Issue 71 | December 2010

* Director's Notes
* Message from Mia
* Announcing the 2010 Harvardwood Volunteer of the Year (HARVY) Award Winners!
* Pencil Me In:

LA EVENTS

  • Harvardwood/Stanford Holiday Party and Toy Drive! Tues., Dec. 7
  • Harvardwood Seminar Series and Showbiz Cafe present: How the Pros Rewrite, Wed., Dec. 8
  • CLA invites Harvardwood to: Visas for Entertainment Industry Workers, Wed., Dec. 8
  • Harvardwood Heads To...Christmas and Kelley Nicole! Sun., Dec. 12
  • Harvardwood Salon Series presents: The Chinese Film Industry: Co-Production and Finance Opportunities, Mon., Dec. 13

NY EVENTS

  • Happy Harvardwood Holiday PARTY!, Fri., Dec. 3
  • Harvardwood Heads To...Harrison Greenbaum '08 Headlining at Carolines, Dec. 2 and 5
  • Harvardwood Heads To...COMMENCEMENT, a comedy by David Allyn (Reading), Tues., Dec. 7

* Harvardwood Holiday Appeal
* Join the Harvardwood Board of Directors
* And the 2011 Harvard ROCKS performers are...
* Tell us how to make Harvardwood better!
* Contribute your Harvardwood testimonial and get 3 FREE months of membership!
* Seeking accommodations hosts for Harvardwood 101
* Seeking event and "J-Term-Ship" hosts for Harvardwood 101
* Seeking new participants for the NYC Harvardwood Writers' Program
* Industry Successes
* Harvardwood Artist Showcase (featuring Harvard ROCKS performers!)
* Featured Member Posting: Entertainment Industry Job List
* Member Profile: Ben Mezrich '91

Director's Notes

With HARVY Award winners, Harvard ROCKS performers, and holiday parties galore, this issue is chock full of holiday goodness! What more could you want out of your local December edition of the Harvardwood Highlights?! But seriously, I hope you find this year-end issue of the Highlights as entertaining and fun to read as I did. A big congratulations to our 2010 HARVY Award winners, Lane Shadgett and Matt Weinberg! Thanks to you both for your fantastic service and awesome spirits. And in the spirit of Harvardwood service, don't forget to fill out our brief membership survey. Let us know how we can improve and/or in what areas you may want to volunteer. Who knows, we may be crowning YOU next year! Don't miss all of the holiday parties and special events happening this month, and if you're coming to the LA holiday party, don't forget an unwrapped toy in support of Harvardwood Helps. Finally, anyone who knows me and my musical self knows that I'm especially excited to unveil the performers for Harvard ROCKS 2011! It was a tight race -- the pool of submissions was brimming over with talent but alas, the judges have made their final selections. Read on to find out who to root for this January. Until then, Happy Holidays!

-- Kelley

Message from Mia

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes our Harvardwood Holiday Appeal -- please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support the year-round efforts of our fabulous organization! People continue to tell us that Harvardwood is the gold (crimson?) standard of alumni career associations...but membership dues cover just a fraction of our activities, and we can only continue to grow and improve our offerings with the benefit of your generosity. Thanks in advance for your support -- and if you've ever thought about joining the ranks of our volunteer leadership, read on for more info about the Board of Directors election next month!

Happy holidays!

-- Mia

Announcing the 2010 Harvardwood Volunteer of the Year (HARVY) Award Winners!

We are thrilled to announce this year's HARVY Award winners! The HARVYs (clever, eh?) are awarded annually to one or more volunteers that have demonstrated exceptional leadership in the Harvardwood community over their past year of service. Each HARVY winner will receive a $250 cash prize. Harvardwood thrives on the volunteer energy of its membership, and we are excited to highlight these ongoing efforts! Without further ado, the 2010 HARVY awards go to...

Lane Shadgett '00, Director, HWP Features and the Harvardwood Writers' Contest

shadgett.jpgWhen Lane Shadgett ’00 was a senior at Harvard, he loved movies, even if it had never occurred to him as a potential career. As president of the Gilbert & Sullivan Players, he dreamt instead of someday directing opera for the Met. Then he met writer-director Stephen Gaghan who had come to town to research a film about a college senior who is in the throes of writing her thesis. Lane agreed to help Stephen with his research, and by the time he graduated, Stephen had offered him a job as his assistant in Hollywood, CA.

