Issue 52 | May 2009

* Message from Membership Directors Kibi & Angela
* Message from Mia
* Pencil Me In:

  • Harvardwood Music Panel: "Making Music in Tough Economic Times", May 2 - NYC
  • Harvardwood Arts First Panel: "Careers in the Arts, Media & Entertainment", May 2 - Boston
  • Harvardwood Presents ONDINE, followed by discussion w/set designer Pierre Francois Limbosch, May 3 - Boston
  • Harvardwood / Harvard Club Music Salon w/ The Simple Things, May 4 - SF
  • Harvardwood Volunteers at Children's Literacy Festival, Sat. May 9th - LA
  • Harvardwood New Media Panel: "The Future of the Multi-Screen Experience", May 20 - NYC

* Volunteers Needed for Actors Advisory Committee!
* Featured Member Posting: Seeking Assistant to A-List Writer/Producer
* Industry Successes
* Member Profile: Larry Tanz '92

Message from the Membership Directors

Happy May! As always, hope this email finds you doing well. Thanks to everyone who helped out with events last month - as always, we thank you for your support and contributions. As you will see below, there are plenty of Harvardwood Happenings this month, so we'll keep this short and let you read on - no matter where you are, hopefully you will be inspired to get involved!!

Cheers!
Angela and Kibi

Message from Mia

We're ringing in the month of May with a coast-to-coast smorgasbord of Harvardwood activities -- if you'll be in LA, NY, SF, or Boston, please stop by one of our events (info below)! And if you're elsewhere, let us know what events you'd like to see or help organize in your area...

- Mia

Pencil Me In...

Harvardwood Music Panel: "Making Music in Tough Economic Times", May 2 - NYC

Have you ever played in a band or sung in a choir and wished you could make a full time career out of what you love? Studied business and wished you could combine your passion for music with your MBA? Come hear our diverse panel of alumni discuss how they sustain a career in music even in tough economic times! Sat., May 2nd at 2:00 at the Theater Lab (137 W. 14th St) in NYC. Panel will be followed by networking reception. We may do an afterparty/open mic nite after 6pm so bring friends and talent and be ready to have a good time! Featuring panelists: Wesley Chinn '99, founder of Opera Omnia (Coronation of Poppea) and a multitalented violinist, singer and music administrator; Jared Hoffman '84, former president of Knitting Factory Entertainment and founder of Instinct Records; Ashley 1st '03, writer of the hit single "You're Just So Good" and regular performer at the Knitting Factory, Mercury Lounge, and Arlene's Grocery; David Rothenberg '84 author of two books and several cds inspired by natural sounds and professor of philosophy and music at New Jersey Institute of Technology; and Eve Sicular '83 drummer and producer who leads Metropolitan Klezmer (since 1994) and the Isle of Klezbos sextet. For more info and to register, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=58925

Harvardwood Arts First Panel: "Careers in the Arts, Media & Entertainment", May 2 - Boston

Harvardwood invites members of the Harvard community to an Arts First panel discussion with arts, media and entertainment professionals. Topics will include different career paths, networking tips, and advice on getting started in these fields. The event will be held on Sat., May 2nd from 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM at 10 Akron Street (Common Room) in Cambridge. Panelists include: Romolo Del Deo '82 (visual artist), Michael Einziger (current GSAS student and guitarist-songwriter for Incubus), Robert Kraft '76 (President of Fox Music), Mia Riverton '99 (actor-writer-producer and Harvardwood founder), Couper Samuelson '02 (producer/development exec, 2929 Productions), Amy Spies '75 (writer-producer, "Melrose Place"), and Claudia Weill '68 (director of film/TV/theater). Co-sponsored by the Office of Career Services. RSVP recommended: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=58170

Harvardwood Presents ONDINE, followed by discussion w/set designer Pierre Francois Limbosch, May 3 - Boston

Harvardwood is proud to cosponsor a production of ONDINE, a French play by Jean Giraudoux, directed by Guila Clara Kessou, in the presence of His Excellency Moussa Camara, Ambassador and Permanent Observer to the United Nations Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Featuring guest artist Pierre François Limbosch (Molière 2008, Best Set Designer). Sun. May 3rd, 4:30 pm, at the Garden Center for European Studies, 27 Kirkland Street, Cambridge. Performance to be followed by a discussion / Q&A session with set designer Pierre Francois Limbosch. Free Admission by RSVP. Tickets available at the Harvard Box Office: 617.496.2222

Harvardwood / Harvard Club Music Salon w/ The Simple Things, May 4 - SF

Harvard alum Kaitlin McGaw '00 will host a special Harvardwood / Harvard Club Salon Series with the jazz/acoustic soul trio The Simple Things. Featuring music described as "intimate and powerful" by Vice President of Jazz, Catalog and A&R at Concord Music Group Nick Phillips, this evening will be a chance to hear a live performance from this up-and-coming group before their May tour. Watch the sunset over the San Francisco skyline from this elegant apartment in SOMA, listen to an intimate performance by candlelight, and enjoy the company of fellow Harvard alumni. Monday, May 4, 2009, 6:30 - 7pm: Dinner and mingle; 7 - 8:30pm: Music performance, Q&A, and socialize. The Beacon, 250 King Street -- the exact location will be emailed to registrants a few days before the event. For more info and to register, please visit: http://www.harvardclubsf.org/events/index.asp#649

