Issue 104 | September 2013

Jamiemayer.jpgIn this Issue:

+ Director's Notes
+ Message from Mia


+ Featured Member Posting: Dance Production & Dance Center Supervisor at the OFA
+ Now accepting applications for Harvardwood 101! (Deadline Oct. 22nd)
+ Calling all Harvardwood musicians
+ Find and follow Harvardwood on Twitter and LinkedIn


+ Industry Successes
+ New Members' Welcome
+ Member Profile: Jonathan M. Goldstein HLS '95 - writer, CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2


+ Calendar
+ Find out about our new Corporate Membership!

Director's Notes

Happy Labor Day weekend to all! In addition to the usual September excitement -- back-to-school, fall fashions, falling leaves, etc. -- Harvarwood is happy to announce a new start of our own D. Dona Le ’05, a longtime profile writer for Harvardwood and former Chicago Chapter Head, has taken on the important new role of Coordinator for the organization! In addition to being a talented writer, Dona brings with her a wealth of experience in nonprofit fundraising and event/program development. We are thrilled to welcome her to the team!

As you’ll see below, applications are now available for our annual Harvardwood 101 program. The deadline to apply will come up quickly (Oct. 22) so don’t delay! And for those not "technically” in school, you can play pretend with our first ever Harvardwood New Member Orientation on Sept. 12 in LA. Come learn from our Director of Membership Experience, Lano Williams, about the various programs and services Harvardwood offers its members.Learn more and register below!

-- Kelley

Message from Mia

Hope everyone is enjoying the last holiday weekend before back-to-school season! As we head into fall, be sure to check out the variety of awesome Harvardwood happenings nationwide -- LA, SF, DC and Atlanta are all hosting September events, so head on over and/or organize an upcoming activity in your neck of the woods!

-- Mia

Featured Member Posting: Dance Production and Dance Center Supervisor at the OFA

The Office for the Arts at Harvard Dance Program seeks a Dance Production & Dance Center Supervisor to oversee and maintain the operations of the Harvard Dance Center to ensure the space's viability, safety, and success as Harvard's primary undergraduate dance performance and teaching space. Responsibilities include: supervising the technical aspects of dance productions including, but not limited to, building sets, hanging and focusing lights; overseeing load-ins, technical rehearsals, performances and strikes; maintaining rigging, sound, lighting, and related production equipment; hiring production staff and crew as necessary; advising and mentoring students in theater production; training and coordinating student crews during performances; working with visiting artists and designers... To view full posting, please visit:

Now accepting applications for Harvardwood 101! (Deadline Oct. 22nd)

Harvardwood is pleased to announce our 12th annual Harvardwood 101 career exploration program, cosponsored by the Office of Career Services and the Office for the Arts. The program brings a group of Harvard undergraduates to Los Angeles during the first full week of the January term (this year, it will be JAN. 5-10, 2014) and provides various career-related activities to demystify Hollywood and to educate current students about opportunities in the arts, media, and entertainment. Past activities have included a studio lot tour, a visit to a working film set, a discussion of film development and production hosted by a major production company, a visit to a scoring stage, a panel on breaking into TV writing, an agency visit, lunches with alumni in various facets of the industry, and an info session and tour of the USC film school facilities. In addition, Harvardwood 101 provides a limited number of optional "J-term-ship" opportunities... To view full posting, please visit:

Calling all Harvardwood musicians

Dues-current Full Members of Harvardwood may post their promotional materials to the Harvardwood Music Directory! Post your bio, links to your music and videos, and any other pertinent information for all members and site visitors to view. Members who submit to the Directory can then send their music to [email protected] for consideration on Harvardwood Radio… To view full posting, please visit:

Find and follow Harvardwood on Twitter and LinkedIn

Find us on social media to stay updated on current news and upcoming events! Our Twitter handle is @Harvardwood, and we've set up an interactive LinkedIn group here:

Industry Successes...

