In this issue:
MESSAGE FROM HARVARDWOOD
- Harvardwood Boston Writers Program - Deadline to Apply: October 3
- 2023 Harvardwood Writers Competition - Deadline to Apply: October 31
- Harvardwood Artist Launch Fellowship - Applications Available Starting October 7 (Information Session on October 6)
- Harvardwood 101 Applications Due November 15: OPEN NOW
- Featured Job: Executive Assistant (Moonbug) - CA
- Featured Internship: FX Production & Special Projects Internship, Spring 2023 (FX) - LA
- Alumni Profile: Nicholas Stoller AB ’98 (writer, producer, director)
- Industry News
- New Members' Welcome
- Exclusive Q&A with Nikki Erlick AB ’16 (author)
CALENDAR & NOTES
October 11 - Activism and Writing the #MeToo Narrative with novelist Winnie M Li AB '00
- October 20 - The Business of Entertainment with Skydance CFO Larry Wasserman '97, MBA ‘04
- October 26 - International TV Panel with Lindsay Goffman, Noel Manzano, Mark Goffman & Adam Fratto
- October 26 - Boston/On-Campus Chapter Mixer
Become a Harvardwood member as we further engage in socially active programming, discourse, and action to help change the entertainment industry.
Want to submit your success(es) to Harvardwood HIGHLIGHTS? Do so by posting here!
This month at Harvardwood marks the launch of two of our most popular programs -- the Harvardwood Writers Competition (scripts due by October 31) and Harvardwood 101 (applications due by November 15). For writers in the Boston area, the deadline to apply for the Boston Writers Program is October 3. Plus, there's an information session on October 6 for the Harvardwood Artist Launch Fellowship (now in its 2nd year), with applications available starting October 7.
We're also pleased to announce an in-person event! For those on or near campus in the Boston area, the on-campus chapter is hosting a mixer on campus on October 26.
Meanwhile, our programming this month includes virtual events that are both informative and timely. We're presenting a conversation with novelist Winnie M Li AB '00 who will discuss her latest novel, Complicit, and share how her activism and participation in the #MeToo movement was born out of lived experience. We're also presenting an event with Skydance CFO Larry Wasserman '97, MBA ‘04 who will discuss the nuts and bolts of entertainment finance, business development and more. At the end of the month, we're hosting a panel with 4 industry experts who will discuss many complex aspects of the international TV business.
As always, we want to hear from you, our members -- if you have an idea for an event or programming, please tell us about it here. If you have an announcement about your work or someone else's, please share it here (members) and it will appear in our Weekly and/or next HIGHLIGHTS issue.
Please consider donating to Harvardwood. Your donations are tax deductible!
Strengthen your TV pilot and feature film writing skills in the Boston Harvardwood Writers Program! This group meets Tuesdays at 7:30 pm, twice per month (October to May) on Zoom to workshop scripts by participants. Priority will be given to Boston writers; there may be opportunities for in-person gatherings as the program progresses.
The workshops will begin on Tuesday, October 25. Once accepted, the program fee is $80 for the year; Harvard students on financial aid should contact [email protected] for a discounted fee.
Click here for the application.
The Harvardwood Writers Competition (HWC) aims to recognize superior work by Harvard writers and give these talented individuals the opportunity to gain industry exposure. The HWC features three categories: feature screenplays, television pilots and shorts. In addition, writers who have participated in the HWP - TV Modules during the preceding fall and spring semesters are eligible for the annual Harvardwood Most Staffable TV Writers List.
Click here for more information about the Harvardwood Writers Competition.
Click here for the application.
Harvardwood Artist Launch Fellowship
Applications Available Starting October 7 and Due January 9, 2023
Applications will be available starting October 7 for the Mia and David Alpert Harvardwood Artist Launch Fellowship for graduating seniors or recent Harvard alumni working or seeking to work in the arts, media, and entertainment fields. The multiyear gift, generously donated by Harvardwood Co-Founder Mia Riverton Alpert ’99 and her husband, producer and media entrepreneur David Alpert ‘97, includes a $24,000 grant, awarded annually, to support one recent graduate from the College for one year as they pursue their artistic projects. Each Alpert Harvardwood Fellow will also be paired with a mentor in their field of interest to help guide their creative endeavors and will receive additional assistance through Harvardwood.