Harvardwood Volunteers at Children's Literacy Festival, Sat. May 9th - LA

Join Harvardwood, the Harvard Club of Southern California, and the Harvard Business School Association of Southern California for a "Global Day of Service" sponsored by the Harvard Alumni Association and Harvard Graduate School of Education! On Saturday, May 9th, Harvard alumni worldwide will come together and give back to their communities. In the Los Angeles area, alumni are invited to take 2 hours of their day to volunteer for "Raising Readers - A Literacy Festival," which seeks to instill a love of reading in the young children of our community. We are looking for energetic volunteers to help out in a variety of ways at this year's festival. Activities include, setting up in the morning, manning activity booths, dressing up as storybook characters, selling books, helping to serve food and beverages, and cleaning up at the end of the day. Sat. May 9th, 8:30 am - 5:30 pm at Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd. For more info and to register, please visit: https://secure.post.harvard.edu/olc/pub/HAA/events/HAA2226517.html

Harvardwood New Media Panel: "The Future of the Multi-Screen Experience", May 20 - NYC

Do you surf the Web while watching TV? Have you ever used your iPhone during a film? Watched your favorite TV show on Hulu or shared a clip on YouTube with friends? Harvardwood (in partnership with Stanford in Entertainment) invites you to hear a panel of industry experts (from MTV, A&E, Joost, etc) share their insights about "The Future of the Multi-Screen Experience"! Wed, May 20th, 6:30-7:00 pm Registration and wine reception, 7-8:30 pm Panel discussion, 8:30-9:00 pm Wine reception. Curious Pictures, 440 Lafayette Street, 6th floor. Space is limited and RSVP is required: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=59021

Volunteers needed for Actors Advisory Committee!

Harvardwood is starting an informal advisory committee to beef up (or tofu up :)) our services for Harvardwood actors. Help us help you! What do you need to: find work, showcase your talent, and raise your brand as a Harvardwood actor? The first meeting will be a brainstorming session to find out what you really need to succeed. We will be looking for great ideas and volunteers to help lead the charge! If you would like to help develop better services, workshops, panel discussions, and website features, please drop us a line: [email protected]

Featured Member Posting: Seeking Assistant to A-List Writer/Producer

Seeking intelligent, articulate full-time assistant for A-List writer/producer with projects in film, TV, music, and on Broadway. While job entails administrative and personal responsibilities, there’s a great deal of creative back and forth, so a breadth of knowledge and experience in the various areas is desirable. Theater background a real plus. Must have good phone manner and ability to represent writer on set and elsewhere. Must be savvy with Final Draft, Word, Entourage. Though LA-based, he travels often to New York, so ideal for those with family/friends in NYC. Great paid opportunity for aspiring writers... To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/networking/opening.asp?id=65582

Industry Successes...

At London's Chelsea Flower Show, Holly Alderman '71 presents Garden Banners, Classicism in Cyberspace. Holly Alderman's Garden Banners set the stage in the center tent of the Chelsea Flower Show, May 19-23 (hat tent SR-11). Inspired by Christo Gates, Alderman envisions outdoor tapestries of light with translucent Photoshop glazes of sculpture, landscape, gardens and architecture floating in the breeze or hot sun, fog or thunderstorms throughout the seasons. Alderman's environmental art appears in the May-June issue of the Boston Globe's Design New England Magazine and in April appeared at the Architectural Digest Home Decor Show in New York and the Boston Society of Architects Residential Design (and has been shown at the White House, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, on the blog 3QD, in Digital Graphics Magazine, Photo Marketing Association Magazine, and Great Output). View Garden Banners in Boston at the new showroom of Irish Natural Stone, beside the Design Center, 21 Drydock Ave., 7th Floor, and online at HollyAlderman.com. Later in May, Holly Alderman presents Garden Banners, Cyberspace in Classicism -- an outdoor stage set for New York's star duo Dance Gang to perform in an historic courtyard garden at the weekend art event, At Home with the Arts, an annual benefit for The Boston Home in Dorchester: reception on May 28, 6 to 8 pm.

ACT AS IF, a short documentary about legendary Harvard basketball coach, Kathy Delaney-Smith, is playing in the Boston International Film Festival at the Lowes Theatre/AMC Boston Common (175 Tremont St. by the theatre district) on April 20th, 6pm-8pm. The film was written, directed and produced by Melissa Johnson '01. "One woman’s secret to winning at life is to “act as if”, which transforms her from a feisty blue collar Boston kid into the championship basketball coach at Harvard where she masterminds one of the greatest victories of all time and overcomes cancer using the power of positive thinking. ACT AS IF is the story of Kathy Delaney-Smith, a diminutive jester-who-became-queen." Tickets/info: http://www.bifilmfestival.com/biffschedule.html