UnSlut-Project.jpgJessica Caimi recently co-launched a Kickstarter page for a project titled SLUT: A DOCUMENTARY FILM that stems from The UnSlut Project. The Project has received positive media attention as an online community for women to share their experiences with slut shaming and sexual bullying. As it stands, The UnSlut Project has two goals: to reach out to girls who are currently suffering and offer them some hope for the future, and to demonstrate the extent of sexual bullying and "slut shaming" in our schools, media, and culture, so that we might all work toward change. Please take a moment to check out and spread the good word!

Pachter.jpgHarvardwood congratulations Adam Pachter '92 for his sci-fi script HIBER, which is a semi-finalist in the 2013 Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition and which was recently optioned by Amazon Studios. Read all about it at 52318683544/hiber-writer-qa.

Jeremy Rabb A.R.T. '98 will be appearing in Spike Jonze's feature HER, starring Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix opening in the fall, and playing Clov in ENDGAME on stage at A Noise Within, also in the fall.

Jamiemayer.jpgJamie Mayer's TV drama pilot NEW GROUND won the Grand Prize (Drama category) in a contest sponsored by Overbrook Entertainment and the Association of National Advertisers' Alliance for Family Entertainment, and is being optioned by Overbrook. In its early stages, the family drama pilot was workshopped and featured in a staged reading as part of the Harvardwood Writers Program.

mandel.jpgMandel Ilagan has signed on as a producer for MILLION SECOND QUIZ on NBC. This revolutionary game show takes place 24 hours a day over a twelve-day period. It's a test of knowledge and endurance, with the ultimate winner taking home what could be the biggest prize in TV game show history. The series premieres Monday, Sept. 9 at 8pm (ET) and airs every night at that time (with the exception of Sept. 15) until the finale on Thursday, Sept. 19. In between the hour-long shows on NBC, viewers can continue to watch the competition live online at or via the Million Second Quiz app.

dixon.jpgWriter, Director, Comic Book Creator, and Blogger Dani Dixon will be appearing at Salt Lake Comic Con Sept. 5-7. Dani will be speaking on six panels, signing autographs at the TUMBLE CREEK PRESS BOTH (#1207) and showing a sneak peek of her new web series, 13: THE INTERVIEWS ( Dani's panel topics at the 30k+ attendee convention will range from "Creating a Comic Book from Start to Finish" to "From Ripley to Buffy to Katniss: A Look at the Strong Female Protagonist." Dani ( will also host a panel on the current best of genre television.

lindsay.jpgTinker Lindsay has had a fun few years reaping what she sowed: a case of decades of writing leading to overnight success! Her feature HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS, co-written with director Peter Chelsom, is in post-production, after shooting in Vancouver, London, China, and Africa. The international cast includes Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Stellan Skarsgaard, Christopher Plummer and Jean Reno. Meanwhile, Lindsay is currently completing THE FOURTH RULE OF TEN, the fifth installment in her Dharma Detective mystery series, published by Hay House, co-written with best-selling author Gay Hendricks, and featuring ex-Tibetan monk, ex-LAPD cop Tenzing Norbu.(

New Members' Welcome

Harvardwood warmly welcomes all members that joined the organization over the past month, including:

