In This Issue:
- Director's Notes
- Message from Allison
- Featured Member Posting: Literary Manager Assistant (Anonymous Content) - LA
- Apply to be matched with a mentor in 2016-17 | Deadline Oct. 7
- Do community service? Apply for a $500 unrestricted Harvardwood Heroes grant | Deadline Oct. 15
- Students, learn about Hollywood over your J-term! Apply to Harvardwood 101 | Deadline Oct. 17
- Living rooms and event spaces needed — New York
- For companies: Meet & host Harvard interns this January — Los Angeles
- Where Are They Now? Q&A with Matt Bohrer AB '10 (Masters of Sex, Goliath)
- Industry Successes
- New Members' Welcome
- Alumni Profile: Roger Neill AM '90, PhD '94 (Composer, Mozart in the Jungle, 20th Century Women)
CALENDAR & NOTES
- The *NEW* new members' perk: The Lowdown intro call with Harvardwood leaders!
Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines! The Fall 2016 HWP-TV Modules are in full swing, but our writers aren't the only ones saddled with deadlines. We want to make sure no one misses out on three great programs in 2016-17, so mark your calendars for the dates below:
- OCT. 7 Mentorship Program (open to members only)
- OCT. 15 Heroes Community Service Grants (open to ALL Harvard affiliates, regardless of member status)
- OCT. 17 Harvardwood 101 J-termship Program (open to Harvard College students who are members)
This packed newsletter is a testament to all the amazing TV and film projects that Harvard folks have got going on this fall. Thanks for reading!
Message from Allison
And don’t forget to apply for your $500 Heroes grant for community service!
Senior literary manager / producer / partner at Anonymous Content seeks full-time assistant. Client roster includes multiple award winners. Working on this high-volume desk includes basic administrative duties, including rolling calls, scheduling meetings, etc., with heavy emphasis on reading and script analysis. Previous desk and coverage experience preferred. Interest in literary management a plus.
Apply to be matched with a mentor in 2016-17 | Deadline Oct. 7
Seeking a mentor in your field in the arts, media, or entertainment? Apply by October 7th for your opportunity to be matched with a Harvardwood mentor this year. The Harvardwood Mentorship Program fosters meaningful professional relationships by matching Harvard graduates with more established alums in their fields of interest for a period of eight months of one-on-one career mentoring.
Career focus and compatibility will determine the mentor/mentee pairings, and the nature of each mentoring relationship will depend on the individuals and what they have to offer. Industry categories include: Creative, Production, Business, and Agency. Pairings will not be made between people from the same company.
Interested in being mentored? Read the program guidelines and apply by Friday, October 7th. Mentor pairings will take place in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and possibly New York.
Do community service? Apply for a $500 unrestricted Harvardwood Heroes grant | Deadline Oct. 15
Now through October 15th, we're accepting applications to become a 2016 Harvardwood Hero and the recipient of a $500 grant! The Harvardwood Heroes grant program awards $500 grants to applicants who have demonstrated a distinguished level of service to their organizations of choice.
You do not need to be a Harvardwood member to receive a Harvardwood Heroes grant (applicants must be current students, alums, staff, or faculty), although Harvardwood members and/or applicants whose service project is arts-related will receive priority consideration.
Students, learn about Hollywood over your J-term! Apply to Harvardwood 101 | Deadline Oct. 17
The Harvardwood 101 career exploration program brings two dozen current undergraduates to Los Angeles during the January term and provides a series of career-related activities in order to demystify Hollywood and educate them about careers in the entertainment industry. The program begins with a mandatory "bootcamp" week of company visits, speaker panels, and networking mixers with Harvard alums who work in entertainment. Students also attend film and TV panels, in addition to getting a "behind the scenes" look at studios, working film sets, talent agencies, production companies, and music labels. Finally, an optional J-termship is available for students to apply their knowledge in a hands-on, short-term internship experience for the balance of the term.
