Issue 78 | July 2011

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


  • Harvardwood Special Offer: See Jimmy Tingle's Show for HALF PRICE! Saturdays in July
  • Harvardwood Heads To...Kelley Nicole and Shawn Snyder at The Bitter End!, Tues., July 5
  • Harvardwood Presents ROMANTIC JAZZ FOR A SUMMER EVENING: Anne Drummond, Nilson Matta, & Friends, Thurs., July 7
  • Harvardwood Joins Stanford, Columbia, Yale & Cornell for ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA HAPPY HOUR, Mon., July 11
  • Harvardwood Joins Alums of Stanford, MIT, and Cambridge at a HUDSON RIVER HAPPY HOUR, Wed., July 20
  • Harvardwood Presents: Yelena Grinberg & Serafim Smigelskiy Play BEETHOVEN, BRAHMS, & BOCCHERINI, Fri., July 22


  • Harvardwood Heads To...NO LOOK PASS -- Documentary Film World Premiere, Sat., July 9
  • CLA invites Harvardwood to: Visual Arts Legal & Business Workshops, Sat., July 9 & Sat., July 23
  • Harvardwood Presents: Art Talk and Talk Art at LACMA, Tues., July 12

* Submit for the 2011 Harvardwood Writers' Competition!
* Seeking advisors for the Harvardwood Career Advisors Program
* Changing your email address? How to update your account.
* Industry Successes
* Harvardwood Toronto welcomed Dan Sturman '89
* Journalism That Matters: Create or Die
* Harvardwood Artist Showcase
* Featured Member Posting: Assistant to President of Marketing at Universal Studios (LA)
* Member Profile: Paris Barclay '79

Director's Notes

It's that time of year -- sun, beach, BBQs, and of course, time for the Harvardwood Writers' Competition! Building off the success of last year, this competition has evolved from just screenplays to include TV Pilots and one-act plays. In addition to a small cash award and free admission to the 2011-12 writers' program, first place writers are set up with a series of informational meetings with Harvardwood industry contacts, tailored to career trajectory and needs. It's a great way to get your next leg up. You've got one month left -- the deadline for submission is Sunday, July 31st, don't miss it!

And visual artists take note -- this July our partner, the California Lawyers for the Arts (CLA), has invited Harvardwood to a special series on Legal & Business workshops for visual artists. We also have a great behind-the-scenes tour of the LACMA planned for July 12th in LA. Can't wait to see you there!

-- Kelley

Message from Mia

It may be summer, but there's no slacking off at Harvardwood with events from coast to coast, the aforementioned Harvardwood Writers' Competition, and the launch of the new Harvardwood Career Advisors Program (HCA), which will facilitate informational meetings for Harvardwood members to give and receive professional guidance.

Be sure to check out our multitudinous event offerings in this issue of the Highlights, as well as some great news from our members and Dayna Wilkinson's compelling profile of Paris Barclay '79...

-- Mia

Pencil Me In...

NY - Harvardwood Special Offer: See Jimmy Tingle's Show for HALF PRICE! Saturdays in July

Comedian Jimmy Tingle's off-Broadway one-man show was a huge hit several election cycles back, with some of the best reviews ever. Jimmy went on to become nationally known as commentator for 60 Minutes II and MSNBC and as star of his own HBO Comedy Special. And Jimmy is a Harvardwood member, so he's offered us this AMAZING deal: See his show any Saturday in July for HALF PRICE…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Heads To...Kelley Nicole & Shawn Snyder at The Bitter End! Tues., July 5

Harvardwood Music artists KELLEY NICOLE and SHAWN SNYDER will share the stage at the Bitter End on Tuesday, July 5th! Taking her solo EP release national, KELLEY NICOLE will hit the NYC stage for the first time as a solo artist. Formerly one of the lead vocalists for the critically acclaimed Afro-funk band, Soulfege, Kelley Nicole is excited to unleash her dynamic mix of sweet, alluring R&B and upbeat funk/rock….Harvard ROCKS 2011 finalist, SHAWN SNYDER'S "original acoustic folk-rock is lyric-driven, with an organic simplicity, utmost sincerity, and unmistakable groove” (Beat Magazine, Melbourne, Australia). What has occasionally been dubbed, "Solo-Acoustic Soul-Folk” his music channels the likes of James Taylor, Paul Simon, Martin Sexton, and Lyle Lovett…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents ROMANTIC JAZZ FOR A SUMMER EVENING: Anne Drummond, Nilson Matta, & Friends, Thurs., July 7