+ Nermin Ahmad, NY Chapter, College
+ Daniel Banks, New Mexico, College
+ Caroline Casey, NY Chapter, Ext.
+ Erin Cash, NY Chapter, Ext.
+ Michael Colucci, LA Chapter, FOH*
+ Geoffrey Cowan, LA Chapter, College
+ Timothy Craig, LA Chapter, FOH*
+ Chuwen Dai, Boston Chapter, HLS
+ Lucas DuClos, Boston Chapter, GSE
+ Steven Dunst, LA Chapter, HLS
+ Jonathan Finn-Gamino, LA Chapter, College
+ Eiko Fukuda, NY Chapter, Radcliffe
+ Carole Gardner, NY Chapter, HBS
+ Dominik Grau, NY Chapter, FAS Special Programs
+ Elizabeth Gruenfeld, Boston Chapter, GSE
+ Christa Hartsock, LA Chapter, College
+ Debra Iles, Boston Chapter, College/HKS
+ Joseph Jacob, DC Chapter, HLS
+ Hana Kim, On-Campus, College
+ Julia Kuo, NY Chapter, FOH*
+ James Larkin, Boston Chapter, College/Staff
+ Ira Mandel, NY Chapter, HBS
+ Jessica Mealia, NY Chapter, College
+ Rebecca Menges, NY Chapter, HBS
+ James Merriner, Chicago Chapter, College
+ Bernadine Nash-McClam, Boston Chapter, HDS/HBS
+ Casey O'Leary, On-Campus, College
+ Marc Pachter, NY Chapter, GSAS
+ Adam Pachter, Boston Chapter, College
+ Jeremy Patashnik, DC Chapter, College
+ Ina Petersen, LA Chapter, Ext.
+ William Brian Polk, NY Chapter, College
+ John Reese, NY Chapter, HBS
+ Rakhi Ruparelia, Toronto, HLS
+ Garrett Schabb, LA Chapter, College
+ Michael Schuler, SF Chapter, GSAS/College
+ Elline Sharp, LA Chapter, FOH*
+ Myron Ward, LA Chapter, FOH*
+ Heinrich Wilcke, NY Chapter, HLS
+ Danping Wong, LA Chapter, FOH*

*FOH - Friend of Harvardwood

We know that our members ARE Harvardwood and we hope you will join us in welcoming these new members to our community. We celebrate the diverse interests and talents that create the rich fabric of our organization. In order to familiarize new members with the various programs that Harvardwood has to offer, Lano Williams '00, the Director of Membership Experience, will be hosting the first new members' orientation on Sept. 12th (location TBD and note that this event is open to all). In the meantime, feel free to send Lano ([email protected]) any questions you may have about the Harvardwood membership experience.

jonathan_goldstein.jpgMember Profile: Jonathan M. Goldstein, HLS '95 - writer, CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2

by Dayna Wilkinson

While camping in the remote Yukon, a former class clown learns he’s been accepted by Harvard Law School.

"I decided ‘I’ll apply and see what happens,’” Jonathan Goldstein says. "I never thought I’d get in.”

Nor did he imagine that law school would lead to a career as a screenwriter. This summer, Jonathan and his writing partner sold THE BUS DRIVER, a comedy pitch, to New Line for seven figures.

"I always had a predilection for comedy,” Jonathan recalls. "One of the highlights of my childhood was when we got HBO—I watched movies like AIRPLANE and CADDYSHACK over and over. I was in trouble a lot in school because I was always making jokes and being sent to the principal’s office.”

By high school, he found a way to channel those energies. "I’d borrow the Betamax videocamera from the school library and make weird short films with my friends. Senior year I got a lot of teachers to be in a 40-minute film I made called APOCALYPSE HERE.”

While Jonathan saw himself doing something humor-related after graduation, "for the life of me I didn’t know how I’d make a living.”

He did the logical thing—got a degree in German Literature from the University of Michigan and moved to Berlin for a year. "It was an interesting time, right after the Berlin Wall came down.”

Jonathan planned to get a masters degree in International Relations until a friend at Harvard Law School persuaded him he could do international relations and more with a law degree. "So I applied, then drove alone from New York to Alaska as a last hurrah.”

Cut to the fateful phone call--"my mom said ‘you got into Harvard!’”--and his move to Boston.

"I took the least lawyerly classes, like Novels and the Law,” Jonathan says. He also co-wrote a restaurant review column with a classmate who was working on a Simpsons spec. "I read his stuff and thought, ‘So this is how you get into that business.’ I sat down to try it myself and had one of those moments when things clicked into place--it came very naturally to me.”

After graduation, Jonathan joined a New York law firm."Partly it was the $86,000 debt I was carrying,” he explains,"but also I wanted to see whether I liked being a lawyer.”

He didn’t.