The program began in 2003 and is cosponsored by Harvard University's Office for the Arts and the Office of Career Services. All current Harvard College students who are Full Members of Harvardwood can apply. Students do not have to demonstrate prior experience in the arts, media, and entertainment—just a genuine interest in pursuing a career in one (or more!) of those fields!
Living rooms and event spaces needed — New York
The biggest single challenge we have in putting together our NYC events is coming up with the places to have them. You may have noticed that we had only one big party last year instead of our usual four—and Harvardwood members NEED parties!
So if you have a living room just modestly larger than average (if you've been to our parties you'll have a reasonably good idea of what I mean) and are willing to host one of our parties, that would be fabulous! But parties aren't our only events—we also need spaces for interviews, talks, concerts, all the things we love doing.
If you're able to arrange a space for us for any of our events, we'd love to hear from you! Email Spence Porter at [email protected].
For companies: Meet & host Harvard interns this January — Los Angeles
READ ON if your arts, media, or entertainment company has offices in Los Angeles and you're interested in:
- Having Harvardwood 101 students visit your office;
- Hosting a company informational;
- Interviewing current Harvard students for summer internship opportunities
- Having a Harvard intern for two weeks in January (Jan. 9 - 20, 2017)
Since 2010, Harvardwood has assigned students J-termship opportunities during the last two weeks of the January term (Jan. 9 - 22, 2017, or a portion thereof), so students can further explore their area(s) of professional interest. J-term-ship opportunities might include such experiences as shadowing an alum, doing an intensive 2-week "internship” at one or more companies, observing on a film or TV set, assisting with project research, etc.
Find out how your company can engage with Harvard students. If you are interested in providing a "J-term-ship” opportunity for one or more students, please complete this form.
Where Are They Now? Q&A with 101 alum Matt Bohrer AB '10 (Actor, Masters of Sex, Goliath)
by Henry Johnson AB '18
In the #HWire blog's "Where Are They Now?" series, we check in with Harvardwood program alums to find out what they've been up to and to showcase their accomplishments since participating with Harvardwood!
While at Harvard, actor Matt Bohrer AB '10 also studied acting at the American Repertory Theater, performed with the Hasty Pudding, and sang with the Krokodiloes, Harvard's oldest a cappella group, at Carnegie Hall and on a world tour of six continents. He is a program alum of Harvardwood 101; his credits include Goliath (Amazon), Masters of Sex (Showtime), General Hospital (ABC), and hit horror film Unfriended.
Q. When did you begin acting?
A. My first time acting was as a 5-year old in an elementary school talent show doing Groucho Marx’s “Tattooed Lady.” I was hooked ever since. But I still wasn’t sure it what was what I wanted to do. In high school, I did a lot of debate and government activities, Model UN—things a lot of Harvard kids do.
My first week in college, I signed up at common casting and at the IOP. I ended up getting cast in a play and did theater at Harvard thereafter, with a little Kroks in between.
Q. At what point did you realize you could do this as a career?
A. Well, in 8th grade, like many young Jewish actors I did a part in a regional production in San Diego with the role of “Jason the Bar Mitzvah Boy.” Being part of the company made me realize I could do it professionally. Throughout high school, I did more regional productions in San Diego and a lot of productions at a youth theater called the San Diego Junior Theatre. It was a great way of meeting a lot of like-minded people. And getting to be on the Old Globe Theatre stage was a great window into how the process might work at a later date.
In college, there were a few seniors when I was freshmen who had since moved to L.A. and were starting to get jobs. Guys like Mike Hoagland AB '07 and Josh Brener AB '07 were kind enough to tell me how to get my foot in the door and which classes to take. Through Harvardwood, I met Rupak Ginn AB '05, who’s a fantastic actor who helped send me down the right path after college in terms of knowing what it takes to make a go of it.
