Issue 114 | July 2014


In this Issue:

+ Director's Notes
+ Message from Allison


+ Featured Member Posting: Executive Assistant to President of Motion Picture Group - Los Angeles
+ Submit your script to the 2014 Harvardwood Writers' Competition! - Deadline July 31
+ Make some noise: Enter the first Harvardwood Karaoke competition via YouTube - Deadline July 31
+ Register for the Harvardwood NY television writing module - Fall 2014


+ Industry Successes
+ New Members' Welcome
+ Member Profile: Jesse Zwick '08 (Writer/Director, ABOUT ALEX)


+ Calendar
+ Changing jobs? Updating to a @post address? Managing your Harvardwood profile is easy.

Director's Notes

Ok, I know, I know — it’s summer and we all want to chill a little bit, nothing wrong with it! But writers and singers, come off the beach for just a little while in time to get your scripts in for the 2014 Harvardwood Writers’ Competition and to submit your vocal stylings for the first-ever Harvardwood karaoke competition! Lots of cool prizes await. Then, of course, back to the beach. Stay cool!

-- Kelley

Message from Allison

Happy July! There are two fun Harvardwood orientation events happening this month. In LA, join us in Little Tokyo on July 24th and in New York, look out for more details on a July 28th event.
Have a safe and fun 4th of July!

-- Allison

Featured Member Posting: Executive Assistant to President of Motion Picture Group - Los Angeles

A new media and entertainment studio with the capacity to develop, produce, finance, and market a significant number of commercially-viable, star-driven feature films and television shows every year is seeking an Executive Assistant to the Chief Content Officer and President of the Motion Picture Group. Bachelor's Degree is a must, and desk experience at an agency or studio is essential. This is a full-time paid position. Salary commensurate with experience. Standard industry hours. Health benefits after 90 days… To view full posting, please visit:

Submit your script to the 2014 Harvardwood Writers' Competition! - Deadline July 31

The 2014 Harvardwood Writers' Competition is on for ONE more month, so polish up your scripts and get them in to us by July 31st! The HWC was created to give emerging Harvard writers the opportunity to gain industry exposure and to recognize superior work. The contest includes the following three categories: 1) Feature screenplays (90 - 120 pp., all genres); 2) Television pilots (30-min and 60-min, all genres); and 3) Shorts (30-min maximum, no minimum). This year's submission deadline will be THURSDAY, July 31st, at 11:59pm PT. Scripts will be evaluated by industry professionals, and first-place winners in each category will receive a cash award and free admission to the 2014-2015 Writers' Program... To learn more about the HWC and submit your work, please visit:

Make some noise: Enter the 1st Harvardwood Karaoke competition via YouTube - Deadline July 31

Harvardwood Karaoke is a virtual, online competition that features Harvardwood members and affiliates singing along to a song of their choosing. Contestants record their original Karaoke rendition and upload it via YouTube for the review of the Harvardwood Music Committee. The top Karaoke’ers will be featured on the Harvardwood Music page throughout the month of August, when the winner will be determined by popular online vote... To learn more about the HWC and submit your Karaoke video, please visit:

Register for the Harvardwood NY television writing module - Fall 2014

Are you working on a spec you just can't finish? Do you have a great idea for a pilot, but just don't know where to start? Do you have a finished script in need of some polish? Harvardwood NYC is starting up a bi-weekly writing group for TV writers (and wannabe TV writers) of all levels, from beginner to seasoned pro. At each meeting, we'll read and workshop pieces of each other's work, with the goal of helping group members improve and perfect their scripts. Whether you're still thinking over your concept, or already have a finished script, we'd love to have you! Meetings will start in late August... To learn more, please visit:

Industry Successes...

ellen.jpgCongratulations to Jason Gelles '96, writer and producer for THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW, which just won five Daytime Emmys Awards, including one for Outstanding Special Class Writing, on June 22nd.

In addition to appearing on upcoming episodes of National Geographic's BRAIN GAMES and the CW's MASTERS OF ILLUSION this summer, Harrison Greenbaum '08 will be headlining CAROLINES on Broadway for his tenth time and recording his first album on July 2nd (tickets available here). The warm-up comic for KATIE on ABC, Harrison was also recently a producer on ABC's WOULD YOU FALL FOR THAT? and a story producer for VH1's THIS IS HOT 97. For more info and for video clips from recent TV appearances, visit

Paula C. Brancato HBS '82 recently authored an article featured in the HUFFINGTON POST on the effects of longevity on our resources. Read the article here!

sunny.jpgJeremy Rabb A.R.T. '98 just filmed a fun role as a less-than-attractive suitor on IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA. The episode will air in October!

