Issue 38 | March 2008

  • Message from the Membership Directors
  • Message from Mia
  • 2008 Harvardwood Screenplay Competition -- Deadline March 31
  • Harvardwood Summer Internship Program
  • Member Profile: Marshall Lewy '99
  • Industry (and Personal) Successes
  • Pencil Me In
  • Featured Member Posting: Seeking Director, NBC Digital Entertainment Special Projects

Message from the Membership Directors

Happy March! Ah, change is in the air. Whether you're off to SXSW or waiting for the snow to let up, keep us posted on your whereabouts and whatabouts. For now, enjoy our member profile on Marshall Lewy '99. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this issue!

Angela and Kibi

Message from Mia

It's almost time to set the clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time, which means we'll be that much closer to the March 31 deadline for the 2008 Harvardwood Screenplay Competition! We look forward to reading the latest material from all you talented Harvardwood screenwriting types (details below)...


2008 Harvardwood Screenplay Competition -- Deadline March 31

Harvardwood is pleased to announce our third annual Harvardwood Screenplay Competition, sponsored by top management-production company Circle of Confusion. We will be accepting script submissions via email and post from March 1 - March 31, 2008. The winning script and runners up will be read by producers, execs, agents, and other industry professionals, and the author(s) will be considered for representation by Circle of Confusion. The first place winner will also receive a cash prize and free year of Full Membership to Harvardwood... For more details and entry forms, please visit:

Harvardwood 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:

Member Profile: Marshall Lewy '99

by Stacey Collins

Marshall Lewy '99 is a name to remember. He wrote and directed his debut feature film BLUE STATE starring Academy Award winner Anna Paquin and Breckin Meyer. BLUE STATE premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival and is being distributed worldwide by MGM.

The film has semi-autobiographical elements. After finishing film school at Columbia University, Marshall drove from New York to Los Angeles. As chance would have it, the ‘04 presidential election coincided with his cross-country trip. He stopped over in Ohio to campaign for John Kerry. Disappointed by the election results, Marshall harnessed his frustration into the inspiring character of John Logue, who follows through with his promise of moving to Canada if George W. Bush is re-elected. Some of the opening scenes of his protagonist knocking on doors are based on actual events.

After arriving in L.A., Marshall completed the screenplay for BLUE STATE. He gave it to fellow alum Andrew Paquin ’00 – they had met as undergraduates and had already worked together on a short film. Andrew read the script, liked it, and came on board to produce. Andrew subsequently passed the script on to his sister, actress Anna Paquin, who also responded to the project. With Anna attached as the female lead, they were able to complete financing for the film. By Christmas they were in Winnipeg doing pre-production work. Shooting took place that spring. Adam Stein ‘99 was the editor for the film. Marshall and Adam knew each other from their undergraduate days as well. Of Adam, Marshall says, “I was excited to have a working relationship with someone I could trust.”

BALKANIZATION was Marshall’s first short film, about a war photographer returning home from the conflict in 1990s Yugoslavia. It starred Mark Feuerstein and appeared in a number of film festivals. Marshall had wanted to make this short film for a while when he ran into Andrew Paquin at a mutual friend’s birthday party. Andrew, working in finance at the time, offered to lend a hand. Marshall said he had heard this kind of offer frequently but that Andrew “really stepped up” and carried through in helping make his first short film.

Marshall values his friendships and relationships from Harvard. He feels that the bonds continue long after you leave Cambridge. As he says, “You’ll certainly be running into your classmates long after college.”

What’s next for Marshall Lewy? His second feature, EXODUS, is being produced by Ross Katz (LOST IN TRANSLATION, IN THE BEDROOM). EXODUS is a drama about three friends who take a trip to Jamaica, where things fall apart under difficult circumstances. Marshall also has an hour-long television pilot in the works.

Of filmmaking, Marshall says it “was always something [he] wanted to do.” A Russian History & Literature concentrator, he was involved with the campus television station Harvard-Radcliffe Television. At HRTV he was the Executive Producer for an original sitcom called The Asylum, about college roommates who operate a bar from their dorm room.