Q. What other college experiences helped?
A. Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club was a wonderful place to experiment and get exposed to different types of theater. They were doing different methods from the Strasberg things I did in high school. Doing the Kroks was a great experience, too, because even though it wasn’t acting, it was one of the most professional groups to be a part of due to the rigorous schedule. And doing the Pudding was a nice cherry on top of Harvard acting. I got to have a blast with the people I had done HRDC with in previous years, but in a completely new context.
I also did some creative writing classes about screenplays, which gave me great insight into story itself. And toward the end, I got to work on some projects with people in the VES Department, including on a short film called My Bloody Madeleine which was about a director doing a horror adaptation of Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way.
Q. How did participating in Harvardwood 101 impact your career?
A. Harvardwood 101 served as a great window into what life is like for people in different parts of the entertainment industry. I loved being able to chat with writers, producers, agents, and actors who could offer their perspectives on the town. I even enjoyed the "reality check" given by some of the agents we spoke to. Their advice to get work first before getting representation is something that I took to heart when I first moved to LA.
HUGE and heartfelt congratulations to our Emmy winners: Alan Yang AB '02 (Master of None EP/co-creator, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series), Courtney B. Vance AB '82 (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Leading Actor in a Limited Series or Movie), and David H. Mandel AB '92 (Veep showrunner, Outstanding Comedy Series)!
After an international festival run and a theatrical release in Australia and New Zealand, Zen & the Art of Dying, the latest documentary by Broderick Fox AB '96, will receive a global digital release on October 8, 2016! The film will be available digital rental and purchase via iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo on Demand, and Amazon Video Direct. The DVD will also be available on Amazon. Full release details here. #DoDeathDifferently
The Seventh Fire, the debut documentary feature by Jack Riccobono AB '03, is now available on DVD & Digital. The Seventh Fire is a New York Times Critics' Pick that takes an unflinching look at Native American gangs and the criminal justice system, which "grabs viewers by the backs of their necks."
This month, head to theaters to watch Queen of Katwe (Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo, and Madina Nalwanga), which depicts the life of Ugandan chess progidy Phiona Mutesi. Queen of Katwe is directed by Mira Nair AB '79 (pictured).
Roger Neill AM '90, PhD '94 (read his full profile below) scored the highly-anticipated dramedy feature 20th Century Women, premiering at the New York Film Festival Centerpiece Gala on October 8th. Starring Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning, and Billy Crudup, 20th Century Women takes place in 1979 Santa Barbara and follows a mother who is trying her best to raise her teenage son while looking for answers from two other remarkable women in her life.
Get your action thrills this month with The Accountant (starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, and John Lithgow AB ’67, Ar.D. ’05), in theaters Oct. 14th, followed the next week by Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (directed by Ed Zwick AB '74), in theaters Oct. 21st.
The Rains, the debut YA novel by New York Times best-selling author and screenwriter Gregg Hurwitz AB '95 (The Book of Henry, Orphan X), will be published on October 18th. His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been translated into over two dozen languages.
It's Fall TV time! As you''re delving back into your favorite returning shows and exploring new ones, be sure to check out:
- The Good Place (NBC) — Created and executive produced by Mike Schur AB '97 (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks & Rec), with co-executive producer Aisha Muharrar AB '06, producer Megan Amram AB '10, and consulting producers Dan Goor AB '97 & Alan Yang. Watch The Good Place on Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC, and then switch the channel to...
- Pitch (Fox) — Directed and executive produced by Paris Barclay AB '79 (Sons of Anarchy, In Treatment). Pitch airs at 9pm Thursday evenings on Fox and tells the dramatic and inspirational story of a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play Major League Baseball.
- Westworld (HBO) — Co-created, written, and executive produced by Lisa Joy Nolan JD '07 (Burn Notice, Pushing Daisies). The much-anticipated HBO series debuts on October 2nd. From The Hollywood Reporter: "Based on the 1973 Michael Crichton movie of the same name, Westworld takes place in the near future, at an amusement park based in the far past: an immersive world modeled after an old Western movie, with thousands upon thousands of lifelike robots playing out roles designed to fulfill human guests' wildest fantasies."