To apply, individuals must be current Harvard College seniors or have graduated from Harvard College within the past two years (i.e. class of 2021, 2022 or 2023), complete the application form, provide a resume, a work sample or portfolio, an introductory video, an artist statement, and more. Applications will be due January 9, 2023.
Click here for more information about the Harvardwood Artist Launch Fellowship.
Click here to sign up for an information session on October 6 to learn more about applying!
Harvardwood 101 presents a series of activities to current undergraduates in January to help demystify Hollywood and educate students about careers in the entertainment industry. This program began in 2003 and is cosponsored by Harvard University's Office of Career Services. To participate in Harvardwood 101, you must be a current student of Harvard College, a dues-current Full Member of Harvardwood, and in good standing with your Proctor or House Resident Tutor.
Due to COVID, Harvardwood 101 will be primarily online in 2023. This program consists of:
• Boot Camp Week - January 2-6, 2023
An intensive, informational week led on Zoom, featuring industry speakers, with interactive sessions, student Q&As, and panelist-led sessions.
• J-Termships - between January 3 and 20, 2023
1-3 weeks in January in which students hold informal positions at entertainment companies or with individual industry professionals.
Click here for more information about eligibility and the application form. Applications are now OPEN!
Click here for more information about the Harvardwood 101 program.
Job Description: Moonbug Entertainment is looking for a talented Executive Assistant to join the team at our LA office. The Executive Assistant will support our Senior Directors, Production in the daily administrative duties required to run our rapidly growing US business helping to implement and drive a long-term growth strategy for the business. This role requires on-site presence during the weekdays. Ultimately, this role will contribute to the efficiency of our business by providing personalized and timely support to our production executives overseeing our biggest brands’ live action and animated productions. The successful candidate will be a proactive and positive thinker with excellent communication skills. Click here for more info!
Job Description: The FX Production & Special Projects Intern will assist and support the Production & Special Projects team in all areas needed, from office duties, pre-production and post support. Responsibilities include: assisting Production & Special Projects team as needed with shoot prep, shoot related needs, research, props storage, post organization, and research; assisting with department newsletter; research new ideas for newsletters, assist with internal highlights, brainstorm new creative ideas; and more. There is the potential to be offered as Production Assistant on local shoots for Print, Social and On-Air Promotions. Click here or more info!
Alumni Profile: Nicholas Stoller AB ’98 (writer, producer, director)
by Laura Frustaci
A blockbuster romantic comedy that tells the heartwarming and sentimental tale of strangers to friends to lovers… we’ve seen that before. But have you ever seen one featuring a gay couple? The answer is no. That is, until Nicholas Stoller reached out to Billy Eichner with his idea: write the first ever romcom about a same sex couple, and feature an almost entirely LGBTQ+ cast. Groundbreaking and finally, five years after their first conversation about it, a reality.
Bros hit theaters September 30th. But the journey to making this revolutionary film did in fact begin five years ago, when Nicholas realized Billy Eichner was just the man to make it happen. “My career’s been building movies and comedies around talent; I worked with Billy on Neighbors 2 and Friends From College and he was hysterical,” Nicholas says. “He’s a proper movie star.” So, Nicholas reached out to Billy and asked him if he’d be interested in writing and starring in a romcom with another guy. Nicholas identifies as straight, so he knew he wasn’t the best choice to actually write the film. But he was determined to make it happen. “It’s something I have wondered for years, why there hasn’t been a super funny, big studio, R-rated gay romcom,” Nicholas states. “They tend to be tragedies, or they were made a long time ago.” So, Nicholas took it upon himself to fill that glaring hole in the romcom canon.
