Issue 74 | March 2011

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


  • Harvardwood Heads To...The HCSF Founders Series with The Black List (feat. Franklin Leonard '00 and Noah Oppenheim '00), TONIGHT! Tues., Mar. 1
  • SF/Bay Area Harvardwood Activities Committee Meeting, Mon., Mar. 7


  • Harvardwood Presents: THE WALKING DEAD Paley Fest Panel and Private Q&A with Exec Producer and Star, Fri., Mar. 4
  • CLA invites Harvardwood to: Tax Time for Artists and the Self-Employed, Sat., Mar. 5
  • Ivy Entertainment invites Harvardwood to 1st Annual Assistants Appreciation Party, Wed., Mar. 9
  • Harvardwood Seminar Series: Directing in Hollywood - The Dos and Don'ts, Thurs., Mar. 10
  • Harvardwood Heads To...The Memory of Cinema in Contemporary Art, Wed., Mar. 16
  • Harvardwood Heads To...Kelley Nicole's EP Release Celebration! Sat., Mar. 19


  • Harvardwood Heads To...Book Signing/Reading of FOR MY FATHER, Thurs., Mar. 10
  • Harvardwood Heads To...MARIE AND BRUCE, begins Mon., Mar. 14
  • Our Magnificent March Merriment Harvardwood PARTY wtih LIVE MUSIC, Fri., Mar. 18

* $5 credit to Goldstar for all Harvardwood Members!
* Seeking Opportunities for the 2011 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program!
* Industry Successes
* And the Oscar goes to...
* Harvardwood Artist Showcase
* Featured Member Posting: Assistant to Motion Picture Agent
* Member Profile: Franklin Leonard '00

Director's Notes

Thanks goodness March is a long month because we've got a lot going on on the Harvardwood front! But first, I'm sure you all were as psyched as I was to see Natalie Portman take home the Oscar for Best Actress on Sunday evening. From Lowell House dining hall to the Academy Awards...congrats Natalie! Don't miss your chance to mix and mingle with other talented alumni in our midst at one of our fabulous events this month.

We are also excited to let you know about a new way that you can support Harvardwood, just by going to live entertainment events. Harvardwood has recently partnered with Goldstar, a company that offers discount tickets to live entertainment events all over the country. When you join Goldstar you'll not only get a $5 service fee credit to start, they will also donate $3 to Harvardwood on your behalf! Be sure to use this link when signing up -, and forward it on to families and friends -- the more joins we get, the more support Goldstar will send our way. Enjoy!

-- Kelley

Message from Mia

So much happening this month, whether you're in the mood for lions or lambs... In San Francisco, join film exec and famed Black List creator Franklin Leonard '00 and successful screenwriter Noah Oppenheim '00 for a discussion with the Harvard Club tonight...ring in the spring equinox in NYC with a party and the award-winning vocal stylings of Lara Hirner & the West Side 5...and in LA, come out to our Paley Fest private event for THE WALKING DEAD, featuring series star Jon Bernthal (ART '02) and Executive Producer / my baby daddy David Alpert '97.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't plug the delicious debut solo album of our very own, very talented Director of Harvardwood, Kelley Purcell (and her musical alter ego, Kelley Nicole) your ears a favor and pick up a copy ASAP -- and if you're in LA, stop by the release party on March 19!

-- Mia

Pencil Me In...

SF - Harvardwood Heads To...The HCSF Founders Series with The Black List (feat. Franklin Leonard '00 and Noah Oppenheim '00), TONIGHT! Tues., Mar. 1

Each quarter the Harvard Club of San Francisco will feature Harvard alumni who have taken the plunge and started their own venture here in the Bay area. This March, join us in welcoming Franklin Leonard '00 and Noah Oppenheim '00 as they discuss the challenges and opportunities to identifying good content. Franklin is a movie executive at Overbrook Entertainment in Los Angeles. He is also the founder of the Black List, a survey of movie executives identifying the hottest movie scripts of the year. Noah is a writer and Emmy-winning producer. His script for "Jackie" was ranked #2 on The Black List 2010. It will be directed by Darren Aronofsky for Fox Searchlight…To view full posting, please visit:

