Issue 107 | December 2013

In this Issue:

+ Director's Notes
+ Message from Allison


+ Featured Member Posting: Executive Assistant to the President of MGM International Television Distribution & Acquisitions - LA
+ Call for volunteers to rep Harvardwood at the OCS Summer Opportunities Fair | Dec. 6th
+ Stumped for gift ideas? Check out the Harvardwood Holiday Silent Auction
+ Looking for volunteers to help at our fun & festive Holiday Gala | Dec. 10th
+ Have experience e-publishing? Volunteer with Harvardwood Publishing!
+ Harvardwood's 2013 Holiday Appeal


+ 2013 Harvardwood Volunteer of the Year (HARVY) Award Winner: Dayna Wilkinson
+ Checking in with the 2013 Harvardwood Heroes
+ Industry Successes
+ New Members' Welcome
+ Member Profile: Andrew Herwitz '83, HLS '90


+ Calendar
+ Give the gift of Harvardwood Membership

Director's Notes

For those of you that know me, you know this is my FAVORITE time of year! (Although I must say the holidays do seem to come upon us faster and faster, don't they?!) Hopefully those in NY and LA can make it to one of our holiday festivities this month (don't miss holiday parties in NY on Dec. 13th and LA on Dec. 10th), and if you're in another Chapter and feel so inclined to put one together, let us know! We'll be happy to promote it for you. Community is what Harvardwood is all about, so whether it's a holiday party or getting together for an eggnog latte at your local coffee shop, be sure to spread some happy Harvardwood holiday cheer this season!

-- Kelley

Message from Allison

Happy December! We are celebrating the end of an amazing 2013 at Harvardwood, and it's time to ask for your support for 2014.

Over the past year, our community has continued to grow and flourish. Some highlights are: the launch of Harvardwood Heroes, a program that offers grants of $500 for members doing community service. From the Writers Program, we currently have five writers staffed and two who have sold series that are going to air; look out for HELIX on SyFy and ALLEGIANCE on ABC next year! The Harvardwood Talent Group has booked over a dozen roles, including a guest star on SAM & CAT (Nickelodeon), THE MINDY PROJECT (Fox) and the film HER directed by Spike Jonze. Our latest events in the Harvardwood Salon Series include discussions with Charles Hirshhorn, President of AEG/AXS TV, and Eddie Dalva, EVP at Viacom Media Networks, and we recently broadened our international reach via our cosponsorship of the inaugural Beijing International Screenwriting Competition. Harvardwood 101 and the Summer Internship Program have expanded to include additional partner companies, as we continue to bring current undergraduates to LA to learn about opportunities in entertainment. And much more -- it's been a phenomenal year! Thank you to all our members and volunteers who have helped to build this vibrant community!

-- Allison

Featured Member Posting: Executive Assistant to the President of MGM International Television Distribution & Acquisitions - LA

MGM International Television Distribution & Acquisitions is hiring an Executive Assistant to the President. This is a very fast-paced desk, and it offers an excellent opportunity to see the larger picture of international television and the feature film world, as the division is also very active in acquiring feature films and then releasing them around the world and domestically. The job is a great platform to other positions in the industry and within MGM. All four of the most recent people who held the job were promoted in roughly a year into sales, business development, or sales planning jobs. This position requires excellent judgment and a switched-on personality that can navigate the complexities of a high-pressure and high-level business environment. Foreign language skills and international exposure a definite plus… To view full posting, please visit:

Call for volunteers to rep Harvardwood at the OCS Summer Opportunities Fair | Dec. 6th

A Harvardwood table will be at the OCS Summer Opportunities Fair on FRIDAY, DEC. 6th. The fair is being held at the Sheraton Commander Hotel and the SOCH (old Hilles Library), where Harvardwood's table will be located. We're looking for former participants of Harvardwood 101, student liaisons, and any other Harvardwood members in the Cambridge/Boston area to help man the Harvardwood table and to chat with interested students. Stop by anytime between 12 noon and 4pm on December 6th. If you have any questions about volunteering, please email [email protected]

Stumped for gift ideas? Check out the Harvardwood Holiday Silent Auction

Leading up to our HOLIDAY GALA on December 10th, we're excited to announce the 2013 Harvardwood Holiday Silent Auction, which is sure to cure your holiday shopping stress. Our auction items include set visits to BIG BANG THEORY and HOT IN CLEVELAND, tickets to CONAN, musical scores signed by Beyonce and Coldplay, and more! The silent auction will be online soon, so stay tuned for that announcement -- or you can bid LIVE at the Holiday Gala by RSVPing to that event here!