Enjoy summer in New York with hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dessert and critically acclaimed jazz flutist Anne Drummond (Jazz Connection, Jazz Times), bassist Nilson Matta, and friends, performing the incomparable melodies of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Richard Rodgers, as well as their own sparkling originals…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Joins Stanford, Columbia, Yale & Cornell for ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA HAPPY HOUR, Mon., July 11

Last year's All Ivy Entertainment & Media Happy Hour with alums of Stanford, Columbia, Yale, and Cornell was a fabulous success--so we're doing it again!...To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Joins Alums of Stanford, MIT, and Cambridge at a HUDSON RIVER HAPPY HOUR, Wed., July 20

You are cordially invited to Hudson Terrace on July 20th for a riverside happy hour with graduates of Cambridge University, M.I.T., Stanford, and, of course, Harvard, featuring views of the majestic Hudson River and dancing (but not Riverdancing). Happy hour specials are available until 7 p.m. including 2 for 1 specialty cocktails and 2 for 1 Bud Light Draft and Blue Moon…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents: Yelena Grinberg & Serafim Smigelskiy Play BEETHOVEN, BRAHMS, & BOCCHERINI, Fri., July 22

Enjoy a Summer Evening with Three Sonatas for Cello and Piano. Yelena Grinberg is rapidly gaining recognition as one of the most brilliant and poetic young artists on the classical music scene. Serafim Smigelskiy is the principal cellist of the Juilliard Symphony and soloist with the Kansas City Philharmonia, among others…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...NO LOOK PASS -- Documentary Film World Premiere, Sat., July 9

Filmmaker Melissa Johnson '01 will present the world premiere of her documentary, NO LOOK PASS, at Outfest in West Hollywood alongside stars Emily Tay '09 and Katie Rollins '09. NO LOOK PASS is the coming-of-age American Dream story of Emily Tay, a first generation Burmese immigrant and basketball superstar from Chinatown, Los Angeles. Emily makes it to Harvard against the odds and then breaks all the rules of tradition by living her dream of playing professional basketball in Europe and coming out as a lesbian…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - CLA invites Harvardwood to: Visual Arts Legal & Business Workshops, Sat., July 9 & Sat., July 23

California Lawyers for the Arts is pleased to present Visual Arts Legal & Business Workshops…The two workshops coming up in July are "Copyright and Licensing for Visual Artists: Monetizing Your Rights" and "Practical Business Strategies for Visual Artists"…Full Members of Harvardwood get a special discount through Harvardwood’s partnership with the CLA…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Presents: Art Talk and Talk Art at LACMA, Tues., July 12

Join Harvardwood at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on July 12! Our group will view highlights of the permanent collection and meet with a LACMA curator for a behind the scenes look at the ways Hollywood’s creative experts use art archives in costume and set design. The art tours will be followed by a Happy Hour with a sampling of culinary arts at a restaurant on the LACMA campus….To view full posting, please visit:

Submit for the 2011 Harvardwood Writers' Competition!

Started in 2006, the Harvardwood Writers' Competition was created to give emerging Harvard writers the opportunity to gain industry exposure and to recognize superior work. Based on the success of last year’s competition, the contest this year, re-titled as the Harvardwood Writers' Competition, will once again include three categories – 1) Feature screenplays (90-120 pp., all genres), 2) Television pilots (30-min and 60-min, all genres), 3) One-act plays (40-min maximum, no minimum). The deadline for submissions will be Sunday JULY 31. Scripts will be evaluated by industry professionals, and winners in each category will be announced no later than September 1. First-place writers will receive a small cash award, free admission to the 2011-12 writers’ program, and a series of informational meetings with Harvardwood industry contacts, tailored to career trajectory and needs…To view more information, please visit:

Seeking advisors for the Harvardwood Career Advisors Program

We're pleased to launched the Harvardwood Career Advisors Program (HCA), intended to provide informational interviews for Harvardwood Full Members looking to learn more about different fields in the entertainment industry. Harvardwood considers informational interviews to be one individual conversation between the advisor and the member looking for career advice. The advisor is only expected to share their experience and provide knowledge which may be helpful to the member. Important to note, advisors can indicate on the application the ideal time to be contacted, and will be able to limit the number of requests. If you're interested to be a career advisor, please click here:

Changing your email address? How to update your account.