The reason for this is likely because romcom is Nicholas’s favorite film genre. “I like all movies. I love seeing movies,” Nicholas explains. “I make a specific kind of movie. [Romantic comedy] is the most human of genres, just two people talking for two hours. You’re relying on the acting, and ‘Is this a real situation I believe?’” The believability of a romcom is what makes it relatable to the audience, that along with specificity. “I find with comedy, the more honest you are, the funnier and the more specific you are, the more relatable [it is],” Nicholas notes. He loves what he calls “the magic trick of having people laughing and then slowly crying.” That’s the key to a good romcom - it has to make people cry, Nicholas states. “If not, the movie’s not hitting you in the heart.” Romantic comedies keep a careful and well-calculated balance of escapism and fantasy, but also relatability. Add a happy ending, as long as it’s honest to the rest of the film, and that’s an effective romcom. “Humans like to watch humans do humans,” Nicholas concludes.
According to Collider, “Bros manages to both present how queer relationships are wholly different from straight relationships, but also how when it comes to romcoms, love actually is love is love”. In terms of writing this story, Nicholas confirms that it’s much more Billy’s story than his. However, this didn't mean he had to change the way he approaches the filmmaking process. His philosophy with all movies is primarily based on making sure the film and the content it’s depicting are honest representations. The only way to do that is interview people, talk with them about their experiences, and make sure what’s going up on screen is genuine, relatable, and emotional. “It’s about a community and learning about that community,” Nicholas says. “And we’ve tested it on all kinds of audiences, and everyone finds it funny.” Which demonstrates that this approach to making Bros has been both authentic and successful.
Nicholas has had a wide-ranging career, from Forgetting Sarah Marshall to The Muppets to Stork to Bros. Over the years, he’s shifted seamlessly between writer and director, and he feels he’s grown along the way. “I’m more confident visually now,” Nicholas reflects. “I started as a writer and I would think more about dialogue and story, and now I try to think with imagery. Movies are images, first and foremost. If you can watch a movie with the sound off and it makes sense, you’ve succeeded.” When asked whether he preferred writing or directing, Nicholas explains, “I love writing for someone else and giving it to someone else. But directing is the most creatively fulfilling. It’s the entire cinematic creative experience.” Essentially, the stakes are higher with directing: “A director is in charge of everything [from] start to finish, and therefore it’s the most stressful, because if it’s bad, it’s your fault,” Nicholas laughs.
Attending Harvard for undergrad was a huge influence in Nicholas’s creative path. “It was a huge deal. IGP and the Lampoon were huge forces in my creative development and career,” Nicholas confirms. “When I was younger, I started reading Dave Barry, a comedy newspaper writer. I made silly movies with my friends and wrote sketches. Then, I started a satire magazine in high school. When I got to Harvard, the Lampoon taught me a lot about writing and how to write for a style that wasn’t exactly my style. Improv taught me a lot about directing, because as a director, you’re thinking on your feet all the time. Being flexible, pitching jokes all the time. Being able to figure out the joke on the set, trusting your instincts, riffing with the actors. If I hadn’t done improv in college…” He trails off, but the big takeaway is clear: Harvard helped encourage his creative development in a pretty unique and impactful way.
Over the years, Nicholas has of course picked up wisdom along the way. His biggest piece of advice for aspiring writers and directors? “Watch everything. Watch old movies, new movies, watch all the TV stuff. Watch classic stuff, it’s really cool to sit down and watch stuff from the same director. Write, and write, and write. You will write a bunch of bad scripts, but you will learn. None of it is wasted time,” he emphasizes. “My process is I write a fast draft, a ‘vomit draft.’ Outlining the draft, and then re-outlining it. Putting it up on cards. Listening to notes. The final thing I’d do is, whatever genre you’re in, pick the best movie [from that genre], for example, When Harry Met Sally. Watch it with a notebook and write down everything that happens in every scene. When Harry Met Sally is the tightest movie ever made,” Nicholas states.
In conclusion, Nicholas reminds us of one of the most important things about being a comedic director and a creative is listening to the audience's response. “The audience is smart, and they won’t laugh if it’s not relatable. I try hard to listen to everyone and not think I know everything,” Nicholas states. “I’m really proud of Bros. We worked on it for so many years. It should have existed so many years ago.”