Looking for volunteers to help at our fun & festive Holiday Gala | Dec. 10th

We are currently seeking volunteers to help run the festivities at ourHarvardwood/Stanford Holiday Gala, which will take place on Tuesday, December 10th from 8-11pm. Volunteers should plan to arrive by 7pm at the latest to help out. Please email [email protected] with the subject line "VOLUNTEER - HOLIDAY GALA" if interested... To view full posting, please visit:
Have experience e-publishing? Volunteer with Harvardwood Publishing!

Have experience with e-publishing, formatting, and book marketing/distribution? If so, Harvardwood needs you!

With the upcoming release of our first-ever anthology together with the Harvard Review, we need a volunteer to help format the online copy of The Best of the Harvard Review. If you're interested in helping out, please contact Patricia Danaher at [email protected] To view full posting, please visit:

Harvardwood's 2013 Holiday Appeal

As 2013 comes to a close in a flurry of holiday activity, Harvardwood is looking ahead and seeking your support for next year's programs. We truly appreciate the many volunteer hours, hard work, and past contributions given by the members of our robust community. Thanks to you all,Harvardwood has continued to grow and flourish.

To ensure the growth of Harvardwood's programs in 2014 and beyond, we need your support today. We ask that you make a donation to Harvardwood this holiday season to help maintain our fantastic programs and services for new voices in the arts. You can make a tax-deductible donation, make an in-kind contribution, or bring in a sponsor. Thank you for your support and involvement in Harvardwood! To make a donation, click here:

2013 Harvardwood Volunteer of the Year (HARVY) Award Winner: Dayna Wilkinson

daynawilkinson.jpgSince 2010, Harvardwood has identified and honored a volunteer who has demonstrated outstanding service and dedication to our organization every year. This year, we're excited to announce that the HARVY winner is Dayna Wilkinson! Dayna has done an extraordinary job as the Harvardwood DC Chapter Head, re-vamping and rejuvenating Harvardwood activity in that region.

A longtime Harvardwood member, she has organized film & theater events and joint activities with the Harvard Alumni Association and the HBS Club of Washington, D.C. She also led a collaboration with the U.K.’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Inspired by her brother Rick, an L.A.-based Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning storyteller, she completed a screenplay which she’s currently rewriting.

An executive with experience in media, financial services and e-commerce, her work & client background spans public, privately-held and non-profit organizations and includes market development, channel management and strategy design & execution.

To date, she has written over a dozen Harvardwood Highlights profiles, and looks forward to writing more stories of Harvard alumni in the entertainment industry.

Checking in with the 2013 Harvardwood Heroes

The 2013 Harvardwood Heroes (HH) grant winners were announced earlier this year, but with 2014 just around the corner, we thought we'd check in with them to see how they've been making a difference.

Robyn Abraham is producing a documentary entitled CASH FOR KIDS, which tells the tragic story of how several American States are drugging and experimenting on children for multimillion-dollar profit. "In follow up to the Harvardwood Heroes announcement, several prominent friends within the entertainment and media industries provided introductions to US Academy and British BAFTA award-winning producers and directors. As of today's date, one of the leading American Academy and Emmy award-winning documentary film production teams has offered to co-executive produce CASH FOR KIDS subject to certain terms and conditions."

mari.jpgDr. Mari Hamill is an engaged volunteer with two art/community organizations: LA's Best and Inside Out Community Arts. "The Harvardwood Heroes grant allowed me to dedicate more time than customary to help an organization that teaches young minds how to express themselves through art. I am committed to helping others and sharing the skills I acquired through higher education to bring innovative solutions to challenging situations."