For those in the class of 2011 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. Please also provide us with an alternate email under the "Contact Information" section. Congratulations!

Industry Successes...

Congratulations goes out to Teresa Hsiao, one of Harvardwood's "Most Staffable TV Writers" of 2011. She was placed on the staff of FAMILY GUY this past June.

Nick Weiss '00 has wrapped production on an untitled wedding comedy that he directed and co-wrote (with his brother Anthony) for Paramount Insurge. The project was produced by former Paramount head of production Brad Weston and Couper Samuelson '02.

James P. Connolly ’88 will be appearing at the 5th annual Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival in Asheville, NC on July 16th at the Diana Wortham Theater. Tickets and Festival info go to: Also, James' Comedy CDs have been selected to be part of the inaugural comedy rotation for Pandora Radio.

Harvardwood Toronto welcomed Dan Sturman '89

By Shobhit Maruti

The Toronto chapter of Harvardwood welcomed Dan Sturman ‘89 and his team in town for the Hot Docs film festival. Dan presented his latest documentary, THE HOLLYWOOD COMPLEX (produced and directed by Dan Sturman and Dylan Nelson), which was premiering on Sunday, May 1st. Dan was kind enough to meet with members of the Toronto Chapter before and after the screening. For the pre-movie part of the evening, Dan shared some interesting experiences and insights about his newest film and documentary making in general over drinks and a light meal at the New Zealand themed restaurant, Hemingways.

THE HOLLYWOOD COMPLEX (2010) tells the story of a "species-specific migration" of kids to Tinseltown for pilot season when the various networks and agents and movie production houses seek the next big child actor(s). THE HOLLYWOOD COMPLEX follows some of these aspiring child actors and their parents as they deal with the ups and downs of trying to make something happen out of almost nothing.

After the film, Dan, Dylan Nelson and others from the production team responded to questions and comments from the audience. Following the Q&A, Harvardwood and Harvard Club members were invited to a post-film get-together at the Victory Café for drinks and more stimulating conversation with Dan and his production team, a perfect end to an enjoyable and educational evening.

Journalism That Matters: Create or Die

By Akiba Smith-Francis

create_or_die_2.jpgWhat could bring together a meteorologist, a video game developer, a filmmaker and dozens of traditional and new media journalists? Journalism That Matters’ recent "un-conference,” CREATE OR DIE 2.

I got the chance to serve as a coach for this mash-up of journalists, technologists, community activists, educators and students that met for an intense 4-day event, from June 2-5 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Their goal was to re-imagine a media landscape that speaks to diverse communities and underrepresented populations.

The Greensboro 52, as the group now calls itself, spent 12-hour days creating initiatives, to be developed after the conference, to help address "media deserts” – places with little or no access to local news and information. The G52 focused on community news and information sites outside of traditional media that may serve as examples of sustainable community journalism, like Homewood Nation and Locally Grown News.

The host of this "un-conference,” Journalism That Matters, is an innovative organization that supports the people who are shaping the news and information ecology so that journalism serves the needs of communities to be self-governing. JTM focuses on cultivating "healthy journalists” and embraces all forms of media engagement with an eye towards preparing the next generation of journalists for co-creation with emerging citizen journalists. I look forward to seeing more Harvardwood representation at CREATE OR DIE 3!

Akiba Smith-Francis is a Harvardwood member and author of the STEPPING OFF THE PATH blog, which showcases the stories of educated young professionals who have walked away from traditional careers to pursue their true calling.