Plumber and electricians have apprenticeships. Doctors serve residencies. Law firms assign associates to work with a partner. Screenwriters have nothing.

Lane wants to help change that. Three years ago he led his first Harvardwood writers’ group – he and five other writers meeting weekly in his apartment. This year 24 writers in three groups are meeting in Los Angeles, with additional groups in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. Last spring Ed Zwick sponsored the first Harvardwood Feature Writers’ Showcase – a staged reading (in collaboration with the Harvardwood Actors’ Program) of excerpts from the four best screenplays from the workshops. All four writers have made concrete career progress as a result – representation and even some leads on option deals. An industry veteran who avoids workshops said it was the best she had even attended.

Lane has not done all this alone. Others have put in many hours, and he hopes that in this way Harvardwood can create a virtuous cycle whereby writers who have been part of the program as youngsters turn around and help out the next generation.

Matt Weinberg ALM '09, Boston Chapter Head and Harvardwood Writers' Program module leader

matt.jpgSome people feel that Harvard does not do enough for the arts. For more than 5 years Matt Weinberg has worked to prove them wrong. Originally from Kansas City and an alumnus of American University in Washington, D.C., he came to Cambridge as a graduate student.

Matt has managed projects for the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis, Harvard Graduate School of Design, the José Mateo Ballet Theatre, and has taught at the Massachusetts College of Art. As a Tutor in Adams House, he oversaw the art studios and galleries, taught drawing and painting, and advised students.

For the past several years, he has managed numerous projects in the visual and performing arts for the Office For The Arts at Harvard. Because of his strong advocacy for the arts, Matt was elected as an Advisory Board Member of the Cambridge Arts Council in 2008. He manages Harvard’s annual ARTS FIRST festival and produces the Performance Fair/Dance Fest, which features 90+ performances at twelve venues. In addition he is responsible for outreach, publicity and evaluation.

Matt heads the Boston chapter of Harvardwood and leads the Screenwriters Workshop. He has produced an independent film and written a science fiction thriller, MOTH. He is working on ALREADY MARRIED, a comedy about three mismatched couples united in matrimony by a well meaning but erratic judge.

Matt lives in Cambridge with his wife Christine, and two-year-old son Noah.

Pencil Me In...

LA - Harvardwood/Stanford Holiday Party and Toy Drive! Tues., Dec. 7

The holiday season wouldn't be complete without our annual Harvardwood Holiday Party! Come celebrate with our friends from Stanford in Entertainment at the elegant Stone Rose Lounge, located in the Sofitel Hotel on Beverly Blvd. Meet up with old friends and mingle with new ones while enjoying tasty appetizers! And in addition to the holiday festivities, join Harvardwood Helps in a toy drive for the holidays! The Los Angeles County Fire Department's "Spark of Love" drive collects new toys and sports equipment for the Department of Children and Family Services for distribution to the foster children of Los Angeles County…Bring a toy and celebrate with us this holiday season. Looking forward to seeing you there! To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=135330

LA - Harvardwood Seminar Series and Showbiz Cafe present: How the Pros Rewrite, Wed., Dec. 8

Over the past ten years, I’ve [Corey Mandell] been fortunate enough to work closely with some of the smartest and most successful directors, producers and writers in the business. I’ve seen firsthand how they evaluate and revise stories. Strikingly, almost none of them use the formula-driven approaches taught in popular screenwriting books and seminars. In fact, their methods often fly directly in the face of conventional wisdom. In this writer's salon, we’ll explore the tools and techniques used by many of the most successful people in the industry to evaluate and rewrite screenplays. Topics include diagnosing testing the story that plays in other people’s heads, identifying and fixing foundational problems, using strategic rewrite memos, creating narrative cohesion and correcting structural weaknesses without destroying the originality of the story and characters…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=135329

LA - CLA invites Harvardwood to: Visas for Entertainment Industry Workers, Wed., Dec. 8

California Lawyers for the Arts is pleased to present…"Visas for Entertainment Industry Workers,” an interactive workshop that will cover the application process for foreign artists and entertainment industry personnel to obtain U.S. visas and work authorizations. Participants will be able to determine whether a work visa is needed or whether entering as a business visitor will suffice. Participants will be introduced to the government agencies and other entities involved in the process, and they will understand the important definitions of terms including "extraordinary ability," "extraordinary achievement," and "sustained acclaim." Participants will also understand how U.S. Immigration applies the standards for O & P visas and the EB-1 & EB-2 immigrant visas, and who is likely to qualify…Full Members of Harvardwood can receive a discount to this event through Harvardwood’s partnership with the CLA…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=136454

