On April 20 a gala crowd flocked to the world premiere of Harvard Goes Hollywood, a 30-minute tongue-in-cheek montage of movie clips and interviews about Harvard and HLS. The film was produced by Class Action, Inc., a corporation formed by Professor Jon Hanson’s Corporations students. “I’m a little bit nervous,” Hanson admitted to the audience. “I’m new to this movie mogul thing.”
Here follows the first and last annual report from Class Action CEO Heather Thompson ’00, “the hardest-working and lowest-paid CEO in the country,” according to Hanson:
“In order to better learn corporate law and corporate structures, Professor Hanson challenged our class of 130 students to form a real corporation. We created a By-laws Committee to structure the corporation and to incorporate us in Delaware, and an Entrepreneurial Committee to develop product ideas. Of the projects presented by the Entrepreneurial Committee, the class chose this movie because they believed it would help foster community here at HLS.
“Within six short weeks we formed our corporation, picked our product, produced Harvard Goes Hollywood, and organized and marketed its premiere. Our legal counsel was Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, and Jacobson; our accountants were Deloitte and Touche; and Goldman Sachs & Co. valued our corporation and ran the IPO (Initial “Private” Offering). All three graciously donated their services.
“While none of the project counted towards their final grade, the members of the class still sacrificed enormous amounts of their time serving as CEO, CFO, COO, VPs, and directors; others on committees in charge of producing, directing, editing, and marketing the movie, and, after our IPO, many as shareholders. The hard work of all involved was reflected in the overwhelming success of the project. Both of the two premiere-night shows were to standing-room-only audiences, and to date nearly 300 videos have been sold. The premiere met rave reviews by the Law Record and the Boston Business Journal; and the Harvard University Gazette commented that ‘the film was obviously a tremendous hit.’ Unlike most successful corporations, however, this one has a semester-long life span and will be donating all of its net profits to the HLS Public Interest Summer Fellowships.”