Nicholas Stoller AB '98 is a screenwriter, director and producer known for Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Muppets, Neighbors, and more. His most recent feature film, Bros, opened nationwide in theaters on September 30.
Laura Frustaci ('21) is an NYC-based actor and writer. She recently completed a yearlong writing fellowship funded by Harvard in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she finished her first full-length play. Laura graduated from Harvard with a concentration in English, where she wrote a magna cum laude thesis about children’s literature. While at Harvard, Laura was the President of On Thin Ice, a member of one of the first female cohorts of performers in the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, and she acted in many American Repertory Theater and Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club productions. She is currently a writer for numerous publications, including Buzzfeed.
Second Stage Theater has announced complete casting for Camp Siegfried, a new play by Tony nominee Bess Wohl (AB ’96)! Performances will begin October 25 ahead of a November 15 opening at Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theater. (TheaterMania)
Netflix has graduated its first cohort from its Series Director Development Program, which was led by former DGA president and two-time Emmy winner Paris Barclay (AB ’79). (HollywoodReporter)
Clive Davis (AB ‘56) is among the recipients of the National Portrait Gallery’s Portrait of a Nation awards, which “honor extraordinary individuals who have made transformative contributions to the United States and its people across all fields of endeavor from the arts and sciences.” (Deadline)
The Real Book Spy says The Last Orphan by Gregg Hurwitz (AB '95) is an "impossible-to-miss thriller" and a "blockbuster hit" and notes how Hurwitz "continues to expertly develop his hero" in a book that has "everything his fans love, plus so much more." (The Real Book Spy)
The London Film Festival is set to premiere Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, a reimagining of the fairytale co-directed by del Toro and Lisa Henson (AB ’82). (NME)
Paramount+ has released the trailer for their upcoming original film On the Come Up during the 2022 MTV VMAs. Based on Angie Thomas’ best-selling novel, On the Come Up is the feature directorial debut of Sanaa Lathan and is produced by Marty Bowen (AB ’91). (Deadline)
Bonnie Raitt (AB ‘72), Elvis Costello, Buddy Guy and Jackson Browne are among the international stars set to play at Bluesfest in 2023 – the first time since 2019 the popular Byron Bay festival has featured overseas artists. (SMH)
Adam Grant (AB ’03), a bestselling author and organizational psychologist at Wharton, will deliver an opening day keynote on Monday, January 9, 2023, at PCMA's annual Convening Leaders. (EINNews)
The Japanese-language production of the Tony-winning revival of Pippin, directed by Tony-winner Diane Paulus (AB ’88), reopened August 30 at the Tokyu Theatre Orb and continued through September 19. (Playbill)
Causeway, a new drama produced by Reginald Hudlin (AB ’83) and starring Jennifer Lawrence as a soldier adjusting to life after returning home to New Orleans, will premiere on Apple TV+ on November 4. (Variety)
The second single from the long-awaited new recording project from China Forbes (AB ’92) is Rise, a tribute to Forbes’s friend and former Pink Martini bandmate, percussionist Derek Rieth, who lost a long battle with bi-polar disorder and died by suicide in 2014. (YouTube)
Vertical Entertainment has just released the official trailer for The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, a romantic drama based on the 2014 bestselling novel by Gabrielle Zevin (AB ’99). The film is directed by Hans Canosa (AB ’93) from a script by Zevin. (Collider)
Career Opportunities in Murder and Mayhem, the Hulu series in the works that stars Mandy Patinkin and Jack Cutmore-Scott (AB ’10), has added Linda Emond (The Gilded Age) and Jayne Atkinson (House of Cards) as cast members. (Deadline)
By directing Baby Ruby, Bess Wohl (AB ’96) wanted “to get to the root of everything that’s not talked about when it comes to parenthood.” The psychological thriller stars Noémie Merlant and Kit Harington and premiered at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival. (Variety)
