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Cates, Murney form Ten/Four Pics

Company to focus on moderately priced projects

Gil Cates Jr. and Caitlin Murney have teamed to form Ten/Four Pictures, aimed at development, co-production and financing of features in the $8 million-$15 million range.

The shingle, located at Smashbox Studios in West Hollywood, plans to deliver four features over the next three years in the wake of overall retrenchment by the majors from moderately priced projects. “We think we can create a strong, sustainable brand that audiences can depend on to generate quality entertainment,” Cates said.

The duo decided to partner formally after producing psychological thriller “Order of Chaos,” starring Milo Ventimiglia, Rhys Coiro, Mimi Rogers and Samantha Mathis. Since linking up, they’ve also produced “Pass the Sugar,” a documentary directed by Cates and centered on Australian “Diamond” Joe Hachem and his win at the 2005 World Series of Poker, claiming a $7.5 million prize.

The next Ten/Four project is “Lucky,” a dark comedy directed by Cates about a serial killer who wins the lottery. Script’s penned by “Saturday Night Live” staff writer Kent Sublette; shooting is set for September.

The company recently acquired the rights to “The B Side,” a dramatic thriller set in post-Katrina New Orleans, as well as Thomas Krajewski’s screenplay “Bad Vintage.” 

Cates and Murney have also brought on Sharon Rotzang as VP of legal affairs.

The duo selected the Ten/Four moniker because Cates was born in October and Murney in April. “We liked that idea coupled with the CB radio term 10/4, meaning ‘job done,’ ” he added.

Prior to Ten/Four, Cates directed “Deal,” starring Burt Reynolds, Bret Harrison and Shannon Elizabeth, and “Life After Tomorrow,” following the aftermath of the original stars of “Annie,” for Showtime. Murney worked at ICM before becoming a casting director in New York’s commercial and stage circuit for seven years.

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