The Picture Box

Book Cover

HISTORICAL FICTION

Contemporary,1940s & '50s,1980s & '90s

Carlo Armenise

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Submision Type

book

Logline

An American descendant of a well-known Croatian family journeys back to his homeland after twenty years and finds the secrets his family kept from him may cost him his life.

Genre

Historical Fiction

Short Summary

Bordered on one side by the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is part of Southeastern Europe and one of the world's most beautiful countries. But despite its' baroque charm, Croatia is no stranger to conflict. In 1991. after years of being under the supervision Yugoslavia, Croatia went to war.

Setting

Croatia/Osijek

Based on a True Story

Yes

Plot - Premise

Voyage and Return,Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements

Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Dario Dimitric

Age: 40s

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Empathetic,Heroic,Romantic,Masculine

Additional Character Details

Name: Philip

Age: 60s

Gender: Male

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Criminal,Desperate,Greedy,Insecure

Additional Character Details

Name: Paul

Age: 40s

Gender: Male

Role: sidekick

Key Traits: Charming,Engaging,Honorable,Selfless

Additional Character Details

Name: Sanja

Age: 40s

Gender: Female

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Gracious,Seductive,Romantic,Charming

About The Author

Carlo has been writing for several years and has written stories in a various genre from comedy, drama and horror/supernatural.

Target Audiences

Age: 35-54

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Croatian/Osijek

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Year Published: 2021

Hard Copy Available

No

ISBN

978-1-9772-4435-2

Genre

DRAMA

Brief

Dario is left with mysterious wealth and gold bars created by Croatia during the Nazi occupation in WWII. He is bestowed these upon his grandmother's death and must work to discover how she inherited such ominous wealth. He comes to find his esteemed grandmother had even more secrets that involved using her undercover connection in hospitality to sell paintings on the black market that Nazi's stole. She used the money to support Jewish Croatians to flee or continue living in her country to counteract Hitler's damage.

Overall Rating

FAIR

Point of View

THIRD PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: FAIR

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: FAIR

Premise: GOOD

Structure: FAIR

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

The book profile somewhat reflects the book. The short summary discusses the setting and the Croatian War, but this is not really a factor about the story as the grandmother's main focus creating the conflict is WWII. The development pitch is better suited as the short summary. The pitch itself could also be enhanced by adding themes and more specific about what Dario is in danger of while in Croatia.

Draw of Story

The idea that someone's grandparent has secrets of war is compelling. The fact that Dario's grandmother has Nazi gold is even more intriguing due to her potential good or bad methods of obtaining such polarizing wealth.

Possible Drawbacks

The frame story of the grandmother's tale is the narrative perspective throughout. This undermines some of the tension as Dario tends to react to his grandmother's past rather than be proactive in his own investigation of the family history. It may be beneficial to show the grandmother's story as her own in flashbacks to sustain further tension.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that Dario's grandmother, an esteemed Croatian stalwart of his community, gave him Nazi gold upon her funeral. Finding out how she came about the item is the hook.

Fanbase Potential

This could have a medium sized fanbase due to the popular WWII theme although the art angle and narrative perspective without more action could lessen some of the audience simply based on genre.

Awards Potential

Depending on how the story is told either through just Dario r if the grandmother is able to tell her own story, this could have minor potential for awards due to its complex subject matter about morals during wartime and ancestor connections.

Envisioned Budget

LOW BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

WOMAN IN GOLD, THE MONUMENTS MEN, MISSING GOLD, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

What’s New About the Story

The originality stems from Dario's grandmother's risk helping financially save the Croatian Jews so telling the story from her perspective during the tension rather than from her grandson learning about her could help create a more unique story.

Lead Characters

Dario is loyal, inquisitive and brave. His grandmother is even more brave, generous and secretive.

Uniqueness of Story

This has an intriguing concept but the tension is told instead of shown. By showing the story rather than having characters discuss the past, there will be increased tension. Dario as a main character is reactive rather than going through his own inner conflict with a transformation.

Possible Formats

Film: Streaming, Indie, Studio

Analyst Recommendation

WORK IN PROGRESS

Justification

While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

Tips for Improvement

By creating an inner conflict and transformation for the protagonist, there will be further emotional investment in Dario rather than just his grandmother. Also telling the grandmother's story from her perspective at times may hold more tension than talking about her after her death.