Issue 197 | June 2021

In this issue:

Message from Justin


  • Summer Production Assistant for Netflix Feature Film - Boston


  • Exclusive Q&A with Delon De Metz AB '10 (Actor)
  • Industry Successes
  • New Members' Welcome
  • Alumni Profile: Angela Chao AB '95 MBA '01 (Chair and CEO of Foremost Group; Arts Benefactor)


  • Calendar
  • Become a Harvardwood member as we further engage in socially active programming, discourse, and action to help change the entertainment industry

Message from Harvardwood

Harvardwood Community,

We are entering an exciting period of growth for Harvardwood this summer. We have expanded our Board of Directors and our Advisory Board. We are excited about another summer of high-quality internships for our students, hopefully the last full virtual one, though we believe virtual internships will be here to stay.  Keep an eye out for the release of our latest Anthology at the end of the month and other exciting announcements.

As always, we want to hear from you - if you have an event or programming idea you'd like implemented, please tell us about it here. If you have an announcement about your work or that of others, please detail it here (members) and it will appear in our Weekly, and/or next HIGHLIGHTS issue. 

As we continue with our expansion plan and updates to every aspect of Harvardwood, we ask that you please consider making a donation of any amount. Thank you so much for the consideration! 

Last but not least, we are grateful for the work we are able to do, expanding creative and professional opportunities for our Harvardwood family. We could not do it without the support of our donors, volunteers and membership.

Justin & The Harvardwood Team 

Summer Production Assistant for Netflix Feature Film - Boston

Company: Man At Large / Netflix
Location: Boston, MA
Start Date: June 13, 2021
Type of Position:  Production Assistant
Minimum Years of Experience: No experience necessary, though a knowledge of cameras/filming technique a major plus.  

Job Description: Spend the summer working with A-list talent on a sci-fi feature film in the Boston area. You will be an integral part of the behind-the-scenes crew. You will see the action close up, while getting a wealth of valuable on-the-job training. Full-time opportunity may follow. 

How to Apply: Email [email protected] with a short description of yourself and your interest in the job. Finalists will be contacted to schedule an interview. 

Exclusive Q&A with Delon De Metz AB '10

Delon de Metz AB '10 is an actor on the TV show The Bold and the Beautiful. He portrays Zende, the charismatic, handsome and talented grandson of the Forrester patriarch, Eric Forrester. De Metz's acting career has spanned theater, film and television. His recent credits include Netflix's The Kominsky Method as well as CBS's NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Zoo and Scorpion. 

Q. When did your interest for acting first begin?

A. I always loved movies, but my interest in pursuing acting as a career didn't start until my mother sent me to take acting lessons with a coach named Susan Batson during my sophomore summer in high school. Apparently my mom didn't have much interest in my pursuing acting as a career either - she told me the classes would be good prep for college interviews a few years down the line. After going to my first lesson - somewhat begrudgingly - I was hooked.

Q. Did growing up in New York City relate to your passion for acting? Can you speak about any thread between childhood and now?

A. I lived in the cinema. I can't remember a weekend I wasn't at the movies through all of middle and high school. It didn't matter what was out or what the reviews were; I was always there. There are some NYC movies that definitely influenced my love of performing, specifically American Psycho, Cruel Intentions, Zoolander, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My friends and I would speak almost exclusively in American Psycho and Zoolander quotes through high school.

Q. How did your time at Harvard play into that story?

A. Well I studied economics, and for a while it seemed like finance would be my path, but I kept performing in school on-camera and theatrical productions. During the summers I would always make time to be in acting class at night back in NYC, and at some point - probably during the summer after sophomore year in college - I got an agent in New York.

By the end of senior year I arranged my schedule so that my mandatory sections were all held during two days of the week - I think it might have been Tuesday and Wednesday - and Wednesday afternoons I would hop on the train to New York and spend Thursday to Monday taking acting classes, auditioning, and clubbing. My friends back on campus would joke that they only saw me with a suitcase the last few years at Harvard.



Industry Successes

Yara Shahidi’s ('22) new adidas collection is an ode to her Black and Iranian roots! The actress’s collaboration with the sportswear giant sends the message that a global perspective on life looks good on everyone. (Harpers Bazaar)

Claws may be nearing its final chapter, but the TNT dramedy will go out with a bang, TBS/TNT/truTV boss Brett Weitz revealed last week. Dean Norris AB '85 is a star on the series! (Deadline)

Molly Hager (Waitress) is set as a lead alongside Vera Farmiga, Cherry Jones, Adepero Oduye, Julie Ann Emery and Cornelius Smith Jr. in Five Days at Memorial, Apple TV+’s limited series from John Ridley, Carlton Cuse AB '81 and ABC Signature! (Deadline)

