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Verve Continues to Show Dominance in Spec Market Following Blacklist, Hitlist Unveilings

While the major agencies still had plenty to gloat about after the recent unveiling of both the Hitlist and the Blacklist, Verve Talent and Literary Agency is looking to be the big winner when it comes to repping writers on those lists.

For the Hitlist, which is a list of the 90 best already-produced specs of 2017, Verve ranked first among agencies, repping 17 of the writers on the list. For the Blacklist, which is a list of the best specs that have yet to be produced, Verve ranked second, trailing only CAA and repping 14 of the specs appearing on the list.

“Thrilled that our hard work and love for the writer business has been recognized by the best readers in town!” said co-founder Bryan Besser.

To most agencies, these lists serve as a benchmark to measure their standing in the biz in terms of their clients’ productivity. For the past several years, Verve has held its own, consistently appearing near the top in terms of representation.

Since opening their doors in 2009, Verve Talent and Literary Agency has grown from a small boutique of less then a dozen employees to a legitimate competitor despite only employing 21 agents and repping a couple hundred clients, compared to other agencies that employ hundreds and represent thousands.

With studios buying less and less original content, Verve has found a way to get not only the attention of every major network and studio in town but also the respect of their fellow rivals as a contender in the space.

Prior to this week, the agency was already having a good year with several clients involved in box office hits, including “The Lego Batman Movie” (John Whittington), “Kong: Skull Island” (Derek Conolly), “American Assassin” (Mike Finch), “Lego Ninjango Movie” (Charlie Bean), “Thor: Ragnarok” (Chris Yost), “The Florida Project” (Chris Bergoch) and “Cars 3” (Eyal Podell and Jonathon Stewart). The agency is also making strides internally as well as externally, especially when it comes to equality in the workplace. In a recent Variety poll focusing on the percentage of leadership roles held by women at different agencies, Verve ranked first, with half of its leadership roles held by woman.

On top of that, the agency has been able to woo several high-profile agents in recent years including spec packaging superagent David Boxerbaum from Paradigm.

Even as 2017 comes to an end, the agency doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. 2018 looks hopeful with several films like “R.L. Stein’s Fear Street” (Leigh Janiak directing) going into production and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (Colin Trevorrow and Derek Conolly) and “Pacific Rim: Uprising” (Emily Carmichael writing) set to premiere during the year.

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