During his college summers, Marshall worked as a production assistant on movie sets. The New York native traveled to Baltimore to work on WASHINGTON SQUARE, directed by Agnieska Holland. His consistency in learning about filmmaking even materialized during a semester abroad in Russia. During that time, he interned at the Moscow Film Archives, working with animation archives going back to the 1920s.

After graduating from Harvard, Marshall headed out to L.A. and worked at Fine Line Features in acquisitions and development. He “learned a ton from that,” but he wanted to be on the creative side of the business. He also worked on the set of HOLLYWOOD ENDING, a film directed by none other than fellow New Yorker Woody Allen. Marshall received his MFA in directing from Columbia University. While at Columbia, he received the prestigious FMI Fellowship for screenwriting and was a finalist in the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmakers Award contest.

When probed for advice to neophytes, Marshall acknowledges the balancing act of networking and building a resume, but he emphasizes the need to “do that thing that you want to do. If you want to write, write; if you want to direct, shoot things.”

Clearly, this talented filmmaker is a good example to follow.

Industry (and Personal) Successes...

The Directors Guild of America has awarded the 2008 Frank Capra Award to Liz Ryan for "career achievement and service to the Guild."

Peter Fox '72 is directing his play ACTS OF GOD, published by Samuel French, which opens at the Ojai Art Center Theatre March 21st and runs until April 19th. For tickets call 805 640 8797 or for group sales call 310 963 2358.

Sara Melson has released her debut record, "Dirty Mind," on Nettwerk Records. The album was featured worldwide on the iTunes music store homepage and reached #64 on the iTunes pop chart within 2 days of its release. The first track was prominently featured in a recent episode of Grey's Anatomy, and the video for the same song was selected for Yahoo Music's Who's Next User's Choice. Sara was featured on the Myspace music homepage last month. Her album is now available on iTunes, and at Amoeba and Virgin Megastores. For licensing inquiries, please contact [email protected], or [email protected] Tour dates and LA shows can be found on the website:

An independent film executive-produced by Todd Senturia ’86 will be premiering at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival next month in Austin, TX. Humboldt County is a comedic drama about a disillusioned medical student who is stranded for a summer in a remote community of counterculture pot farmers, the last place in the world he imagined he would discover himself. It stars Fairuza Balk (The Craft, Almost Famous, American History X), Frances Conroy (The Aviator, HBO's "Six Feet Under"), Brad Dourif (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Lord of the Rings, HBO's "Deadwood"), and Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, HBO's "The Sopranos"), among others. "Humboldt County" is an intelligent, entertaining, and engaging film reminiscent of the classic coming-of-age films of the late 60s and early 70s. It premiers on Friday, March 7 @ 6:00pm at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz in Austin and has two other screenings at the festival on March 11th and March 13th. See www.humboldtcountymovie.comor more details.

Will Burke '99 and his wife Anne Allaire Burke (UMass Amherst ’96) welcomed their second child onto planet earth on January 22. Their son Liam (age 2 1/2) is delighted by the arrival of his little sister, though he’s still confused as to the whereabouts of her penis.

Pencil Me In...

Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals -- the country's oldest theater company -- is having their 160th year of musical drag burlesque this year. Come enjoy the bawdiest drag burlesque in Harvard Square IN NEW YOR CITY! Mention Harvardwood for a member discount: The Kaye Box Office, ast 68th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues, (212) 772-4448

Featured Member Posting: Seeking Director, NBC Digital Entertainment Special Projects

Identify new growth opportunities and market trends in digital media. Provide creative and analytical support for Digital Entertainment content initiatives for NBCU Digital Entertainment properties, (including, NBC Direct). Drive/support existing or future digital brand & content initiatives that maximize NBCU audiences across platforms. Support original or derivative content (from internal businesses, series, and brands) development and production. To view full posting, please visit:



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