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Friday, June 26, 2009


What does it mean to be an actor in Los Angeles?

Perhaps boasting about your training ....or exhibiting the extremes to which actors will go to "bring it".

Check out the above very funny "Office"/documentary-ish video on what it means to be an LA actor. In this short, a documentary crew follows around a group of LA actors (co-starring Penn alum Jill Magilone C'00) trying to rehearse for an Industry Showcase. Things get out of control when Ben and Renee show their true colors...

Jill is great in this. Her tone reminds me of a cross between Anna Faris and Julie Hagerty (from Airplane! fame). Very castable!

(Be sure to check out the Joaquin Phoenix reference in there...or at least I think it's a reference as the guy looks like him!)

Check out:
  • my Penn Actors Headshot Gallery HERE!
  • the new Penn Actor Video Reel section HERE (add yours HERE)
  • Advice for the actor who wants to move out to LA HERE

Funny UPenn

Check out my other Funny Friday posts here!

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Posted by Matt | 11:52 AM | , , , , | 1 comments »

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Today the world was saddened with the news that Michael Jackson passed away.

As a special tribute, I dug up this video of "Thriller" being performed by the Penn Glee Club and Penn Dance for their 2008 fall show.

Rest in peace, Michael.

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Posted by Matt | 6:25 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


More news of Penn alumni working together.

If you're ever overwhelmed by all the email you get and have to check different accounts multiple times a day, the following 3 Penn alumni have solved the problem with NutshellMail:
nutshellmail
  • Mark Schmulen (left), Co-Founder and CEO (C '03, SAM/Theos Fraternity, SCUE),  
  • David Lyman (center) Co-Founder and COO (Engineering '03, SAM/Theos Fraternity, Penn Engineering in Ghana)
  • Nirav Batavia (right), VP of Business Development (Wharton and Engineering '03, Mask and Wig, Penn Engineering in Ghana)

How?

Nutshellmail is a free web-based service that enables users to manage and access all their email and social networking accounts through any email inbox. NutshellMail is designed to help you manage your online life through the place where you spend most of your computing time - your primary inbox. The solution works by sending recurring email updates to any email address on a schedule you choose. Each update provides a snapshot of new messages and activity in your Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and email accounts. Through the Update, a user can retrieve any message directly into their primary inbox without having to access their account provider's website. In addition, the solution is designed to provide a compliant way for employees to retrieve messages when restricted from email and social networking sites at work.
UPenn Nutshellmail

Also, these guys have a popular Nutshellmail facebook app HERE which helps you to keep up with all your Facebook activity including status updates, friend requests, messages, birthdays, and much more directly through your email inbox. It's so popular that it was selected as one of the winning companies of the Facebook Fund competition and have received an investment from the fbFund and are now in Palo Alto participating in the fbFund REV incubator program for 10-weeks.

Per Mark,
"We also closed on our Series A financing. With a healthy balance sheet and an incredible opportunity to work directly with Facebook, David, Nirav and I are very excited about our prospects."

UPenn

Visit www.nutshellmail.com

Other great Website Wednesday posts

New to DT? 14 easy suggestions to get started!




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Posted by Matt | 6:23 PM | , , , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

showbizzle

showbizzleEarlier last fall, I posted about how Lindsey Rosin (C'07, The Excelano Project, The Writers House, Kappa Alpha Theta) joined forces with her father Charles Rosin (Executive Producer of Beverly Hills 90210 for the first five seasons) to create www.showbizzle.com, a new form of internet entertainment that combines daily updates of original, scripted video content with a social network aimed at emerging actors, writers, directors, fans of the biz – basically anyone with a computer who is looking for some fun entertainment. (see Lindsey in photo to right directing this week's episode you can see HERE)

Earlier this week, showbizzle relaunched with even more features including:

  • A 23 week series set in Hollywood told from the first person point-of-view of Janey, an aspiring screenwriter who likes to hang out at her favorite coffee shop and listen to the crazy stories that her friends are only too willing to share. As Janey puts it, “there’s always somebody hooking up, screwing up, breaking up…all while chasing their first big break.” The series is set in Hollywood in 2009. Season One will feature 29 cast members, with new episodes available on a weekly basis.
  • “Inside the Bizzle” is an ongoing conversation with top industry insiders such as David Semel (“House”), Elizabeth Heldens (“Friday Night Lights’) and Ted Cohen (“Friends”) about their careers, how they succeeded and their heartfelt advice for people getting started.
  • “Bizzle Bits” is a place to watch behind-the-scenes footage about the show.
  • “The Digital Showcase” is a stage to promote professional and upcoming talent.
  • A community section as a resource for emerging talent, starting with the 21 contemporary monologues available for free download on the website. It will also feature some of our favorite member-submitted videos on the Digital Showcase, then let the members vote on their favorites – and give a community member the opportunity to be paid to do original material on the site.

