20th Century (multiple decades)
BLACK BEAUTY, FLICKA, WAR HORSE, NATIONAL VELVET
• CONNER: 30S. LEAD. MODEST AND HOPEFUL.
• EMILY: 30S. CONNER'S WIFE.
• VINCENT BROOKS: 60S. CONNER'S MANAGER.
• SKYLAR: 8. CONNER'S DAUGHTER.
• LAYLA: 60S. CONNER'S MOTHER.
• MIKE: 60S. CONNER'S FATHER.
Inspired is a story set in a small town and embraces three generations of family and relationships. The main relationship is between father and daughter. It is a story of inspiration on many levels.
Target Gender: Universal
Small town, anywhere
Based on a True Story
In the middle of a busy city on a cool fall day the sun was starting to set it was late afternoon. A man in his late twenties stood in a long black coat as his exited his car. You can see his broad shoulders as he stands with confidence. His black hair is slightly blowing in the wind.
It was decided with the new addition to the family that in time Conner wanted to make the transition back home. It would all come in time with the extra money. Conner helped his in-laws make updates to their cafe and in some of his spare time added a nice touch.
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Hard Copy Available
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Mature Audience Themes
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Plot - Other Elements
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Age: early 30's
Key Traits: Charming,Honorable,Faithful,Sexy,Skillful,Strong Moral Code,Modest
Additional Character Details
Age: late 50's
Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Gracious,Skillful,Modest,Confident,Heroic,Honorable
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Decisive
Additional Character Details
Name: Mr. Brooks
Key Traits: Villainous,Aggressive,Unapologetic,Lone Wolf,Greedy,Power Hungry,Sarcastic
Sometimes in life, we find ourselves walking through a fog trying to look for a glimmer of inspiration. This is what Conner feels like when he is given the opportunity to host a gala in the new addition of the museum. In this heart-warming story, a young artist named Conner with a talent for bringing art to life has the opportunity of a lifetime. He had always loved to paint and with his unique skill has made it to the top. Now he has the chance to make himself a name that could put him in the standings of Van Gogh and Leonardo de Vinci. It all starts out wonderful however, he feels the pressure when he needs to come up with the main attraction for his centerpieces. With the ever-looming pressure from his art agent and years of being told what to do, he feels he lost his magic. Can Conner find some illumination through the fog that clouds his mind? Feeling he has lost his inspiration. With a little help from his daughter, Conner opens a box saved from his past. He uncovers a childhood plush toy and other treasures. How could this small toy help with his overwhelming task? While reminiscing, he tells his daughter about growing up on his family's horse farm and his adventures to how he became an artist. He even finds a little help from a dear golden friend that brings a bit of unexpected illumination to his art. Most of all, will Conner be able to satisfy everyone with his idea for the main attraction?
Conner receives a life-changing opportunity as an artist to have a gala at the opening of a new museum. The problem is that his art has become just work for him, and with all of the added pressure he can't seem to find inspiration to complete his vision. Luckily Conner's has everything he needs for inspiration right in front of him. With the help of his daughter, parents and wife, and a couple of childhood horses, he is able to remember why he became an artist in the first place.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: GOOD
Accuracy of Book Profile
The development pitch is very accurate, but the short summary does not match the tone of the book. The short summary is one paragraph from the introduction of the main character in the book and then an action that happens at least a third of the way into the book. By making the summary more about the entire plot, the reader could get a better sense of what the story is about because they can read the character description in the character details section.
Draw of Story
The conflict of losing inspiration behind doing what one loves and risking losing that love is universal for artists and perhaps other fields. It is a common phenomenon of following your dreams only to realize how hard it is to keep dreaming when things get difficult.
There is a lot of framework narrative within dialogue. This makes the shifts between first and third person somewhat hard to follow typographically and with punctuation. Segwaying into flashbacks as separate chapters - such as a first person flashback where the mom is just referred as her name rather than as the relation to a story for a little girl - would be a lot clearer. Or in the case of a future adaptation having the script use flashbacks in real time rather than a bedtime story with narration would help make the framework story feel more fresh. The conflict is very staggered throughout the everyday life snapshot. By having less scenes of breathing room, the conflict will be better kept track of and build more momentum and the quieter moments will seem more special.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that Conner is about to achieve his dreams of getting a gallery in a museum, but he can't think of what to create. Having passion and desire is universal, but actualizing fleeting inspiration while being tied down by rules and money is also universal. Thus a hook of a relatable conflict.
This would have a large fanbase with people who like traditional values such as the Hallmark market, and those who like horse movies. People who enjoy family dramas might enjoy this, but as the drama mostly focuses on the artist, it is not really about the family in an ensemble type way, but they are just supporting characters.
Because everything is rather wholesome there is not enough range for serious award potential for dramatic arts leaning ceremonies as the drama is very subdued. Dramatic awards tend to favor intense and polarizing emotions rather than embodying everyday life such as Conner's journey. This might win in the family drama sphere and for animal rights award shows like PETA's Oscats.
Similar Films/TV Series
THE PRINCESS BRIDE (STORY FRAMEWORK A LA BEDTIME STORY ONLY. NOT THE GENRE OR PLOT), THIS IS US, PARENTHOOD, THE LONGEST RIDE, REPLY 1998
What’s New About the Story
The originality comes from the older supporting characters. Layla being a former movie star turned horse trainer with her husband, Mike, teaching horse related stage combat on a horse farm that films documentaries about Autistic therapy is a very cool dynamic and setting. Adding focus to all the characters could make it feel more like a family drama in how they each embody the theme of following their dreams.
