Issue 119 | December 2014



In This Issue:

+ Director's Notes
+ Message from Allison


+ Featured Member Posting: Publicity Director Assistant (Paradigm) - Los Angeles
+ Stumped for gift ideas? Shop the Harvardwood Silent Auction (closes December 14th)
+ Seeking volunteers to assist at our HOLLYwood JOLLYfest in Los Angeles | Dec. 10th
+ Apply for a $500 Harvardwood Heroes grant | Extended Deadline: Dec. 12th
+ Join the Harvardwood Board of Directors
+ Calling student volunteers to rep Harvardwood at the Harvard OCS Summer Opportunities Fair | Dec. 5th
+ Exclusive offer through our partnership with Ameriprise Financial
+ HW Publishing seeks readers and writers for our upcoming original anthology
+ Harvardwood's 2014 Annual Appeal


+ 2014 Harvardwood Volunteer of the Year (HARVY) Winner: James Granger '05
+ Industry Successes
+ New Members' Welcome
+ Member Profile: Warren Hsu Leonard HLS '99 (HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER)


+ Calendar
+ Give the gift of Harvardwood membership!

Director's NotesSilentAuction.jpg

'Tis the season for giving (and it's Giving Tuesday!), so head over to our annual Holiday Silent Auction ONLINE and start bidding! And if that won't do, why not give the gift of Harvardwood membership?

If you're in Los Angeles this month, I look forward to seeing you at our Dec. 10th HOLLYwood JOLLYfest, co-hosted with Stanford in Entertainment. And New Yorkers, you can celebrate the season with Harvardwood on December 19th! Enjoy a warm and wonderful holiday season, everybody, and we'll see you in the new year!

— Dona

Message from Allison

Happy holidays to all! For those planning your year-end giving, please take a moment to consider donating to Harvardwood. Our programs and services are helping new voices build careers in the arts and we need your support! Donate here. Also, don’t forget to check out our community services grants program, Harvardwood Heroes—the deadline has been extended to December 12th!

Looking forward to seeing you all at the holiday party on December 10th!

— Allison

Featured Member Posting: Publicity Director Assistant (Paradigm) - Los Angeles

A Publicity Director at a major studio is hiring a PR assistant to assist with day-to-day tasks for major network TV Series. This is an entry-level position, and the ideal candidate is dynamic and ambitious with a positive attitude, as well as a strong interest in the category. The person should also have impeccable communication (written and verbal skills) and some experience on a desk. Tasks include: track & compile client media coverage; assist in the creation of weekly/monthly progress reports; work closely every day with talents, actors, and executive producers; research and monitor current eventsd as they relate to clients; walk clients down carpets and assist Publicity Director, as requested; work directly with Publicity Director on editorial calendar and current trends to draft pertinent pitches… To view full posting, please visit:

Stumped for gift ideas? Shop the Harvardwood Holiday Silent Auction | Ends Dec. 14th

We've gone LIVE with the 2014 Harvardwood Holiday Silent Auction! Auction items include signed memorabilia, VIP lunches with top industry Harvard alums (NELL SCOVELL, JEFF MELVOIN, ADAM FRATTO): VIP tickets to concerts (pianist GARY OHLSSON), shows (HOT IN CLEVELAND, CONAN), and sports games (LA DODGERS, LA LAKERS), screenwriting courses witih JEN GRISANTI and STEVE KAPLAN, screenwriting software (FINAL DRAFT, SCRIVENER, WRITERDUET), and MUCH more. So check out the link above and start your holiday shopping... or spoil yourself. You can also view a list of all items. All auction proceeds will go toward Harvardwood programs and events in 2015. The auction will close on Sunday, December 14th.

HW-SIE.jpgSeeking volunteers to assist at our Dec. 10th HOLLYwood JOLLYfest in LA

We need volunteers to help out at our Dec. 10th holiday party in Los Angeles! The party will take place from 7pm - 11pm, and volunteers will be needed for two-hour shifts. We need folks to cover the registration desk, the raffle, and the silent auction table. Of course, volunteers will receive complimentary admission to the party AND one year of complimentary membership to the Harvard Club of Southern California (as long as the volunteer is a Harvard alum). Please email [email protected] with the subject line "VOLUNTEER - HOLIDAY PARTY" if interested. Thanks!