Kyle Marvin has joined Apple’s upcoming limited series on WeWork, WeCrashed, where he’ll play a character inspired by co-founder Miguel McKelvey. Wondery’s Marshall Lewy AB '99 will also serve as an executive producer on the limited series adaptation! (The Wrap)

Teagan Croft, who is best known for her role on HBO Max’s DC Entertainment series Titans, has been tapped to star in family film True Spirit for Netflix! Debra Martin Chase JD '81 will produce under Martin Chase Productions! (The Hollywood Reporter)

The trailer for Love, Victor is out now! Marty Bowen AB '81 is an executive producer for the film! See the trailer HERE

Chuck Lorre’s freshman comedies B Positive and The United States of Al have both been renewed for second seasons! Dean Norris AB '85 stars in the latter. (Deadline)

Master of None team talks new direction of Netflix comedy and authentic narratives featuring queer women of color! See what co-creator Alan Yang AB '02 had to say! (Deadline)

Ginkgo Bioworks plans to go public through a merger with a blank-check vehicle backed by former Hollywood executives Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky (AB '74, MBA '76), in one of the biggest such deals that values the biotech at $17.5 billion. (Reuters

Emmy and Tony Award winner Cherry Jones is set to star alongside Vera Farmiga in Five Days at Memorial, Apple TV+’s limited series from John Ridley, Carlton Cuse AB '81 and ABC Signature! (Deadline)

Check out this exclusive Q&A with / profile of Nicholas Britell AB '03, "How The Underground Railroad Composer Nicholas Britell Writes His Phenomenal Scores"! (Thrillist

The Joe Exotic scripted series, starring Kate McKinnon and John Cameron Mitchell, is going to stream exclusively on Peacock. Marshall Lewy AB '99 will be an executive producer for Wondery! (Deadline

The LA Opera announces Gallup, the new digital short from Blackhorse Lowe, Matthew Aucoin AB '12 & Jake Skeets! (Broadway World)

Home Economics has been renewed for Season 2 by ABC! The show is written and developed by Michael Colton AB '97 and John Aboud AB '95! (Deadline)

Kevin Hart shows off his dramatic acting chops in Fatherhood, with Netflix revealing the trailer Monday for the film! The film is being produced by Marty Bowen AB '91, Hart, David Beaubaire and Peter Kiernan. (Deadline)

Ben Lorenz AB ’14 co-wrote and starred in Freezerburn, which came away with the Audience Award for Best Short Film at San Francisco International Film Festival.

Mare of Easttown, Christin Pescosolido AB '91 's first HBO show she's ever VFX supervised, has just premiered. Fully remote work with a team makes for much different dailies sessions.

Veronica Bruno MPH '16 has submitted her first script, Flooriidaa, to Sundance’s Episodic Lab, where it was selected for the second round. Logline: "A 1985 tragicomedy set in a small South Florida motel: one mile from the beach, but miles away from anything cool. Twelve-year-old Maia Kukk dreams of a normal childhood. Problem is, her Estonian parents manage a rundown motel. This is the only home Maia’s ever known. It sucks."

William J. Simmons WGS ‘14 has written his first book, Queer Formalism: The Return, which was recently published by Floating Opera Press. It features artwork by David Lynch and Jessica Lange, as well as a discussion of Lars von Trier’s Melancholia – among other essays on art and culture. It is available at Printed Matter in NYC, among other places.

Jayne Amelia Larson ART '92 just launched the Bonus Babies podcast featuring tales of trauma and triumph in the odyssey of foster care. She's a CASA – a Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer for youth in foster care. Bonus Babies is a forum to help people understand what it’s like to have a lived foster care experience. Find it everywhere.

New Members' Welcome

Harvardwood warmly welcomes all members who joined the organization last month:

  • John Byrd, College, LA
  • Hua Szu Yang, College, NY
  • Chasity Jennings-Nunez, HMS, LA
  • Eric Sirota, GSAS, NY
  • Sophia Parker, College, Other U.S.
  • Laura Feyereisen GSE, LA
  • Steven H. Cullinane, College, NY
  • Joseph Gallagher, HLS, LA
  • Christopher Nuñez, FOH, LA
  • Cheryl Campos, College, NY
  • Ryah Ki, College, LA
  • Cameo Wood, Ext., LA
  • Cesar Torres, Ext., NY
  • Jon O'Neal, SPH, LA
  • Daniel Kim, Ext., BOS/Campus
  • Veronica Bruno, Ext., BOS/Campus

*FOH = Friend of Harvardwood

Alumni Profile: Angela Chao AB '95 MBA '01 (Chair and CEO of Foremost Group; Arts Benefactor)

Angela Chao AB '95 MBA '01 has quickly made a name for herself in both the shipping and philanthropic worlds since graduating from Harvard College with a degree in Economics. After working with the mergers and acquisitions team at Smith Barney, she entered Harvard Business School and during her tenure wrote the case study ‘Ocean Carriers’, which has been added to the first-year curriculum for current HBS students. She currently serves as Chair and C.E.O. of Foremost Group, an American shipping company with worldwide operations.

