The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, September 15, 2008

HEAT hits...

Went Salsa dancing with T on Saturday. There was an hour-long lesson first, so I actually had a chance to learn a few moves. As a result, I would say that our time that night was the first REAL Salsa we've ever done together. Serious fun. I want to do more of that: Latin rhythms are just superb to move to.


Well, I'll see what kind of reaction my HANNIBAL proposal nets. Keeping my fingers crossed. I tried to listen to everyone, and find the core behind their concerns, and find a way to make it work. In my mind, the series is less "the life of Hannibal" or "the History of Hannibal" than it is "The secret adventures of Hannibal." I need room to mythologize, and touch an essence rather than simply regurgitate incidents. That won't work well in 23-minute television episodes, with the limited facial expressions we have in animation. I have a vision for this, but it has to coincide with the other creative folks involved. They've been living with this project for two years, and have important perspectives on both process and final product.

If you can't handle collaboration, this is the wrong industry.


Blair is doing the television rounds now. And our book just jumped from 19,000 to 1888 on Amazon. The very first little sprout. With CASANEGRA, we did great and were pushing an unproven oddity. Now, we've got great reviews and happy readers, and should have less resistance from buyers. I think NIGHT OF THE HEAT is a stronger book, with a better title and cover as well. But...we'll see.


Note that we have three Hollywood thingies going on at the same time: Hannibal, Heat, and House. Ah, the "H's" are doing great for us. The Good House hit Fox Searchlight a week and a half ago. Hopefully, they loved it. But with three separate projects, we should get the kind of feedback necessary to figure out this territory. If I can just determine which cards should be played in which order...and the only way to do that is to associate with people more successful than I am. Which is the middle game of my process here. I know my goals, I know my resources...what I need is a decent road map. That means role models.


Josh Jasper said...

Did you include any salsa scenes in In The Night Of The Heat? Having Ten know how to dance quite well would fit in with his past as a male escort. I could imagine a really hot dance scene from his perspective. Not sex, but everything you could do with your clothes on while dancing that would get both dancers close to exploding. With your skill at writing descriptions of fighting, I bet it'd translate well to dancing.

Feel free to steal the idea that scene from me if you've not yet used it.

Lester Spence said...

what is The Good House?

Steven Barnes said...

No Salsa scenes, but you are quite right about dancing and hotness, and we want to take Ten to Miami in the fourth book.
"The Good House" was a haunted house novel T wrote while we lived in Washington. We are developing it over at Fox Searchlight, with Forrest Whitaker signed to direct.

rigaudone said...

I am so happy to hear about the book being released today. i saw Blair at the book signing at Hueman bookstore in Harlem and the turnout was great!

I also loved the concept of the next book-a take off on the second James Bond film!

ALso I know Vin diesel has been trying to get Hannibal on film for years. Good to see it picked up by BET.

Great stuff and keep up the great work.

B Woodson said...

frantically finished reading In the Night of the Heat(GSW on deck).I would say that it cohered more than Casanegra. While Casanegra tried to establish too much, this one settled into the rhythm of Ten and let the world unfurl around him. i think they both ended a bit abruptly though, i like a wind-down more than a sudden stop.

I also like the fight scene with Bear, which reminded me of Aubry vs Tanaka (best i've read), and what i think you were trying to achieve in Blood Brothers, but what do i know? And can you delve into how Ten acquired his martial genius?

I'd suggest that you only do the salsa scene when you can write it light a fight scene. Otherwise i think it'll be cheezy. I dabble in moving to the clave, and know how intricate the motions are, so i'm opinionated 'bout it.

I like the idea of a hannibal cartoon, but i'd rather see a three-part movie of Firedance in Japanimation.

I ask much from my gods (tounge in cheek, i know)