SF - SF/Bay Area Harvardwood Activities Committee Meeting, Mon., Mar. 7

It's that time of year again: time for our activities meeting! We have hosted some great events over the years in the Bay Area, including Cocktails and Movie: Vertigo, tours of CBS and Pixar, musical salons, a screenwriting workshop, and a talk on the science behind the hit TV show LIE TO ME. We are looking forward to making 2011 even better, and we want your help! Join us for an SF/Bay Harvardwood Activities Committee meeting…come meet other members, enjoy snacks, share your ideas, and bring your event ideas and willingness to help! To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Presents: THE WALKING DEAD Paley Fest Panel and Private Q&A with Exec Producer and Star, Fri., Mar. 4

jonbernthal.jpgThe William S. Paley Television Festival, the premier exhibition of television, starts Friday March 4 for two weeks. Join Harvardwood at the opening night, March 4 at 7 p.m., at the Saban Theater for this special event. The panel will feature six actors and three producers from the AMC hit series THE WALKING DEAD. Following the public event, join Harvardwood for a private meet and greet and roundtable discussion with Harvard alums actor Jon Bernthal (ART '02 and pictured to the right) and executive producer David Alpert '97. Private event details will be emailed to all registrants…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - CLA invites Harvardwood to: Tax Time for Artists and the Self-Employed, Sat., Mar. 5

Don't miss this annual seminar on the essentials of income tax for individual artists and artist groups of all disciplines. Learn how artists and artist groups can efficiently track income and expenses throughout the year and correctly file their taxes. Topics will include record keeping, form 1040, Schedule C, the self-employment schedule, deductions, hobby losses, home offices, and more. "The Art of Deduction," a 28-page workbook (valued at $19.95), is included with the admission fee…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Ivy Entertainment invites Harvardwood to 1st Annual Assistants Appreciation Party, Wed., Mar. 9

To say "thank you” to all assistants for their hard work during the awards season, Ivy Entertainment is partnering with DrinksLA to ensure that young alumni have a night of their own. Assistants (and guest) get in for FREE (but you must RSVP) $10 for everyone else. Ivy League BONUS: all grads from the three most recent classes free admission! Explore the world of boutique alcohol with DrinksLA’s featured full cocktails, made with premium boutique liquor for only $4! Live jazz starting at 9pm…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Seminar Series: Directing in Hollywood - The Dos and Don'ts, Thurs., Mar. 10

So you’ve gone to film school and have been making movies since you were five. You have the skills, but how do you get to the next level? Filmmaker F. Javier Gutierrez (BEFORE THE FALL aka TRES DIAS) will tell you how. The answers involve everything from getting representation to working with producers to developing with writers. The seminar is relevant not only to directors, but also to anyone involved in the creative or business aspects of filmmaking…Come early to enjoy a sandwich and soft drink special from our venue partner, Showbiz Store and Cafe, AND receive a store gift card for your subsequent visit...To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...The Memory of Cinema in Contemporary Art, Wed., Mar. 16

Join us for this lecture giving by D.N. Rodowick, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies; Chair, Department of Visual and Environmental Studies and Interim Director, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. "The Memory of Cinema in Contemporary Art" will specifically address recent work by Victor Burgin and Ken Jacobs…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...Kelley Nicole's EP Release Celebration! Sat., Mar. 19

This month I am excited to celebrate the release of my new EP and first solo project entitled "Introducing...The Kelley Nicole." The music reflects a little piece of almost everything I love - blending retro funk, indie soul, and a lil' rock to get your feet moving…The EP will be available for purchase at the event AND I will be donating $1 to Harvardwood for all Harvardwood members that comes in support of me!…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Heads To...Book Signing/Reading of FOR MY FATHER, Thurs., Mar. 10

Harvardwood member Paula Brancato is a poet and filmmaker on faculty at the University of Southern California and Stonybrook Southampton. She has been published by Mudfish, Bomb Magazine, Georgetown Review, Litchfield Review, Southern California Anthology, GeorgiaReview and Harvard Press, among others. Her first book CLUB PARADISE was a 2008 May Swenson and Holland Prize finalist…Her films have won the Karlovy Vary and Angelcity film festivals, and the Oganization of Black Screenwriters, SCIFF Family Focus and WINFEMME awards…FOR MY FATHER is her third book of poems…Meet Paula for a book signing/reading at the Harvard Club of New York…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Heads To...MARIE AND BRUCE, begins Mon., Mar. 14

Relentlessly daring playwright Harvard alumnus Wallace Shawn '65 returns to The New Group to continue his vibrant collaboration with Scott Elliott (Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Fever, Threepenny Opera) as well as continue his collaboration with Tony Award winning (33 Variations) Harvard alumnus (’80) Derek McLane (Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Fever). This comedic masterpiece of marital strife recounts the day that Marie (Marisa Tomei) finally resolves to tell her charming and impossibly positive husband Bruce (Frank Whaley) that she's had enough…includes SPECIAL OFFER FOR HARVARDWOOD MEMBERS…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Our Magnificent March Merriment Harvardwood PARTY wtih LIVE MUSIC, Fri., Mar. 18

The Vernal Equinox is here, and when the noxes are equi it's time for a PARTY!! And this will be a great one, and a fabulous chance for you to meet more of our incredible Harvardwood members! Adding to the fun around 8:30 p.m. will be a performance by Harvardwood member Lara Hirner and her vocal jazz quintet, West Side 5! You may have heard Lara's singing in the New York City Ballet's West Side Story Suite and at performances by the Mark Morris Dance company, as well as with the Marble Collegiate Sanctuary Choir. WS5, almost entirely comprised of Harvard a cappella alums, has been performing in the NY area for the last year and a half, and were the Mid-Atlantic regional competition winners of last year's Harmony Sweepstakes…To view full posting, please visit:

$5 credit to Goldstar for all Harvardwood members!