Jennifer Coolidge transforms into Karen, an elite New Jersey real estate agent at the center of Ryan Murphy’s latest true crime miniseries, The Watcher, which is executive produced by Paris Barclay (AB ’79). (IndieWire)
Elisabeth Shue (AB ‘86), best known for her roles in the films The Karate Kid, Back to the Future Parts II and III, Hollow Man (2000), Battle of the Sexes (2017), and Death Wish (2018), will appear at Rhode Island Comic Con November 4-6. (Back to the Future)
A product of the Met’s commissioning program, composer Matthew Aucoin (AB ‘12) and librettist Sarah Ruhl have adapted Ruhl’s acclaimed 2003 play reimagining the Orpheus myth from Eurydice’s point of view into a new opera. (MET)
The Jim Henson Company is developing All-of-a-Kind Family, a live-action one-hour drama series about a Jewish family in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1911, based on the collection of books by Sydney Taylor and executive produced by Lisa Henson (AB ’82). (Deadline)
New Members' Welcome
Harvardwood warmly welcomes all members who joined the organization last month:
- Shannon Gaughan-Bowman, College, LA
- Tal Vaval, Ext., BOS/Campus
- John Matthews, College, SF/Bay Area
- Mahnoor Ali, College, LA
- Shehzad Niazi, HMS, Florida
- Claire Liu, College, BOS/Campus
- Ethan Reichsman, College, NY
- Nicholas Bowman, FOH, LA
- Taehwan Kim, College, BOS/Campus
- Ravin Agrawal, College, LA
- Saffron Agrawal, College, BOS/Campus
- Carey Ann Strelecki, GSE, LA
- Kathleen Benson, College, BOS/Campus
- Alina Taratorin, College, NY
- Sabrina Reznik, College, NY
- Haley Brown, GSBA, BOS/Campus
- Ilse Nusbaum, Radcliffe, LA
- James Davis, GSE, BOS/Campus
- Jon May, College, BOS/Campus
- Grace Coolidge, College, NY
- Lana Newishy, GSBA, Florida
Exclusive Q&A with Nikki Erlick AB ’16 (author)
Nikki Erlick AB '16 is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Measure, which was selected as Jenna Bush Hager and The TODAY Show’s #ReadWithJenna Book Club pick, as well as the Barnes & Noble Discover Pick. Translations of The Measure are forthcoming in 14 languages. Her writing has also appeared online with New York Magazine, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Literary Hub, and Vox Media. She graduated Harvard University summa cum laude and was an editor of The Harvard Crimson. She earned her master's degree in Global Thought from Columbia University.
Q: Your debut novel, The Measure, was an instant New York Times Bestseller after its release this past June. Why do you think the themes, characters, and storyline of your book are so resonant with readers? How do you feel your novel connects to society and the world around you?
I started writing this book at least a year before the onset of the pandemic, so it’s been quite powerful to see the way the story has resonated upon publication. Even from the earliest brainstorms in late 2018, I always intended for this novel to explore questions of how we value our own lives, how we value other people’s lives, how we want to spend our time, and what our priorities are in life. But those questions have taken on an even greater sense of relevance and urgency in light of recent global challenges, which has allowed the story to resonate in a much deeper way than I ever anticipated, and I’m incredibly grateful to every reader and bookseller who has recommended this book as a way to potentially reflect upon these difficult years.
Q: The premise for The Measure is fascinating: one day, a box appears on everyone’s doorstep containing the knowledge of the amount of time they have left to live. How did you come up with the idea? How did you know that was the idea you should follow through with when brainstorming?
I’ve always been drawn to big questions: How much control do we have in our lives? How much power do we have over our destiny? I wanted to see if I could tackle these big questions in the form of a story, because I’m someone who turns to stories to help me make sense of the world and navigate its many complexities. As I was wondering how to craft a story about something as complicated as destiny, I remembered the ancient Greek vision of fate. I was fascinated by the figures of the Three Fates, who had this immense power to spin the strings of life on their spindle and measure out the amount of time that each of us would receive. I couldn’t help but wonder, what if? What if we were able to see our strings? How would that impact our world? What would we do with that knowledge?