On a related note...

Find out how DuelingTampons.com can get your contacts and information to advance your Entertainment career!

UPenn
Visit www.showbizzle.com here

Other great Website Wednesday posts

New to DT? 14 easy suggestions to get started!




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Posted by Matt | 11:15 AM | , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


The other day I posted some photos of the Google Street View Bike on the Penn campus.  Now check out the newly posted video above to see where the Google bike actually went around the Penn campus.

Kudos to Penn for doing this as it is great for prosectives, current students and alumni to go explore!

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Posted by Matt | 5:19 PM | , , | 0 comments »

UPenn in Cannes
All last week, I posted about Brian Tran's (W'10) inside scoop of his time at the Penn in Cannes Program.

 As our final "Cannes" post, Julie Blanc (W'12), another one of my great DT correspondents fills us in on advice given this year from Penn alumni:

-Rick Hess (C'84, Head of Creative Artist Agency’s Film Finance Group)
-Geoffrey Gilmore (C'74, Director of Tribeca Film Festival)
-and Penn parent Jeff Berg (Chairman, CEO of ICM)


Click HERE to read on about their advice including:
  • what the key is to succeeding in this business
  • what the entertainment industry is looking for in its next generation of employees
  • why now is a great time to break into the film business


"Imagine a workday where meetings start at 8 a.m. Within a few hours, you have spoken with representatives from just about every continent. Every evening dressed in black tie attire, you attend two to three film screenings, and finish negotiations at 4 a.m. Wake up in four hours and be ready to do it again-for two weeks straight, all the while being in the beautiful South of France. That is what the Cannes Film Festival is like for those involved on the business side, like Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International Creative Management Jeff Berg. On the surface, this international gathering at the Côte d'Azur offers a chance to bask in the sun, relax on yachts, see beautiful people, and watch groundbreaking films. The serenity of this beach city is just a mirage-for those on the inside of the industry it is non-stop hustle and bustle. The schedule is grueling for these twelve days because Cannes is at the epicenter of the entertainment world. This is one of the only times annually that everyone congregates in one spot, so all of the companies need to maximize each day to meet their goals.

One of the personal highlights of the Penn-in-Cannes program for me was the opportunity to meet with prominent figures of the entertainment industry connected to Penn. All self made success stories Jeff Berg, Geoff Gilmore (C'74), and Rick Hess (C'84) offered advice on the current state of the industry as reflected by the film festival, opportunities for change, and how we as Penn students can get our foot into the door of this exciting industry.

Jeff BergOur first meeting was with Jeff Berg; his expertise in his field was immediately evident for he had such a prevailing presence. He emphasized how the Cannes Film Festival is unique- it is truly the most important international film gathering for marketing, financial, business, and creative people. His description of his jam-packed schedule said it all-I was out of breath just after hearing it! Unfortunately, the global financial crisis has also hit the entertainment industry hard as fewer companies sent representatives to Cannes this year and several top banks have closed their doors to media lending. The world of film is interconnected, and he showed how important it is to “make money for your partners”-relationships are fundamental to this business. We were so fortunate to get the chance to speak with Mr. Berg during two of the busiest weeks of his profession. Eyes of the students lit up when he mentioned what the industry is looking for in the next generation of employees: individuals with an understanding of old media with new media skills. Media aficionados-take notes.

Geoffrey GilmoreOur second meeting was with Penn alum Mr. Geoff Gilmore (C'74), former director of the Sundance Film Festival and current director of the Tribeca Film Festival. He discussed the effect of film festivals on the independent film industry from a creative and economic standpoint. The film market place is officially saturated as too many films have been produced in the past few years-everyone wants their shot at becoming a recognized filmmaker. This only makes it harder for films to succeed and make a splash. However, recently, another factor has come into the equation: the changing nature of media. Mr. Gilmore pointed out that the new generation watches film or television mostly on computers. Youtube and Google are becoming platforms for anyone in the world to publish a film. Mr. Gilmore asked the question facing everyone in broadcasting today, how do we capitalize on the Internet, the so-called “promised land”?  Mr. Gilmore was very blunt and honest about the business. It was important to hear his realistic perspective, because even though things may be broken right now, it is actually a great time to break into the business and make a change.