We are excited to announce our new partnership with Goldstar! Join Goldstar (for FREE!) at this link:, and they will not only give you a $5 service fee credit to get you started, they will also donate $3 in support of Harvardwood! Goldstar sells discount tickets to all kinds of live entertainment events in cities around the country including: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles/Orange County, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Portland, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Washington D.C.! There’s something for almost everyone….Join now (did we mention it’s FREE?!) and be sure to sign-up using this link to receive your $5 service fee credit and to ensure a donation to Harvardwood: Enjoy!

Seeking Opportunities for the 2011 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program!

Harvardwood is pleased to announce the 2011 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP), and is now seeking internship opportunities worldwide! HSIP provides a list of internship opportunities in the arts, media and entertainment to Harvard undergraduates and also coordinates career-related events over the summer for program participants in LA, NYC and other cities. If your company is interested in listing an internship via HSIP, please fill out our brief participant form. While your company can list your internship at any time, we recommend submitting by March 10th in order to be included in the first round of HSIP offerings and reach the largest number of potential candidates…To view more information and post your opportunity, please visit:

Industry Successes...

After 5+ years on the writing staff at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Will Burke '99 is now directing comedy segments for the show. He is looking forward to probably paying his DGA dues on time.

Jeremy Rabb just shot the season finale of OFF THE MAP in Hawaii.

Harvard class of 1986 graduates Todd Senturia (writer/producer) and Ming Lo (director and co-editor) are pleased to announce that their short film "grace in SARA” will debut at the Worldfest Houston Film Festival being held April 8-17. "grace” is the story of a young girl who is struggling to come to grips with her parent’s break-up and her mother’s flight from the house. With the help of an innovative child therapist (Eva La Rue of CSI:MIAMI) as well as the songs of her favorite rocker chick (songs by Nina Gordon, ex of Veruca Salt), she comes to terms with her loss and reconciles with her father.

And the Oscar goes to...

natalie_portman.jpgHarvardwood congratulates Harvard alums Natalie Portman '03 and Darren Aronofsky '91 for a fantastic showing at this week's Academy Awards! Natalie won the Oscar for Best Actress for her work in BLACK SWAN, which was directed by fellow alum Darren Aronofsky. Darren was also nominated in the Best Director and Best Picture categories.

Harvardwood Artist Showcase

The Highlights is proud to bring you the Harvardwood Artist Showcase. Each month the Highlights will feature one or two artists from some of our various programs.

This month we are excited to feature an author from the Harvardwood Publishing program. Through its partnership with Unlimited Publishing, Harvardwood Publishing offers Harvardwood members the opportunity to not only publish regular book-length material, but also e-publish work that might not otherwise appear in print (such as short stories, poetry, photography, recipes, graphic art, and more) for a stand-alone app available on all smartphones (iPhones, iPads, Kindles, etc.). Harvardwood member and author, Joseph Richards and his novel, A NEST OF STONES, is featured below.

nestofstones.jpgA co-publication of Harvardwood Publishing and Unlimited Publishing LLC, this debut novel spans half a century of world history from a unique perspective. Although set in the ’60s and ’70s, the story reflects some of the ongoing conflicts of our time: casual sex, betrayal, and disillusionment. Born in one of the few remaining land grant ranches in Southern California, John Brereton grew up in isolated circumstances heavily influence by his mother’s Spanish background. During his Air Corps service in the Second World War and later at Harvard, he had to grapple with a growing awareness of his ambiguous sexual orientation, which surfaced again during his first assignment abroad in the Foreign Service. As the narrative develops, the setting moves from France to Spain and New York City, with flashbacks to the progress of an acrimonious divorce. From a childhood rich in promise, Brereton’s tumultuous life results in a fruitless quest for constancy in two disparate worlds.


After graduating from Harvard in the late ’40s, Joseph Richards spent five years in the Foreign Service and then almost thirty years in the business department of The New Yorker Magazine. Following an early retirement in the early ’80s, he opted for a career in the performing arts, initially as the managing director of a modern dance company in Boston. Later, after the company moved to New York City and opened a studio near Lincoln Center, he left the organization to serve on the boards of an Off Broadway production company, a small ballet group and on the National Committee of the Glimmerglass Opera.

