Issue 8 | September 2005

  • A Message from the Membership Director
  • Message from the President – “Mia’s Monthly Message”
  • Member Profile of Mark Goffman KSG ‘94
  • Industry Successes…
  • So You Got The Job, Hey…
  • And the Award Goes to….
  • Members in the News…
  • Six Degrees of Harvardwood
  • Featured Member Posting – Seeking Associate Producers, PA, and Intern for Documentary


As we move into the start of the fall TV season, I’m excited by the bevy of Harvard people who have populated the recent press with achievements in the field. Our profilee this month, Mark Goffman, is working on the new FOX show Reunion. The creator of the new WB show, Just Legal, Jonathan Shapiro, is also a Harvard person. So make sure to tune in and support. I would like to extend a special moment of silence to any Harvardwood members who have loved ones and family members affected by the Hurricane Tragedy in the gulf coast. While this is indeed a time of intense mourning and loss, I am inspired by the activism and spirit of community that has poured out across this country from regular, every day citizens, and especially members of the Harvard community. It is in times of tragedy that our true selves as leaders, lovers and compassionate selves are truly able to shine.



Many thanks to our Harvardwood Seminar Series guest speakers and to everyone who participated in our first HSS event, Marketing in the Digital Age. We had a lively discussion with Gordon Paddison, EVP of Integrated Marketing at New Line, and Adrian Sexton, VP of Digital Media at Lions Gate. There are still a few seats left for the three remaining seminars: The Business of Representation (Sat., Sept. 17), Emerging Latin Media Market (Sat., Sept. 24), and the Independent Filmmaking Panel (Sat., Oct. 1). For more information or to RSVP, email us at [email protected]

The Harvardwood Writers Program is still going strong; a huge thank you to our recent guest speakers: Peter Blake ‘91, Carolyn Cassidy ’99, Peter Rader ‘82, Mike Reiss ‘81, and Jeff Schaffer ‘91. We bid our summer interns farewell at August mixers in NYC and LA, but we welcomed two HSIP participants aboard as official Harvardwood Student Liaisons…Kristen Lozada ’07 and Ameet Shah, HBS ’06 will be representing Harvardwood on campus this year, as we strive to increase student awareness of careers in the arts and entertainment during recruiting season and beyond!



I have an addiction to interesting people. In trying to understand this addiction, I have thought long and hard about what makes someone or something interesting. I have come to realize that what merits the term “interesting” is not so much the initial impact of someone’s story, but the sustainability of that impact. Part of my own intrigue is the all important captivation necessary to keep my ADD-inclined mind from straying. Television audiences are like that too. Like me, they are temperamental, easily distracted and wish to be pleasantly entertained with an exquisite but almost impossible balance of rational predictability and surprising spontaneity. Sometimes the strategy employed by successful writers to maintain this balance must be acutely calculated; at other times the process is probably rampantly impetuous. Either way, television writing involves remarkable skill and perspective—both of which Mark Goffman has in abundance.

Mark hails from Houston, Texas (my home town for sometime, he even dated a girl from my high school!) and appears to have taken an unusual route to Hollywood. He started his career as an economics and philosophy concentrator at Harvard. Following college he moved to Brussels, where he wrote for the magazine “Belgium Commerce”. After a couple of years living overseas, Mark returned to Harvard to get his Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School. During a winter recess and a period of procrastination, he and a school friend, John Hellenes, wrote a story about a twelve-year-old child who runs for mayor. Mark’s brother’s girlfriend worked at an agency, and the story eventually made its way into the hands of a producer. And thus began the Hollywood career of Mr. Goffman. After graduating, Mark left for Hollywood, but unfortunately, his short story never panned out because, as he stated, “the market is fickle and children’s stories fell from vogue.”

Nonetheless, Mark continued to move about the industry, working to make a name for himself. Ultimately, he was accepted to the Warner Brother’s Writer’s Workshop after telling the one joke he knew during his interview. When I asked him what the joke was, he said he was kidding but that he had been advised to be funny during the interview (hear ye, hear ye future applicants!). At the workshop he managed to hone his sitcom skills, and upon exiting the program he signed with an agent at CAA, which even he admits was a huge deal. Mark’s career progressed rapidly from there, experiencing all the usual and simultaneous ups and downs of cancelled shows and exciting prospects. He ultimately found himself moving away from comedy and more towards drama, eventually ending up on The West Wing, where he stayed for 3 years. He loved that time, describing it as “a great opportunity to successfully tap into and convey my own inherent interest in politics.”

Today Mark is working on Reunion, a new show launching this fall on Fox (it airs Thursdays at 9:00/8:00 Central, right after The OC). Reunion is about six high school friends who relive years from their past. Mark’s first episode of Reunion will air Sept. 29th. Critics’ high reviews of the show to date suggest that Reunion will continue to embody that skill I mentioned earlier; namely that ability to maintain interest through shrewd writing and clever topics. While I personally never watch TV, I might have to make an exception for this show because I want to see if this concept is really as good as it sounds. And believe me, it sounds exceptionally interesting!