The lead character wants to be not a children's artist but an artist for children.
Uniqueness of Story
At the moment this is a standard story of a man returning home to find himself, and realizing the value of his family. To make it stand out more, focusing on creating depth to the side characters with their own equal plots with conflict, could make this family drama seem more like an ensemble and less focused on a "troubled" male artist who gets to "have it all" at the end of the story.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming
WORK IN PROGRESS
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
Making the story less about Conner and equalizing the family drama to be about all the family's individual conflicts in achieving their dreams would add drama to the plot, and add more depth. Emily is the most underserved character, but all the characters seem to live their lives in catering to Conner, but as the story is not in first person, but third person, this does not translate as well - it’s not clear why they do not have much of their own agency. By giving Emily her time to pursue her dreams outside of being a wife and mother and the one chapter at the end about getting her family's coffees shop or exploring how her dreams change could help utilize her more. Creating less quiet scenes and shortening the time between dramatic elements will allow for more momentum in plot and emotional attachment.
An aspiring young artist, Conner, is given the opportunity of a lifetime when his manager arranges for his work to prominently feature in a museum. However, Conner starts to feel overwhelmed from the pressure of his manager and balancing his work schedule with his home life. He soon digs into his past to find new inspiration for the exhibit.
What We Liked
- This is a heartwarming story that features complex characters who go on emotional journeys to reach their happy endings. In a twist on the generic horse story focused towards girls, this story features a male protagonist who lives in the real world and has real world issues that he copes with through the fantasy world.
- Key points: Happy ending; Heart warming; Beautiful scenes; Small cast; Multi-generational characters
A young artist named Conner meets with his manager, Vincent Brooks, to discuss the opening of a new gallery in a museum. Brooks has made a name for himself in the art world as the Silver Fox, due to handsome, older appearance and smooth-talking nature. Brooks carries a silver pen with him everywhere he goes and makes many quips about the pen as mightier than the sword. Conner is apprehensive about working with Brooks, but has already signed a contract with him and feels stuck. Brooks encourages him that this is the beginning of the rest of his life, and that with Conner's work featured in this museum, he will go on to join the ranks of great artists such as Da Vinci and Van Gogh and tour all over the world, but Conner has no interest in seeing the world and would rather stay at home with his wife, Emily, and their daughter, Skylar. Emily used to work with Brooks in art sales and was good enough at it that Brooks wants her to return to the company, but she refuses, to Conner's delight. Conner has always worried that Brooks was too interested in Emily and too flirty with her, and although he has been given no evidence of this, the jealousy and suspicion eats away at him.
Conner begins to work on his pieces for the exhibit, and Brooks pressures him to come up with something big for the main attraction. Threatened by Brooks and what he sees as his advances towards Emily, Conner is unable to think of anything for his main piece and feels uninspired and disinterested in art. Then, Skylar finds a box of Conner's old things from his childhood, including a stuffed toy horse he had named Couper. Skylar asks Conner about the toy horse and the paintings in the box, and Conner begins to tell her all about his childhood.
Conner grew up on a farm with his mother, Layla, and father, Mike. Layla was a horse trainer who had starred in many movies with her favorite horse, a black giant named Baron. The first horse that Conner had a bond with was named Couper. Couper had thrown some of Conner's paint onto a canvas, and when that painting was entered into local contests it was appreciated by many, leading to Conner getting known as the local horse artist from a young age. Conner also used Couper to help teach a young autistic boy, Daniel, to express himself through art. Conner met Emily at this time as she took horse dressage lessons from his mother. At a local fair where Conner's paintings were entered, he meets Mr. Brooks, in his 30s then and with a partner named Mr. Sanders. Mr. Brooks wants to buy one of Conner's most prized paintings, the Iron Man. Conner had made that painting for his father, however, and is reluctant to give it away. Conner's father had gotten into an accident and gotten badly injured, and Conner had wanted to give him the painting as a gift. At first Conner is able to refuse selling the painting to Mr. Brooks, but soon, Conner gets accepted into an elite art school. Conner is unable to pay for the school, but would be able to with the commission from selling the painting. Conner sells the painting to Mr. Brooks, who says that Conner will have the opportunity to buy the painting back later once he has earned the money himself as long as Brooks can exclusively represent Conner in art. Brooks creates a contract and sends it over, and Conner is too young to sign it so his father, Mike, signs it. This enters Conner into a constant uphill battle with Mr. Brooks as the art salesman gains increasing amounts of control over Conner's life.
Conner is inspired by sharing the story with Skylar and gets to work on creating paintings inspired by his childhood and life on the farm. He then paints over those paintings with glow in the dark paint that reveals fantastical scenes on top of the paintings when the lights are off. He wants to show the paintings without telling Mr. Brooks about the glow in the dark scenes and secretly arranges with the curator to present them at the opening. Meanwhile, Emily looks into the contract that Conner's father signed and finds a loophole that may allow for Conner's release from the contracts. At the gallery opening, the crowd is amazed by Conner's paintings, and his family all shows up. Brooks pulls Emily off to the side, and Conner finds them with Skylar screaming at Brooks and Brooks grabbing Emily's wrist and threatening her. Conner tries to step in, but Brooks pulls out his silver pen and reveals it is secretly a knife. However, Conner's mother steps in and even at her older age is able to take down Brooks. Mr. Sanders, an older man now, reveals that he still owns a controlling share in their art management company and that he will be managing Conner's career from now on. Conner is able to work and enjoy his art and spend time with his family just as Emily is expecting a new child.