Apply for a $500 Harvardwood Heroes grant | Extended Deadline: Dec. 12th

We've extended the deadline to apply for a $500 grant through Harvardwood Heroes (HH), which spotlights and supports Harvard students, alumni, staff, and faculty who have made or plan to make an exceptional contribution to the community. These Heroes exemplify the mission of Harvardwood, demonstrating the power and purpose of the arts, media, and entertainment. We'll award $500 to each Harvardwood Heroes grant winner (priority is given to those engaged in arts-related community service), and the funds can be used at each winner's discretion. For more program information and to apply, 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 fifteen years. 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.

Calling student volunteers to rep Harvardwood at the Harvard OCS Summer Opportunities Fair | Dec. 5th

A Harvardwood table will be at the OCS Summer Opportunities Fair on FRIDAY, DEC. 5th. 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, previous HSIP interns, and any other Harvardwood members in the Cambridge/Boston area to help man the Harvardwood table and to chat with interested students. Stop by any time between 12 noon and 4pm on December 5th. If you're available, please contact [email protected] as soon as possible. Thank you!

Exclusive offer through our partnership with Ameriprise Financial

Now through Dec. 15th, Ameriprise is offering Harvardwood members and the Harvard community an opportunity to receive a personalized Financial Plan at the special flat rate of $300! Financial Plans can include: goal tracking, debt management, major purchase planning, small business owner planning, tax planning, investment planning, and retirement planning. Also, Harvardwood has established a 529 Education Savings Group Plan for members that is being offered by Ameriprise for FREE (with no sales charge, typically 5.75%). Members who take advantage of this offer will have their membership dues covered by Ameriprise, with an additional $50 donation made to Harvardwood on their behalf. Contact Harvardwood Board Member Michael Persaud at [email protected] for more information!

Harvardwood Publishing seeks readers & writers for our upcoming original anthology

Harvardwood Publishing is seeking short stories and poems for our next anthology, which will feature the theme of The Seven Deadly Sins. Pick one (or several!) juicy sins and send us your original work for consideration in this anthology. Deadline for submission is January 2, 2015; the entry fee is $15 per short story or poem. We also need volunteer readers and judges to evaluate the submissions we receive, so if you're interested, learn more here.

Harvardwood's 2014 Annual Appeal

As 2014 comes to a close, we’re thrilled to share with you some of Harvardwood’s successes this year, and we're asking for your support of next year’s programs. We thank you for your ongoing volunteer efforts, the support of your dues, as well as the many other ways you enhance the Harvardwood community. We remain committed to keeping dues affordable, so that the opportunities created by Harvardwood are accessible to everyone.

AmazonSmile2.pngHarvardwood nurtures students and alums as they start or advance their careers in the arts. According to the stats cited in this year’s “2014 Hollywood Diversity Report” by UCLA’s Bunche Center, our programs are dramatically more diverse in terms of race and gender than the current entertainment landscape. Your support will enable us to sustain our programs and services for new, thoughtful and diverse voices in the arts. Read more here or make a tax-deductible donation to Harvardwood today!

You can also support Harvardwood by clicking on this link before you begin your holiday shopping, especially ahead of #GivingTuesday (TODAY, December 2nd)! If you shop with Amazon and designate Harvardwood as your AmazonSmile nonprofit, a small percentage of your purchase will go to our organization. THANK YOU for your support and involvement in Harvardwood!

2014 Harvardwood Volunteer of the Year (HARVY) Winner: JAMES GRANGER '05

Since 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 James Granger '05! James has done an extraordinary job as the Program Director of the Harvardwood Writers' Program - Features and the Harvardwood Writers' Competition! James oversees the work of screenwriters either involved in the HWP program or that submit for the annual competition each year.

More about James:

James Granger did everything he could to avoid becoming a writer. He failed.jamesgranger.jpg

James is a native of New York City and grew up entrenched in the off-off-broadway theater scene. After escaping to college, he spent a little too much time studying what he considered important and no time at all studying anything he actually liked. When confronted with writing a required thesis, he finally fell back on his upbringing and wrote a screenplay.

It was not accepted.