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...Christmas and Kelley Nicole! Sun., Dec. 12

Your singing Director is at it again and there's only one thing that gets me more excited than a show...and that's a Christmas show! Given that this is my absolute favorite time of the year (I was crowned the official Queen of Christmas at the tender age of nine), I am super excited to be a featured performer at the Red Light Lounge's special holiday extravaganza. Come out and enjoy some of my favorite holiday tunes and spread good cheer! I will be giving away a special present for those that come in support of me...don't miss it! To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=136647

LA - Harvardwood Salon Series presents: The Chinese Film Industry: Co-Production and Finance Opportunities, Mon., Dec. 13

Harvardwood is pleased to present the next installment in our popular Harvardwood Salon Series…The Chinese Film Industry: Co-Production and Finance Opportunities, led by industry veteran Rob Cain. In the salon we will discuss the Chinese film industry with a specific focus on finance and production. Mr. Cain will provide an economic overview of the Chinese film industry. He will also discuss co-production with Chinese producers, the availability of capital in China and how to get it. This will include a conversation about issues, obstacles and pitfalls in handling the system (such as censorship) and how to deal with them. These include government censorship. By the end of the salon, participants should have a better understanding of the landscape of film in China, one of the most dynamic emerging markets...To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=136637

NY - Happy Harvardwood Holiday PARTY!, Fri., Dec. 3

Join us for the annual Happy Harvardwood Holiday PARTY, featuring live jazz from Harvardwood member, Kavita Shah! The festivities will take place at cultureNOW this FRIDAY, Dec. 3…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=135765

NY - Harvardwood Heads To...Harrison Greenbaum '08 Headlining at Carolines, Dec. 2 and 5

Friar Harrison Greenbaum will be headlining two nights at the world-famous Carolines on Broadway (1626 Broadway, betw. 49th and 50th St.) this coming Thursday, December 2nd, and Saturday, December 5th, at 10 PM. These shows are a great opportunity to see Harrison, who is already quite an accomplished performer. Most recently, Harrison won the 2010 Andy Kaufman Award, was named one of this year's "Comics to Watch" by Comedy Central, and was called the "hardest-working man in comedy" by the New York Daily News. Harrison is a rising star everyone is talking about, so come out and enjoy an evening with this unique performer this weekend! Learn more about Harrison here: http://harrisongreenbaum.com ...To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=136585

NY - Harvardwood Heads To...COMMENCEMENT, a comedy by David Allyn (Reading), Tues., Dec. 7

Winner of the 2010 Baltimore Playwrights Festival Audience Choice Award, COMMENCEMENT is a hilarious comedy by David Allyn about a young woman who reveals to her family on the eve of her college graduation that she has converted to Islam and won’t be going to Harvard Law School (because she intends to help Muslim immigrants in France instead). Needless to say, her high-powered parents are none too pleased. Baltimore City Paper described the plays as "simultaneously uproarious and touching.” David Allyn has been described by the New York Times as "a wicked observer of self-conscious people at their less than best.” This is a reading/backers’ audition…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/events/event_details.asp?id=133017

Harvardwood Holiday Appeal

As we enter the holiday season, we are honored to reflect on the ways in which you all have contributed to the continued success and growth of Harvardwood over the past year. As we continue to experience overwhelming growth, it is imperative that we expand our fundraising and sponsorship initiatives to support and sustain Harvardwood at these exciting new levels.

We thank you for your ongoing volunteer efforts, the support of your dues, as well as the many other ways you continue to enhance the Harvardwood community. We remain committed to keeping dues affordable so that the opportunities created by Harvardwood are accessible to everyone. To assist in that effort, we ask that you would consider making a donation to Harvardwood in this holiday season. Your donation will help us further develop our administrative staff support, continue to expand our offerings, and ensure the longevity of Harvardwood and its resources. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by our 501(c )(3) status. We appreciate gifts of any amount – thank you for your consideration! To donate online or via check/money order, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/donations/fund.asp?id=598

Join the Harvardwood Board of Directors

The Harvardwood Board of Directors (BOD) is coming up on elections for its next term and we are looking for some energetic individuals to fill a few great positions! The Harvardwood BOD is the managing body that oversees the volunteer efforts of Harvardwood members worldwide and has worked to create an impressive array of events, programs, and online resources over the past decade. As a member of this dynamic team you will play a large role in determining the priorities and setting the course for the entire organization…To find out more about the available positions, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/news/53583/Join-the-Harvardwood-Board-of-Directors.htm

And the 2011 Harvard ROCKS performers are...

