By John Bishop
SAM! IF YOU LET ME BE,– Dr. Seuss
I WILL TRY THEM. YOU WILL SEE.
While at Lawrence Academy, Lynne Hartwell ’08 jumped into the entertainment business and, ever since, has tried pretty much everything involved in putting entertainment on a screen: casting, design, research, writing — you name it. These days, the bespectacled Boston sports fan is a production manager on Netflix’s Green Eggs and Ham. However, even after achieving such an enviable position, Lynne remembers well her first foray into production.
“My very first producing experience was actually during my time at Lawrence,” she remembered. “I was a member, and eventually president, of the Elias Fund Club on campus. (Editor’s Note: The Elias Fund is a nonprofit organization funding community development and education for Zimbabwean youth.) In the spring of 2007, we held a music festival at Nara Park in Acton, called Elias Fest: Voice of the Voiceless. The headliner was State Radio, and I had a pretty big role in helping to get the festival together … I fell in love with planning and executing an event like this with the major payoff of the live show. We raised a lot of money and had a really great day.
“I’m still not sure how a bunch of teenagers pulled this off,” Lynne added, “but I think it’s safe to say it really helped build my confidence as a producer, even though I may not have realized what I was doing at the time.”
What Lynne was doing at the time was building a résumé that led her from LA to LA. Following stints with Dreamworks and Titmouse, she now has more than three years at Warner Bros. under her belt. The Emerson College graduate fondly remembers working for another Lawrence Academy alumna in her first real internship.
“My very first internship in entertainment was as a production intern for Styleboston. I was hired by Heloise Borden ’05, who was working there at the time,” Lynne recalled. “I did a lot of “answering phones and email correspondence, but I was also able to pitch my own segments, two of which aired. I worked on location for several shoots, including an interview with Stanley Cup champion Tim Thomas (my pitch!)”
Like many of the former Spartans we encountered in California, Lynne is a workaholic: driven by both a love for the craft and the belief that you make your own luck. In fact, that’s exactly what she told current students and alumni.
“My advice to you is to start making stuff now,” she said earnestly (but while still wearing rose-colored glasses) in a video from Burbank. “Start writing, start a podcast. Figure out what you like, what you’re passionate about. It will help prepare you for college and for whatever you’re starting out in the industry. And if you do that, who knows – maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have a favorite project in Hollywood.
“I can’t really pick favorites, but Green Eggs & Ham has provided me with a lot of personal growth in my career,” said Lynne. “There’s something really special about the show, and I hope people enjoy it as much as I enjoyed working on it!”