He changed concentrations (a.k.a major, thanks Harvard). His new concentration did not accept his fabulous screenplay either, but they did let him graduate.

Back in New York City, having wasted four years studying stuff like economics and normative social theory, James threw away the rest of his college capital by getting a job as a grunt in independent film where he had the good fortune to watch some really cool directors, producers and writers at work. It was kind of like film school, except without homework and they paid you.

But four years was enough of that, so he quit even that sorry excuse for a job and moved out to LA and became—don’t tell his parents—a writer.

James is managed by Amotz Zakai at Echo Lake Entertainment and represented by Karl Austen at Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

Industry Successes

hectorosorio.jpgHector Osorio '89 co-starred opposite Tracee Ellis Ross on the November 12th episode of Black-ish, entitled "The Gift of Hunger." His role provided a comical twist on the stereotype of the Latino gardener.

Romina Garber's '06 first novel, Zodiac, debuts December 9th (Penguin Books) under pen name Romina Russell. Zodiac is the first installment in a Young Adult SF-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs. For more information, please visit

Karen-Eileen Gordon's independent comedy feature, A Free Bird, in which she was thrilled to have her first female film lead (as Southern “hurricane-in-a-jar” Tammy), is now available for streaming download and DVD purchase on here. DVD sales have been marvelously brisk, and have come close to selling out… if they're sold out, you can also get them direct from the DVD distributor here. Watch the trailer. "If you’re looking to give the Gift of Laughter this holiday season (I know how biased I am; it’s still really FUNNY!), by all means check us out! Very, Very Happy Holiday Season to All!"

New Members' Welcome

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

+ Braxton Brooks, College, Los Angeles
+ Dr. Albert Chang, College, Los Angeles
+ Natasha N. Cobb, College, New York
+ Prof. German Enciso, HMS, Los Angeles
+ Gus Frias, GSE, Los Angeles
+ Stuart Johnson, College, On-Campus
+ Joshua J. Kearney, College, Boston
+ Mary A. Mitchell, FOH, Los Angeles
+ George Newhouse, Jr., College, Los Angeles
+ Andrew Oliver II, College, New York
+ Amy Reichel, College, New York
+ Xaier Taboada, College, Los Angeles
+ Cheng Zhu, GSE, New York

*FOH = Friend of Harvardwood

We wish our new members a happy holiday season, and we look forward to getting to know you better in the new year!

Member Profile: Warren Hsu Leonard HLS '99 (How to Get Away with Murder)

by Dayna WilkinsonWarrenHsuLeonard.jpg

“If you want to write as your second or third career, don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t do it."

Warren Hsu Leonard wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after high school but he knew he wasn’t ready for college. "As an eighteen year old from a small town in Maine, I certainly didn't imagine I could end up in Hollywood.”

After taking some time off, Warren sold everything he owned and bought a one-way bus ticket to San Francisco. “The documentary scene there was amazing back then. I went to movies, interned for several politicians and worked for political and environmental causes.”

He soon learned how hard it was to make it in a big city without a college education. “Luckily there was a really good--and affordable--public education system. So I started at the City College of San Francisco, and found my passion for learning.”

He transferred to the University of California at Berkeley as a junior. “It was my dream school,” he says. “I took my first film and production courses there.” He earned a degree in film theory and history, but was at a career crossroads. "I thought I wanted to write and direct independent films, but I was also interested in politics and law.”

He applied to Harvard Law School on a lark. “Breaking into the film industry seemed so difficult--I took the safer option. Even if I didn’t practice law, I knew Harvard would be an amazing experience.”

He became a corporate attorney and eventually joined the Los Angeles Dodgers as Deputy General Counsel. “I tell people it’s entirely coincidental that during my short legal career, I worked at a prestigious law firm that collapsed, a car company that was bailed out and a baseball team that declared bankruptcy.”

All the while he wrote spec scripts. "I focused on my craft for about ten years," he says. "I actively participated in Harvardwood’s Writers Programs. I blogged, moderated panels and wrote for Script and Creative Screenwriting Magazines, becoming part of a community of writers trying to break in. It was the only way--I did a lot of intensive work before I felt I could leave the law and pursue writing full time.”

The hard work paid off. In 2012, Warren was named one of Harvardwood’s Most Staffable TV Writers and a semi-finalist at the Austin Film Festival for his spec script Street Legal. By 2013 he was a staff writer on TNT's Perception.

