The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Steven Spielberg--and the FIVE MINUTE MIRACLE

Well, friends and neighbors, I had pitch meetings for THE GOOD HOUSE, the movie Tananarive and I are writing from her novel, set up at Gold Circle Films and Fox Searchlight and Fox 2000.  The meeting with Gold Circle went great (the president of the company asking, of course, if the race of the characters could be changed.  He's a great guy who dealt with us honestly and in a refreshingly straightforward manner.  The racial politics of his concern is another matter.)   At any rate, after that meeting, we were on Cloud Nine.  Forest Whittaker (our director--another great guy, who, by the way, practices Silat!) was enthusiastic, and Nia Hill, our producer, was ecstatic.  I knew that even more important meetings were coming the next day.  That's today. 
I woke up this morning feeling stressed out.  In many ways, these meetings were what my professional career has been aiming at for all my life.  These were the highest-level pitches I'd ever had, and I knew I could do it...but was also roasting with stress.  I called my good friend Mushtaq to ask his advice.  He suggested that I use the Be Breathed technique as a meditation to center myself.  And I did.
First, I spent 90 seconds generating the fear response, then did 15 minutes of Hindu Squats, Hindu pushups, and Be Breathed (using the Cards technique).  I came out of that recharged.  Driving to 20th Century Fox, every time the butterflies began to surface, I steadied my breathing with Be Breathed.  Before the meetings I did the same thing.  And the result?  Well...let's just say the whole day was golden.
First, we found out that T's movie MY SOUL TO KEEP is going into production in the Fall.  Fox is cutting us a "big check" next week.  Heh heh.  The president of Fox Searchlight came to the commisary table where Nia, Forrest, Tananarive, Blair Underwood and I were having lunch.  The SOUL director, Rick Famiyuwa, just happened to be in town, and stopped by the table.  And having lunch just behind us was...Steven Spielberg.  Yep.  Doing post-production on WAR OF THE WORLDS.  Both Blair and Forrest have worked with him, and Forrest introduced us.  Nice man. 
I sailed through today.  I think we have a movie deal (knock on wood!).  I turned stress into energy by keeping it from becoming strain, using the FIVE MINUTE MIRACLE.  Folks, I don't make my money selling these things.  Most of the money has gone back into the product, trying to make it better.  I wish you'd believe that if I could give you all free copies of it, I would.  But I can't, and my business partner would kill me.  So what I can do is try to let you get to know who I am, and tell you that I absolutely believe that we can have our dreams--if we define them clearly, keep them balanced, proceed toward them slowly and methodically, embrace our passion...and keep stress in check.  Get a copy today, guys.  You won't regret it.  You may or may not shake hands with E.T.'s poppa, but you'll deal with stress a heck of a lot better.  And that, in itself, is out of this world.

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