Tag Archives: Wesleyan Mafia

Career Outlook — Summer in LA

The Career Center’s Rachel Berman wants to help you join the Wesleyan Mafia:

Going to be in LA this summer? Check out these opportunities!

Our Winter Break Career Outlook now has a summer partner! For the first time, the Career Center is offering Career Outlook – Summer in LA. This job shadow program provides undergraduates an opportunity to explore careers by shadowing a Wesleyan alumna/us or parent in a particular field or industry during summer break.

This initial summer program will feature ten shadow opportunities from various industries, such as film, television, law, medicine, fashion and art. For summer 2013, most opportunities are day-long and may include observing a professional, sitting in on meetings, or participating in a specific project within the organization. Visit MyCC to learn more and to submit an application (Career Outlook is the employer).

The application deadline is 11:59pm on Tuesday, 5/7. Resume approval is required.

Questions? Email Jen Healey at jhealey(at)wes.

‘Gangster Squad,’ ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild,’ and the Wesleyan Mafia

Last month, while you were chillaxing in your break cocoon, the New York Times devoted an article to lesser-talked-about Wesleyan filmmaker and Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer ’97, whose latest release, Gangster Squad, stars Sean Penn in the story “of the struggle between good and evil on the streets of Los Angeles, in a post-World War II era that was known for shady compromise between the two.”

Unlike his Cardinal peers, Fleischer wasn’t a film major at Wesleyan. He got involved in the industry by way of coding Web sites during the dot-com boom, which led him to Los Angeles, which led him to Mike White ’92 (who co-produced and wrote Dawson’s Creek and Freaks & Geeks, but whom you might more readily recognize from his classic role in School of Rock, which he also wrote). Then, Fleischer moved up the ranks. About halfway through the Times article comes a classic, tried-and-true glimpse into the innerworkings of what has come to be termed the “Wesleyan Mafia” in Hollywood, which is apparently the real engine behind Fleischer’s early career:

Before long he was building sites for big companies like Microsoft.

That led to a Web-related job in Los Angeles, where he met Mike White [’92], a filmmaker and television producer who had also attended Wesleyan and who got Mr. Fleischer hired as a production assistant on the TV series “Dawson’s Creek.”

It was a short step to a job as assistant to the director Miguel Arteta [’89], another member of Wesleyan’s movie mafia, on the film “Chuck & Buck,” starring and written by Mr. White.

WESU Makes Video, DJs for mtvU

Hai guyz, yet another Wesleyan musician has made it! This time, a group of scrappy WESU volunteers proves that they’ll be tastemakers of the future by introducing mtvU’s countdown of music videos, both on their Tumblr and on “a 24-hour television channel that is available on more than 750 college and university campuses across the United States” (check it out in a TV if you can find one!?).  Perhaps recognizing how accomplished the Wesleyan community has been in the way of music lately, mtvU allowed the creators to (mostly) go crazy over the course of a single afternoon, turning such prosaic things like nail-clipping and sticking your head under your friend’s shirt into cinematic gold. Unfortunately, corporate censorship prevailed.

Here’s a full “artist statement” via former WESU technical director Dan Nass ’13:

mtvU invited WESU to do a college radio countdown, where we put together a playlist of ten music videos along with a clip introducing the station to viewers. WESU’s board of directors brought in the almost terrifyingly ubiquitous Will Feinstein ’13 to work on the script, and he and I co-directed the video. We shot it in a single afternoon, thanks to the talent and cooperation of WESU’s awesome student volunteers and our program manager Rick, along with some DIY ingenuity (a couple of the shots are lit with iPhones!) We wanted to represent WESU’s independent spirit with a suitably offbeat clip, and we must have done a good job because the folks at mtvU cut a couple of our favorite shots—the original video featured a kidnapping and a book-burning. The video and playlist are airing four times a day for the next week on mtvU. Check it out if you have a television! mtvU’s tumblr is also featuring five online music videos selected by the board, including campus favorites Adrien feat. William.

Barnett ’94 Premieres Show at Hartford Stage

Ken Barnett ’94, pictured above with co-star Lisa O’Hare, is starring in the new Robert Freedman musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

After premiering October 12, Barnett’s show received a glowing review from Charles Isherwood of the New York Times, who does not dole out praise easily.

Isherwood writes that Barnett, who majored in theater at Wes, “finds just the right blend of perky propriety and gimlet-eyed opportunism as the jolly killer at the center of the show.”

Even Barack Obama Thinks ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ is the Shit

“I don’t like to name drop, but the first person to tell me about this was the President of the United States.”

As if the tremendous critical acclaim and Oscar buzz wasn’t enough, it turns out even Barack Obama thinks Beasts of the Southern Wild is pretty much the shit. The commander-in-chief liked it so much he recommended it to Oprah. As Oprah recalled during a recent OWN interview:

I don’t like to name drop, but the first person to tell me about this was the President of the United States. I was interviewing the president for an interview that’s going to be in O magazine . . . and as I sat down putting on my mic, he said ‘have you seen this movie, Beasts of the Southern Wild?’ I hadn’t even heard the phrase so I didn’t even know what he was talking about. And since then at least a dozen different people said to me, ‘have you seen this movie Beasts of the Southern Wild, you have got to see this film.’

Bay Watch: Help Michael Bay ’86 on Kickstarter!

“Normally the thought of an independently financed film makes me physically ill. But studios have stopped taking my pitches for movies with human protagonists.”