--Reported by Dominique Kalil, ‘00


Writer-producer Mark Goffman's (KSG '94) first episode of REUNION will air on Sept. 29th at 9:00 p.m. on FOX, after The OC.

Film Composer Christopher Libertino '91 is pleased to announce that SPEAK, a feature film he scored, will make its premiere on two networks in the coming month. In an unprecedented television event, Showtime and Lifetime Television will simultaneously air the original film SPEAK, chronicling the experience of a teenage girl traumatized by a date rape and her journey to self-expression and disclosure. A Showtime Independent Film, SPEAK stars Kristen Stewart ("Panic Room"), Robert John Burke, Eric Lively (SHOWTIME's "THE L WORD”), Elizabeth Perkins (SHOWTIME's WEEDS, "Finding Nemo," "Big"), D.B. Sweeney ("Spawn") and Steve Zahn ("Sahara," "Happy Texas") and premiered on both networks Monday, September 5 at 9:00pm ET/PT. About the film, Christopher adds: "Jessica Sharzer has directed an adaptation of a brilliant book that is at times hysterical and sometimes devastating. Kristen Stewart's performance has to be seen to be believed. People speak about films 'that should be seen by everyone.' I truly believe that this is one of those films."

Producer Stacey Cohen’s ‘89 critically acclaimed film DUMA will open in Los Angeles and New York on September 30, 2005. Directed by Carroll Ballard (The Black Stallion, Never Cry Wolf), DUMA is the story of a South African boy and the orphan cheetah he rescues as a cub, raises and returns to the wild after a harrowing journey through jungles and across deserts. DUMA recently won "Best Feature Film" at the 35th Giffoni International Children's Film Festival in Italy, and was the subject of the August 26th LA Weekly cover story, "Movies You Can't See, and Why You Can't See Them," which detailed the struggle of getting quality films distributed in today's American marketplace. In LA, look for DUMA at the Arclight, the Grove, AMC Century City, etc., and in NY at the AMC Empire 25 (other theatres TBD). And check out our reviews at:

Karen Gordon worked on the feature AMERICAN DREAMZ, directed by Paul Weitz, filming the role of Debbie Margis (Mandy Moore's bohemian make-up artist), and just completed a starring role as The Tupperware Goddess in the original rock musical, "The Possession of Mrs. Jones," directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld ("Kissing Jessica Stein," and her director on "Legally Blonde 2") at the Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood.

Vanessa Parise ‘92 will direct, star in and executive produce her second feature, “Dick and Jane vs. the World”, a romantic comedy set in the world of advertising.


Zadoc Angell ’03 has been promoted to TV Literary Coordinator at Paradigm Talent & Literary Agency.


David Javerbaum ‘93, head writer and supervising producer of THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART, has received the fifteenth annual Kleban Award as “the most promising musical theater lyricist in American musical theater” from the Kleban Foundation. He is writing the lyrics for next year’s Broadway adaptation of the John Waters film “Cry-Baby”.

Lucy Fisher ’71 and her husband, Douglas Wick, will receive the Hollywood Producers of the Year Award at the Hollywood Film Festival. Their upcoming productions include MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA and JARHEAD.


About Christopher Libertino ‘91, the film scorer of the new film SPEAK, Mikael Carlsson of Music from the Movies writes, "...the most important quality of Libertino’s guitar-driven score is that it works on two levels: it evokes the darkness of the story, but also the sadness and reflective qualities of the film itself. Using the full emotional range of the guitar, Libertino creates a moving - and at times, disturbing and intense in a way that reminds me of Elliot Goldenthal’s Heat score - soundscape for the story to grow in."


From Robert Kraft ‘76, Harvardwood Advisory Board Member:

My annual visit with Harvard undergraduates - arranged by Mia and Harvardwood - always reminds me of the incredible talent, energy, and potential of every Harvard student. With all the dissing of Harvard these days (and it's an easy target), it's always refreshing to see through the clutter and remember how unique Mother Harvard remains. I just wish there had been a Harvardwood in my salad days!

DO YOU HAVE A TESTIMONAL TO SHARE! Please send me a short note or email with your testimonial about how Harvardwood has helped you? Email [email protected] and for each testimonial receive, a free month of membership (limit 3 per person).


Seeking Associate Producers, PA, and Intern for Documentary

Los Angeles-based documentary production company looking for associate producers for a theatrical documentary film. Must be completely fluent in either Chinese, Japanese, or German. Also looking for a Chinese-speaking production assistant and a Chinese-speaking intern. Great opportunity for creative and motivated people working for an Academy-Award winning production team on an exciting project… Paid members can view full posting info at:


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.

Calendar Programs Jobs & Career Development