“Being in a writers’ room is about learning how story is constructed, but also about figuring out what kind of room it is and how you fit in," he says. "It can be overwhelming at first, but hey, you’re doing your dream job. Even as a very inexperienced writer, I had the opportunity to pitch and develop my own ideas.”

Warren is now the Executive Story Editor on How to Get Away With Murder. “It’s eerie, because the very first script I ever wrote--when I was at Harvard--was a TV pilot about four law students who got caught up in a murder mystery," he says. "What counts, though, is that there were elements in my Street Legal spec that were similar in tone to How to Get Away With Murder. That plus my legal background helped me get a meeting with the showrunner.

“On Perception, I’d develop an idea and pitch it to the showrunner, then go off on my own or with a senior writer and for many weeks break the story and write the outline and first draft of the script. How to Get Away With Murder is much more writers’ room-centric. The whole writing staff is in the room all the time, and you collaborate as a group. On both series it’s been great working in the room with more experienced writers, learning how they build story, character and structure.

htgawm.jpg"Because it was a crime procedural, on Perception we spent a lot of time finetuning the internal logic of each episode. But How to Get Away With Murder is about characters and it's a heightened reality. It’s less important that, say, the legal minutiae are completely accurate. We absolutely understand the law and legal issues we’re dealing with, but our goal is to create compelling character-based episodes."

When he's on hiatus, Warren will write spec scripts and take meetings. "Eventually my goal is to create my own show," he says, "And once I gain the knowledge and skill, I want to become a showrunner."

When asked if he has advice for aspiring TV writers, Warren offers the following:

"When you start taking meetings with showrunners and executives, it's important to relax and be yourself. Know what you have to offer. If you don't get a job or if it's not a great fit, that doesn’t mean your career is over. There are more shows out there than ever in different media. Find the people who value what you have to offer, and don’t discount your life experience—it helps when you get in the writers’ room. Hone your craft, don’t give up."

How to Get Away With Murder airs on Thursdays at 10pm ET.daynawilkinson_chapterhead.jpg

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


***Featured Event*** LA - Harvard & Stanford in Entertainment Present the 2014 HOLLYwood JOLLYfest, Wed., Dec. 10

HW-SIE.jpgLast year's turnout to the annual Harvardwood/SIE December bash was spectacular, and we're expecting an even BIGGER and MORE FESTIVE crowd this year! Come enjoy holiday revelry, good cheer, & very tasty appetizers with our friends from Stanford in Entertainment at St. Felix HOLLYWOOD on Wednesday, Dec. 10th. You're sure to meet up-and-coming recent grads and rub shoulders with established alumni in the industry. And just as exciting, guests can enter a raffle for GREAT prizes, including a Writers' Toolkit, the TV Junkie's Gift Basket, and more! Register for early-bird tix by December 3rd! Otherwise, advance tickets will be available at this link until the day before the event:

in Los Angeles:

C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to Recent Developments in the Right of Publicity in Video Games, Wed., Dec. 3

Manuel Noriega wants to prevent Activision from depicting him as a war criminal. Lindsay Lohan wants a cut of Rock Star Games’ Grand Theft Auto game because of its trashy blonde character. Electronic Arts has canceled all future installments of its NCAA football games. As Justice Kozinski warned in his now-famous dissenting opinion in White v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., 989 F.2d 1512 (9th Cir. 1993): “Something very dangerous is going on here.” In this MCLE program, USC law professor Dan Nabel will discuss the evolution of the right of publicity in video game cases, including an in-depth look at where the law may be headed.... For more details, please visit:

Harvardwood Heads To ... DIRT: A Semi-Improvised Stand-up Comedy Show

They a're watching us. The NSA. Google. Martha Stewart Living. For one hour, some of the countryÂ's top comics air their most private moments before the eye in the sky beats them to the punch. That archived email you thought you deleted? That search history you thought you cleared? That dick pic you forgot you printed out? All whistleblowers will be protected. Maybe. No guarantees. Hosted by Harvardwood Full Member Kiran Deol and Emily Maya Mills. $5 tickets.... For more details, please visit:

C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to Music Royalties 101: Monetizing Your Music, Wed., Dec. 17

