Issue 30 | July 2007

  • Message from the Membership Directors
  • Message from Mia
  • Member Profile: Gabrielle Zevin '00
  • Industry Successes
  • Featured Member Posting: Positions Available at Participant Productions
  • Pencil Me In

Message from the Membership Directors

Hope everyone's having a relaxing summer and that you are planning to join us for our intern/alum events this coming week.

Enjoy this month's profile on Gabrielle Zevin '00 as you lounge in the sun! 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

Just wanted to give a shout-out to my friend and Harvardwood member Adam Stein '99, who has spent his summer competing with dozens of other filmmakers on the new reality show ON THE LOT (Tues. nights on Fox at 8:00 pm). As of tonight, he has made it into the group of top 6 finalists...please watch the show and vote early and often for our boy!

Also, hope to see those of you who are in the LA area at The Simpsons Movie drive-in event with our frenemies at Yale in Hollywood this Sat., Aug. 3rd :


Member Profile: Gabrielle Zevin '00

by Kim Bendheim

Gabrielle Zevin's '00 second novel, MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE AMNESIAC, is coming out in September. Her first, ELSEWHERE, is about fifteen year old Liz, who dies in a car accident and finds herself in Elsewhere, living life backwards in the company of her grandmother and her adopted dog Sadie. The novel has many sweetly humorous touches, such as the dog's being named for a Beatles song and a ship captain who, having lived life backwards, becomes a toddler doing a big job. As we discover, there's an order in Elsewhere. It's just the opposite of what you'd expect on earth.

Zevin has a fertile imagination and, along with her partner Hans Canosa '93 (Harvardwood Highlights member profile 01/07), has 5 film projects ready to go. Unlike other writers who specialize in either writing fiction or writing screenplays, Zevin goes back and forth between genres. She wrote the screenplay for CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER WOMEN, directed by Canosa. The film has an unusual split screen perspective, showing a man and a woman in a hotel room at the same time. It was experimental and not meant to be a blockbuster, explained Zevin. The DVD, released in January, has done very well in Europe and abroad, where it has been released in 50 countries.

Talking about her experience at Harvard, Zevin stresses the importance of making good connections, rather than many. When she met Canosa, he was a nonresident tutor at Cabot, and it is safe to say that for both of them, this connection is at the root of a fruitful and ongoing partnership. "It's nice to be with someone over a long period of time creatively. You learn to speak the same language," said Zevin.
A lot of her creative preoccupation has to do with memory. Her next book, MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE AMNESIAC, is about a girl who falls downstairs and loses four years of her life. Some of the memories lost from those four years include her parents' divorce and 9/11. The girl's coming of age without full memory raises the question for Zevin: is a person more than their memories and experiences? What defines character?

Zevin's own character was shaped in part by her supportive parents, both of whom worked at IBM. Her father worked in the creative lab, showing large commercial vendors how IBM products could be integrated into their jobs. Zevin remembers, "His office looked like Epcot [Center]." Her mother worked in marketing at IBM, but she also came home and painted. There were books all over the house. "My parents were always much more interested in life after 5PM," said Zevin, smiling. Perhaps as a result, both parents supported her wish to make art.

Zevin's father is Russian Jewish and her mother is Korean. Zevin has exotic looks and a calm, even demeanor. She states modestly that she didn't feel like a success at Harvard. She spent a lot of time in her room reading, in a cocoon-like period. Still, when she graduated from Harvard, she had a manager. A script of hers was optioned right out of college. Regardless, Zevin believes that success at Harvard is not a prerequisite for success later and advises students interested in film and entertainment to gather information, as she did, and concentrate on making good connections rather than many. She's grateful to Harvard for giving her this time to cocoon and grow. At Harvard, she majored in English, and she took no creative writing courses. Obviously, she didn't need to.

Her own creative path seems to have unfolded smoothly, in several different directions. For instance, she didn't necessarily think she'd write a novel. An experience writing a play on commission had gone poorly, and thinking about how her idea – the idea that bloomed into ELSEWHERE – wasn't going to be a screenplay, she sat down and wrote the much-praised young adult novel.