Rick HessPenn alum Rick Hess (C'84) confirmed that this truly is a business of passion. His enthusiasm and love of movies shined through his upbeat voice and demeanor. There is no one set formula to getting an “in” to entertainment- every path is distinctive. His entrepreneurial spirit was evident, as he has had his hand in producing and is now the new head of Creative Artist Agency’s Film Finance Group. While at Penn, he read all of the materials Van Pelt had to offer on the history of the movie business and encouraged us to do the same. Our excitement for the industry needs to be consistent with our desire to learn about it. He told us to never accept “no” and to persevere. Meeting these three men with multifaceted careers and impressive resumes in entertainment demonstrated the diversity of opportunities this industry has to offer. Jeff Berg, Geoff Gilmore, and Rick Hess have successfully mastered the balance between extensive knowledge in art and culture with business savvy. These Penn alum made it happen-now go out and make your mark."


+ Read what advice these 3 above gave to Penn undergrads LAST YEAR!
+ All DT 2009 Penn in Cannes posts
+ All DT 2008 Penn in Cannes posts
+ More advice from Penn alumni in the biz from the 2008 Penn in Pictures (VIDEOS!)



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Posted by Matt | 11:49 AM | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Monday, June 22, 2009


The more I do this site, the more and more stories come from Penn's talented and ambitious Class of 1999.

Sheri Miller (C'99, English/Poetry Major) just released her new music video for her song "Waste My Breath", featuring 30 girls lip-syncing lyrics to the song.  It was filmed in NYC on Prince Street in Soho and South Street Seaport. Sheri is the one on guitar.

Sheri has got a great voice!  She's like Sheryl Crow meets KT Tunstall meets Fiona Apple.  Check it out in the video above!

Sheri's road in music started as an undergrad at Penn.  While still an English Major undergrad, singing in a local blues bands and writing songs secretly in her bedroom, an incredible coincidence happened to Sheri. She began dreaming of a Casio Keyboard over many months, to help her write songs in her bedroom, instead of walking 20 minutes to the jazz piano practice room downtown. One dreamy Sunday morning, after an especially vivid keyboard dream, Sheri took an alternate scenic path to the library, down Locust Walk, instead of her usual straight path on Walnut Street.  She passed by a 1-day church sale. To her amazement, she saw and bought the exact same buzzing Casio keyboard she had dreamt of the night before, for $20. This “gentle push” and “tiny miracle” naturally opened Sheri to writing songs on her new keyboard everyday, awakening her artistry.

Sheri further polished her artistry and songwriting voice by playing famous venues in New York, Nashville and LA like Rockwood Music Hall, The Canal Room, Joe’s Pub, Bowery Ballroom, Bluebird Café, World Café Live, and Hotel Cafe.

Upon releasing her critically-acclaimed debut EP, "Mantra", Sheri was asked to join a 4-part vocal harmony group, which signed to Sony Records in Nashville.  Since leaving the group, Sheri has opened a sold-out show for Shawn Mullins, headlined a show at The Canal Room, wrote with legendary writer J.D. Souther of The Eagles, Marcus Hummon, Kim Richey, Lauren Christy of The Matrix, as well as other Grammy-Award winning songwriters. Sheri is now deep in the process of writing of songs for her next full-length record.

Get Sheri's album "Mantra" HERE

UPenn Musicians

Become a Fan of Sheri Miller on Facebook HERE

Other Penn musicians here

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Posted by Matt | 1:10 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

UPenn
Last week the Google Street View Bike was spotted  on Locust Walk  snapping pictures in front of the Button.

UPenn
The cameras take shots and geo-tags the photos so users can get a street-level view of where they are on Google Maps.  The bikes were created so they could photograph smaller areas that the car can't access (like campus walkways).

No word yet on when these images will come to Google maps.

Thanks to Scott Spitzer (Penn Staff) for the photos! Check out all his work at http://www.scottspitzer.com.



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Posted by Matt | 11:09 AM | , , , | 0 comments »

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Move over Terminator, another high tech film is coming out this Fall and it looks really cool.

Last week I posted my review (and photo with Betty White!) of Todd Lieberman's (C'95, Mask and Wig, AEPi) The Proposal premiere. (Incidentally, it opened on Friday...go out and support Todd!)

Now Todd, as well as co-producers Max Handelman (C'95, AEPi) and Elizabeth Banks (C'96) have recently released a trailer for their hot new futuristic film The Surrogates. The story is as follows:

"FBI agents (Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell) investigate the mysterious murder of a college student linked to the man who helped create a high-tech surrogate phenomenon that allows people to purchase unflawed robotic versions of themselves - fit, good looking remotely controlled machines that ultimately assume their life roles - enabling people to experience life vicariously from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The murder spawns a quest for answers: In a world of masks, whos real and who can you trust?"



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Posted by Matt | 3:23 PM | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »
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