‘A few concerns are voiced consistently: YA’s transcendence may have come at the expense of middle-grade, which most believe is undersold. Picture books have yet to rebound. And within the YA category, there’s an industrywide case of paranormal fatigue.
“I was at a writer’s conference a few weeks ago and got four different pitches for an angel series in one day,” says Curtis Brown agent Ginger Clark, who was in London last month to shop her agency’s list to British publishers. “Almost all the editors I saw said they are not buying new paranormal. There was some agreement that readers might not yet have paranormal fatigue, but a lot of editors do.”
“Everything in my in-box is paranormal, but the problem is, I’m not interested,” Laughran says. “It can’t be just two shiny guys and a girl anymore.” Instead, the books that are going to be successful, she believes, are the ones that do something different with the paranormal elements. She cites Maureen Johnson’s just-released The Name of the Star (Putnam) as an example. “There’s a paranormal element, yes, but it’s super funny on one page and super scary on the next.”
But just as you’re about to classify paranormal as “done,” a press release from Sourcebooks announces Embrace, “the first in a multibook, paranormal romance saga debuting March 2012.” Another, from Bloomsbury, announces Diabolical (winter 2013), a paranormal thriller trilogy with “a dash of the creepy and supernatural on the side,” set at a premier ballet academy. Goldblatt teases that he can’t yet release the details of a sale he made recently (“waiting on the press release,” he says), but it involved a vampire novel that should have been “absolutely unsellable” these days. “And yet it did.”
With the forecast calling for hardcover YA fiction to continue selling strong, everybody’s on the hunt for the next book with potential to crack the toughest nut: the New York Times chapter book bestseller list.
Many believe (hope?) it will come from outer space; Clark of Curtis Brown has high hopes for a “straight-up science fiction” series she’s shopping titled The Julian Path by Washington Post writer Monica Hesse. But she gushes, too, over Code Name Verite by Elizabeth Wein (Hyperion, 2012), a historical novel about two girls working in Britain’s Royal Air Force during WWII. “Oh, it will make you weep,” she promises.
Historical fiction as the next big thing? Who knows?
“Who would have thought that the next big thing after Harry Potter would be Twilight?” Goldblatt asks. “Followed by… Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Followed by… The Hunger Games? All it takes is one book to start a new trend and no one will see it coming. That’s the fun of what we do.”’
Extracted from “YA Comes of Age” by Sue Corbett [bolding mine]
Universal Studios chief Ron Meyer recently made a startling admission:
“We make a lot of shitty movies.”
In a speech made at the Savannah Film Festival Meyer made some very candid remarks regarding past and future movies. Here’s a summary of what he said:
3-D is only suitable for a small number of movies where it can add to the viewing experience.
Who cares about winning awards when there’s money to be made
“It’s great to win awards and make films that you’re proud of and make money, but your first obligation is to make money and then worry about being proud of what you do.” “But we did A Beautiful Mind, and I don’t know that we’d do A Beautiful Mind again. That’s the sad part.”
Low risk, medium budgets and average movies
“None of us would be able to do, or afford, what Jim Cameron was able to do with Avatar,” that kind of project is just too high risk which is why he recently turned down Ron Howard’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. For such a huge budget ($200m) he was worried about what they could make back on that investment. Clearly, from the past 5 years only Fast Five, Despicable Me and The Bourne Ultimatum grossed over $200m at the Box Office so it’s a legitimate worry despite interest from King fans.
Humanity on screen
Interested in making movies which show how great the human spirit is in the face of adversity.
New sources of revenue?
- Meyer would like to see if he can make money from Video-on-demand -making the movie available to download only a couple of weeks after they are released in theaters for a premium price of say $59.99. Unfortunately his attempt to do this with Tower Heist did not succeed due to fierce opposition from theater owners.
- There are plans to build more Harry Potter-themed amusement parks to capitalize on its success.
So, really in these hard economic times, Meyer is saying he hates the fact that he’s made crappy movies in the past but he can’t afford to take huge risks by spending enormous amounts of money on a project, not even if he believes it would be a multi-award winner because that doesn’t bring in the big bucks. Instead he’s looking to spend the least amount of money on using readily available techniques showing middle of the road fare aimed at family (or teenaged, at the oldest) audiences. He’s not willing to reach for the stars or develop innovative movies which could put them on the map.
If other production companies take Universal’s view, then perhaps this is why there are so few great movies these days. Few are willing to take a risk.
An evil queen steals control of a kingdom and an exiled princess enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright.
Julia Roberts – Evil Queen
Lily Collins – Snow White
Sean Bean – The King
Also starring: Nathan Lane
In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.
Kristen Stewart – Snow White
Chris Hemsworth – The Huntsman
Charlize Theron – Queen Ravenna
Also starring: Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Lily Cole, Bob Hoskins
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN
For me, this is the one I want to watch. Gothic, action-packed, exciting plus fantastic actors make this a must-watch movie. I can’t wait!
A behind-the-scenes look at season 2 which premieres April 2012.
Well-known fantasy author Neil Gaiman famous for Coraline and Stardust will be appearing in “The Simpsons” episode titled “The Book Job” to premiere this Sunday. The English author’s role required “a bad American accent”. According to FOX the synopsis of this episode is as follows:
“Lisa becomes disheartened when she learns the shocking truth behind the ‘tween lit’ industry and her beloved fantasy novel characters. But Homer decides to cash in on the craze and forms a team to group-write the next ‘tween lit’ hit, with the king of fantasy, Neil Gaiman (guest-voicing as himself), lending his expertise to the effort. After catching the eye of a slick industry publisher (guest-voice Andy Garcia) at the Springfield Book Fair, the team gets an advanced copy of their work and discovers that the corporate lit business is a bigger operation than they imagined.”