Issue 84 | January 2012

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


  • Harvardwood & HBSASC present the 2012 Hollywood Panel, Tues., Jan. 3
  • Special invite for Harvardwood to Harvard College ReConnect, Sat., Jan. 21
  • Harvardwood and the HCSC present: Behind the Scenes at the L.A. Art Show, Sun., Jan. 22
  • Harvardwood Mixer with UCL, LSE, and CUE! Tues., Jan. 24


  • Harvardwood Presents Standup Comedy: LAUGHTER TIMES THREE! Wed., Jan. 11


  • Harvardwood Heads To...Hairspray the Musical at the Signature Theatre (special discount for Harvardwood members!), Sun., Jan. 22

* And the 2012 Harvard ROCKS performers are...
* Seeking volunteers for Harvard ROCKS
* Join the Harvardwood Board of Directors
* There's still time to submit to the Harvardwood Resource Directory for FREE
toy_drive_2011.jpg* Harvardwood Helps success!
* Industry Successes
* Harvardwood Artist Showcase - Featuring Harvard ROCKS 2012 contestants!
* Featured Member Posting: Production Assistant - Cambridge, MA
* Member Profile: Chris Salvaterra '90

Director's Notes

Ahhh...can't you just smell the fresh start in the air? I hope the New Year is beginning marvelously for everyone. Get out your planners because Harvardwood has a ton in store to help you get the ball rolling in 2012. First up, we are more than excited to welcome our eager Harvardwood 101-ers to Los Angeles this week as they embark on many Harvardwood induced adventures. Come meet up with us, as well as participants in the HBS Hollywood Trek, at the 2012 Hollywood Panel on Jan. 3rd. We will also be mixing it up, international style on Jan. 24th at the beautiful Shangri-La Hotel in Santa Monica. Read on to find out just what all those darn acronyms stand for anyway! And the East Coast is shaping up quite nicely - join Harvardwood members in New York and DC for more New Year's fun this January!

-- Kelley

Message from Mia

Hope you'll come kick the New Year off with us at Harvard College ReConnect in LA on Sat. Jan. 21st! With a who's who of Harvard in Hollywood in attendance, the event promises to be a great opportunity to commune (and, yes, reconnect) with fellow alums... For those of you interested in getting more involved behind-the-scenes of Harvardwood, consider joining the board (read on for more info)... And finally, a new year, a new title for our incomparable leader, Kelley Purcell -- join me in congratulating Kelley on her new role as Executive Director of Harvardwood!

-- Mia

Pencil Me In...

LA - Harvardwood & HBSASC present the 2012 Hollywood Panel, Tues., Jan. 3

Join the HBSASC, Harvardwood, and the HBS Hollywood Trek for our 2012 Entertainment Panel and Mixer. Hear HBS entertainment execs discuss the current state of Hollywood. Topics to be discussed include: What are the major trends in entertainment today? How is digital continuing to revolutionize the entertainment industry? What companies are best positioned to be the winners in the future? Where are career opportunities in entertainment today? This panel will address the current status of the entertainment industry and how it is evolving--specifically as it applies to major studio content…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Special invite for Harvardwood to Harvard College ReConnect, Sat., Jan. 21

Join us as Harvard takes center stage at Sony Pictures Studios. This Crimson marquee event features a red carpet dinner on Friday and Saturday, an insider’s update on the College from Dean Michael D. Smith, stimulating faculty symposia, and opportunities for lifelong involvement with alumni, students, and parents. This flagship event, presented by the Harvard Alumni Association and the Harvard College Fund, gathers together alumni, faculty, parents, students, and friends of the College, Graduate School, and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the West. Following a successful debut in San Francisco last year, ReConnect coincides in its second year as Harvard College celebrates its 375th anniversary…Harvardwood co-President and Founder, Mia Riverton Alpert, is one of the honorary co-hosts, along with Dan Aykroyd, Matt Damon, Lucy Fisher, Rashida Jones, Michael Lynton, Conan O’Brien, Natalie Portman, and others! …To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood and the HCSC present: Behind the Scenes at the L.A. Art Show, Sun., Jan. 22

Join Harvardwood and the Harvard Club of Southern California on Sunday, January 22 for an exclusive behind the scenes look at the Los Angeles Art Show. This annual event has expanded to include a contemporary art fair, print fair, collector workshops and exhibition of art from LA’s Sister Cities. Following a one hour tour of the most exceptional works of art on display, members and their guests can attend a half-hour workshop for first-time collectors on how to negotiate the best terms for art purchases and benefit from the expertise of art dealers. At 4 p.m., up to eight attendees can join an exclusive tour of the Los Angeles Art Show’s art replica exhibitors to learn more about art from a fashion and trendsetter perspective (first-come, first-served basis)…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Mixer with UCL, LSE, and CUE! Tues., Jan. 24

