News About Cornellians Working in Hollywood


DARA TAYLOR was nominated for a 2015 Hollywood Music in Media Award for her original score for the short film "Undetectable."

JIMMY SMITS has signed on to appear on "The Get Down," a musical series from Baz Luhrmann and Shawn Ryan for Netflix, likely to air in 2016

EMILE LEVISETTI is producing and directing SYFY's  series "Hunters," now in production in Australia.  It will air in 2016.

HEATHER OLANDER has been named senior vice president, alternative series development and production for Syfy

BRAXTON POPE will produce the crime thriller "The Trust," starring Nicolas Cage and Jack Huston.  he recently produced "The Canyons," starring Lindsay Lohan. Paul Schrader directed the drama, which was written by Bret Easton Ellis.

IAN CHEN scored the documentary "The Trail from Xinjiang," which was named the winner of Excellence in Documentary Short Filmmaking award at the 2013 Asian American International Festival.

MICHAL ZEBEDE '09 co-wrote "The Humbling" with Buck Henry, which premiered at the 2014 Venice Film Festival film was directed by Barry Levinson and stars Al Pacino.The film is based on the Philip Roth novel of the same name.

ROBERT SCHENKKAN's play, "All the Way," which was commissioned as part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's "American Revolutions" cycle of plays about U.S. history, was a recent hit on Broadway. Bryan Cranston, who starred as President Lyndon B. Johnson, will reprise his role in the HBO production, likely to air in 2016.

TIM SQUYRES received an Oscar nomination for editing "Life of Pi."  He edited Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" and is currently editing director Ang Lee's new film, "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," due for release in late 2016.

KATHRYN SCHUBERT was the Assistant Editor of 2013 Oscar nominee "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "God's Pocket," "Mississippi Grind" and "Green Room."  Her next film is director Todd Solonz's  2016 "Weiner-Dog."

DAVID SEIDLERwon an Oscar for his script "The King's Speech."  His latest scrip is called "Queen of Spades."

KEVIN ASHWORTH recently filmed an episode of "90210." He also created a parody commercial Occupy Wall Street Realty, inspired by current events. It is available on YouTube. He has appeared on "Y&R" as the club manager.

CHRISTINA STEINBERG produced the animated film "Rise of the Guardians."

JESSE WIGUTOW is writing a new script for Disney's "Tron 3."

RON MOORE is the Executive Producer of the series "Outlander."

MICHAEL MILLER is the film editor of "Motel."

WILL GLUCK, who directed and produced Easy A and Friends With Benefits, also directed"Annie."  He also co-created Michael J. Fox's recent TV series.

DAVID GREENMAN appeared in "About Last Night.  His web series "Checked Out" can be seen here:

JIMMY SMITS starred in the last season of FX's "Sons of Anarchy," playing a tattooed gangbanger.

LORI BALTON, a veteran location scout, lists among her credits "Transcendance," "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," "The Lone Ranger" and "Saving Mr. Banks."

JUSTIN LERNER's film "Girlfriend," won the 2011 Gotham Independent Film Audience Award.

ANDREA BERLOFF has a sold her pilot "Chameleon," about an undercover FBI agent, to ABC.

STEVE McPHERSON, former head of ABC, is now focused on his Napa Valley winery.

CAROL MENDELSOHN of "CSI" will reboot "The Rifleman" for CBS with Chris Columbus. She will serve as Executive Producer.

SETH JARET is CEO of Content Engine, a transmedia studio, and CEO of Jaret Entertainment, a management & production company.

JOSH GREENBAUM has written and directed a short starring: Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Kevin Spacey, Jack Black, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and President Bill Clinton! It played this summer at the Hollywood Bowl to 18,000 people to a standing ovation and has gone on to get over 2 million hits online. You can view it at

BRUCE ALAN GREENE is a cinematographer based in Los Angeles. He recently completed shooting a Russian romantic comedy, "8 First Dates" in Moscow (ok, a little far from Hollywood:). The film stars Oksana Akinshina and Vladimir Zelenskiy.

ELENA SANCHEZ is a stunt double. See her in "Trespass," with Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman.

JOHN HEFFERNAN is developing a sci-fi feature for Paramount that takes place onboard an alien spaceship.

ROBERT SCHENKKAN is adapting Taylor Branch's Pulitzer-prize winning trilogy,"America in the Time of King" as a seven-part miniseries for Harpo and HBO.

JANE LYNCH starred in “The Three Stooges” for 20th Century Fox.  She continues to star in "Glee."