New Members' Welcome
Harvardwood warmly welcomes all members who joined the organization over the past month, including:
- Caitlin Arcand, Boston/On-Campus, Ext
- Henry Biggs, Other U.S., College
- Charlie Caplan, LA, College
- Camille Coppola, LA, College
- Laura Delany, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Kate Diaz, LA, College
- Madeline Dorroh, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Jonathan Gray, Boston/On-Campus, Staff
- Emil Guillermo, SF/Bay Area, College
- Kyla Noelle Haggerty, LA, College
- Michael Kim, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Jessica Kinloch, SF/Bay Area, College
- Erik Kraft, Boston/On-Campus, Staff
- Sarah Luedke, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Reed McMurchy, LA, College
- Tristen Mejias-Thompson, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Marvin Merritt, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Eliora Noetzel, NY, College
- Claire Park, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Rebecca Racusin, SF/Bay Area, College
- Sarah Rossman, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Reade Rossman, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Tania Stavreva, NY, FOH
- Jack Stone, LA, College
- Sathvik Sudireddy, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Ann Temkin, NY, College
- Katie Tutrone, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Isabel Wagner, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Cecil Williams II, Boston/On-Campus, College
- Brandon Winston, LA, HLS
- Kelly Yang, INTL, HLS
*FOH = Friend of Harvardwood
Alumni Profile: Roger Neill AM '90, PhD '94 (Composer, Mozart in the Jungle, 20th Century Women)
by Kristen Strezo
Growing up, composer Roger Neill AM ’90, PhD ’94 wanted to be a rock star. But he found himself torn between his love of classical music and his love of rock. He was studying Beethoven piano sonatas, yet drawn to power pop and The Beatles.
When it came time to choose a career, this intense curiosity eventually led him to the field of film and TV scoring.
“Film music really became the obvious choice because I was able to combine my interests from all these mediums, all these different kinds of music,” he says.
Today, Neill has worked on over two hundred feature films and decades worth of television episodes and TV commercials backed by his extensive musical knowledge.
The musical process Neill uses to draw out that humanness of his characters and the emotion are just as vital as the music he chooses.
“In this field you have to have a lot of familiarity with lots of different kinds of music… having to understand how lots of different music is constructed,” he says.
Recently, Neill won a Golden Globe for his work on Mozart in the Jungle. The Amazon Prime original series, which is based on the book by Blair Tindall, Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music, follows a fictional New York professional orchestra and its eccentric composer.
Neill doesn’t just choose the music as composer and music producer. He is also responsible for making the actors appear as if they are as musically proficient as their characters, whether Neill is lying on the set’s floor guiding the proper motions of a professional conductor or speaking through an earpiece the actors wear.
Executive producer of Mozart in the Jungle Paul Weitz thinks that Neill is beyond a composer and conductor; he is a musical aficionado. Weitz says, “if I needed a piece for a drunken flute player to flaunt his prowess, Roger had it in his back pocket. And if a piece had to carry the emotion of a scene, or for that matter a season, Roger would have three excellent options and an accurate choice of which was best and why.”
Neill received a scholarship to attend Harvard’s music doctorate program. And he quickly found Harvard to be a place with so many opportunities to unveil. He formed an orchestra with friends and invited conductors to give master classes. He studied abroad in Africa and Berlin.
“Just having the access to all those kinds of things and also the wonderful people who came in to teach, made it always just an amazing, stimulating place,” he says.
Today, it is Neill’s musical intuition that makes him one of the most sought-after composers and music directors.
Director Mike Mills, who collaborated with him on a number of projects, most recently 20th Century Women, says of Neill, “I love his real understanding of music, the history of chords, who uses them and why, and how they’re made from this almost sonic/chemical base. He can cook up anything we think of.”
