Issue 66 | July 2010

* Director's Notes
* Message from Mia
* Pencil Me In:


  • Harvardwood Heads To...The Art & Science of Stage Hypnosis w/ Dr. Ali Binazir, Thurs., July 1
  • Harvardwood Seminar Series: Researching and Writing Mayhem with Gregg Hurwitz '95, Thurs., July 15


  • Harvardwood Presents THOMAS FLEMING: Romance, Spies, and Bunker Hill, Wed., July 14
  • Harvardwood Food & Wine: Jeannie Cho Lee on Matching Wine with Asian Cuisines, Tues., July 20
  • Harvardwood Presents ROMANTIC JAZZ FOR A SUMMER EVENING: Thos Shipley (w/ Jerome Harris '73), Thurs., July 29

* Apply for the Harvardwood Mentorship Program (HMP)! - LA
* Business Opportunities
* Harvardwood Film Festival UPDATE
* Submit for the 2010 Harvardwood Writers' Competition - deadline JULY 30
* Seeking new participants for the NYC Harvardwood Writers' Groups - NY
* Calling all Summer Interns!
* Changing your email address? How to update your account.
* Industry Successes
* Harvardwood Artist Showcase
* Featured Member Posting: International Agent Seeking assistant/agent trainee - LA
* Member Profile: Gregg Hurwitz '95

Director's Notes

Spies, mayhem, hypnosis...what more do you need to make your summer an exciting one!? July is turning out to be a pretty thrilling month on the Harvardwood front. Get inspired by Thomas Fleming's sensational account of the American Revolution (not your mom's history class for sure). Or experience first-hand Gregg Hurwitz' close encounter with Russian soldiers...and this is just to name a few! In addition to attending these great events and more, you can let your own creativity shine by submitting for the 2010 Harvardwood Writers' Competition (deadline July 30) or the first annual Harvardwood Film Festival (deadline July 23). We are especially excited to begin accepting applications for the new Harvardwood Mentorship Program this month, be sure to read on for more details about that (deadline July 23). In a nutshell, there's plenty to take advantage of so, don't miss me too much...I am off to get hitched and honeymooned this month, wish me luck!!

-- Kelley

Message from Mia

Another month, another fabulous Harvardwood Writers Program event... The recent HWP TV Pilot showcase held at the WGA West was a great success, thanks to our writers, actors, director Adam Stein, producer/HWP TV director Allison Kiessling, and all the other hardworking volunteers.

Melvoin.jpgExtra-special thanks and gratitude to our generous sponsor/mentor (and Harvardwood advisory board member) Jeff Melvoin, who also taught a master class for the HWP TV writers last week!

If you are a producer, director, agent, manager, or executive interested in perusing the menu of available scripts from the recently concluded HWP TV pilot module, please contact us with your name and company info at: [email protected]

-- Mia

Pencil Me In...

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...The Art & Science of Stage Hypnosis w/ Dr. Ali Binazir, Thurs., July 1

What is hypnosis? How does it work? Will I lose all my willpower if I'm hypnotized? Can I be hypnotized? Can anyone be hypnotized? And, most important, will my roommate quack like a duck, dance like Madonna and quit smoking all at once? In The Art & Science of Hypnosis, Dr. Ali Binazir -- clinical hypnotherapist, trained physician, lapsed scientist, curator of the absurd and purveyor of the fantastic -- will bring the stage show that played to packed houses in Oxford U. and Cambridge U. to Los Angeles…Dr. Ali will bring his mix of erudite storytelling and hilarious routines that's certain to have you laughing in astonishment at the power of the human mind…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Seminar Series: Researching and Writing Mayhem with Gregg Hurwitz '95, Thurs., July 15

Gregg Hurwitz ‘95 is the critically acclaimed, internationally bestselling author of "The Tower,” "Minutes To Burn,” and "Do No Harm,” among many others. In addition to his books being nominated for numerous awards, he is currently a consulting producer on ABC’s "V,” and has written screenplays for Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Paramount Studios, MGM, and ESPN….In the course of researching his thrillers, he has sneaked onto demolition ranges with Navy SEALs, swam with sharks in the Galápagos, and gone undercover into mind-control cults….To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents THOMAS FLEMING: Romance, Spies, and Bunker Hill, Wed., July 14