ddl.jpgD. Dona Le has worked on a volunteer basis with Westside Writing Project, a Chicago-based youth enrichment program that uses journalism and digital media as tools for personal transformation and civic engagement. "TheWestside Writing Project has experienced a tremendously exciting half-year since my receipt of the HH grant. We've made great strides in expanding our local partnerships with other nonprofits, impacting the lives of a greater number of students, and procuring more resources and grants to support our programs."

lisa_wong_plays_for_patients.jpgLisa Wong integrates the arts into medical education through her work with the Committee for the Arts & Humanities at Harvard Medical School. "This year has been one of exciting growth for me, and I am grateful to Harvardwood Heroes for recognizing my work with a 2013 Harvardwood Heroes grant... Thanks in part to the HH grant, I have been able to devote more time and resources to encouraging young people, through several channels: my recently-published book SCALES TO SCALPELS: DOCTORS WHO PRACTICE THE HEALING ARTS OF MUSIC AND MEDICINE; in collaboration with the Committee for the Arts & Humanities @ HMS; and with Boston Arts Consortium for Health (BACH)."

Industry Successes...

After several years at Warner Music Group pitching and licensing for Film & Television, Megan Goldstein '05 has recently accepted a position as Senior Manager at BMG Chrysalis, again working on music for Film & Television. Congratulations, Megan!

Justin Monticello '09 and Ryan Newbrough '09 of JustNew Productions won second place in the Reason Video Prize for their political parody music video, OBAMA THAT I USED TO KNOW, which was released during the 2012 election cycle and has since been viewed over 2.5 million times on YouTube ( The 2013 Reason Media Awards were presented on Nov. 6th at the New York Yacht Club to the finalists for the Reason Video Prize and the Bastiat Prize for Journalism, as well as the winners of the Lanny Friedlander Prize, Jane Metcalfe and Louis Rossetto, founders of WIRED magazine.

A recent Harvardwood testimonial:

"In the Harvardwood Writing Program in Boston, I found every writer's dream: a group of thoughtful, dedicated, and insightful fellow-writers, ready to give notes and solve story problems.I truly looked forward to every meeting, and cherished both the feedback and the companionship on the often lonely writer's journey.The notes and support I received were instrumental in taking my screenplay HOLLAND, MICHIGAN from first draft into finished form.

HOLLAND, MICHIGAN has launched my screenwriting career and will be produced this spring with a dream-team cast and crew. But it all started with those great discussions down in the Queen's Head Pub. I'm so grateful for the wonderful feedback, supportive community, and great friendships I found in the Harvardwood Writers Program."

- Andrew Sodroski

New Members' Welcome

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

+ Peter James Bohnhof, Friend of Harvardwood, NY
+ Zach Bubolo, A.R.T. Full Member, NY
+ Christopher Davidson, A.R.T. Full Member, LA
+ Eric Kaplan, Full Member, LA
+ Hayoon Kim, Full Member, On-Campus
+ Jared Sleisenger, Full Member, Boston
+ Pablo Torre, Full Member, NY
+ Stephen Travierso, Full Member, NY

And a special thanks to Lano Williams, our Director of Membership Experience, who hosted the NYC Chapter's first New Members' Orientation on November 25th! We'll be aiming to have orientation events every quarter, so check our events calendar periodically for updated information.

Member Profile: Andrew Herwitz '83, HLS '90

by Dayna WilkinsonHerwitz.jpg

For a long time Andrew Herwitz wasn’t interested in law school. "My mother graduated from Harvard Law School and my father was a professor there, so as a younger person I wasn’t open to the possibility that I might like it.” (His parents told him: "You like to argue, you should be a lawyer.”)

One thing was certain—he wanted to be a Harvard undergraduate. "Growing up outside of Boston, I thought Cambridge would be an ideal place to go to college.”

Unlike Reginald Hudlin and Thania St. John, fellow members of the class of 1983 (and subjects of past Harvardwood Highlights profiles), Andrew wasn’t involved with film as an undergraduate.

