Thursday, August 9, 2007

Andrew White (C'08) laces up in new sneaker design business

Another day, another Penn (undergrad) entrepreneur...

Three years ago Andrew White (C'08) started hand painting sneakers after summer of his freshman year. "It was a way for me to combine my passion for art, fashion and business (I'm in Wharton). I started driving around my town with shoes and wearing them everywhere to get people to buy them, " Andrew told me.

Before he knew it, Andrew started doing custom orders for friends and friends of friends. Soon his shoes were featured in the Penn fashion show over the past two years, and appeared in downtown Philadelphia's Topstitch (women's boutique clothing store) and Manhattan's Lower East Side's FAE ("First Among Equals" -a men's clothing boutique).

Now, Andrew's company "Last Laff" specializes in custom designed sneakers, jeans and other apparel, giving customers the ability to purchase personalized, contemporary and retro designed apparel.

Stay tuned because Andrew tells me he is expanding his business to accommodate a more "corporate feel".

Click here to check out Andrew's designs

Click here to check out other Penn illustrators

Any other Penn undergrad/alumni designers out there? Email me at!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Ryan Jaffe (C'96) pens The Rocker

Ryan Jaffe's (C'96) script for The Rocker has just finished filming.

Per Ryan, "The Rocker stars Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, Jason Sudekis, Jeff Garlin, Jane Lynch, Emma Stone, Josh Gad, and Teddy Geiger. It's the story of a drummer that gets fired from a band just before they become really famous and earns a second shot at rock stardom twenty years later when he hooks up with his teenage nephew's band. "

Per Variety, Ryan is currently writing Don't Lean on Me, a film which "tells the story of an assistant high school gym teacher with no interest in education who's forced into his worst nightmare -- a promotion to high school principal." Great concept!

Aspiring Penn undergrads and alumni writers, check this out...

How did this all happen for Ryan?

Per Ryan, "I wrote a script called The High Road, which led to a manager and then agent at Endeavor. Debbie Liebling at Fox liked the script and took a general meeting, where I pitched The Rocker. She liked it, asked for a synopsis, and then gave me a two script deal. It's not quite that simple, but that's the nutshell.

Until I sold the pitch to Fox I worked first as an assistant at Industry Entertainment for three years after graduation, then worked as a script reader, then a web producer, which took me to San Francisco for a year. While there I began taking fiction workshops at Berkeley and had a big breakthrough in terms of building confidence. I then moved back to L.A. to work in television, but my passion was always film and I ended up writing a couple features, one of which was The High Road (based on a short story I wrote while in San Francisco). I never saw the short story as a potential film, but was encouraged to write something that I didn't think would necessarily sell, but rather demonstrated an original, compelling voice. The script still hasn't sold but it's responsible for just about every opportunity I've ever had."

I bet he didn't write these scripts in Starbucks...

Congratulations, Ryan!

Elizabeth Banks (C'96) doubles her pleasure in "Shelly Likes David: Episode 2"

Episode 2 of the internet based series "Wainy Days" starring Elizabeth Banks (C'96) just launched! Another very funny performance!

Rated PG-13 for the usage of the words "anal rag".

>Click here to watch Episode 2: "Shelly Likes David, et al.".
(be sure to press the play ">" button on the video to watch)

>Click here to catch up on Episode 1: "Shelly".
(be sure to press the play ">" button on the video to watch)

I just saw Liz last weekend and she told me she has been up in Canada filming A Tale of Two Sisters and things are going well.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Loren Mendell's (C'95) PBS documentary airs!

Since his last project Bad Boys of Summer, Loren Mendell (C'95, Friars) has now produced/directed "The Black Stain of Oil", a short documentary for Frontline/World (PBS) about the recent oil spill in the Philippines. (Loren’s work also includes series and specials for ABC, CBS, Discovery, CMT, VH1 and The History Channel.)

Click here to watch the documentary

Click here to learn more about this project

Loren's great documentaries have been featured in many of our Pennfests. ...Be sure to save the date for this year's Pennfest: Wednesday, October 10: Cinespace, Hollywood.

Coffee House Writers: EXPOSED!

Whether you're a writer or not, there's a great clip from Family Guy that every Los Angeles resident (for better or worse) can relate to.

Click here to view this very funny Family Guy clip

I laugh at this clip because I've been a CHW: ...a "Coffee House Writer".

...In Starbucks.
...In Coffee Bean.
...In Insomnia Cafe.

As a former CHW, I've gotten some good writing done while sipping my cafe latte. I've also been inspired to write more being among other writers. Then again, I've also been greatly distracted. In a positive way if there is such a thing.

Any other CHWs out there who want to chime in?

Where do you write? Comment below.