EXCLUSIVE: Lit agency Verve has made it a tradition that when it mints new agents, the promotion comes right after a prank that is increasingly elaborate. Parker Davis, who started as intern in 2011 and had been assistant to Adam Levine, Bill Weinstein and others, was upped to agent on Friday. This after being utterly convinced that he was in for a long wait to be a commissioning deal maker.

Image (1) Verve-Talent-And-Literary-Agency__120629023021-275x118.jpg for post 294159Davis was told two weeks ago that he needed to learn the international sandbox because he was going to be working for XYZ Films’ Kyle Franke, whom the agency was going to hire to open an indie distribution arm to challenge rivals like CAA’s Roeg Sutherland and Micah Green, WME Global’s Graham Taylor and UTA’s Rena Ronson. Davis was made to believe his path to agent had been slowed when Verve brought over Abram Nalibotsky and Pam Goldstein from Resolution, and he was tasked with giving a detailed presentation to the entire agency and Franke about indie financing, sales companies and producers with access to money to coin indie films. To reinforce this, Davis’ roommate and Paramount assistant Brent Hyman called Davis to tell him the scuttlebutt on the indie division was blowing up on tracking boards.

The entire agency showed up for the meeting, and after Davis’ presentation, Franke was introduced as the head of the new division. He thanked Parker for his talk, told him he was glad he’d be his new assistant and told him he liked his coffee black. Then he said he’d decided he was going to stay at XYZ and that Parker should be made an agent. The whole thing was a prank; Verve isn’t starting an indie film division at this point, and Franke never planned to leave XYZ. Davis was congratulated on being minted a lit agent. “He was completely floored, totally believing he was going to be working for this guy,” an insider told me.