Bill Bellamy has signed with Resolution in all areas. He stars in and executive produces the syndicated comedy Mr. Box Office and toplined the Showtime specials Crazy Sexy Dirty and Bill Bellamy’s Ladies Night Out and exec produced and hosted last month’s Centric Comedy All Stars. Bellamy also is a recurring co-host on The Rachael Ray Show and appeared in the 2013 feature 10 Rules For Sleeping Around. He is managed by Barry Katz.
Jonny Campbell has inked with Verve. The UK-based TV director also has signed to helm the BBC/HBO adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. The Warner Bros-produced project will premiere on the BBC before airing on HBO. Campbell directed last year’s BBC Three miniseries In The Flesh and has helmed multiple episodes of UK series including Doctor Who, Shameless, Ashes And Ashes and Phoenix Nights. He is repped in the UK by 42.
EXCLUSIVE: Hot off their SXSW debut Honeymoon, the filmmaking team of Leigh Janiak and Phil Graziadei have signed with Verve. The film, which Janiak directed and Graziadei wrote, played strongly at the festival and Magnolia Picture’s genre label, Magnet Releasing, acquired the worldwide rights and will release domestically later this year. Pic stars Rose Leslie and Harry Treadway and is produced by Patrick Baker and Esme Howard. Honeymoon will next play at Tribeca.
The film centers on young newlyweds who travel to remote lake country for their honeymoon. Shortly after arriving, he finds her wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night. As she becomes more distant and her behavior increasingly peculiar, he begins to suspect something more sinister than sleepwalking took place in the woods.
EXCLUSIVE: Boutique agency Verve has signed German writer-director Bora Dagtekin, whose hit comedy feature F*ck You Shakespeer (Fack Ju Gohte) has been burning up the German box office since its debut last fall. Elyas M’Barek (The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones) stars as a bank robber who disguises himself as a substitute teacher to recover stolen money buried beneath a newly constructed high school. The raunchy, politically incorrect comedy produced by Rat Pack Filmproduktion and distributed by Constantin Films has grossed over $72.7M US to date in Germany and earned Dagtekin comparisons to The Hangover‘s Todd Phillips. Dagtekin’s previous hits in Germany include the acclaimed 2006 comedy series Turkish For Beginners (Türkisch für Anfänger), which ran for three seasons and nabbed awards including an International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences nomination. F*ck You Shakespeer lead M’Barek also starred on that show as well as its hit 2012 film adaptation, which Dagtekin scripted and co-wrote. Verve is in Austin showing F*ck You Shakespeer around this week at SXSW. Check out the NSFW trailer: Read More »
Chris Noriega has become the fourth assistant at the 4-year-old boutique literary agency to be promoted to agent. Per Verve tradition, Noriega was given the news via an elaborate prank, in which he was led to believe that he had jeopardized a client’s employment by giving him a wrong job start date. Noriega’s mission to track down the elusive client in order to save the writer’s job took him to a local restaurant where he was greeted with the promotion news by the rest of the agency, friends and family. Noriega has worked for Verve’s Bill Weinstein and Zach Carlisle since joining the agency in 2012 from Gersh, where he was TV lit coordinator.
EXCLUSIVE: Screenwriters Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy have picked up feature rights to Boston Strong, I’ve learned. The forthcoming book by Casey Sherman and Boston Herald reporter Dave Wedge examines the city’s reaction to the fatal April 15 Patriots’ Day attacks at the Boston Marathon finsh line and the hunt for the siblings suspecting of carrying out the bombings. Surviving brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured on April 19 after a massive manhunt, much of which played out on TV. The book is being written and is scheduled to be published next year by University Press of New England. Michael Prevett of the Gotham Group, Adam Levine of Verve Talent and John Ivey of Altus Marketing & Management negotiated the Boston Strong deal between the respective writers.
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EXCLUSIVE: The partners at boutique agency Verve have set a high bar for promoting agents. This is the same gang that promoted assistant Zach Carlisle at partner Adam Levine’s house, where Carlisle was told to go to build a swing set on a hot summer weekend day. And before Carlisle got good news, he was subjected to a career intervention by partners Bryan Besser and Bill Weinstein, and then coaxed into a karaoke rendering of “I’ve Got Friends In Low Places.” When the Verve partners promoted Rob Herting, they enlisted clients and Red scribes Jon & Erich Hoeber and Summit production chief Erik Feig, and staged a bogus meeting forcing staffers to come up with a new title to pitch for the sequel.
So what did they come up with when they decided to promoted coordinator Melissa Solomon? Read More »
Verve has hired former Fineman Entertainment manager Felicia Bargman as a literary agent. At the boutique agency, she joins TV lit agents Amy Retzinger, who was named a partner over a year ago, and Zach Carlisle. “Felicia comes to us with the same enthusiasm, drive and dedication to clients that is shared by the entire Verve team and will help us to continue our growth in television,” Verve partners Bryan Besser, Adam Levine, Bill Weinstein and Retzinger said in a statement. Bargman started her career at ICM and also worked at 3 Arts.