Mills continues, “we’ve done so many different kinds of music together, so many styles, so many instruments. He can play all of it.”
And although 20th Century Women is set in 1979 Santa Barbara, Neill chose to lean on Bowie and Eno’s Berlin years for musical inspiration while in the early stages of the film’s production.
“Robert Fripp, Brian Eno, David Bowie, I devoured that stuff as a kid and it was fun to get back into it. My score doesn’t sound necessarily like that, but there are things about my score which are of the same world.”
20th Century Women debuts as the centerpiece screening at the 2016 New York Film Festival on October 8th.
Looking back, Neill acknowledges how personal each project was to him. “Fellow composers—both of film and TV—think in results as much as filmmakers and directors and editors and cinematographers or anyone else. We’re all part of the team that tells a story.”
Mozart in the Jungle is now its third season. Don’t Think Twice is playing in select theaters.
Kristen Strezo is an award-winning writer and journalist. She's written for online and print news sources such as Harvard Magazine, Flagpole and Penn Stater Magazine. Follow her on Twitter: @strezo_is_write
FEATURED EVENT | Harvardwood Masterclass: From Concept to Comic to Screen with Scott Lobdell - Thurs., Oct. 20
Scott Lobdell will be taking the class from an original idea, through a comic book pitch, to the creation of the comic, and what happens when Hollywood adapts it! (At least in the case of his creator owned comic BALL AND CHAIN, about a couple who is about to get a divorce but wind up with super powers that only work when they're together!)
Scott has been writing comic books for nearly three decades as well as writing for both television and feature films. He's written everything from an award-winning run on UNCANNY X-MEN, to SUPERMAN and currently the critically acclaimed RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS. He wrote SONY's MAN OF THE HOUSE and has the horror feature HALF TO DEATH going before the cameras in November with director Christopher Landon and produced by Blumhouse Films.
Limited capacity, so RSVP as soon as possible here.
Comic books and their—what? evil twin? grownup twin?—the graphic novel have both been with us for a surprisingly long time. But something has changed recently—they've moved from the cultural dark alleys into the mainstream as important media for storytelling. This may or may not be good for the art form, but it's exciting—which means it probably IS good for the art form! And we're delighted to have two wonderfully gifted practitioners of these arts to talk with us about them!
Amy Chu MBA '99 had the good sense to abandon a business career for comic books. She's written Wonder Woman and a whole series of comics about Poison Ivy for DC, and has an imprint of her own as well, Alpha Girl Comics. Vivek Tiwary is the writer of the New York Times best-selling graphic novel The Fifth Beatle. In addition, he was the lead producer of the 2004 revival of A Raisin in the Sun, and co-producer of American Idiot and The Addams Family on Broadway.
There wil be a booksigning, with books available for purchase (cash only).
Harvardwood Presents: Joan Benny on Her Father JACK BENNY - Mon., Oct. 10
First on radio and then on television, Jack Benny was one of the most-loved comedians in American entertainment history. His radio show was launched on NBC in 1932 and moved to CBS radio in 1949, continuing through 1955. He began his television show in 1950 and Benny became as great a star in the new medium as he had been in the old. Benny's television show ran until 1965.
We are delighted that Jack Benny's daughter, Joan Benny, will be joining us to talk about her father. Joan Benny is the co-author of Sunday Nights at Seven, a joint memoir by and about her father.
Violinist Rebecca Racusin and pianist Jessica Kinloch first met and performed together as undergraduates at Harvard. Now, both based in San Francisco, they have reunited as the Sunset Duo. The San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music wrote, "The Sunset Duo's long friendship shines through in the warmth and intimacy of their spirited performances." They'll be playing Haydn's rarely heard First Sonata, Beethoven's endlessly fascinating Tenth Sonata, and the breathtakingly intense and passionate First Sonata by Ernest Bloch—a piece that needs to be better known!