After much deliberation we are pleased to announce the judges' picks for Harvard ROCKS 2011!! Started in 2009, Harvard ROCKS brings out the best of the best in Harvard's undiscovered musical talent. This year's acts were chosen by a group of top tier industry judges. The performing artists for Harvard ROCKS 2011 will be:

Katie Fitzgerald
Shawn Snyder
Rachel Brown
Comandante Zero
Kingsley Flood

Runner-ups for this year's showcase are:

Doll Avant
Andrew Bordeaux
Noam Weinstein
Mac Soto

And now, GET YOUR TICKETS for the musical showcase with both brains and brawn! Catch the performing artists LIVE on January 27th and help select the 2011 Harvard ROCKS winner! (The winner is chosen by the audience.) The winner receives the ultimate music industry prize package so pick your favorite artist and then come support! To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/news/53582/And-the-2011-Harvard-ROCKS-performers-are....htm

Tell us how to make Harvardwood better!

We continue to seek more volunteers and more feedback to help shape the direction of the organization. In addition to supporting the events and programs currently in place, we want to hear from YOU about how your talents can best complement the organization: Is there a new program you’d like to create? A city where you’d like Harvardwood to launch a Chapter? A panel you think would be of interest to other Harvard alums in the arts, media, or entertainment? Or a new kind of event we haven’t even thought of yet? Let us know, the sky’s the limit! Fill out our member survey and let us know where Harvardwood should go next! http://www.harvardwood.org/?page=membersurvey

Contribute your Harvardwood testimonial and get 3 FREE months of membership!

Found a job through Harvardwood? A new mentor? Landed an agent? Harvardwood is seeking member testimonials and we'd love to hear from you. Tell us in a few sentences (100 words or less) and receive 3 FREE months of Full Membership added to your account! Please submit your testimonial to [email protected] with the subject line TESTIMONIAL by Wednesday, December 15.

Seeking accommodations hosts for Harvardwood 101

Harvardwood seeks accommodations hosts for the upcoming edition of our annual Harvardwood 101 career exploration program, cosponsored by the Office of Career Services and Office for the Arts. Harvardwood 101 brings a group of Harvard undergraduates to Los Angeles over the January term and provides various career-related activities in an attempt to demystify Hollywood and educate current students about opportunities in the entertainment industry. Some students will only be attending the "boot camp" portion of the program, JAN. 2-8, 2010, while others will also be staying on to do 2-week "J-termships" JAN. 9-23, 2010 or a portion thereof. If you have a spare couch, futon, sleeping bag, or room(s) for one or more visiting students, you will earn our undying gratitude (and a year of free Full Membership)! Hosts are NOT expected to provide transportation, meals, entertainment, etc. If interested, please email us at [email protected] Please also let us know your available dates, where you live, the nature of the accommodations offered (guest room, pull-out couch, etc), and if you have any pets.

Seeking event and "J-term-ship" hosts for Harvardwood 101

Harvardwood invites all Harvard alums and friends to get involved in the 9th annual Harvardwood 101 career exploration program, co-sponsored by Harvard’s Office of Career Services and Office for the Arts. Harvardwood 101 brings a group of Harvard undergraduates to Los Angeles during the January term (or "J-term”) and provides various career-related activities in an attempt to demystify "the biz" and educate current students about opportunities in the arts/media/entertainment industries… Please contact us at [email protected] if you are interested in either of the following: Hosting all of the students for an office/set visit and/or participating in a panel discussion or providing a "J-term-ship” opportunity for an individual student (or students)…To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/news/news.asp?id=50007

Seeking new participants for the NYC Harvardwood Writers' Program

The NYC Harvardwood Writers Program is seeking new participants! 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… The following groups are seeking new members: COMEDY WRITING: Led by Dawn Fraser, this group will welcome comedy writing of all sorts, including sketches, essays/memoirs, sitcoms, storytelling, and stand up; WRITING FOR TELEVISION: Led by Liz Levy, this will welcome writers interested in both comic and dramatic television writing. Other episodic endeavors, such as web series, are welcome as well!

Industry Successes...

Paula Brancato’s latest poetry book, FOR MY FATHER, went on sale this November. With 100 pre-orders, the publisher will do a large press run of 1000+. Every purchase counts! Please visit http://www.finishinglinepress.com and click on the "buy now” icon to get your copy.

