Mascheroni most recently served as director of development at Madre Ventures, a venture capital firm and served as director of development and production at The Black List prior to that. She has also held positions at both Blumhouse as their executive of new media and also at CAA, where she worked in both the television and motion picture literary departments.
“Coming over feels like coming home,” says Mascheroni. “I know so many of the people who work here and admire what they do. And there’s such a great creative approach to things that offers a lot to filmmakers and allows us to make great independent projects.”
Verve’s talent team has quadrupled in size since last year and the film team says it expects to continue expanding.
“Olivia is joining us because we had an incredibly busy year,” says Putman. “It felt like we were really active in setting a lot of things up at the beginning of 2021 and then it just became a deluge of productions. And then we started getting a lot of incoming calls from people who saw what we were doing and wanted to do that with us too. We want to remain the same level of quality and engagement that we’ve been providing, but we need to expand our ability to do that.”
Beecroft joined Verve in 2015. She previously worked at Solar Pictures and FilmNation and served as CEO of New Films International. Putman, who came on board in 2019, is a former producer, whose credits include “In a Relationship” and “Dinner in America.”
Mascheroni joins Verve Ventures after the agency scored two major successes at this year’s Sundance. The company helped put together Krystin Ver Linden’s “Alice,” a thriller about an enslaved woman who escapes from a plantation and finds herself in 1973 Georgia, and John Patton Ford’s “Emily The Crown,” a noir-ish story of a woman who is forced to break the law to pay off her crushing student debt. Vertical Entertainment and Roadside Attractions bought “Alice” ahead of the festival and then bought “Emily The Criminal” after the film debuted at Sundance.
Ford’s previous agency had told him his project was “dead in the water” however Beecroft and Putman were able to help guide the script from inception, through production and to the premiere at Sundance.
Ver Linden and Aitch Alberto (the upcoming “Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe”) were recently featured on Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch, which recognizes important new filmmaking voices. In both cases, Verve Ventures attached producers, secured financing and worked with the directors through the entire production process.
“Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” is an LGBTQ coming-of-age story and an adaptation of Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s young adult novel of the same name. Eugenio Derbez and Eva Longoria star alongside newcomers Reese Gonzales and Max Pelayo.
Upcoming projects from the Ventures group include Steve Buscemi’s “The Listener” starring Tessa Thompson, “I Love My Dad” with Patton Oswalt, Halston Sage’s romantic comedy “The List,” and queer musical “Glitter & Doom.” Past titles include contemporary romantic comedies “Plus One” starring Jack Quaid and Maya Erskine and Anthony Maras’s “Hotel Mumbai.”
“If we come on to a project at any stage, what we’re good at is jumping in and being very detail oriented,” says Beecroft. “We like to get in there and look at a budget or look at a script and try to be additive. It’s never about volume for us. It’s are we passionate about this and can we help move the ball forward?”