Featured Member Posting: Assistant to Motion Picture Agent - LA

Assistant needed to top-level literary agent at major agency. Extremely intense, high-pressure, high-volume, but very prestigious - candidates need to be extremely sharp, even-keeled, learn quickly (no making the same mistake twice), and be very discrete as the job involves A-Level clients. Experience not as important as dedication and raw intelligence. Bright hard-workers will flourish. Best training in the every aspect of the business you can get, hands-down...To view full posting, please visit:

Member Profile: Franklin Leonard '00

by Cristina Slattery

Leonard.jpgWhat is a self-described "wild card with dreadlocks" who wrote his Social Studies thesis on slam poetry and its relation to liberal democratic theory doing in Hollywood? The answer is that Franklin Leonard '00, is on a quest to find and produce great scripts. Leonard is known primarily for "The Black List," which was first officially released in 2005 (, but which began as an email that he sent to his friends and fellow young executives in Hollywood in 2004 when he was searching for unproduced gems. The name of this list, which evokes images of "blackness" (Franklin is African-American) and, of course, the Black List of the McCarthy era, has branded Leonard "as an executive who cares about great writing," he explains. It has helped to catapult scripts like Diablo Cody's JUNO to prominence -- the script eventually won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay -- and it has evolved to represent "the collective taste of the people who develop, produce, and release theatrical feature films in the Hollywood studio system and in the mainstream independent system,¨ according to its website. In short, "The Black List" has become a list on which screenwriters are honored to be included.

Leonard says the best movies are those that "sizzle, but where you also care about the characters.¨ But, what is Franklin Leonard´s own story? What was his path from Harvard to Hollywood? Growing up in Columbus, Georgia, a career in film was not, perhaps, the most obvious choice for him. As a child, Leonard played the violin and devoured books such as The Hardy Boys series. He describes himself as the "consummate nerd" at age sixteen when he participated in student government, the math team, and numerous other extra-curricular activities. A Social Studies concentrator and Dunster House resident for his sophomore through senior years at Harvard, Leonard continued to be involved in a myriad of activities as an undergraduate and The Institute of Politics, The Signet, The Political Review and The Advocate were all part of his college experience. The volume of reading and writing that Social Studies required was "extraordinary" in Leonard´s opinion and it provided good training for his later work as a reader and evaluator of film scripts. Harvard also gave what him a "very fast and rich education" socially, as he terms it, since it introduced him to worlds beyond the traditional Georgia background of his childhood. It was his parents´ life in the military that also shaped his experience -- his father worked as a neonatologist for the Army -- and Leonard´s parents encouraged their children to believe that nothing "was closed off" to them Franklin says. He calls his career a "rebellion against his upbringing,¨ but he acknowleges that his parents no longer bother him about going to law school.

Leonard, who recently left his job as the Development Director of Universal Pictures to join Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment, honed his analytical skills as a consultant at McKinsey & Company before he found success in Hollywood. He sharpened his political skills as the communications director of a congressional campaign and his writing skills working as a journalist for The Trinidad Guardian in Port of Spain, Trinidad all before taking on the challenge of "the Business." He has worked for Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, for former Paramount Pictures president John Goldwyn and for Mirage Enterprises (the production company run by Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella when both were alive).

Franklin prefers film to television because he believes there is something special about the "shared entertainment of going to a theater," and he describes his current state of mind as "energized." He allows that some may consider the work he does frivolous, and admits that the people whom he truly admires are those who are out there "changing the world," such as the protesters in Egypt who were demanding democracy in the streets the day we spoke. He admires writers such as Aaron Sorkin, who just won the 2011 Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for THE SOCIAL NETWORK, and David Simon, writer of acclaimed TV series, THE WIRE, perhaps because in addition to nuanced characters and intelligent dialogue, both seem concerned with larger social problems that exist in the world. At Will Smith´s company, Leonard will be focusing on commercial, blockbuster films, such as the recently announced project to remake "Annie" for a new generation, and he looks forward to working with Smith on other exciting projects.

Outside of finding great scripts, Leonard is passionate about soccer, a sport that his younger brother plays professionally, and one he says he watches "a lot." Although Leonard's talent of finding great writers and his ability to work with both writers and directors has gained recognition within the industry, it is clear that even greater challenges and opportunities await in the future. Whatever the future holds, undoubtedly our experience in the cinemas as viewers -- the "shared entertainment" that Franklin Leonard sees as a particularly special aspect of culture and society -- will be richer as a result of his efforts.

Be sure to attend the HCSF Founders Series with The Black List, featuring Franklin Leonard '00 and Noah Oppenheim '00 tonight in San Francisco.

cristinaslattery2.jpgCristina Slattery is currently living in Barcelona, Spain where she teaches English to adolescents, university-age students and adults, writes freelance articles and reviews English-language fiction manuscripts for the Spanish-speaking market for Viceversa Editorial.


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