Just what do all those darn acronyms stand for anyway!? It's a Harvardwood Mixer with international flair...join us poolside at the Shangri-LA Hotel in Santa Monica as we mix and mingle with peers from the University of College London, the London School of Economics, and Columbia! To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents Standup Comedy: LAUGHTER TIMES THREE! Wed., Jan. 11

Start the New Year on a laughing note with a scrumptious dinner with wine, and THREE of the smartest, funniest comics anywhere – Cory Kahaney, Johnny Lampert, and John Morrison! Three great comedians are funnier than one in this evening of stand-up comedy at its best! This is an amazing bargain. If you go to a top comedy club, where you'd be lucky to get even just one of these performers, you'll get a cover charge of $18-25, and a two (bad and overpriced) drink minimum, plus tax and tip, bringing you to $40 or more--and you still haven't had a bite to eat! And food at comedy clubs is, well, funny. We're offering a reception with OPEN BAR, light hors d'oeuvres, and cheeses, followed by an elegant and mouthwatering sit-down dinner with wine, prepared by the DTA's superb Chef Anthony LoCastro, followed by THREE of the best comics anywhere, followed by a scrumptious buffet of desserts and coffee or tea--and all for just $72 complete if you're a Full Member! This will be an amazing night out for a fraction of what it would cost at a commercial venue…To view full posting, please visit:

DC - Harvardwood Heads To...Hairspray the Musical at the Signature Theatre (special discount for Harvardwood members!), Sun., Jan. 22

Join the HBS Club of Washington, DC on January 22nd for a 2pm Sunday matinee performance of the musical Hairspray (see posting for special Harvard discount!)…It's 1962, and pleasantly plump Baltimore teen Tracy Turnblad has only one desire - to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star, but she must use her newfound power to vanquish the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin and integrate a TV network - all without denting her 'do! …To view full posting and get discount code, please visit:

And the 2012 Harvard ROCKS performers are...

After much deliberation we are pleased to announce the judges' picks for Harvard ROCKS 2012!! 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 2012 will be: Todd Forman and Kevin Miso, Madison Greer, and Sara Melson! Runner-ups for this year's showcase are: Andrew Bordeaux, Soulfege, Army of Toys, and Moniker. And now, GET YOUR TICKETS for the musical showcase with both brains and brawn! Catch the performing artists LIVE on February 28th and help select the 2012 Harvard ROCKS winner (learn more about some of the artists in the Artist Showcase below)! To view full posting, please visit:

Seeking volunteers for Harvard ROCKS

We are seeking a few volunteers to help at the Harvard ROCKS showcase on Tuesday, Feb. 28th in Los Angeles. Volunteers will help check people in at the door, tally audience votes for the artists, document the event with photos and video, and other duties as needed. Email [email protected] if you'd like to help make this night a smashing success…To view full posting, please visit:

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:

There's still time to submit to the Harvardwood Resource Directory for FREE

The Harvardwood Resource Directory will be a listing of relevant businesses and services associated with our community, giving our members and visitors a quick and easy reference guide for their upcoming projects and industry needs. The deadline for free submission has been extended. All Harvardwood members and their contacts may list in the Resource Directory for free for a limited time…***PLEASE NOTE: This directory is being offered as a service from our website provider. If we do not reach a certain number of submissions we will not be able to offer this resource.***…To view more information and to sign up, please visit:

toy_drive_2011.jpgHarvardwood Helps success!

Thank you to everyone that participated in our Harvardwood Helps Holiday Toy Drive. Harvardwood collected several toys for the Los Angeles County Fire Department's "Spark of Love" Toy Drive, including a very lovable Monkey Bear, or uh, Bear Monkey...well, we're not sure (a Mear perhaps?), but cute nonetheless. Stay tuned for more ways to stay involved with Harvardwood Helps!

Industry Successes...