Harvardwood Heads To... The Ivy Plus Society's Fall Network - Wed., Oct. 5
The Fall Network is here and we are bringing you a happy hour that USA Today 10Best says “is one of my favorite things in Santa Monica.” Join The Ivy Plus Society on the patio of the beautiful Wokcano Santa Monica, an “upscale nouvelle-cuisine experience, catering especially to young professionals doing meetups after work” (LA Splash). Mix and mingle with the finest and brightest at Wokcano Santa Monica this Fall!
Book event and signing for the entire family! Environmentally focused, my book series for ages 4-8 will entertain and educate. I hope to have Harvard support :) See you there!!!!
Through The Adventures of Camellia N. book series, Camellia takes children on global expeditions to all seven continents, under the sea and into space where they learn about and gain appreciation for the environment, wildlife and natural resources. The book series not only educates and entertains, but encourages children to become global ambassadors. Supported by top-tier environmental leaders and educators, and recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award, “The Adventures of Camellia N. will enchant (and educate) children and parents.”
“This beautiful book series provides a powerful message for young children. As Camellia gains an appreciation of the world surrounding her, so do the readers. Camellia and her adventures will help educate and inspire children throughout our planet, with hopes of creating change.”
— Graciela Chichilnisky, Time Magazine’s “Hero of the Environment"
C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to Rights Clearance Issues in Film and TV - Thurs., Oct. 27
There are three main reasons why film and television producers (and their attorneys) must be aware of clearance issues: avoidance of liability, eligibility for E&O insurance coverage, and ensuring that the film or show will satisfy distributors’ legal delivery requirements. Join CLA and attorneys from entertainment law firm Pierce Law Group LLP for a discussion about common rights and clearance issues that arise in film and television, and how to tackle them. Topics of discussion will include clearance reports, chain of title issues, the various types of releases that are required, prop and set clearance concerns, and best practices for adapting true stories for the screen.
Harvardwood Heads To... The Ivy Plus Society's Mad Masquerade - Fri., Oct. 28
The most Terrifying and Tantalizing event of the year is almost here. Avoid the velvet rope and get into the hottest Halloween party with The Ivy Plus Society as we condemn the Historic Woman’s Club in the Landmark Building in Santa Monica. Start your Halloween weekend off with a FRIGHT and join your fellow ghosts, goblins, zombies, and blood suckers as we haunt well into the witching hour with a DJ, Drinks, and Costume Prizes. More information to come but get your tickets now, this event is sure to sell out!
Harvardwood Heads To... Advance Screening of THE ACCOUNTANT - Tues., Oct. 4
Please join us for a free Advance College Screening of THE ACCOUNTANT (starring Ben Affleck and John Lithgow AB ’67, Ar.D. ’05, Master of the Arts at Harvard) + Q&A with Director Gavin O’Connor moderated by @BostonTweet. Note: This screening is for college students only; a valid college student ID must be shown to gain entry.
Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.
This workshop is for artists, dealers, and gallery owners who want to better understand the legal relationships between artists and galleries. California state laws governing consignment sales will be reviewed -- as well as how to negotiate standard consignment agreements covering agency, consignment, warranties, transportation, insurance, pricing, gallery commissions, promotion, and return of art. An an actual sample artist-gallery agreement handout will be provided to each attendee for review.
The *NEW* new members' perk: The Lowdown intro call with Harvardwood leaders!
We were thinking of ways we could give our newest members a quick "crash course" in how the entertainment industry works and answer their most basic questions ... and thus, the Harvardwood Lowdown was conceived! Starting this quarter, new members will be invited to participate in an introductory conference call with Harvardwood leaders, so you can ask YOUR questions relating to careers in the arts, media, and entertainment industries and get them answered in real time! These calls take place on a quarterly basis. New dues-paying members will receive an email invitation, so be sure to (1) subscribe to Harvardwood emails and (2) add emails ending in "@harvardwood.org" to your address book. Join Harvardwood today!
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.