The story of the Revolution is one of romance, intrigue, heartbreak, adventure and more! Join us for an exciting talk with acclaimed American Revolution historian and historical novelist, Thomas Fleming, who probably knows more about the Revolution than anyone alive. He's the author of 43 books, many of them best sellers, and appears frequently on PBS, The History Channel, and C-Span…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Food & Wine: Jeannie Cho Lee on Matching Wine with Asian Cuisines, Tues., July 20

Asian cuisines and European wine evolved independently, and many find matching the two tricky. But a well-chosen wine with great Asian food can be one of life's greatest pleasures. Jeannie Cho Lee K'2000 is the world's leading authority on matching wine with Asian flavors. Join us for a sumptuous Asian feast and half a dozen spectacular wines as Jeannie shows how wine can bring out the best in Asian cuisines…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents ROMANTIC JAZZ FOR A SUMMER EVENING: Thos Shipley (w/ Jerome Harris '73), Thurs., July 29

This exquisite evening of jazz will feature five-time MAC Award winner for Outstanding Jazz Vocalist, Thos Shipley! The New York Post called him "Awesomely talented . . . " Harper's Bazaar wrote "A link in the line of charismatic performers from Nat Cole to Al Jarreau to Luther Vandross. Vocals--ultrasuede; scat--undulating; funk--sleek." Joining Shipley will be a Harvardwood favorite (and Full Member), bassist Jerome Harris '73, keyboardist David Budway, and drummer Emedin Rivera…To view full posting, please visit:

Apply for the Harvardwood Mentorship Program (HMP)! - LA

Harvardwood is pleased to announce the launch of our new Harvardwood Mentorship Program (HMP)! The HMP aims to foster meaningful professional relationships by matching Harvard graduates with more established alums in their field for a period of nine months of one-on-one career mentoring. We are currently seeking mentors and mentees for the 2010-2011 season...To view full posting, please visit:

Business Opportunities

From time to time, both in the past and in the future, Harvardwood is approached with business opportunities for our members. As part of our mission to provide information and resources to the Harvardwood community, we pass such opportunities on to our members. Our members should be aware, though, that we do not investigate or screen these opportunities in any thorough way, and that we expect our members to use the same careful business judgment on opportunities that come through Harvardwood that they would use on opportunities coming from any other source. In particular, we strongly urge anyone entering into a business agreement to get the advice of a qualified attorney.

Harvardwood Film Festival UPDATE

SAVE THE DATE! We are excited to announce that the 1st Annual Harvardwood Film Festival has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 14th at the LA Film School in Hollywood. We will feature a program of short films and at least one feature film. Stay tuned for other exciting events as well. All entries previously submitted will be considered for admission. In addition, we are re-opening the submission process for a limited time…To view full posting, please visit:

Submit for the 2010 Harvardwood Writers' Competition - deadline JULY 30

Started in 2006, the Harvardwood Screenplay Competition was created to give emerging Harvard writers the opportunity to share their material with industry professionals. This year the contest will be re-titled the Harvardwood Writers' Competition and will expand to include three categories: 1) Feature screenplays (90-120 pp., all genres), 2) Television pilots (30-min and 60-min, all genres), and 3) One-act plays (40-min maximum, no minimum). The contest is co-sponsored by Kaplan/Perron Entertainment. The deadline for submissions will be July 30. Winners will be announced on September 1. The winners will receive a small cash award, free admission to the 2010-11 writers’ program, and informational meetings at Kaplan/Perrone as well as an unnamed leading Hollywood agency…To view full posting, please visit:

Seeking new participants for the NYC Harvardwood Writers' Groups - NY

The NYC Harvardwood Writers' Program is seeking new participants for its PROSE NON-FICTION and WRITING FOR TELEVISION groups! If you'd like to register for a group, just e-mail us at [email protected], and we'll forward your message to the appropriate group leader…To view full posting, please visit:

Calling all Summer Interns!