Harvardwood Artist Showcase

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

michael_anderson.jpgEvolving from public housing to Harvard Yard, Investment Banking, running a tutoring and college preparatory service for underprivileged children, then working with major labels and musical figures he once idolized, 2008 graduate "MIKE PHILSON" (Michael Anderson) continues to make a name for himself and the MultiMinds Productions Movement in the Hip-Hop space by telling a story rarely told. Philson's character combines a certain street savvy with cultural sophistication, and draws upon a range of experiences as a 21st Century global citizen. Philson's movement represents the essence of the American Dream in the Obama Era. Thus, industry insiders have often called Philson the "Obama of Hip-Hop" due to his intense passion for social advocacy and fresh aura in the crowded Hip-Hop space. In the last year Philson and the MMP Movement have performed as far as Asia, North America, and Europe, including a special Harvard-Yale 2010/Birthday performance for 300+ at the Sheraton Commander on Philson's 24th Birthday. He founded MultiMinds Productions in 2007 in his Pforzheimer House room, and along with blockmates Marcus Miller and Brandon Arrindell (College, 2008), Charles Baakel & Jason Lee (College 2008), and James Williams (College, 2010), and Chris Thorpe (College, GSAS, 1999), the team has evolved into a global movement with offices in Shanghai, Philadelphia, NJ/NYC, and now Los Angeles.

View "The Introduction of Mike Philson” on, here (video includes some footage of his Asia performance). You can also find Mike on Facebook and Twitter.

marvin_stern.jpgFrom Marvin Stern: Forty-four years ago, my wife and I began our lives together. On the same morning the Six-Day War began. You may recall that day: it was a sunny day in midtown Manhattan, and we were teenagers--on Fifth Avenue.

Three years have now gone by since my sweetheart’s death, but at last I found a way for her life and our love to go on. THE MEDITATION ROOM is our story--narrated by "Socrates Baker." Baker gathered the story of our lives and the death of my wife from different personalities and materials: and he uncovered surprising quantities and varieties of hatred as well as love. Baker then brings on different participants in the story as narrators--from a hundred years of families and neighborhoods in New York City. And these narrators, with their distinct personalities and diction, answer each other across chapters: debating, condemning, rebuking in the manner of the movie RASHOMON. This is not surprising. I have a Master’s degree from Harvard in Japanese Language, Literature, and History.

In my Harvardwood Profile on my CV I present the Table of Contents of TMR and a chapter--"Pigeons." Here is the link to another chapter--"SILOOJI"--which originally appeared in OXFORD MAGAZINE (England) and then was republished online in EVERGREEN REVIEW:

Featured Member Posting: Assistant to President of Marketing at Universal Studios - LA

Josh Goldstine, a Harvard alum, Harvardwood member, and former President of Creative Advertising at Sony Pictures, is moving to Universal after 20 years at Sony. He will be the President of Marketing at Universal Studios, overseeing all marketing activities on the feature film side, and he needs a fantastic assistant. The ideal candidate for this opportunity will be smart, capable, hardworking, professional, good at multitasking, and have a great attitude. You should also have some assistant experience in the entertainment industry as well as an interest in feature film marketing…To view full posting, please visit:

Barclay.jpgMember Profile: Paris Barclay '79

by Dayna Wilkinson

What do NYPD BLUE, ER, THE WEST WING, HOUSE, MONK and GLEE have in common? Episodes of these series and many more have been directed by Paris Barclay, ’79. His producer credits include HBO’s IN TREATMENT (executive producer), COLD CASE and CITY OF ANGELS (co-executive producer) and NYPD BLUE (supervising producer). His honors include two Emmys, three Peabody Awards, two NAACP IMAGE Awards and GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award.

One of seven siblings, Paris admits "I was always a little jealous of any attention my brothers and sisters got. I think I grew up trying to get my fair share of love. I felt a little bit like I had to put on a show.” Paris was very interested in music and taught himself the guitar and piano. He wrote his first musical when he was in the seventh grade. "It was called Time for Livin’ and was the story of a warlock--played by me.”

After eighth grade, Paris received a scholarship to La Lumiere, a boarding school in La Porte, Indiana. La Lumiere was key to "my figuring out that there was a bigger world out there,” Paris says. "It was my first brush with not being liked because of my color, which may have led me to overachieve.” He was first in his class, did theater, ran track and was co-captain of the football team.

When Paris was a freshman at La Lumiere, (now Chief Justice) John Roberts '77, HLS '79 was a sophomore. "It was a very small school so I knew him well, even though we were obviously on opposite ends of the political spectrum,” Paris says dryly. When Paris came to Harvard for his on-campus interview, he stayed with John Roberts. Despite his inclination to go to Stanford ("I was really tired of the cold”), Paris ended up at Harvard.