When he told the firm he was leaving, "they put out an announcement,” he says. "Usually it’s ‘so-and-so is leaving to become in-house counsel’ somewhere, but in my case it was ‘he’s leaving to pursue a career in comedy writing.’ All these associates came to my office and said ‘I’m so jealous!’” Jonathan moved to L.A. knowing only that he could crash on a friend’s couch.

"I wrote a couple of scripts on the way out and bought a fax machine. I faxed three dozen managers and agents saying I graduated from Harvard Law School and asking if they’d be willing to read my scripts. A few responded and I actually got a manager through that. Then I got an agent, and luckily within six months I got on a show.”

While working as a writer on THE GEENA DAVIS SHOW in 2000, he met actor John Francis Daley. "John totally reminded me of myself when I was his age,” Jonathan recalls. "He had made short films like the ones I made in high school, and we had the same sense of humor. We've been in the same head space since day one.”

The pair’s first spec script, THE $40,000 MAN, made the 2007 Black List and was bought by New Line. "There was a bidding war—it opened a lot of doors for us,” Jonathan recalls.

Over the years, Jonathan and John continued their separate television work, Jonathan as a writer and producer on shows like GOOD MORNING MIAMI, and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE, and John as an actor--he plays Dr. Sweets on BONES. When they write, they work together sitting in the same room or online sharing a screen. "If something makes just one of us laugh we’ll keep working on it,” Jonathan notes, "but if it makes both of us laugh then probably it’ll make other people laugh.”

In 2009, New Line brought in a group of writers to pitch ideas and jokes for Michael Markowitz’s script, HORRIBLE BOSSES. "Apparently, the ideas we pitched were interesting to the studio because they asked us to rewrite the script,” Jonathan says. "The original tone was darker and more in-your-face; we brought it down to Earth, really tried to ground it. We were interested in how real people would act in these extreme circumstances. It’s a bit raunchy, but never because it’s trying to be offensive.”Bosses went on to make over $200 million worldwide.

"John and I don’t want to be branded as just hard-R guys—in this business you have to keep as many irons in the fire as possible because you don’t know what’s going to get made. Now that I’m a father, I’m equally drawn to family-friendly projects. I want my son to be able to watch some of the films I’ve done before he’s 17.”

One such film is 2013’s THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE, about a pair of old-school Vegas magicians (Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi) and their street magician nemesis (Jim Carrey). "Vegas magic lives in the PG-13 world,” Jonathan says. "Steve Carell really loved the script. There were certain things that he wanted to tweak, as any actor would, and he was very collaborative. Once Jim Carrey came on board we went to his house and worked with him, tailoring the role to fit him. The character became an edgy, messianic sort of figure.”

Jonathan’s next film in this space is CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2. "We loved the original movie--it played really well for adults and kids,” Jonathan says. "This time around, the food machine is creating sentient food animals like shrimpanzees. It’s a rich, funny Jurassic Park world with a terrific villain.”

Next year we’ll see Jonathan and John’s first feature as co-writer-directors, the reboot of the VACATION franchise. "As happy as we’ve been with the movies we’ve gotten made with other directors, it feels like we’re only doing half the job when we write it and give it to someone else,” Jonathan says. "We wanted a shot at translating what we put on the page to the screen without an intermediary.”

Jonathan calls the new VACATION "a family road trip movie with an edge. Rusty (the son of Chevy Chase’s character in the original) is all grown up and he’s taking his family to Walley World. We cast Ed Helms as Rusty and Christina Applegate as his wife, and it’s looking like Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo will be back as the grandparents.”

Writer, director and soon perhaps, producer: "We’re also working with younger new writers who have good ideas, helping them with their scripts,” Jonathan says. "If they sell and get made, then we’ll be producers on those.”

What advice does he have for aspiring screenwriters?

"Even though you put your heart and soul into your script, you can’t be too attached to it. Try to write as many things as you can, get them out there, get them read. Be open to people who know the business—take their feedback to heart, have some humility. I’ve been doing this for a while and I’m still learning as I go.”
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 opens nationwide on September 27th.