LEILA GERSTEIN is executive producing the medical drama "Hart of Dixie" for The CW.

CRAIG REID's book, "The Ultimate Guide to the Martial Arts of Movies of the 1970s," is now in bookstores and available through He recently appeared on Fox News, where he did a couple of martial arts demos, wielded a weapon or two and talked about the book and healing, and how martial arts and Qigong were instrumental in overcoming cystic fibrosis.

JORDAN BERMAN is Senior VP of Integrated Marketing at MTV.

ALYSSA VRADENBURG at United Entertainment represents Parker Posey.

BOB BRODSKY has a new book out, "The World in a Jug"--The Lure of New Orleans and Dixieland Jazz. It is available on The book focuses on what was once called "Hot Jazz."

ROBERT PROFUSEK and RYAN SILBERT co-produced "Holy Rollers," with Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Bartha starring.

SHELDON TURNER won numerous awards for co-writing (with Jason Reitman) the film script "Up in the Air," starring George Clooney. He will make his directorial debut on "By Virtue Fall," a project he wrote about a man who is framed by his mentor and winds up in prison. He is also co-producing a number of his other scripts, including "Kiss & Tell," "Man Camp," "Paths of Glory, "Orbit" and "Two Minutes to Midnight." He has adapting "Magneto" for Richard and Lauren Shuler Donner and Twentieth Century Fox. It's the story of a mutant who hones his powers in order to seek revenge on the Nazis who slaughtered his family is based on the Marvel character. Turner is also writing and exec-producing a contemporary remake of the 1970s cop show "The Streets of San Francisco" for Paramount TV. He wrote the script "Conspiracy of Fools," based on Kurt Eichenwald's book about the Enron scandal. Robert Schwentke will direct for Warner Bros. Leonardo DiCaprio is producing.

DAVID HALBERSTADTER and SUSAN GRODE, partners at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, have been recognized by the Daily Journal as outstanding intellectual property practitioners. The publication recognized lawyers whose work made the most impact on their clients, their area of law and the larger society.

ANAT BARON's documentary "Beer Wars" is available to rent On Demand through Digital Cable and Satellite providers Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Cablevision, Charter, Insight, Bresnan, Verizon FiOS, AT & T U-Verse, Dish Network and DirecTV. It is also available for Download on iTunes, Amazon Video On Demand, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The film is also available on Netflix as well as for purchase on Amazon.

JASON GRODE is an independent talent agent in the animation/comic books/toys space.

SCOTT FERGUSON was Production and Unit Production Manager of "You Don't Know Jack" for HBO Films. The film, which stars Al Pacino as Dr. Jack Kevorkian, aired recently on HBO. He also produced "Temple Grandin" for HBO. Claire Danes won a 2010 Emmy Award for her performance as the title character. Grandin was a Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of '56 Professor at Cornell.

ANDY ZAX is an independent music producer, specializing in historic box sets. He recently did a box set of Woodstock, digitizing over 30 hours of tape stock.

MARC HENRY JOHNSON's documentary "Soundtrack for a Revolution" was short-listed in the 2010 Oscar for Best Documentary category.

BRAD MINNICH's short film, "Maasai: A Warrior's Rite of Passage," was recently screened at The Museum for African Art in New York City. The film has played in various film festivals, universities and countries around the world including Nigeria, New Zealand, South Africa, England and Canada. Brief Synopsis: The Maasai tribe, who live an exotic and adventuresome life on the border of Kenya, are the subject of this documentary about a people and a place as far removed from our own everyday reality as it’s possible to get. To see a clip of the film, log onto:

RICKY JAY recently starred in a one-man show at the Geffen Playhouse

JEFF HIRSCHBERG's "Reflections of the Shadow: Creating Memorable Heroes and Villains for Film and TV" is now available on Barnes & Noble is also carrying the book, which has a Foreword from Steven de Souza ("Die Hard," "48. Hrs.").

ANDREW MITTMAN oversees feature film development at BermanBraun.

MICHAEL BERG recently released his debut album, "Lights Down," on CD. The 12-song album is available at: A list of his current gigs is available on

HART BOYKIN played a scene with Meat Loaf in "House" (episode 20, season 5). He also played Friar Lawrence in Buntoku Productions’ “Romeo and Juliet” as a fundraiser for The Sunshine Kids.

LAURA WEINSTOCK launched a new website: The title of her blog is: The Doctor is in: Notes From a Script Doctor at

ALEX GARTNER is producing "Warcraft," an epic faqntasy/adventure based on the video game. He produced "The International," starring Naomi Watts and Clive Owen.