Paris’ Harvard experience wasn’t particularly…academic. "I don’t think I went to that many classes. I specialized in writing and having a great time with people who became my friends for life.” Paris wrote sixteen musicals, revues and plays during his Harvard years, spending most of his time in the Loeb and Hasty Pudding. For most of his Harvard years, his roommate was Arthur Golden '78, who would eventually write the bestseller MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA. "We even wrote one musical together, based on Machiavelli’s The Prince,” recalls Paris. "It was ‘ahead of its time.’”

After graduation, Paris went to New York and began a career in advertising. He was accepted by the ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop and wrote two shows. "The first one was ON HOLD WITH MUSIC which we did with Jason Alexander at a workshop at the Manhattan Theater Club. It dramatized my experiences in advertising. We had a fantastic cast and I said ‘this is certainly going directly to Broadway.’ Stephen Sondheim came to the workshop and gave me some advice on the play which was realistic and pretty much destroyed my faith in the whole project. He then suggested that I might want to do a show that dealt with the African-American experience. He said ‘From a marketing perspective, you’re going to stand out.’ At first I thought ‘that’s incredibly racist,’ but then I thought maybe he had a point in terms of establishing my voice. There are a lot of African-American stories that need to be told.” Paris wrote a musical based on a Richard Wright story, THE MAN WHO WAS ALMOST A MAN, and the musical was staged at the Soho Rep.

Paris spent twelve years in advertising before switching to video production and making a splash with his eight music videos for LL Cool J—he won three Billboard Music Awards and an MTV Award. He also directed videos with artists like New Kids On the Block, Harry Connick, Jr., and Bob Dylan. Impressed by the storytelling skills Paris displayed in his music videos, John Wells invited him to direct an episode of a new television show, ANGEL STREET. "John hired me again on ER,” Paris says, "which led me to NYPD BLUE where I became a producer, and that established me in my career.”

Today, Paris has directed over 115 television episodes, but he still takes on other challenges. He teamed up with a young writer named Dustin Lance Black to write and produce PEDRO, the story of THE REAL WORLD’s Pedro Zamora, which aired to great acclaim on MTV. He was brought in to direct the third episode of FX’s SONS OF ANARCHY. "Paris is such a great storyteller,” noted Kurt Sutter, the show’s creator, "it was from that episode on that we really fell into a groove.” Paris begins work as Executive Producer and principal director on the upcoming season of SONS OF ANARCHY. He’s also working on a musical about the days of disco in New York; writing a screenplay about an alien who comes to earth to sell shampoo; serving as First Vice President of the DGA’s Board of Directors; waiting to hear about the future of IN TREATMENT, and developing a couple of pilots as writer or director. "Hopefully in the next year or two, I’ll have a show on the air that I’ve created or co-created. And hopefully I’ll get some sleep.”

Paris has specific advice for aspiring writers, directors and producers.

"Create something that people can see. Today’s filmmakers can write and produce their own short films at very little cost with editing software that’s on their computers, and can use the internet to distribute them. Start now, don’t wait, don’t look for a big payday, just create things and put them out there. Make sure that the things you create are original and express your vision.”

Next, "You have to be your own agent, until you get an agent. You have to figure out how to sell yourself as if you were another person. Shyness and humility will not help your cause here.”

Finally, "Once you actually get an opportunity, don’t fail. It’s easier said than done, but you have to figure out ‘what does this job need of me, how can I be the best at it, how can I best serve the people who are my bosses.’ Make it your calling card.”

One reason Paris is successful is the working environment he creates. His days in advertising taught him how to lead teams and "criticize people’s work without breaking their hearts.” He says "I try to run sets the way I would run my family, which is sometimes with a little tough love, but also with a lot of support and ways of showing people I respect what they do. Every unit that produces television is a family.”

He continues, "Even though people say television is increasingly individually consumed, it’s still a way that families at home come together, whether it’s over AMERICAN IDOL or SONS OF ANARCHY. As a director, what could be better than helping the families that create television tell stories to the families that consume them and see themselves in those stories? You can create stories that are painful, or joyous, or filled with expressions of love, overt and covert. You decide.”

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


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