Ms. Chao is the youngest daughter of Dr. James S. C. Chao and Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, and one of four daughters to attend Harvard Business School. Ms. Chao is well-known for her philanthropy and support of the arts, serving on multiple boards including Harvard Business School’s Board of Dean’s Advisors, as Co-Chair of The Asian American Foundation Advisory Council, The Metropolitan Opera and the Chairman’s Council of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has become a recent and generous supporter of Harvardwood, with a gift supporting Asian American artists for the coming year. 

Ms. Chao credits her family for both inspiration and motivation. “I am very fortunate that I come from a wonderful, loving family, and I have always worked to make them proud. My parents lived values-laden lives.  My mother passed on August 2, 2007, and we still try to honor her in every way we can.  My parents always emphasized curiosity, learning and contribution back to society and our communities.” These values quickly led her to both Harvard College and Harvard Business School.  “Matriculating to Harvard was a dream, and I still feel fortunate every day for my experiences there, which were hugely influential. It was without a doubt because of the people. As a female Asian American with a business career but also deeply involved in organizations that make a positive difference in the world, my leadership style is a direct result of my upbringing, my Harvard education, and the enduring friendships and inspiration from my classmates, many of whom are doing incredible work in fields that are very different from mine. This broad network and the multi-disciplinary approach to education, growth and leadership inform me every day.”

These friendships led her to the arts at Harvard. “I was involved with the arts, but mostly through my friends who were either musicians, artists, or performing artists. I was also involved through my coursework which I treasured. In fact, I nearly declared Art History as my concentration, but I later decided to pursue economics with an emphasis on women’s studies because as a child of first-generation immigrants, I was told I needed a more practical concentration to be able to find a job! I know that is something many of your members will relate to.  My experience demonstrates why Harvardwood is so important – because it gives more people the chance to explore opportunities in arts and media, especially when they don’t have family or other financial means to take such chances and pursue their passions.”

Ms. Chao agrees the past 15 months have been difficult for many in the arts community. “This has been a tough year. So many of our arts organizations are wondering how they will survive. I think it is crucial that we support artists and our arts organizations as much as we can. What I have always loved about art in all its forms is its ability to transcend and to help us see the world and our lives from different perspectives. Arts organizations like Harvardwood play an important role in fostering this creativity and can be a critical part of a necessary dialogue to improve understanding of our community and among communities to build a better, more inclusive world.”  

Ms. Chao continued, “I felt great pride when Chloe Zhao, a woman of Asian descent, won for best director and Nomadland won for best picture. Arts and media have always served as a strong bridge between many cultures, peoples and ideas, and that is especially true today. Sadly, we Asian Americans still face a lot of ‘otherness’, and so it is so critical that our fellow citizens understand our contributions and commitment to our country. We need to break free from old stereotypes and showcase the leadership that Asian Americans are providing across a host of industries. Harvardwood members can be goodwill ambassadors in this regard and help promote a more accurate and positive narrative of our community through their work.”

Ms. Chao’s gift to Harvardwood supports this effort with scholarship seats for Asian American members to each of Harvardwood’s key programs. When asked if supporting Asian American artists was a part of telling her own Asian American story, Ms. Chao agreed. “Absolutely, I hope it supports so many Asian American stories, and the stories of millions of Asian Americans who are proud of our heritage and contributions to this country. It is more important than ever that we boldly tell our stories, given the rise in violence and hate facing our community. Harvardwood plays an important role in this broader effort by magnifying AAPI voices and celebrating our achievements through the arts. It means that current and future generations will have a better understanding of the challenges that still exist across ethnicities, which will help strengthen the fabric of our nation.”

Ms. Chao’s passion about supporting Asian American voices has led her to support multiple organizations doing this work. “I am deeply involved in a new organization called The Asian American Foundation which is a convener, incubator, and funder committed to accelerating opportunity and prosperity for AAPI communities. We strive to be a catalyzing force for belonging for the 23 million AAPIs across the U.S.  Our Advisory Council includes actor and producer Daniel Dae Kim, as well as journalists Lisa Ling and Fareed Zakaria and producer Melvin Mar, who is producing the new Doogie Howser reboot which will star a mixed-race young woman. I look forward to their continued success and their growing popularity, as it is a sign of acceptance and growth that is so desperately needed.”