Dani Dixon is featured in the documentary BRAVE NEW SOULS: BLACK SCI-FI AND FANTASY WRITERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY releasing on DV and digital download July 15th ( Dani will also be speaking at Comic-Con International on the "Insights for Independent Creators" panel on Thursday, July 24th, 4-5pm in Room 32AB (

New Members' Welcome

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

+ Robert Duncan, College & GSAS, Other U.S.
+ Quincy Evans, College, Other U.S.
+ Michele Gallant, GSAS, LA
+ Leslie A. Gehring, A.R.T., DC
+ Flavia Jackson, College, NY
+ Arthur D. Kaynor, College, Boston
+ Gina Maccoby, College & GSAS, NY
+ Tom Newman, HLS, NY
+ Sara Oswald, Ext., Other U.S.
+ David Penn, GSAS, LA
+ Eric Pinckert, HLS, LA
+ Danielle Safran, College, DC
+ Steven A. Soto, College, LA
+ Marga Vicedo, GSAS, Toronto
+ William Williams, HDS, Other U.S.
+ Kamilia K. Vaneck, College, Toronto/Canada
+ Susan Y. Young, College, NY

*FOH = Friend of Harvardwood

This month, our Director of Membership Experience, Lano Williams (, is organizing great new members' orientation events in Los Angeles AND New York! Be sure to check out the events calendar below and save the date for your local chapter's orientation.

Member Profile: Jesse Zwick '08 (Director, ABOUT ALEX)

by Stacey Collins

Zwick.jpgAbout Alex, opens on August 8th, is writer-director Jesse Zwick’s '08-'09 feature film debut. The rookie filmaker managed to pull together an impressive ensamble cast (Jason Ritter, Max Greenfield, Aubrey Plaza, Jane Levy, Maggie Grace, Nate Parker, and Max Minghella). As a firsttime director who took bold moves, Zwick reveals himself as an insightful writer/director with a natural comedic instinct. This poignant dramady tells a story about college friends reunited for the weekend after one of them attempts suicide. Old resentments and romances resurface, as the group discovers new things about each other in a secluded home in the Catskills, despite years staying connected by the ease of social media.

Zwick grew up in a filmmaking family in Los Angeles — his father is Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ed Zwick — but initially didn’t have a desire to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. A Social Studies concentrator at Harvard College, he worked as a journalist in Washington D.C. for three years after graduation. He had always had an idea for a screenplay that he’d tinkered with, and gradually started working on it nights and weekends. Zwick realized he was willingly writing screenplays in his spare time and not getting paid for it, and this probably indicated his own passion for filmmaking.

He emphasizes the need for passion for a project, how that kind of excitement will sustain you in the challenging and long hours that quality filmmaking demands. “You need the passion to get up every day, to stare at that same footage day in and day out for months.”

When asked on what advice he’d give to rising writer/directors, he refers to a “learn by doing” methodology. “As a writer, you need to ask yourself the question, do I have the discipline to do it every day? And also not to be afraid to show your material to someone.”

IAboutAlex.jpgn terms of looking for material, he encourages aspiring directors to write their own scripts. “It’s incumbent on you to generate it,” says Zwick, “people aren’t just going to hand you great material when you’re starting out.”

Zwick likens his experience directing About Alex to the education one would learn in film school. In the filmaking process he learned how to tell a story visually, as well as the value of collaborate effort of filmaking--and the gems he might have missed had he been closed off to ideas. The director mentions how he was open to hearing others’ thoughts on set, at times allowing for something impromptu, that it “would have been criminal if I hadn’t,” says Zwick, “I learned not to be too precious with my own script.”

He points out how filmmakers can do more than less, that he learned the value of “writing with economy.” He appreciates how the work of an editor strengthened his own writing craft. On the cutting floor he could see the benefit of paring back, for example in one scene he observed how an actor’s look communicated as much as a monlogue. “I became more economical in my writing as a result of being an editor/filmmaker.”

Zwick is thrilled to return to the final season of Parenthood as a staff writer. He continues to work in his spare time on his next film project idea, a romance with comedic elements, about a 20-something couple who meet in New York City. The story explores the choice of losing oneself in a realtionship or focusing on your own life to allow for personal growth. With a directorial debut like About Alex, we look forward to future projects by this promising filmmaker.Collins.jpg

Board member Stacey Collins is a journalist, based in Santa Monica, CA.


***LA - New Members' Orientation + the Harvardwood Karaoke Recording Sesh, Thurs., July 24***

Our Director of Membership Experience is organizing a super fun karaoke party for Harvardwood's newest members in LA and for participants of the 2014 Harvardwood Karaoke contest! Join us in a private room at Max Karaoke Studio (DOWNTOWN location) to meet other Harvardwood folks and hear them rock out to their favorite tunes. We'll also record those members participating in the karaoke contest. This will be a fun, casual way to get to know your fellow Harvardwood members here in Los Angeles... To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To ... DIRT: A Comedy Show, Thurs., July 10

They're watching us. The NSA, Google, Martha Stewart Living. DIRT is a semi-improvised standup show that mines fresh material from the data trails we thought were invisible. That archived email you thought you deleted? That search history you thought you cleared? For one hour, some of the country's top comics air their private moments before the eye in the sky beats them to the punch. Co-hosted by Kiran Deol AB and Emily Maya Mills… To view full posting, please visit:

LA - C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to The Other Kind of Film Coverage, Tues., July 15

Join C.L.A. & insurance broker Greg Jones for a presentation focusing on the fundamentals of obtaining production insurance for films, an essential subject for all filmmakers. The program will feature information about basic production insurance coverage, including cast insurance, general liability, and errors and omissions (E&O) insurance… To view full posting, please visit:

LA - C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to Photography & the Law, Wed., July 23

The legal issues affecting photographs and the photographs who take them are different than for other types of original works. The growth of social media, paparazzi, and "entertainment news" sites, television shows, and magazines has raised additional issues about photos that people shoot and how they can be used. This workshop will provide a primer on the various legal issues involved with photos and how these issues differ based on how photos are used... To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To... Thursday Summer Outdoor Concert & Picnic with the HCSC, Thurs., July 24

Join Harvardwood and members of the Harvard Club of Southern California for an evening of fun, music, and evening picnic at the 2014 Marina Del Ray Outdoor Summer Concert Series. This concert will feature music by Prokofiev, Respighi, Mussorgsky, and Tchaikovsky performed by violinist William Hagen. Alumni should meet with HCSC event coordinator Mr. Arash Michael Davallou (HBS '00) by the fountain at the entrance of the Burton Chase Park… To view full posting, please visit:

LA - C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to The Real Deal in Reality TV, Mon., July 28

Join C.L.A. for an exciting dialogue with Rob Rader (AB/JD), General Counsel, Ovation, and William Morris Endeavor reality TV agent Ryan McNeilly about negotiating reality TV deals. Both speakers will share their perspectives on current hot button issues facing reality television production deals... To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents ROMANTIC JAZZ for a SUMMER EVENING with Kevin Burke & Adam Fisher '93, Wed., July 9

Enjoy summer in New York at its very best with Kevin Fitzgerald Burke and his Trio. Romantic, swinging, and soulful, with influences that range from R&B to bop to Brazil to classic jazz, Burke is one of today's best and most original jazz singers and songwriters. Joining Burke and his Trio will be Adam Fisher '93, a charismatic virtuoso on the cello (and a brilliant composer and singer as well) whose music ranges from Argentine tango to "new music" to cabaret to jazz… To view full posting, please visit:

CHI - Harvardwood Heads To ... A Grant Park Concert with Pianist Stephen Hough, Fri., July 18

The Harvard Business School Club of Chicago invites all Harvard alumni/ae to join them at Grant Park as revered former Festival Principal Conductor Hugh Wolff partners with British piano sensation Stephen Hough for Dvorak's Piano Concerto. Beethoven's wondrous paean to country life, Symphony Pastoral, opens the program. The club has secured the Choral Risers immediately behind the orchestra facing the conductor on the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion… To view full posting, please visit:

SF - Harvardwood Heads To ... Free Screening of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, Sun., July 6

Get ready for Merola's production of Andre Previn's opera A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE with a free screening of the 1951 film classic. Winner of four Academy Awards, this sizzling screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams stars Marlon Brando & Vivien Leigh and will be preceded by a short talk about the making of the film and the opera… To view full posting, please visit:

SF - Harvardwood Heads To... the Harvard Welcome of Summer Interns to the Golden Gate, Thurs., July 10

Every summer, Harvard students from all schools avoid the Eastern heat by summering in the Bay Area, where they often shiver instead. To help acclimate all interns, the Harvard Club of SF and the Harvard Gender & Sexuality Caucus extend a warm invite to LGBT Bay Area alums and LGBT summer interns to a no-host Happy Hour on July 10th -- a perfect opportunity to get to know each other, HGSC, and the Harvard Club a little better… To view full posting, please visit:

SF - Harvardwood Heads To ... The Independent Music Video Race, Sun., July 20

Some of the Bay Area's most buzzworthy bands were paired with the best filmmakers around to create brand new music videos in just 48 hours. Indie rock, garage, folk, metal, and hip-hop are just a few of the genres represented. Filmmaking teams include some of the bravest and best up-and-coming talent in the Bay Area… To view full posting, please visit:

SF - Harvardwood Heads To ... the Asian Art Museum with the Harvard Club of SF, Sun., July 20

When it comes to viewing art, it's all in the eye of the beholder. Artworks from the Asian Art Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art -- appearing together for the first time -- invite you to get personal and explore what "gorgeous" means to you. Come take a look, engage in some one-on-one with the objects, and see what happens… To view full posting, please visit:

Changing jobs? Updating to a @post address? Managing your Harvardwood profile is easy.

Have you recently changed jobs or graduated from the College and need to change your email address? You can update your account email and other listed information by logging in at and going to the "My Profile" menu on the right. When you are there, click on "Manage Profile" --> "Edit Bio." There, you'll find the page to make any necessary updates to your account, including your email address. And if you've got your address listed, please also provide us with an alternate email under the "Contact Information" section. Harvardwood emails and notices are more quickly received a non @post addresses. Shoot an email to if you have any questions!


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