EXCLUSIVE: Zach Carlisle, one of the original five who left WME to form Verve, was promoted Sunday from assistant to agent. These days, dealmaker-minting ceremonies are becoming more and more like Punk’d episodes, and the Verve partners really strung Carlisle along. First, he was asked to come to partner Adam Levine’s house yesterday to build a swing set for the agent’s sons. As if the indignity of giving up a summer weekend day to build a swing set didn’t leave him furious enough, the assistant was greeted in Levine’s house by Verve partners Bryan Besser and Bill Weinstein. They conducted a career intervention about Carlisle’s “questionable” future. Finally, before the young assistant completely blew a gasket, he was escorted to the backyard. Instead of a swing set, Carlisle was surprised by 25 colleagues, family and friends and told he was being made an agent. But his ordeal wasn’t over: he had to perform his favorite karaoke song, I’ve Got Friends in Low Places for the group, who would then vote on his Hollywood future. Carlisle passed the audition and was promoted on the spot. The captain of the Verve softball team, Carlisle was given a custom-made baseball jersey with the number 5, to denote his position as the 5th agent at Verve. He’s the second to be promoted from within, after Rob Herting was promoted last spring.
Upstart talent and literary agency Verve was launched almost a year ago by three former Endeavor agents, Bill Weinstein, Bryan Besser and Adam Levine, who left WME several months after the Endeavor-WMA merger. Because of the trio’s pedigree – they are all motion picture lit agents – Verve started building its business on the feature side but has been expanding into TV. And to prove that there is no bad blood between the Verve partners and their former employer, a couple of the TV projects are being done in conjunction with WME. Here are some notable TV sales by Verve clients:
Victoria Strouse (Apostles of Infinite Love, Little Fockers on-set writer) is writing Consulting Adults for NBC, with 20th TV and studio-based Chernin Entertainment producing. It is an office show about a team of corporate consultants who advise people on how to fix their companies, even though their personal lives are quite dysfunctional.
Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners, Contraband) has sold Awake, about a NYC detective stricken with permanent insomnia, to USA Network, with Madhouse’s Adam Kolbrenner and Robyn Meisinger producing. Additionally, Guzikowski is talks with HBO on Descendants. Sarah Condon is producing the project, about a sheriff struggling to police two clashing communities: the small town where he grew up and the neighboring Ramapo Mountains, home of the mysterious Ramapo Mountain Indians.
David Stern (Open Season 2) has teamed with …