Calling all summer interns for this year's Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP)! If you are interning and/or working in any facet of entertainment this summer let us know! Please fill out the HSIP participant form so we may stay in touch with you regarding HSIP events and activities. You do not have to have an internship that was listed on the HSIP list of opportunities. All summer interns affiliated with Harvard University can participate! To view full posting, please visit:

Changing your email address? How to update your account.

For those of you changing your email addresses, you can update your account email at anytime by logging in and going to the "My Profile" menu on the right. When you are there click on "Manage Profile" then click on the "Edit Bio” icon. Here you will see where you can make any necessary changes to your account, including updating your email address.

Industry Successes...

Liz Ryan was elected Chair of the AD/UPM Council of the Directors Guild of America, Wednesday night, June 2, in Los Angeles. In this capacity, she will represent roughly 5,000 members of the Guild who work below-the-line. Having worked as a Director, Producer and Assistant Director, Ryan's credits include over 70 feature films and television shows.

TINY TIM RUNS THE MARATHON, a new full-length comedy for the stage by Jonathan Dorf '93, was recently published by Playscripts, Inc. In a line: When Tiny Tim throws away his crutches and declares his intention to run the marathon, he could inspire millions--but with big business behind Oliver Twist as their inspirational figure of choice, Tiny Tim may never make it to the starting line... For perusal copies or to performance rights, visit the Playscripts website:

Cynthia Wachtell (PhD) has published WAR NO MORE: THE ANTIWAR IMPULSE IN AMERICAN LITERATURE, 1861-1914. Americans, as WAR NO MORE reveals, have long questioned the morality of war. And in the antiwar (and anti-imperialist) writings from the start of the Civil War to the start of World War I, we can trace the basis of the modern day protest against America’s ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. WAR NO MORE uncovers antiwar writings of Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, and Nathaniel Hawthorne! For more information -- including a book overview, early reviews, radio interview clips, and a 35% discount –- please see: Great summer reading!

Harvardwood Artist Showcase

The Highlights is proud to introduce the Harvardwood Artist Showcase. Each month the Highlights will feature one or more artists from some of our various programs. Click each person's name to learn more about what they do.

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Harvardwood member Robert Bodrog's photography has taken him from the beaches of Okinawa, Japan to the capitals of eastern Europe, and many places in between. Stylistically, he has always had a fondness for portraiture, and has often combined that with his passion for the arts. Over the years, he has photographed many famous faces in the world of film, literature and music, including directors David Lynch, Norman Jewison and Sofia Coppola, author Irvine Welsh, poet Allen Ginsberg, and singer/songwriter Tori Amos, among others. In addition to his commercial work, his photography has appeared in Playbill, the French magazine PHOTO, and has been featured on the Yamaha corporation's website. More of his work can be seen in the new Harvardwood Visual Arts Gallery.

Featured Member Posting - International Agent seeking assistant/agent trainee - LA

Our ideal candidate is someone who is a filmmaker at heart but has chosen to take a business job instead. We want someone very familiar with what is going on in the business. So if we bring up Mandate or Participant, you should be capable of having a conversation about them: what they are developing, what they have made, people you might know there, et cetera...You need to be film literate and be able to write good coverage. (Is there such a thing as good coverage? That is a different question.) You should be interested in the international film market. We are doing more and more work in China, Europe and South America. We'd like someone with a great sense of humor, ambitious, is a quick study, self confident, opinionated, persuasive…To view full posting, please visit:

Member Profile: Gregg Hurwitz '95

by Dayna Wilkinson

Hurwitz.jpgGregg Hurwitz’s tenth novel will be released on July 6th. "I’m really excited about this one,” he says, "in some ways I’m more excited about this than any of my other books. It’s an homage to the suspense and paranoia of REAR WINDOW where you realize someone’s watching all the time.” The film rights to this novel, THEY’RE WATCHING, have already been snapped up.