Royalties are an essential part of the music business, but they are not always easy to navigate. Join California Lawyers for the Arts and attorney Jesse Morris for an introduction to music royalties. Learn the basics about the different types of music royalties, and how they are earned, calculated, and collected. This program will provide a framework for understanding different types of royalties from sources such as CDs, iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, FM radio, broadcast TV, theatrical movies, and YouTube.... For more details, please visit:

​in New York:

Our Happy Harvardwood Holiday Party, Fri., Dec. 19

It's the Holiday Season, and we know what that means--it's time for our 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!!! And, although we, all by ourselves, are more than special enough, the location will be special as well! We're being graciously hosted again this year by our friends at one of New York's smartest and most sophisticated non-profit (no selling) art venues, the wonderful AC Institute!... For more details, please visit:

in Washington DC:

Harvardwood Heads To... The Harvard Club of DC: NEIL L. RUDENSTINE, Tues., Dec. 2

Author Neil Rudenstine discusses Ideas of Order: A Close Reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Rudenstine, a former Harvard University president and an Elizabethan scholar, reveals an underlying structure within the 154 poems that inspires a new understanding of this complex masterpiece.... For more details, please visit:

Harvardwood Heads To ... Nancy Peery Marriott in Concert - Sat., Dec. 13

Soprano Nancy Peery Marriott has appeared extensively in concert, oratorio and recital throughout the United States. In the Washington, DC area, she has performed at The National Theatre, The Barns at Wolf Trap, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Music Center at Strathmore, Constitution Hall, Anderson House, the National Gallery of Art and St. Matthew’s Cathedral. The concert begins at 1:30pm and will last approximately an hour.... For more details, please visit:

in the SF / Bay Area:

C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to How to Evaluate Yourself & Your Book Idea for Success, Wed., Dec. 3

The average book today sells only about 250 copies a year, 3,000 in its lifetime. Improve your odds of becoming a successful author by producing a business plan for your book before you write a word. As you do, you’ll develop an Author Attitude and learn how to evaluate your ideas and yourself through the same lens used by an acquisitions editor. You also develop a career plan to help you reach your destination: successful authorship.... For more details, please visit:

C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation in CA for Creative Artists, Tues., Dec. 9

Interested in starting an arts collective, establishing a center to share studio place, or creating an organization to advocate for the arts? Is a nonprofit organization the right way to go? Join Casey Williams of Donahue Fitzgerald LLP for discussion about starting a nonprofit arts organization in California.... For more details, please visit:

Harvardwood Heads To... the SF Ballet's NUTCRACKER, Sun., Dec. 14

The Harvard and University of Chicago Clubs once again celebrate a gala “Family Night” performance of San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker this holiday season. We reserved fabulous seats in the Premium Dress Circle at a special group discount and Extra Value Night price. Our guests enjoy special Family Night treats including gifts for the first 500 children, free milk and cookies during intermission and photo ops with costumed Nutcracker performers (Lobby, 6 p.m. for 30 minutes.). A Sugar Plum Fairy world of holiday magic awaits inside the resplendent Opera House in a wonderland of supersized candy, teddy bears, toy solders and such things that are usually visible only to young people nodding off to sleep.... For more details, please visit:

in Boston:

Harvardwood Heads To... the Boston Conservatory Opera Performance, Tues., Dec. 2

The Boston Conservatory Opera Department is pleased to return to the Harvard Club on December 2nd for another program featuring the Opera Stars of Tomorrow. Our talented students will present a variety of scenes and arias from popular operas, as well as selections from our MainStage season – Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, Gluck’s Iphigènie en Tauride, and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. Students in the Boston Conservatory Opera Department come from all over the U.S. and abroad.... For more details, please visit:

​Harvardwood Heads To... the Downtown Club's RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, Fri., Dec. 12

The beloved TV classic Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Join us in celebrating Rudolph’s 50 years on television and come see all of your favorite characters as they come to life in the all new Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special.... For more details, please visit:

Give the gift of Harvardwood membership!

Harvardwood membership is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Why? Harvardwood members receive special industry discounts (e.g.., to WriterDuet, CreatorUp, and Final Draft), discounted or free admission to events/programs, and lots more. 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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