The decision to have the strings arrive in a box for each person came a little bit later, when I realized that I wanted people to have a choice of whether or not they would look at their string. Even if the characters’ fates are pre-determined in one sense, they still retain a sense of power and agency when it comes to choosing whether or not they wish to know, and then, of course, choosing how to use that knowledge. The box itself was inspired by another famous Greek myth—Pandora’s Box—as the ultimate test of willpower: Can you resist the temptation to look?
I knew this was the idea that I would stick with when I simply couldn’t stop thinking about it, and all the potential characters and problems that could arise from this premise.
Q: Did you always know The Measure would be a novel, or did you play with other forms (screenplay, short story, etc.) initially?
My dream had always been to write a novel, and The Measure was actually my first attempt at a full-length manuscript.
Q: Your writing career spans across genres, not limited just to fiction. What type of writing is your favorite to do?
I received a crash-course in journalism as soon as I joined The Harvard Crimson, and I’m so grateful for the training I received in reporting, interviewing, writing, and editing. I’ve loved my assignments as a journalist and travel writer—exploring new corners of the world and meeting so many fascinating people—but writing this novel has been the most challenging and rewarding of all my experiences so far.
Q: What is the biggest challenge of writing a novel? What did you find was the easiest part?
I think the greatest obstacles, as a first-time author, were simply all of the unknowns and the accompanying self-doubt: Was this even a good idea for a story? Would I actually be able to complete a full manuscript? And if I did complete it, would anyone want to publish it? Writing a novel had been my dream for a long time, so there was a lot of fear and uncertainty as to whether this was, in fact, an impossible dream.
I’m not sure that any of it felt easy, but in those magical moments when the writing flowed smoothly, it certainly felt fun. And the whole process—from finishing the first draft to connecting with thousands of readers this past summer—has felt incredibly fulfilling.
Q: Who are your biggest writing influences?
Oh my goodness, there are too many to list! As a young reader, the works of Lois Lowry, Natalie Babbitt, Betty Smith, and Markus Zusak stand out in my memory, awakening my love of reading and showing me the many magical directions that a story can take, as well as the profound emotional impact of fiction. Two of my favorite contemporary authors are Ann Patchett—her style is beautiful, and her wide range of different tales is truly impressive—and Ted Chiang—his imagination is astonishing, and his short stories are deeply thought-provoking. But the greatest influence on my writing will always be my family, for inspiring me, supporting me, and encouraging me to pursue my passion.
Q: How do you feel that your time at Harvard prepared you for your career as a travel writer, a journalist, and now an author?
My time at Harvard gave me the incredible freedom to spend hours and hours immersed in books. I studied Comparative Literature, so I was exposed to a wide variety of literature from around the world, and my main extracurricular was writing for The Crimson. I spent four years constantly thinking about language, storytelling, structure, themes, and ideas. It was an excellent training ground in all forms of writing.
Q: What feedback or review have you received for The Measure that’s been the most exciting to you?
It was quite thrilling to see my novel featured in the New York Times Book Review—and also an incredible honor and excitement to be profiled in the New York Times myself and interviewed live on The TODAY Show—but I think the most meaningful interactions have been the personal exchanges with readers who reached out to me directly just to share how much the story meant to them or how it resonated with an experience in their own lives. It’s been a real privilege to have so many people share their stories with me.
Q: What media are you currently consuming? What are your recommendations for compelling, powerful, or just straight-up delightful books/shows/films/etc.?
I try to read and watch widely across different genres. Some recent books I enjoyed: The Candy House by Jennifer Egan, Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang, The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd. Some recent shows I enjoyed: Severance, Call My Agent, For All Mankind, What We Do in the Shadows, Abbott Elementary.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring young novelists? Any tips on getting your manuscript seen by a publisher?