Kelley Nicole Purcell is back on the road again! Music from her debut solo EP "Introducing…The Kelley Nicole” is featured in a live stage presentation that is now represented by the college booking agency Wally’s World of Entertainment. She is excited to share her music with a wider audience in the upcoming year. Listen and buy tunes and keep up with Kelley at

Produced by Ryan Slattery ALB ’09 and recently accepted into Sundance, PLAYTIME (SPIELZEIT) is a seamless journey of German youth and innocence on a Sunday afternoon. Inspired by Billy Wilder's classic 1930 film PEOPLE ON SUNDAY (MENSCHEN AM SONNTAG) People on Sunday), PLAYTIME evolves though a point-of-view relay exploring life, love, and childhood in the carefree city of Cologne. The film is the product of a collaboration between the UCLA graduate film school and the Internationale Filmschule Köln, designed to study and pay homage to the German-American exile filmmakers of the 1930's, using Wilder's SUNDAY as the starting point. Written and Directed by Lucas Mireles (UCLA); Produced by Ryan Slattery (UCLA) and Christopher Becker (IFS); Photographed by Jens Nolte (IFS). Learn more about the film on the Sundance Film Guide:

Rob Cain has launched ChinaFilmBiz, a new blog offering news, analysis and opinion on the world's fastest growing film market. Poised to overtake North America and become the world's largest movie territory by the end of this decade, China presents great opportunity, and great challenge, for international filmmakers and distributors. ChinaFilmBiz is your sherpa guide to the territory. To subscribe email Rob at [email protected], or go to and click on the "Follow" button at the top of the page.

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon wrote THE DRESSMAKER OF KHAIR KHANA, a book that told the true story of a girl who created jobs and hope under the Taliban. THE DRESSMAKER became a New York Times best seller while Gayle was on book tour with her new baby and her family! Gayle also signed on to become a contributing editor-at-large at Newsweek Daily Beast writing economics stories focused on women and girls. You can catch her journalism at She gave the opening talk at TEDxWomen this December on why investing in rather than underestimating women is not about doing good, but about reviving the global economy. You can find her talk at: and more at @gaylelemmon on twitter!

Atsushi Ogata’s charming romantic comedy CAST ME IF YOU CAN will be released in North America on DVD on January 24th. Theatrically released nation-wide in Japan, screened and awarded at festivals in the US, China, India, Germany and turned into a novel, CAST ME IF YOU CAN tells the story of Hiroshi, a perpetual supporting actor, living in the shadow of his famous playwright father, who gets cast in a Woody Allen remake, meets his muse, falls in love and learns to play the lead in his own life. Watch, enjoy and spread the word!

Harvardwood Artist Showcase

Each month the Highlights features a few 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 this February. Click each artist's name to learn more about what they do and then come and support them at the showcase on Tuesday, February 28th!**

mgreer_pic1.jpgOriginally from Plano, TX, Madison Greer is a singer/songwriter and composer. Her extreme passion for her craft has recently earned her television recognition on Oxygen’s hit show, "The Glee Project” and ABC/Disney’s, "High School Musical: Get in the Picture.” Her singing has taken her to many countries including Prague, the Czech Republic, Vienna, and Mexico, and in 2009, she was named a Grammy Jazz Ensemble finalist. Madison has worked for Sony Pictures, Universal Music Group, and Lascaux Films. She looks to her Lord Jesus Christ for guidance in every situation. She is currently a junior English concentrator at Harvard.

Don’t miss Madison LIVE at Harvard ROCKS 2012 on Feb. 28th!

smelson_headshot_2012.jpgSara Melson grew up in a small town in Indiana in a house with books covering every wall from floor to ceiling. Fed a steady diet of Beatles, Stones, Dylan, The Band, Bowie, Neil Young, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Johnny Cash, Simon and Garfunkel, and Van Morrison, as well as a huge swath of classical and jazz, Sara grew up classically trained on piano and self-taught on guitar, wedding chords to the lyrics filling the pages of her many journals. She lives somewhere between genres, with timeless songs that blur boundaries between folk, rock, pop, and country. Insightful lyrics and her unique, distinctive voice––always solely her own––led Yahoo Music to choose her as their "New Buzz Artist,” calling her "one of the most fearless singer-songwriters on the planet.”

Sara's self-produced debut full-length, Dirty Mind (Nettwerk Records, 2008) was selected for an iTunes "What's Hot" feature, and placed high on the iTunes pop chart. Her songs have been featured in numerous film & TV shows including Grey's Anatomy, and as the theme of a new Chevy campaign. She has shared the stage with Ben Folds, Juliana Hatfield, Ben Lee, Silversun Pickups, Jill Sobule, Inara George, Mojave 3, Neil Halstead, the BRMC, and Lissie, and sung backing vocals for Mojave 3 and the Dandy Warhols on KCRW's MORNING BECOME ECLECTIC and for Moby on THE TONIGHT SHOW with Jay Leno. Sara is currently in the studio finishing her next record.

Check out more on Sara at her website then experience her LIVE on Feb. 28t h at Harvard ROCKS 2012!!