Jayne Amelia Larson (ART '92) inked a deal with Free Press (Simon & Schuster) for a narrative non-fiction book, DRIVING THE SAUDIS, based on her experiences as a chauffeur for members of the Saudi Royal family visiting Beverly Hills. Her solo show, based on the same subject matter, just won a best solo award at the 2010 NY Fringe Festival. She is repped by Lindsay Edgecombe at Levine Greenberg Literary in NYC.

D. G. Stern is pleased to announce that the fourth title – WINTER WONDERLAND - in the UPTON CHARLES – DOG DETECTIVE series for younger readers will be released on December 15 (just in time for the holidays)…The mountains of New Hampshire beckon the Charles family to a ski weekend at the White Cap Mountain Inn, where its owner raises St. Bernards, which, to a little fluffy white Bichon Frise can be quite intimidating. The dogs turn out to be great friends and join together to thwart an attempt to steal a diary from a collection of the famous Daniel Webster housed at the Inn. Visit Upton (and D.G.) at http://www.uptoncharles.com.

Nick Weiss '00 has been hired to produce and direct a 30-second comedic TV spot with state-wide placement for a nationally-known law firm.

Dr. Edward Park ’89 published his graphic novel, MAXIMUM LIFESPAN, a futuristic thriller about a madman downloading his consciousness into a computer and then into his own son. "...most striking about this science fiction parable is just how many ideas Park throws at us. If the story touches on similar themes elsewhere in recent pop culture (The Island, Repo Men) it’s because these themes are not only relevant but likely to impact mankind in our own lifetimes."

http://www.shelfabuse.com/graphic-novel-reviews/maximum-lifespan-graphic-review/
http://www.pileusproductions.com/downloads/ebooks/english/galleys/eng_mlgalley_v06.pdf
http://www.maximumlifespancomic.com/story

In real life, Dr. Park prescribes what CBS news called "The Fountain of Youth in a Tiny Capsule?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6x-iTkAgPzw

Harvardwood Artist Showcase

Each month the Highlights features one or two artists from some of our various programs in the Harvardwood Artist Showcase. This month we are excited to feature two of the performers that will be demonstrating their musical prowess at Harvard ROCKS in January. Click each person's name to learn more about what they do and then come and support them at the showcase in January!

katie_fitzgerald.jpgKatie Fitzgerald signed with Jive Records (Sony-BMG) at fifteen and spent her teen years creating an album. After recording the end title for the THE PRINCE AND ME (Julia Stiles), Katie left the label to attend Harvard in 2005. She began working with Japan’s most successful rock artist, Yoshiki (of X-Japan) on his new band, Violet UK, and signed on as the lead singer. They have performed at the Tokyo Dome, contributed several tracks to films, and recorded an album, to be released next year. At Harvard, Katie wrote a creative poetry thesis and worked extensively with religious and human rights groups.

Check out Katie and Violet UK on MySpace, as well as her live performances on YouTube, and then COME SEE HER LIVE on Jan. 27 at Harvard ROCKS!

Katie performs with Violet UK:

"Rosa" from Violet UK (audio):

"It Doesn't Get Better Than This" from THE PRINCE AND ME soundtrack:

"Genetic Opera Ending" from Violet UK:

shawn_snyder.jpg"Shawn Snyder's folk-rock is lyric-driven, with organic simplicity, utmost sincerity, and unmistakable groove” (BEAT, Australia). Whether mining the internal world of love, heartache, and striving, or playing curator to his eavesdropping on the world at large, his observations are always colored with an affirmation of life and beauty in the face of sadness and struggle. Shawn has toured extensively both nationally and internationally. He recently relocated to NYC, but last resided in his hometown Miami. There he earned repute as CityLink’s Best Songwriter (2009), and his album, ROMANTIC’S REQUIEM, was selected in MIAMI NEW TIMES’ Top Ten Local CDs (2008). Check out more from Shawn at his website, http://www.shawnsnydermusic.com, and support him at Harvard ROCKS this January.

Featured Member Posting - Entertainment Industry Job List

Access a comprehensive list of entertainment industry opportunities...To view full posting, please visit: http://www.harvardwood.org/networking/opening.asp?id=89044

Member Profile: Ben Mezrich '91

by D. Dona Le

"I think I want to live vicariously through my characters, so I’m always looking for something exciting and interesting.”