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


ATL - Harvardwood Georgia Kick-Off Mixer! Thurs., Sept. 26

Inviting any Harvard alums involved or interested in the arts, media and entertainment industries to a Harvardwood Kick-Off Mixer in Georgia! Please bring all of your suggestions, wishes, and ideas for future events and activities…To view full posting, please visit:

DC - A Conversation with Diane Paulus, Artistic Director of the A.R.T., Mon., Sept. 30

Get an exclusive peek behind the curtain into the creative process of the landmark recent Tony Award-winning production of The Gershwins' PORGY & BESS. Artistic Director and Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus (AB '88) will lead a discussion on the production's journey from Harvard's American Repertory Theater to Broadway and to DC's National Theatre this December... To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...Critically Acclaimed 'EVE2' at the Bootleg Theater, Thurs., Sept. 5 (entire run goes until Sept. 8)

Critically acclaimed EVE2 plays to raves at Bootleg Theater…What if Eve took a second bite of the apple? EVE2, playwright Susan Rubin’s probing reboot of the Genesis myth blazes with a stellar cast, brilliant staging, and a radically re-imagined Garden of Eden. Runs Thursday through Saturday @ 7:30 and Sunday @ 2:00. through Sept. 8th at Bootleg Theater, Los Angeles.For Harvard alum twofers or ½ price singles and to view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...The Gary Negbaur Group at Nola's LA, Sat., Sept. 7

Mixing jazz, blues and New Orleans-style rhythm and blues, don’t miss Gary Negbaur at Nola’s LA this September!To view full posting, please visit:

LA - PennClubLA invites Harvardwood to A Special Night with Authors Kevin Kwan & Alison Singh Gee, Tues., Sept. 10

Please join PennClubLA, UPAAN, A4P Southern California, the Dartmouth Asian Pacific American Alumni Association, and the other Ivy Asian groups for a fun night of wine, books, and networking.We are pleased to host authors Kevin Kwan (CRAZY RICH ASIANS) and Alison Singh Gee (WHERE THE PEACOCKS SING: A PALACE, a PRINCE, and the SEARCH FOR HOME) for a fun night of wine, readings, and friends.Please join us as they share their latest works with us and their thoughts on memoir writing and life in general…Ticket purchase includes admission to the event, copies of Kevin Kwan's CRAZY RICH ASIANS, Alison Singh Gee's WHERE THE PEACOCKS SING: A PALACE, a PRINCE, and the SEARCH FOR HOME, and light appetizers…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to the Law of Performing Arts, Wed., Sept 11

Join CLA and Theatrical Attorney Gordon Firemark for an explanation of live performance contracts and their surrounding legal issues. We will explore performer agreements, booking agreements, and engagement agreements in-depth. Then you'll learn about financing and business structures - how should you form your company and the rules, regulations and requirements that apply when raising money. Finally, Mr. Firemark will recommend safeguards to ensure performers get paid, and what to do when confronted with safety concerns or other day-of-show problems. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood New Members' Orientation, Thurs., Sept 12

Calling all new members of Harvardwood (and anyone else that wants to learn more about the organization)!Join us for our first-ever new members' orientation on Thursday, Sept. 12th.Our Director of Membership Experience, Lano Williams '00, will be hosting this event to help familiarize new members with the various programs and services Harvarwood offers.Light refreshments will be served…To view full posting and register, please visit:

SF - C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to a health care law workshop for creative artists, Wed., Sept 25

Are you confused about healthcare reform? This free workshop will...Walk you through your Covered California options and requirements; Provide important information relevant to freelancers and the self-employed; Help you figure out how to get affordable health insurance with the help of tax credits and federal subsidies; and Answer all of your burning questions!This event is free and open to everyone in the visual and performing arts and entertainment. Guests are welcome…To view full posting, please visit:

Find out about our new Corporate Membership!

We're pleased to announce a new type of membership status for corporations. As a Corporate Member, you can publish an unlimited number of job postings on our membership-only website and reach over 5,000 Harvard alums worldwide. If you know of any companies that are interested in promoting their career opportunities to our Harvardwood network, they can register here:


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