I think the most common advice that I was given was to “keep writing,” which of course is excellent advice. But, sometimes, it felt difficult to keep writing when I had no idea if anyone other than my family was ever going to read what I was writing! For me, the best advice was actually to keep reading. Writing can be challenging, and we all suffer from bouts of writer’s block, but reading is a never-ending well of inspiration. And reading a wide variety of stories will provide the best sense of what’s possible on the page and what makes you personally feel excited and inspired.
In terms of getting your manuscript in front of a publisher, my best advice is to find an agent with whom you feel a genuine connection—and can see yourself building a lifelong career alongside. Fortunately, many publishing agents are open to email queries from unpublished writers where you can pitch your novel directly. The hardest part is that you can’t just pitch an idea—you have to finish writing a full-length manuscript before you can start querying agents!
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
I just moved from NYC to Los Angeles earlier this year, so I’ve been using any free time to explore this new city. And I’m always looking for new spots to visit, so if anyone has a favorite place to share, please let me know!
Nikki Erlick's book The Measure was published in May 2022 and can be purchased on Amazon and other places where books are sold.
Photo Credit: Federico Photography
Winnie M Li is an author and activist. She worked as a film producer in London before her life was disrupted by a violent stranger rape in Belfast in 2008. Her debut novel, Dark Chapter, is a fictional retelling of that event from victim and perpetrator perspectives. Translated into ten languages, it won The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize and was nominated for an Edgar Award. She is currently adapting it for the screen. Her second novel, Complicit, was published in Summer 2022 and selected by The New York Times for their ‘Group Text' book club. Winnie is also Co-Founder of the Clear Lines Festival, the UK’s first-ever festival addressing sexual assault and consent through the arts and discussion. Her ongoing PhD research at the London School of Economics explores media engagement by rape survivors as a form of activism. Winnie holds an honorary doctorate of law from the National University of Ireland in recognition of her writing and activism, and currently lives in the English countryside with her partner and toddler.
Harvardwood Presents: The Business of Entertainment with Skydance CFO Larry Wasserman ’97, MBA ‘04
October 20, 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET - Virtual Event - click here for more info
Join us for a conversation with Larry Wasserman ’97, MBA ‘04 to discuss the nuts and bolts of entertainment finance, administration and business development. Those interested in pursuing business-oriented or creative careers will benefit from hearing Larry’s approach to overseeing the business operations of multibillion-dollar companies and engaging in strategic decision making at the highest levels of Hollywood!
About Larry Wasserman: As Chief Financial Officer of Skydance, Larry Wasserman is responsible for all of the company’s finance, accounting and administrative operations, and also supports the analysis and execution of new business initiatives across the organization. Larry also oversees both the facility operations and IT teams at Skydance’s Santa Monica headquarters. During his time at Skydance, Larry oversaw Skydance’s interactive group during the launch of the critically acclaimed VR survival-horror game The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners – which has become the company’s most successful game to date. In 2020, Larry played a vital role in forming Skydance’s partnerships with Redbird Capital and CJ E&M - raising $275 million of equity and capital and increasing the company’s valuation to $2.3 billion. He was also a key player in Skydance’s 2018 equity partnership with Tencent Holdings. In 2016, Larry led the Company’s $700 million recapitalization to fund growth and expansion across its feature film, television, and interactive businesses. He was also at the forefront of Skydance’s first acquisition – of leading game developer The Workshop Entertainment, Inc. – to form Skydance Interactive. Larry holds a B.A. degree from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Join us for a virtual conversation about the international TV business, including adaptations, acquisitions, local-language productions, distribution channels — and everything in between! We will hear from four industry experts: Lindsay Goffman, Noel Manzano, Mark Goffman and Adam Fratto.
From left: Lindsay Goffman, Noel Manzano, Mark Goffman and Adam Fratto.
Harvardwood Boston/On-Campus Chapter Mixer
October 26, 6-8pm ET - In-Person Event on Campus - click here for more info
Come mix and mingle with current Harvard students and alums working or interested in the arts, media and entertainment at our Boston/On-campus Chapter Mixer! Light refreshments will be served. Specific location TBD.
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Want to submit your success(es) to Harvardwood HIGHLIGHTS? Do so by posting here!
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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!
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