**When you buy your advance ticket you can vote online for your favorite artist or vote at the show. Don't miss it!

Featured Member Posting: Production Assistant - Cambridge, MA

Position Open Immediately…I am looking for someone to work with me in completing "The Psalm of Howard Thurman, a feature length documentary on spiritual giant, Howard Thurman (1899-1981). In rendering Thurman’s remarkable story, we are combining archival photos and footage; a moving music score; excerpts from Thurman’s recorded meditations; Howard Thurman, on camera, in a pulpit and in an interview; and remembrances from those who knew him, and those who knew of him and the times in which he ministered and lived…What will you gain from this experience? You will receive screen credit. Resume-building experience to enhance your marketability for work both within and outside of the film industry. You will have the flexibility to work both inside and outside of our base office in Cambridge. Your income will be increased with the compensation of $12/per hour…To view full posting, please visit:

Member Profile: Chris Salvaterra '90

by Cristina Slattery

Salvaterra.jpg"I have attempted to pursue the truth with some diligence and to report it,” states Edward R. Murrow, the legendary newsman and subject of the film, GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK. Chris Salvaterra ’90, former Harvard varsity football player and now a producer at Katonah Pictures (named after his hometown) helped to bring GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK to American and international audiences. Regarding movie scripts, he says that "I hope that if I am moved by the writing, others will be too.”

AMERICAN PIE, SYRIANA, THE VISITOR, LADDER 49, FAST FOOD NATION, and HIDALGO are just some of the other films that Salvaterra has worked on over the course of his career. "It was a real challenge, and it was difficult to know what the best path was,” he acknowledges, when asked about his early years in Los Angeles. When all his "suit-clad roommates trudged off to interviews with Goldman Sachs,” Salvaterra was immersed, "like an idiot,” as he describes himself, "in a book about scriptwriting.” He says he is hard-pressed to define anything in his life as a "huge obstacle,” but that "professionally, choosing a difficult business that can easily chew people up and spit them out has been challenging.”

Salvaterra knew very little about how the business operated when he first started working in Hollywood and didn’t know where to turn if he had questions. He would tell those considering careers in entertainment that the glamour will not be enough to sustain them on a daily basis. "Make sure that you are doing it because you love whatever it is you want to do…you’ve got to love the process so much that you can take the ups and downs that you’ll inevitably experience,” he emphasizes, adding that his wife, Marjorie, a writer, recently asked him what he would be doing with his life if money were not an issue and he replied, "‘This.’ I mean it – I love it.”

The son of a physical education teacher and dance instructor, he recalls an All-American childhood filled with pick-up baseball games in the suburb of New York City where he grew up. He says he learned the importance of basic decency and respect for others from his parents and that his maternal grandfather’s influence on his life was also enormous. "I have a shrine to him in my office,” Salvaterra says. A member of the Greatest Generation, his grandfather, who died at 103 years of age, was an advertising executive in Manhattan. The dignity and intelligence that characterized the personal and professional life of his grandfather are qualities that he believes remain important, even in the hypercompetitive environment of the 21st-century entertainment industry.

"Happy and content…but not satisfied” is how this Hollywood producer describes his current state of mind. He relishes the moments that he can fit in a workout, watch the Jets, or get together with some of his friends from his football-playing days, but the main focus of his life is raising his children, Lulu, 5, and Oliver, 7, with his wife.

Salvaterra’s favorite writers include Vladamir Nabokov and F. Scott Fitzgerald and when reviewing scripts (he has read over ten thousand) he prefers "stories that are about something – emotionally, not plot-wise.” STAR WARS, E.T., RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, THE COSBY SHOW and CHEERS are films and TV shows that made an impact on him when he was younger and Salvaterra feels both grateful and inspired to be able to help create entertainment experiences. "I love it,” he says, "but I also take it very seriously – I think that, as a business that exports popular culture, we have a moral and ethical responsibility to provide the best possible entertainment.”

Channeling Murrow? Perhaps. "This instrument can teach,” Edward R. Murrow tells those attending a dinner in his honor in the film, "otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box.”

When asked which living person he most admires, Salvaterra answers, "Bruce Springstreen. He is living his bliss, has captivated millions and still stayed true to himself. And, I hear that he’s an incredibly nice guy.” Could this description also be appropriate for one of the fans of "The Boss,” as well?

cristinaslattery2.jpgCristina Slattery is currently living in Barcelona, Spain where she works for a start-up eBook publisher, e-Diciones KOLAB, a new venture that helps authors take advantage of the eBook revolution (see: She continues to teach English to private students and writes freelance articles on a regular basis for a variety of publications.


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