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Magic sets low-budget slate of pix

Blue conjures up ambitious sked

NEW YORK — Blue Magic Pictures, the Gotham shingle launched by Lemore Syvan, Melissa Marr and Gus Samios, will produce “Leo Spivak,” written and to be directed by thesp Peter Riegert.

Company is also on board as producers of “Rose and the Snake,” which Rebecca Miller (“Personal Velocity”) will make, and John Sayles’ “Casa de los Babys,” starring an ensemble cast that includes Mary Steenburgen, Marcia Gay Harden, Daryl Hannah, Lili Taylor and Maggie Gyllenhaal. IFC Prods. is financing the pic.

Also on the Blue Magic slate is “Duane Hopwood,” to be directed by Matt Mulhern from a script he penned.

Blue Magic is developing “Air and Fire,” with director Alejandro Springall attached to helm, from a screenplay by Peter Ettedgui, based on the Rupert Thompson novel. Syvan is producing along with Ron Kastner, Sophie Simpson and Charles Finch. Pic, set in turn-of-the-century rural Mexico, will be produced in association with Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson’s Cosmic Entertainment, where Joy Cohen is shepherding the project and also will serve as a producer.

Novel development

Syvan and Kastner, along with Anita Waxman and Karen Arthur, also are developing “Markers,” based on the novel by New York Post columnist Sidney Zion. Company is hoping to turn project into a TV series.

“Side Man,” written and to be directed by Warren Leight based on his Tony Award-winning play, rounds out the initial Blue Magic Pictures slate.

“Leo Spivak” is a comedy about a middle-aged salesman (to be played by Riegert), who is losing his father to terminal illness, his teenage daughter to adulthood and his grip on his sales job, which is in jeopardy due to an ambitious young underling.

“Rose and the Snake,” penned by Miller, centers on a single father and his daughter, who live in a remote commune. The father, who suffers a terminal illness, slowly introduces his beloved daughter to the reality of a life without him.

Atlantic City-set light-hearted comedy “Duane Hopwood” revolves around a casino pit boss struggling with alcoholism while trying to regain control over his life.

Based within the GreeneStreet Films building in lower Manhattan, Blue Magic plans to make low-budget pics with budgets up to $15 million in partnership with other shingles.

Production experience

Syvan brings extensive physical production experience to the table: She began as a production supervisor and line producer and has worked on such films as “A Walk on the Moon,” “The Substance of Fire,” “Georgia” and “Living in Oblivion.” She segued into producing over the past seven years, producing Miller’s Sundance award-winning “Personal Velocity” along with Gary Winick and Alexis Alexanian’s InDigEnt shingle.

Marr, who will serve as the shingle’s senior VP of production, has eight years of production operations and management experience. She served as director of streaming media communications at Digital Island and a VP of production at Internet startup Live On Line. Samios is the shingle’s chief financial officer.

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