Zevin has strong opinions about what she likes and doesn't like, which could be why she's been commissioned to write a book review for THE NEW YORK TIMES. "People talk about critics being irrelevant because of the Internet, but you can't have good movies unless you have good critics," she states. Zevin herself became a critic at age fourteen when she wrote a letter to her local newspaper, strongly disagreeing with a concert review. The editor of the newspaper called her up and asked if she wanted to write reviews for the paper, THE FORT LAUDERDALE SUN SENTINEL. She got free concert tickets, plus she was paid $25.00 per review. She remembers it as being "the best job ever," until she got burned out on writing reviews. By then she was off to Harvard, and her next creative adventure had begun.

Zevin now lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with Canosa and their pug, Mrs. DeWinter. They form a creative trio. Although Mrs. DeWinter isn't featured in Zevin's first novel, dogs and the language of canine play an important role in the book. Taking long walks in New York with Mrs. DeWinter helps Zevin's creative process. Which of her current screenplays will be made first remains an open question. What isn't in doubt is that at least one of her projects with Canosa will come to fruition

Industry Successes...

LAURA SMILES, the independent film produced by Richard Arthur KSG '03 and Robert Cain (Harvard College), opened in New York to rave reviews on July 27th. Variety said that it "could be the Indie American Beauty". LAURA SMILES opens this Friday August 3rd in Los Angeles at Laemmle Music Hall and stars Jonathan Silverman, Petra Wright and Kip Pardue. Visit the website

A.J. Lewis '99 is an Emmy nominee for "Behind the Lyrics," a doc series he created and produced for Los Angeles broadcaster KHIZ-TV. Series follows emerging singer/songwriters trying to break into the music business. Additionally, Lewis produces the AMC series "Shootout" with Peter Bart and Peter Guber and is going to pilot on his late night celebrity bowling show "Up Your Alley" for Buena Vista Television.

Karyn Langhorne HLS '89 has been selected as a contestant on the reality show "The Ultimate Author" which begins taping in August. She is the author of four novels, most recently UNFINISHED BUSINESS, published by Avon in June 2007. Details about the air date of The Ultimate Author will be available on its website

Bitsie Tulloch '03 is currently shooting 3 films including "Lakeview Terrace," directed by Neil LaBute and starring Samuel L. Jackson,Kerry Washington, and Patrick Wilson, and "Vacuuming the Cat," starring Barbara Hershey and Ron Perlman.

Alumna Rosylyn Rhee '99 was recently promoted to the new Documentary Coordinator for the Music Center, Performing Arts Center of LA County. She will make short documentaries and multi-media presentations on the work that the Music Center does in schools. Check out Rhee recently screened excerpts of her work at The Hive Gallery in a show called "Korean-Americans: The New Face of Terror."

Zadoc Angell '03 was recently promoted to TV Literary Agent at Paradigm.

Inger Tudor (BA/JD) won the Best Actress festival award at MOCKFEST 2007, the Mockumentary Film Festival of Los Angeles, for her role in "The Making of Grits," which was chosen as an Official Selection for this season, and was also honored as a Best Mockumentary Short Nominee.

British feature film CASHBACK, based on an Oscar-nominated short associate produced by Winnie Li AB '00, was released in US theatres on Friday, July 20th. As it's on a limited engagement, be sure to catch it in on the big screen while you can. You may have already seen CASHBACK, which consistently ranked in the top 10 short film downloads on iTunes. The short won the top prize at fifteen international film festivals, and the feature has won similar acclaim on the festival circuit. Check out the official website at You'll be able to watch trailers and clips online, too, and distributor, Magnolia Pictures, will release the DVD shortly.

Featured Member Posting: Positions Available at Participant Productions

Want to work for the good guys in the movie business? Participant Productions, the social action production company that produced “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Syriana,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” and 2007 releases “The Kite Runner,” based on the best-selling book, as well as “Charlie Wilson’s War,” starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, is looking for exceptional employees to join our digital team. Good movies, great messages, even better people. Each position is a ground floor opportunity with our new, fully budgeted 'social action network' to team with senior management, content creators, and talent across media, social action and technology industries... To view full posting, please visit:

Pencil Me In...

02138, the new independent magazine about Harvard alumni, is seeking to boost its arts and entertainment coverage. Whether you’re a writer, director, producer, animator, or key grip, we’re eager to hear about your upcoming projects. The magazine circulates to thousands of alumni, and is an excellent source of publicity for Harvard artists and filmmakers. Please write to Lindsey McCormack '02 at [email protected] with any updates, questions, or tips.

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