EXCLUSIVE: Literary agent Tanya Cohen has left Paradigm and joined Verve. “Tanya’s unique background, sophisticated taste, and passion for storytellers will make her another valuable member of our team,” the Verve partners said in a statement today. She will begin at Verve in January. The South African-born Cohen started her career at Radar Pictures before joining Paradigm in 2009 in the mailroom; she was an agent at Paradigm for about a year. ICM literary agent Adam Weinstein joined Verve in May of this year following veteran lit agent Aaron Hart in March.
EXCLUSIVE: Adam Weinstein has left ICM to join Verve. Weinstein, brother of Verve co-founder Bill Weinstein, is a motion picture literary agent who began his career at UTA and moved to ICM in 2009. His list includes director Colin Treverrow and writer Derek Connolly, writers-directors David Posamentier and Geoff Moore, and David Bowers. He was involved in packaging such films as Safety Not Guaranteed, Better Living Through Chemistry and the Diary Of A Wimpy kid franchise. ”We are thrilled to have Adam join our team,” the partners said in a statement. “His personality and drive combined with his eye for talent and outstanding relationships makes him a natural fit for our business.”
Weinstein is the third agent added by Verve this year. ”I am excited to be working with friends and family, but most importantly at a great company,” Weinstein said.
As for ICM, the agency wished him well.
EXCLUSIVE: Veteran literary agent Aaron Hart is joining Verve, the agency just announced to its staff. Hart, who started at WMA, was most recently in ICM’s motion picture lit department. The partners confirmed the hiring and gave me this statement: “We are incredibly excited to have Aaron Hart joining our ranks. He is an experienced & well-respected agent with excellent taste. We look forward to him being a big part of our future success.”
Hart is the second agent to move to Verve in 2012, joining Amy Retzinger, who joined in January.
Veteran TV director Ernest R. Dickerson has signed with Verve. He is among a number of former Gersh TV lit agent Amy Retzinger’s clients to follow her to Verve, where she joined as a new partner in January. Dickerson, a frequent collaborator of David Simon, just won a NAACP Image Award for directing an episode of Simon’s latest HBO series, Treme. Dickerson also has directed multiple episodes of Dexter and The Walking Dead. Other clients who have joined Retzinger at Verve include writers Karen Hall and Yolonda Lawrence (The Good Wife), directors Jennifer Getzinger (Mad Men), Daisy Mayer (Shameless) and Wendy Stanzler (The Client List), and director/producer Mike Smith (Law & Order: SVU).
Amy Retzinger & Rob Golenberg Exit Gersh
EXCLUSIVE: Veteran Gersh TV lit agent Amy Retzinger, who left the agency last week, is joining boutique agency Verve. Retzinger will be a new partner at the agency, the first agent outside the founding trio of Bryan Besser, Adam Levine, and Bill Weinstein to join the partnership. She will start on January 2. “Amy is a dynamic, respected force in the television business with superior taste, excellent clients, and a ferocious drive,” Besser, Levine, and Weinstein said in a statement. “She will be an important and powerful addition to our growing business.” Retzinger adds TV lit experience to Verve, whose founding partners hail from the feature side of lit representation. But the agency does not plan to create film and TV departments, opting instead to keep its current fluid structure in which agents do everything. During her decade-long tenure at Gersh, Retzinger was a senior member of the agency’s TV literary department, representing writers and directors on such series as Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, and The Good Wife. “In its two-year history, Verve has proven to be a very creative, forward-thinking company in its approach to the representation business,” Retzinger said. ” I’m looking forward to joining the team, and to continuing to build the company into the premiere agency in … Read More »
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.
EXCLUSIVE: Stephen Susco, who scripted the horror hit The Grudge and its sequel, has been signed by Verve. Susco most recently co-wrote and produced with Sam Raimi an untitled Ole Bornedal-directed horror film. Susco, who’d been repped by CAA, is currently developing The Brink with Gore Verbinski and Starz. Susco continues to be managed by Prolific.
Verve, the upstart lit agency hatched by Bryan Besser, Bill Weinstein and Adam Levine in January 2010, today made its first agent promotion from within by giving Rob Herting his dealmaker stripes. They made it memorable, with help from Summit production chief Erik Feig. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Timur Bekmambetov has won a spec auction for Maggie, a script that sparked a spirited auction today, with six bidders. Bekmambetov will produce a film that has a script by John Scott 3, and vfx wiz Henry Hobson set to direct. Why did so many bidders spark to the script? Aside from offering some inventive twists on the popular zombie genre, Maggie is a blueprint for a genre movie that can be made for between $4 million and $8 million. That budget range has suddenly become highly desirable for distributors looking to make genre films in the mold of Paranormal Activity.
Maggie is a 16-year old girl from a town in middle America who becomes infected by a zombie. Much the way that Danny Boyle changed the lumbering zombie stereotype by speeding up the undead in 28 Days Later, Maggie changes the lightning quick infection period evident in most zombie films, where victims become zombies in minutes. It will take six weeks for Maggie to turn, and the film tracks the transformation as she stays with her family. Trevor Kaufman will produce with Bekmambetov.
When he’s not writing scripts, the writer builds commanding for NASA’s flagship X-ray satellite. He works with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, which takes photos of X-ray photons in deep space. Hobson was trained at the Royal College of Art in London as a graphic designer, and specializes in creating inventive title sequences for films that included Sherlock … Read More »
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 … Read More »