"I was so focused on my coursework and social life that everything else seemed like a distraction,” he says. "My concentration was History and Literature; I really enjoyed my classes and was challenged to think analytically, to avoid pat answers and to always consider who the narrator was. At Harvard I made tremendous friends, many of whom are still my nearest and dearest. I loved my four years but really regret that I did not take advantage of the incredible range of resources at Harvard, particularly in the arts and in community service. I really relate to the old saw ‘youth is wasted on the young.’”

After graduating and applying to business school, Andrew joined a group of Harvard friends in Paris and lived the life of a flaneur for "eight glorious months. It was a chance to explore, to travel, to practice French, to do odd jobs, and to spend an inordinate amount of time sitting in cafes in between museum visits, strolls in beautiful gardens and unfamiliar neighborhoods, to go to the movies and generally to carouse,” he recalls. "It was great.”

Between terms at Columbia Business School, Andrew worked in venture capital, and somewhere along the line he decided he wanted to go to law school after all.

"Harvard Law School was really intense—I gave it my all and worked like a maniac. Fortunately some of my very close college friends were still in and around Cambridge, so that eased the transition.”

Because he planned to be a litigator, Andrew took a job clerking for a district court judge in New York. "By the end of the first day I realized I definitely didn’t want to be a litigator,” he says. "The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to continue to live in New York.

"In terms of careers, I thought I was good at imagining myself in the other guy’s shoes, had a certain amount of empathy and cared about interpersonal dynamics so it seemed that the fields that would best suit me were those that had a lot of contact with individuals as clients such as Trusts & Estates and Entertainment Law. Ultimately because I have always loved to go to the movies, I chose the latter.”

Andrew joined the entertainment department at the law firm Paul Weiss. After several years of theater and publishing legal work and of representing individual actors and playwrights, Andrew took stock and realized law firm life was not for him. At the urging of his wife, he thought seriously about a lateral move to work in entertainment itself. Being in New York limited the options but he managed to get introduced (via a Harvard contemporary) to Harvey and Bob Weinstein and then joined Miramax to pursue more of a business/creative career in the entertainment industry.

Starting as a production lawyer, he was steadily promoted, eventually becoming Head of the Acquisitions Department. After six years, he was quite ready to try something entrepreneurial. He left Miramax to start his own business in 2002. His firm, The Film Sales Company, handles independent films seeking financing and/or distribution.

"In many ways I started my company by doing the opposite of what I did at Miramax,” Andrew says. "Rather than buying films, I was selling them. The terrain and the people were familiar, and I’d learned what made something commercial or non-commercial. Certainly under Harvey’s tutelage I had honed an aggressive attitude toward getting things done.”

Business school, law school, traveling outside the country, working in finance and at Miramax—"in hindsight it’s all been a perfect trajectory to where I am now,” he says. "But it wasn’t thought-out and methodical at all. It was completely haphazard. I tried (mostly) to do a good job at whatever I was doing despite the fact that I had little idea what I even wanted the next step to be. I feel very lucky to have ended up where I am.”

Although he has distributed, helped finance and produce provocative narrative and documentary films like Waitress, Adam, Night Catches Us, Let the Fire Burn, Born Into Brothels, Fahrenheit 9/11, Room 237, and My Architect, he doesn’t see his mission as doing ‘important’ films.

"I work on films I find engaging that I also think will meet with some kind of success in the market. I see many films that are fascinating and impressive and will probably garner critical support, but if I can’t figure out a way that I can help it have some level of commercial success it’s not a good one for me to take on to represent. My professional goal is to find a film or a project with a unique voice but one for which I can come up with some marketing hook--a way to make the inaccessible accessible so it can be shared with a larger audience.

"I actively look for projects--there’s a lot of pounding the pavement. Sometimes I get calls that result in projects I want to take on which is always a nice boon.”

Case in point: a call from a group of investors. "They said ‘there’s this project, will you look at the script, tell us what you think?’ So I did and I thought it was fantastic. While every film has its risks, the director was really talented, the story was totally winning and an amazing cast was coming together.”