PATTY LIN was nominated for two 2009 Writers Guild Awards for "Breaking Bad," an AMC series.

JOSE ARROYO was nominated for a 2009 Writers Guild Award for "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."

BILL MAHER was nominated for a 2009 Writers Guild Award for "Real Time with Bill Maher."

CHRIS FENTON’s H2F Entertainment, a management and production company, will produce "BFF," a female buddy comedy, for Wind Dancer Films. Fenton recently wrapped "Still Waiting" for Lionsgate and is preparing to produce a sequel to "The Marine."

ERIKA GREEN is a staff writer for CBS' "The Mentalist."

SALLY ROBINSON will write the book for the Broadway version of "Betty Boop." Pop composer-producer David Foster will write the music. Robinson has written for TV (HBO's "Iron-Jawed Angels") and film ("Medicine Man").

JENNIFER MAISEL is currently writing a movie for Lifetime and Braunstein/Jaffe films. Her newest play, "There or Here," got rave reviews in its New York premiere. Here is one from the NY Times: "Ms. Maisel has written a thought-provoking play that touches on reproductive yearnings, sexual desire, cultural imperialism and more. And Annie Meisels gives a convincing performance as the woman at the center of it all--- this production by the Hypothetical Theater Company, directed by Amy Feinberg, is never less than engaging. --Neil Genzlinger, NY TIMES

LAUREN WEISBERGER has sold her new novel, "Chasing Harry Winston," to Universal. Andy Tennant will direct, and Gina Wendkos will write the adaptation.

ELLEN KOTHEIMER plays drums for Whole Lotta Rosies, an all-female AC/DC tribute band based here in LA. We've won the Rock City News Award for "Most Outstanding Tribute Band" 3 years running and have toured nationally and internationally, including shows for troops abroad. If you are in need of a wild night out, check out for dates in town.

MONA MILLER won the award for "Most Ambitious Script" at the Action on Film Festival for her script, "Escape from Sumatra," about a group of young people of different racial backgrounds, who have lost their parents, joining together to fight the Japanese invasion of Sumatra in World War II. Now she just needs a producer.

CHRISTINE BAU was one of the producers of "Bottle Shock," starring Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Rachael Taylor, Chris Pine, Freddy Rodriguez, Eliza Dushku and Dennis Farina.

JOHN ARLOTTO's short film DEFACE won the Production Excellence Award at the 13th annual Angelus Student Film Fest.

DREW BRODY's film "Desert of Blood," the greatest Mexican-American Vampire Movie of all time, is now available on DVD!

DAN OLIVERIO translated and wrote a core Inca play for the Unknown Theatre.

STEVE REICH, a New York-based composer, won a 2009 Pulitzer Prize for "Double Sextet," a piece composed for two identical sextets of instruments, each made up of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, vibraphone and piano.

MITCHELL GOSSETT, who works at UTA, specializes in representing young talent, including Miley Cyrus.

PHIL SCHWARTZ was the "A" operator on "Journey 3-D", with Brendan Fraser.

ELIZABETH KARR is Co Producer and Casting Director of the feature "Radio Free Albemuth," an adaptation of the Philip K Dick novel by John Alan Simon (fellow Ivy from Harvard), currently in post-production.

LEE ROSENTHAL is Exec VP of Feature Production Management at Paramount Pictures.

REED VAN DYK's film "THE CONSERVATORY," won First Prize in the 2008 comedy category at The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' COLLEGE TELEVISION AWARDS (these are the folks who hand out the Emmys!).

TOM SWARTWOUT edited Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead."

JOSH GREENBAUM will make his feature film directing debut with Columbia Pictures' "The Art of Cool." His short film "The Morning Routine" was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2007 Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker's Award. He also recently won mtvU's Best Filmmaker On Campus Award. He recently sold his script "The Mascot" to Paramount.

ELIZABETH ALLEN directed FOX 2000's children's film "Ramona and Beezus." She is also attached to direct "My Mother's Boyfriend," a dark comedy produced by Chris and Paul Weitz's company. Allen recently sold her first novel, "My 40 Hot Sisters."

YELENA CHAK is VP of drama development at CBS Entertainment.

PHILLIP VAN won a Student Academy Award for his short "High Maintenance."

JON GUMPERT is president of Whitsett Hill Entertainment's Reliant Pictures. He oversees the company's slate of films, all budgeted above $10 million.

ROB FRIED launched his new company SpiritEMX. He has written and directed many of the short films on the company's website.

THELMA SCHOONMAKER won a 2007 Oscar for editing "The Departed."