PA on a documentary about the ‘Summer of Love’, 1967 in the Haight-Ashbury. I was happy to do anything, from taking publicity stills to casting and locations, dropping the director’s laundry off on the way to the film lab, making meals for fifty and interviewing folks on camera. It was way too much fun to go back to school after that summer.”

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  • Feature YOUR company product, service, and gift certificates in our inaugural Summer Silent Auction

    Harvardwood is having an online silent auction this summer, and we are requesting donations of YOUR company's services, items, products, and/or gift certificates to feature in the first-ever Summer Silent Auction 2015.

    sundance.jpgWe are especially thrilled that, thanks to the generosity of the Sundance Institute, our feature auction item will be a Sundance Film Festival ticket package for two people, to be used during the second weekend of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. This includes 2 tickets each to 6 pre-selected films (2 tickets to 2 films each on Friday, January 29; Saturday, January 30; and Sunday, January 31, 2016 – a total of 12 tickets); 2 festival guest credentials (priority admittance to non-theatre festival venues such as Sundance House, Filmmaker Lodge, and the Music Café); 2 tickets to the Awards Party on Saturday, January 29, 2016; and a Sundance Film Festival catalog. This package is valued at $650.

    Please complete the form below to let us know what you can donate. Example items include signed film/TV/sports memorabilia; set visits to your current show; gift certificates for gym/studio memberships, spa treatments, hotels and resorts, restaurants, etc.; signed books; jewelry and artwork; movie/festival ticket packages; and professional lessons or consultations.

    We are deeply grateful in advance for your support of Harvardwood. All auction proceeds will go toward the Harvardwood Fund. Harvardwood is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and all donations to Harvardwood are 100% tax-deductible. Find out more about what it means to become a Harvardwood supporter

    Donate Your Item



  • Associate Trends & Entertainment Writer - NY

    Company: The Dodo
    Location: New York, NY
    Start Date:
    Type of Position:  Full-Time
    Minimum Education Level:
    Minimum Years of Experience:

    Job Description: The Dodo is looking for funny, strong, creative writers who can create entertaining animal-related content and cover trending issues, from heartwarming rescues to viral videos. Candidates should appreciate animal causes, and be able to write and edit engaging original content (stories, listicles, quizzes, etc) tailored to The Dodo’s audience of social sharers.

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  • published Issue 124 | May 2015 in HIGHLIGHTS Magazine 2015-05-01 11:56:51 -0700

  • published Exclusive Q&A with JODI REDMOND, Producer in The #HWIRE 2015-04-23 16:17:08 -0700

    Exclusive Q&A with JODI REDMOND, Producer

    By Sara Lynne Wright

    Screen_Shot_2015-04-23_at_4.14.39_PM.pngTHIS YEAR AT SUNDANCE, The Witch, produced by Jodi Redmond GSE '08, received the Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic and then was acquired by A24 & DirecTV (U.S. distribution rights) and Universal Pictures International Productions (foreign rights).

    New England, 1630. William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassable wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. In his debut feature, writer/director Robert Eggers painstakingly designs an authentic re-creation of New England - generations before the 1692 trials in Salem -- evoking the alluring and terrifying power of the timeless witch myth. Told through the eyes of Thomasin, the teenage daughter (in a star-making performance by Anya Taylor-Joy), and supported by haunting camera work and an ominous score, The Witch is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.

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  • We need volunteer READERS for the Harvardwood Publishing anthology!

    Harvardwood Publishing is seeking volunteer readers and judges for our upcoming anthology, which is expected to be published this summer.

    The Seven Deadly Sins is an anthology of original fiction (poetry and short stories) for which we are currently seeking submissions (through April 15, 2015) and for which we will also require readers and judges.

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  • published Lead Editor (Humor & Entertainment) - LA in Job Listings 2015-04-06 12:13:44 -0700

    Lead Editor (Humor & Entertainment) - LA

    Company: Whalerock Industries / howardstern.com
    Location: Santa Monica, CA
    Start Date:
    Type of Position:  Full-Time
    Minimum Education Level: Bachelor's
    Minimum Years of Experience: 7-10 years (at least 4 years online)

    Job Description: Seeking an experienced senior Lead Editor, 7-10 years (at least 4 years online) with a proven background in new media to run day to day operations for howardstern.com. The ideal candidate will work across multiple teams, and should demonstrate the ability to effectively manage a bi-coastal editorial team.  Position will include traditional editorial responsibilities (writing, photo selection, publishing), and requires one to maintain the editorial calendar of the site, inform and support strategic business and social media initiatives, drive PR announcements and escalate outreach campaigns, be the public face of the site, support the management of day to day and long term operational editorial production, and work with ad sales on dynamic product integration. 

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  • published April 2015 | Colleen McGuinness '99 in Alumni Profiles 2015-04-01 13:24:19 -0700

    April 2015 | Colleen McGuinness '99

    Colleen_McGuinness_3_Getty_Images_for_Glamour_Photo_by_Astrid_Stawiarz.jpgColleen McGuinness '99 (Comedy Writer-Producer, About a Boy30 Rock)

    By Sara Lynne Wright

    “A lot of recent graduates, especially Harvard students, want to do the responsible thing and have a job lined up when they move to Hollywood, but it’s really hard to do that unless you already live here.”

    Comedy writer-producer Colleen McGuinness has practiced what she preaches.

    As a writer for film and television, including 30 ROCK and ABOUT A BOY, she has no shame admitting that when she first moved out to L.A., she was unemployed.

    Half-Korean and half-Irish but raised by her Irish-Norwegian grandparents since she was six months old, Colleen says the feeling of being an outsider is part of what has fueled her to write.

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  • Harvardwood Toronto Co-Hosts A SIX-STRING HISTORY OF AMERICA — April 8th!

    On April 8, 2015, the Harvard Club of Toronto and Harvardwood Toronto are pleased to present:

    A Six-String History of America with historian, guitarist and singer/songwriter Jay Pilzer. He describes his most recent book, also titled A Six-String History of America,  as "a series of essays that look at American history through the lens of guitars, the guitar industry, and the music made on them."

    Learn more about this FREE event and RSVP!


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