The representative of the production ended up being the brother of a good friend from Harvard ("I’ve known him since I was 18”), someone he’d acquired films from when he was at Miramax.

"We’re friends and we enjoy one another--that made it much easier to negotiate something that worked for my investors and for the production,” Andrew says. "We ended up investing a large sum in the film and were obviously delighted with how well it has performed.”

The film was Lee Daniel’s The Butler.

The Film Sales Company is active across all distribution platforms. "Video on Demand works well for some films,” Andrew says. "We also license many films directly to Netflix. Digital has been a great frontier to innovate in. We use it extensively and have direct licensing deals with both Hulu and iTunes.

"I’m very excited about the domestic and international rollout of the documentary Pandora’s Promise on iTunes,” he says. "We’ve worked hard on the marketing for its 56-country launch in December, and arranged for the director to travel to those countries so there will be appropriate press.”

Asked how he would advise aspiring independent filmmakers, Andrew offers the following:

"Although you have to be your own best advocate and do what you think is best, you should listen to what the market is telling you. Going against the market may well be the right decision, but you have to understand that it’s a risk. I’m not saying to give up if everyone says ‘that’s a boring topic’ or ‘I’ve seen a lot of similar films,’ but do take that into account. If you’re rigid and dismissive of the value of other people’s perspectives, you’re cheating yourself.”

Andrew is an Executive Producer of Midnight Sun starring Jesse Eisenberg, which will be shot in 2014, as well as several new documentaries on wide-ranging topics.

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


***LA - Harvardwood & Stanford in Entertainment Present the 2013 HOLIDAY GALA, Tues., Dec 10***

Last year's turnout to the annual Harvardwood/SIE Holiday Soiree was spectacular, and we're expecting an even BIGGER and MORE FESTIVE crowd this year! Come enjoy holiday revelry, good cheer, & tasty appetizers with our friends from Stanford in Entertainment at Estérel at the Sofitel Hotel, where you'll be warmed by not just heated tents but also great company. Early-bird tickets are available until Dec. 3rd, and Full Members and Friends of Harvardwood enjoy a special discount off early-bird and general tickets. Complimentary appetizers will be served… To view full posting, please visit: v

LA - C.L.A. Invites Harvardwood to ... An Intro to Online IP for Artists & Creative Professionals, Wed., Dec 4

Join CLA and attorney Dorisa Shahmirzai for a in-person workshop that covers the basics of copyright law for creative artists with an emphasis on how copyright law has evolved in the Internet era. During the workshop we will cover, copyright basics (registration, rights, and infringement), the fair use defense, posting images and music online, sharing media via different Internet outlets, and how copyright law has adjusted (and failed to adjust) in the last twenty years to accommodate the proliferation of online media… To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To ... the 8th Annual IVY Entertainment Holiday Party, Thurs., Dec 5

You are invited to ring in the holidays with IVY Entertainment at Station located at W Hollywood. We'll have fun while sipping cocktails on the beautiful outdoor patio. Drop your business card off for card drawings for gifts including clothing, iTunes gift cards, and more. Wear your holiday gear. For ticket purchase and to view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To ... The Ivy Plus Society Holiday Party, Sat., Dec 7

Sleigh bells ring, are you listenin'?! Join us for our annual TIPS toast to the holidays! We’ll be kicking off the festive December 7th at hotspot Hooray Henry's. Come celebrate the holiday season with a little bit of British flair! For ticket purchase and to view full posting, please visit: events/event_details.asp?id= 377248&group=

LA - A Special Harvardwood Invite to the Harvard Club of Southern California's Harvard Holiday Salon, Sat., Dec 14

Join us for the HCSC's lively Holiday Performance Party and Mixer in Los Angeles. Do you sing? Play? Perform? Dance? Or have another unique talent that would entertain guests? This is your chance for fame, if not fortune! Deadline to register is December 10, 2013. Directions and address to be sent after registration. Tickets are $20/person and $30 at the door… To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To ... Branding::101