An unexpected statement from an author whose career has certainly been exciting and interesting in its own right.

Ben Mezrich ’91 has written a number of non-fiction works about young college students whose talent and intelligence enable them to "beat the system, something we all aspire to do.” BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE: THE INSIDE STORY OF SIX MIT STUDENTS WHO TOOK VEGAS FOR MILLIONS, published in 2003, was the work that truly launched Mezrich into the spotlight. Adapted into the film 21, the book describes how a group of MIT students became a team of expert card counters who jetted off to Las Vegas every weekend.

Most recently, Mezrich has gained acclaim for THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES, a factual account of the creation of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg ’06. Director David Fincher’s THE SOCIAL NETWORK, featuring Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield, is based upon Mezrich’s book. Both Mezrich’s book and the movie adaptation have been explosively popular, confirming his great success as a writer.

"I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. While I was at Harvard, I was already writing novels and sending them out and getting rejected. I was a cartoonist for the Crimson and wrote for the Independent, but the stuff that I wanted to write was books.”

After graduation, Mezrich moved to an apartment in Boston with Scott Stossel, deputy editor of The Atlantic magazine, and the two spent the year under lockdown to write feverishly. In fact, Mezrich completed nine novels in only one year. To assuage his parents’ concern about the viability of a literary career, Mezrich applied to law school but deferred, with no intention of attending.

Initially, Mezrich began as a fiction writer, interested in scientific and hi-tech thrillers. Now, however, Mezrich considers himself the pioneer of "a new form of journalism. It’s my own genre at the moment. It’s a very valid form of nonfiction.”

He acknowledges the controversy surrounding the accuracy of his non-fiction works. For example, some critics have argued that Mezrich takes too many liberties with dialogue and event details.

Mezrich says, "Everything that takes place in [THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES] and in the movie is all true, and nobody disputes that. So what they dispute is the style. There are plenty of journalists who dislike the way I write, but they’re lodged in old-school thinking. The New York Times are the people who called me a journalist, not something I set out to be, but definitely for THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES, I consider myself a writer, but you could also call me a journalist.”

Perhaps Mezrich’s willingness to thrive in this gray area of journalism reflects the subjects of his books. He pursues characters that are "also looking for the gray area, not between the illegal and the legal, but using brains to make money and change the world—but they never flip over or into crime.”

Likewise, the absolute facts recounted in Mezrich’s works are always accurate, and what distinguishes Mezrich’s style from other examples of journalism is its thriller nature. It is no coincidence that his works are so seamlessly transferrable to film.

"With my non-fiction, I always envision it as a movie, so I write cinematically and I write in a visual fashion. I always think about how it’ll look on screen when I write it.”

Mezrich was instrumental in the creation of Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay for THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Sorkin traveled to Boston to meet Mezrich, and the two worked together in a hotel room, Mezrich handing over chapters of his manuscript to Sorkin as they were completed.

"He would ask me questions when there were things about Harvard that he wanted to know, so I was very focused on helping him so that he could go forward and build that incredible screenplay.”

Mezrich was even more heavily involved in the creation of 21 (2008), starring Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, and Laurence Fishburne. 21 was filmed in Las Vegas for one month and in Boston for two months.

"It was literally all the actors hanging out in my apartment every night, a hometown movie.”

Although he was raised in Princeton, New Jersey, Mezrich has certainly made Boston his town. The publicity surrounding THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES and the huge success of THE SOCIAL NETWORK have made Mezrich a literary celebrity. He has done countless television interviews, attends movie premieres, and ultimately receives attention uncommon for an author of non-fiction.

Despite his celebrity author status, Mezrich values and retains his close ties to Boston.

"In Boston, I'm a well-known quantity. It’s a small town in a lot of ways. It’s been great to have a city like Boston to live, where you can find the stories that are here and write stories about this area, and everyone knows about it and reads it.”

Mezrich has recently completed another book to be released in July. Though Mezrich can only reveal that the book describes "another trust story about a heist,” he is upfront about his plans to transfer this project to the big screen as well.

"I’m the only non-fiction author with two hit movies. I’d definitely like to go for three, and it’s been cool so far.”

A self-proclaimed "geeky Harvard student” chasing stories about brilliantly successful whiz kids, Mezrich has proven to be equally as compelling, brilliant and successful as his protagonists.

D. Dona Le is a freelance editor and writer currently residing in Chicago, IL.


 

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