Guys! Michael Bay ’86, critically acclaimed misunderstood director of the Transformers series (which he recently bashed) and the occasional Victoria’s Secret commercial, needs your help. Inspired by Amanda Palmer ’98’s crowdfunding success story, Bay has taken to Kickstarter to fund his latest project, Bad Boys III, which you can be assured will feature all the hallmarks of great cinema in the Book of Bay: “10-15 story pyrotechnics, blast-proof camera cranes, chicks with big cans, with minimal-to-no popcorn fare-type elements, like story or plot.” The movie will also feature a scene in which “some guy basejumps into the space between the Statue of Liberty’s tits.” Hey, did you hear about that Sight & Sound poll?

If you donate a dollar, you will receive a personal thank-you email from Michael Bay. If you donate $25 million, you will receive a signed photo of Michael Bay on a sweet motorcycle. Seems like an obvious choice to me.

My Dinner With Michael: Roth Chills Hard With HIMYM’s Bays, Thomas ’97

During my freshman year, it took Argus writers Jessica Jordan ’13 and Jiovani Robles ’13 approximately eight months to score an interview with revered How I Met Your Mother co-creators Carter Bays ’97 and Craig Thomas ’97. We would know, too: they maintained a prolific diaryturnedArguscolumn recording their desperate efforts to contact the duo. They dug up old yearbook photos and Ampersand pieces, invented imaginary awards, even wrote a one-act play based on their quest. (For more of Bays’ bizarre Ampersand material, check this apology to the Wesleyan community and editorial farewell.) When they finally published an interview, they were no longer freshmen.

Supreme leader Michael Roth ’78, on the other hand, seems to have gotten lucky on his first try.

Above, via Wesconnect, check out clips from a conversation between MRoth and the Bays/Thomas duo at a nifty-looking alumni get-together at the Paley Center for Media in L.A.

BetaBeat, Roth on Wes-Presence in Silicon Alley

So…we’re a little late on this piece of news (even President Roth beat us to it! what the hel…lloooo), but technology/digital culture news site BetaBeat ran an article a few days ago on Wesleyan’s presence in the tech world. The piece’s jump-off point was a recent event called “Digital Wes,” an alumni gathering in New York City for former Wes-folks involved the industry, in which President Roth also made an appearance.

It’s a really interesting read, with its many little tid-bits on the lives of an ensemble cast of Wes grads, which in and of itself is rather delightful to take a peek at. Furthermore, there’s a fascinating little line that goes:

The crowd settled to a dull murmur as Wesleyan president Michael Roth ’78 stood in the center of the room. A former professor known for his jazz piano skills and formidably tight jeans, he was making his first foray to the tech event.

(Ben Popper ’04, who wrote the article, clearly keeps up with contemporary Wes culture.) What’s even more interesting is that the entire article was reproduced in its entirety over at the president’s blog page, which means that the president is clearly aware of the fame that surrounds his formidable fashion forays. (Either that, or he didn’t read the article. But really, what’s more plausible?) If anybody at the Argus is reading this, you should totally run a Fall Fashion Feature with the Prez firmly on center-page.

Coming back to the point of this post, I would think that the BetaBeat article must have triggered some reaction among our relatively bacterium-sized CompSci department. I contacted somewhat-renowned CompSci major Micah “Girls Gone” Wylde ’12 earlier this week for a statement, but unfortunately, the busy man blew me off.

So if any of you Comp Sci kids have anything to chip in on this, go right ahead in da Comments. Or not, it’s up to you. Anyway, click here for the article, in case you missed the link above.

Thomas, Bays ’97 Go All HIMYM On Our Asses

It’s hard enough getting an interview these days with Carter Bays ’97 and Craig Thomas ’97, creators of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother and powerful multibillionaires. For two Argus arts writers, it took the better part of freshman year.

But now Bays and Thomas want to talk. Specifically, they’ve managed to log onto to Wesleyan’s WesConnect alumni news board to spam their upcoming seventh season to point out some past Wes shout-outs (have you noticed? yeah?) and promise more. Here’s a clip of their message to the Wes community:

See, Carter and I based three of the main characters, Ted, Marshall and Lily (played by Josh Radnor, Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan) on Carter, myself and Rebecca Alson-Milkman (class of ’98) and had them meet at Wesleyan, much like ourselves. Over six seasons, we’ve written in many a reference to our beloved alma mater (Have you caught them, Wesleyan? Really? Okay, pop quiz: name them all. I’m waiting… You know what, I don’t believe you, let’s just move on!)

Alumni Watch: Michael Bay Bashes Transformers 2

Shia LaBeouf is kinda sorry, too.


Poor Michael Bay ’86. The more he does what Michael Bay does best (namely: bazillion-dollar blockbusters with action, explosions, and Megan Fox), the more he gets beat on. Remember that time he threatened to quit Transformers because the naysayers just don’t understand? “It’s easy to go shoot an art movie in a winery in the South of France,” Bay protested in 2009. “But people have no idea how hard it is to create something like Transformers.”

Now he’s saying maybe the critics were right: Transformers 2 really did suck. Not that it was all his fault—in an interview with Empire Magazine this week, the 46-year-old director sets the record straight:

“We made some mistakes,” admits Bay. “The real fault with [Transformers 2] is that it ran into a mystical world. When I look back at it, that was crap. The writers’ strike was coming hard and fast. It was just terrible to do a movie where you’ve got to have a story in three weeks.”

“I was prepping a movie for months where I only had 14 pages of some idea of whatthe movie was,” Bay goes on. “It’s a BS way to make a movie, do you know what I’m saying?”