BRANDING::101 is a jam-packed, one-day seminar that will help you uncover the basic strategies of successful brand marketing, including the crucial steps to starting your own business, building a successful brand, or revitalizing an already existing business. Ideal for entrepreneurs, existing business owners, and freelancers and creatives. Limited space available… To view full posting, please visit:

NYC - Harvardwood Heads To ... BREAKFAST WITH CURTIS Screening, Wed., Dec 4

BREAKFAST WITH CURTIS, a film by writer/director Laura Colella '91, opens Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the IFC Center in NY. The story revolves around a community of freewheeling bohemians who welcome an introverted young neighbor, Curtis, into their world. Colella will meet interested partie(r)s for drinks across the street at Vol de Nuit following the screening that begins around 7. You may RSVP to the event contact. The exact screening time will be found closer to opening night on the IFC Center’s website, where tickets will also be available for purchase… To view full posting, please visit:

NYC - Our Happy Harvardwood HOLIDAY PARTY, Fri., Dec 13

It's the Holiday Season, and we know what that means--it's time for the Happy Harvardwood HOLIDAY PARTY! And this will be a great one, and a wonderful opportunity for you to meet more of our incredibly smart, sexy, and scintillating Harvardwood members! Major fun and jubilation alert! We're being graciously hosted by our friends at one of New York's smartest and most sophisticated non-profit (no selling) art venues, the wonderful AC Institute!… To view full posting, please visit:

SF - C.L.A. Invites Harvardwood to Basic Bookkeeping for Creative Artists, Wed., Dec 4

This basic bookkeeping class will explain and simplify accounting terms for the practical life of a creative artist. The class will help you understand accounting theories and will provide a step-by-step guide to the bookkeeping process. Creative artists will leave with the skills they need to manage their personal books and finances to ensure their arts business is profitable and sustainable. Get your bookkeeping records ready for our"Relax with Tax" tax-prep seminars coming soon in early 2014!… To view full posting, please visit:

OAKLAND - C.L.A. Invites Harvardwood to Trademarks 101 for Creative Artists, Wed., Dec 11

Trademarks 101 for Creative Artists will be led by Cyrus Wadia, Esq. Topics include: What is a trademark? What is, and is not, protected by a trademark? How long does trademark last? How is a trademark protected? What is a trademark search? What can you do if someone violates your trademark? How can you use someone else's trademark? And much more… To view full posting, please visit:

BOSTON - Harvardwood Heads To ... an Author Talk with David Misch, Tues., Dec 3

Author David Misch presents THE HISTORY OF HAL, a some-holds-barred survey of absolutely everything funny that's ever happened. From ancient Greece to MODERN FAMILY, David Misch uses clips and commentary to look at what comedy is, where it comes from, and where it's going. Among David Misch's TV and movie credits are the Emmy-nominated MORK AND MINDY, DUCKMAN, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN. He is also a playwright, songwriter, blogger, teacher, stand-up comic, and has lectured at Columbia University, Fordham University, University of Southern California, and University of California, Los Angeles… To view full posting, please visit:

BOSTON - Harvardwood Table at the OCS Summer Opportunities Fair, Fri., Dec 6

Harvardwood is attending the Office of Career Services' annual SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES FAIR on Friday, December 6th, from 12 noon to 4pm at the Sheraton Commander Hotel and Harvard SOCH. Please drop by and say hi at the Harvardwood table, which will be in the SOCH (the old Hilles Library)… To view full posting, please visit:

Give the gift of Harvardwood Membership

You can now offer Full or Friend of Harvardwood Membership as a gift to your family, friends, and associates!Click below to purchase the annual membership fee (you can purchase several years, if you'd like), and just let us know the name and email of the person for whom you are buying the gift and we'll take it from there!Learn more and purchase a gift membership here:


Harvardwood does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content or advertisements (collectively "Materials") contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded or accessed from any of the services contained in this e-mail. You hereby acknowledge that any reliance upon any Materials shall be at your sole risk. The materials are provided by Harvardwood on an "AS IS" basis, and Harvardwood expressly disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied.

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