Anyone who knew Gregg Hurwitz as a child wouldn’t be surprised that he grew up to be a writer. "When I was young I wasn’t allowed to watch TV so I read all the time. All I ever wanted to be was a writer. I wrote mysteries that I illustrated with crayons and put together with cardboard covers. I still have some of them on my shelf.”

"I loved The Hardy Boys, The Three Investigators and Alfred Hitchcock books. I also watched a lot of Hitchcock movies. Later in life I liked plot-driven, highly structured stories that dealt with crime, death and deception. My masters degree was in Shakespearean tragedy.”

Gregg is now an internationally bestselling author of thrillers. Does his choice of dark themes reflect inner demons? "Maybe people need a dark thread in their personalities to be drawn to this kind of writing. But it’s been said that some of the most normal people are crime writers, and I wonder if it’s because of the lack of repression. What we deal with can get quite dark and you get a lot of that out of your system when you put it on the page.”

It’s not all murder and mayhem. "Moving across media has allowed me to play with different degrees of lightness and darkness. Novels are my first love, but I’m a writer/producer on ABC’s "V,” I’ve written screenplays, published academic work and I just wrote a Moon Knight-Spider Man crossover that’s like the old fashioned fun comic books of my childhood.”

Gregg went to Harvard with a clear plan. "I didn’t take classes in creative writing and never read a book on it. I chose my concentration (English and American Lit with a minor in Psychology) based on what I thought would be the best combination to bring to a career as a novelist. I actually started writing my first book, THE TOWER, the summer between junior and senior year of college, set it down to finish my thesis, then picked it up again and finished a rough draft the summer before I did my masters.”

"THE TOWER was my first big writing undertaking and I wrote draft after draft. By writing it I was learning how to write a novel. The end of each chapter was clearly better than the beginning. I got to the end of the book and saw it was still a giant mess so I had to take the whole thing apart, look at all the pieces, and put it back together again.”

Gregg had done an internship with a film producer when he first started writing THE TOWER. "As an intern I was reading and writing coverage of scripts, building relationships and making contacts. When I finished THE TOWER, a producer at the film company got the manuscript to Night Shyamalan’s attorney. The lawyer loved it, flew me to New York, and got me an agent who promptly sold it to Simon & Schuster. I was very fortunate to have a book deal from a pretty early age: it has allowed me to work on the projects that are the most stimulating and exciting to me.”

Does Gregg set boundaries in his search for authenticity and excitement? "I think if I weren’t interested in new people and new places and thrills, then what would I be doing as a writer and a thriller author? When I’m pursing something, I have a pretty intense focus on it and I’m not thinking about what’s dangerous and what isn’t. It’s like an athletic event--you’re playing the game, not worrying about getting injured. I tend to err on the side of adventure and fun rather than personal safety.” During a Russian book tour, Gregg’s request to see the "real Moscow” lead to an underground bar and a confrontation with some rather large former soldiers. "That was the one time when I thought I might actually die. Fortunately my translator and I managed to escape before more of their friends could show up.”

Some authors don’t like promoting their work—not Gregg. "I write to be read--my books and comics are commercial. I enjoy interacting with readers and fans, and I’m really looking forward to getting out and talking about THEY’RE WATCHING.” At his July 15th Harvardwood Seminar Series appearance and elsewhere, Gregg will more than likely be asked if he has any advice for aspiring writers. "The biggest advice I have is fairly banal: you have to keep writing. I meet a ton of people who say they want to be writers but I meet very few who actually want to write. A lot of people want to know how to get a publisher, editor or agent, but especially in the early days the focus has to be on the work—turning off the internet, the phone and the doorbell and concentrating on the blank page.”

Check out "Researching and Writing Mayhem," a Harvardwood Seminar Series event with Gregg on Thursday, July 15th in Los Angeles. For more information, click here.

Dayna Wilkinson is a proud New Yorker currently living, working and writing in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.


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