Uzma Hasan GSAS '03 was Associate Producer on TORMENTED which is being released by Warner Bros. on May 22 across the UK and in the US on July 10. The website is http://www.tormentedthemovie.com/ and http://blog.tormentedthemovie.com/?cat=21 and on IMDB http://pro.imdb.com/title/tt1100053/. It is a sexy British horror starring a host of young teen hearthrobs including Alex Pettyfer (WILD CHILD), Georgia King (THE DUCHESS) and April Pearson (SKINS). She is also currently in pre production for her first film as Producer; written by David Baddiel and to be directed by Josh Appignanesi, it's an acerbic comedy about a middle aged Muslim man who finds out that he is adopted and actually Jewish. It stars Richard Schiff (THE WEST WING), Archie Panjabi (A MIGHTY HEART), Art Malik (TRUE LIES), Matt Lucas (LITTLE BRITAIN) and Omid Djalili in the lead role. Revolver are distributing and Salt is doing international sales.

Don’t throw away your ballot! Harvardwood member Liz Ryan '81 has been nominated to run for Harvard Alumni Association Director. A member of the DGA, the PGA, and SAG, she was the 2008 recipient of the DGA’s Frank Capra Award . On the National Board of the DGA, and as Ex-Officio Chair of the Directors Guild-Producers Training Plan, she has mentored hundreds of aspirants to Hollywood. (For credits, see imdb.com) Active in fundraising for scholarships since graduation, Ryan says, “MY hope is to further Harvard's ability to support financial aid, and to increase its support of the arts, as well alumni groups such as Harvardwood and the Harvard Alumni for Social Action (HASA) united by common interests around the world. Please email me directly if you'd like to learn more, at [email protected]” Ryan lectures at USC, Boston University in Los Angeles, and Cal State, Northridge. She runs the entertainment company Ryanworks, and is a co-founder of Premiere Boards and Budgets, providing movie and television shooting schedules and budgets to the trade. At Harvard, she wrote for the Crimson, and was active in Quincy House and the Committee on Housing and Undergraduate Life. Please mail your ballots by May 22.

Member Profile: Larry Tanz '92

by Sean O’Rourke MAT ‘68

Imagine crossing the Sahara Desert on foot, running from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, covering 4,700 miles in 111 days. An international trio of long distance runners along with a scrappy film crew did just that.

RUNNING THE SAHARA is a documentary that follows runners Charlie Engle, Ray Zahab and Kevin Lin as they traverse the harsh terrain of six countries: Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya and Egypt where Africa’s beauty and hardships are unveiled. Former roommates Larry Tanz ’92, Keith Quinn ’92 and Matt Damon ’92 were pivotal members of the producing team behind RUNNING THE SAHARA.

Not only was the terrain of the Sahara one of the harshest in the world, the filming itself and passage through Africa proved to be the ultimate challenge for even the most seasoned long distance runners and experienced film crews. Unforgiving conditions such as extreme daytime temperatures over a hundred degrees and freezing temperatures at night, dehydration, stomach viruses, shin splits and exhaustion would plague the runners as they ran an average of 80 kilometers per day (the distance of two complete marathons).

The unpaved roads, crippled equipment-laden trucks and massive sand dunes could dismantle any attempts at navigation, and the intermittent sand storms would severely affect all visibility. In addition, political and diplomatic relations also threatened the expedition as the Libyan government would not approve entry into the country, even after Larry and Matt had flown to Washington for a meeting at the Libyan Embassy.

Larry and Keith spent several months on the ground in Africa producing the film, and Matt narrated and served as executive producer, helping secure music from U2, Pearl Jam and Wyclef Jean; he also got Hans Zimmer to produce the score.

While the original goal of the film was to chronicle the runners’ trials and tribulations of running across the entire Sahara, the issue and plight of Africa’s limited access to safe drinking water became a recurring theme while making the documentary as the team experienced the issue first hand on a daily basis.

In conjunction with the documentary Larry, Keith and Matt (along with several other partners) founded the H2OAfrica Foundation. With help from the ONE campaign of the United Nations and a grant from PepsiCo, the foundation has raised more than five million dollars to develop 147 water projects in Africa. For more information see www.HSOAfrica.org.

RUNNING THE SAHARA premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, has had a run on Showtime and was a featured presentation on iTunes. It is currently rolling out to 50 markets for special theatrical screenings. The DVD is available as well at www.runningthesahara.com, which also has the theatrical schedule.

Larry got his start in Hollywood at a multiplatform production company founded by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. He ran the company for five years as president and CEO and produced feature films (for Miramax, Universal and Dimension), television series (for HBO, MTV ABC, Bravo and E!) and new media projects (for MSN and Yahoo!).

His favorite stints were as producer on the Emmy-nominated “Project Greenlight” (HBO, Bravo) and working in Alaska as executive producer of the feature film “First Descent” (theatrically distributed by Universal and Lionsgate).

Larry and Keith are currently in post production on a documentary film entitled “Voices Unbound: The Story of the Freedom Writers,” which tells the “real” story of the teacher and students who were the subjects of “The Freedom Writers” starring Hilary Swank (Paramount).

In 2008 Larry started Agility Studios along with Keith and a third partner. With backing from a private equity fund, Agility Studios is investing in and managing businesses focused on multiplatform content.


 

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