When asked what she hoped to see from arts and media organizations in ten years, Ms. Chao echoed what many in the AAPI community have expressed in light of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts throughout the industry. “I hope we will see more Asian faces shown and stories being told – and the stories that are real and not based on divisive and negative stereotypes of the past. I hope that Asians become more mainstream, not ’othered,’ and are recognized and celebrated for being part of the beautiful tapestry that makes up this country and our world. I hope art continues to help us grow stronger together instead of being separated by the color of our skin or our facial differences.”

When asked what movies or television shows she enjoyed during lockdown, her new state had a large influence! “I moved to Texas last year, and so I binged Friday Night Lights from start to finish.  That show still stands the test of the time and is among my top 5 television shows of all time!”

Finally, we asked Ms. Chao what advice she would give to her 21-year-old self:

“Savor every moment; stop and smell the flowers. It will go by faster than you can imagine. Enjoy every step of the journey. The journey is, indeed, more important than the destination. But along the way, realize that each one of us can make immeasurable contributions to the lives of others and to making our world more tolerant, caring, and enjoyable. It’s certainly worth the effort.”

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Harvardwood Presents: Create Your Calling Card and Tell Your Story: Conversation and Q&A with Melanie Chandra, Elizabeth Charles, and Ria Tobaccowala '10 - Tues., June 8

Join Melanie Chandra, Elizabeth Charles, and Ria Tobaccowala '10 to learn how to develop, finance, and produce stories to build your voice and career as an actor, producer, writer or director. The panelists will discuss how to create authentic stories that kickstarted their individual careers and led to collaborations with festivals and networks, such as Tribeca, Sundance, and HBO. 

More info HERE

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Harvardwood Presents: Black Representation in Hollywood with McKinsey & Company - Weds., June 16

People from BIPOC communities face a myriad of challenges in the entertainment industry, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. From on-screen talent and actors to production crews, publicity teams, talent management, writing and film criticism, marginalized groups often remain underrepresented in all aspects of an industry that has major influence on American culture. A recent report released by McKinsey & Company confirms that, despite evidence that shows addressing these racial inequities could reap an additional $10 billion in annual revenue, efforts by the industry to create parity continue to be inadequate.

Join alums Sheldon Lyn (HBS ’07) co-author and partner in McKinsey & Company’s Southern California office and Dom Furlong (HBS ’20) key collaborator of McKinsey’s Black Representation in Film and TV: The Challenges and Impact of Increasing Diversity, where they will discuss the results of the report findings, critical industry pain points and steps to take toward industry-wide changes meant to increase representation and provide space for a new and diverse generation of creatives.

More info HERE

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Harvardwood Presents: A Fool Stumbles Upon Victory: Pilot Writing Made Simple(r) - Weds., June 23

Join Steve Tompkins as he discusses writing TV Comedy pilots!

Steve Tompkins began his career on the ground-breaking hit, In Living Color, which launched Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, and most notably, himself.  He has worked on such hit shows as Everybody Loves Raymond, Two and a Half Men, and The Bernie Mac Show, and has won multiple Emmy’s, if two is multiple.  His many animation credits include the Netflix series Paradise PD, the critically-acclaimed PJ’s with Eddie Murphy, and The Simpsons back when it was really good.  Recently, Grammy-winning recording artist The Weeknd tweeted that Mr. Tompkins’ Simpsons episode “A Milhouse Divided” was his “all-time fave”.  A screenshot of the tweet can be furnished upon request.

More info HERE

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Harvardwood Presents: I Carry You With Me; Conversation and Q&A with Mynette Louie - Tues., June 29

Join Harvardwood for a conversation and Q&A with Mynette Louie!

Mynette is on Film Independent’s Board of Directors and is a member of the executive and diversity committees in the Producers branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She was named one of Business Insider’s “12 Movie Producers at the Top of Their Game to Watch in 2020 and Beyond,” Ted Hope’s “21 Brave Thinkers of Truly Free Film,” and Indiewire’s “100 Filmmakers to Follow on Twitter.” She won the 2013 Independent Spirit Piaget Producers Award.

Mynette Louie is an Emmy-nominated, multiple Spirit Award-winning producer. Credits include Heidi Ewing’s Sundance-winning, Spirit Award-nominated I Carry You With Me opening June 25 via Sony Pictures Classics.

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Become a Harvardwood member as we further engage in socially active programming, discourse, and action to help change the entertainment industry

In these unprecedented times, we are doubling down on providing impactful programming that not only helps our membership build and further entertainment careers, but create socially active habits and spheres of influence and knowledge. The entertainment industry is changing before our eyes, and our recent programming is just the tip of the iceberg. We'd love your help in furthering this mission. In various capacities, we work hard to create programming that you, the membership, would like to be engaged with. Please consider joining Harvardwood and becoming an active member of our arts, media, and entertainment community



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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