Ferdinand's Gold

Book Cover

ACTION CRIME WAR SUSPENSE/THRILLER ADVENTURE

1980s & '90s

Sheldon Charles

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Logline

An Air Force cargo specialist discovers a cache of millions in gold bars hidden inside a cargo load. Knowing it belongs to Marcos and is stolen, he decides to take a portion of it without realizing the gold really belongs to the chief of Marcos' Death Squad who comes to get it back.

Genre

Action,Crime,War,Suspense/Thriller,Adventure

Short Summary

A disgruntled Air Force cargo specialist Dex Kevan discovers a cache of millions in gold bars hidden inside one of the cargo loads being transported by the US Military following Ferdinand Marcos’s escape from the PI.


Each of the 4 involved end up satisfying their needs without the stolen gold and the villain ends up dead. Dex finds out the truth regarding his father when his body is recorded from VietNam.

Setting

Phillipines, Guam and Hawaii

Based on a True Story

Yes

Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain,Quest,Other

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message,Happy Ending

Mature Audience Themes

Language/Profanity,Nudity,Extreme Violence

Main Character Details

Name: SRA Dax Kevan

Age: 20s

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Desperate,Heroic,Underdog

Additional Character Details

Name: Col Talan Madulás

Age: Late 50s

Gender: Male

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Criminal,Greedy,Villainous,Narcisstic

Additional Character Details

Name: A1C Angelina Perez

Age: 20s

Gender: Lgbt

Role: protagonist

Key Traits: Badass,Honorable,Naive,Strong Moral Code,Sexy

Additional Character Details

Name: Joshua FX Santos

Age: Late 20s

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Confident,Complex,Obedient,Lone Wolf

Development Pitch

The story pits 4 anti-heroes against a villain who has no limits. The story lays out distinct backstories that makes each of the main characters is easy to identify with as they bend the rules to fit their very real needs. When they shift from a simple victimless crime to one where they have crossed a villain they were unaware of their true personalities come to the top. The side story of the main character's loss of his father and mischaracterization as a deserter provides a satisfying ending to the story as the truth is revealed and that pain is finally resolved.

About The Author

Sheldon Charles is a decorated Air Force veteran, whose career has taken him around the globe, and given his writing a unique international flair. He is the author of the Evan Davis tales, which currently includes Three Paperclips & a Grey Scarf, Blood Upon the Sands, and From Within the Firebird’s Nest. His last two books earned Amazon bestseller badges after being ranked Number One for War Fiction and Middle East fiction, respectively. Sheldon currently resides in Michigan.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal,Male Leaning,Female Leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Valkyrie Spirit Publishing

Year Published: 2020

Hard Copy Available

Yes

ISBN

9781733958851

Genre

ACTION, SUSPENSE, THRILLER, WAR

Brief

Dex, an air cargo specialist, finds a hidden treasure belonging to the head of the Marcos Death Squad. His attempt at securing some of the stolen goods ends up involving three more members of the US Air Force. The group of four are pursued by the Death Squad. They end up with a fortune nonetheless.

Overall Rating

FAIR

Point of View

THIRD PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: FAIR

Premise: GOOD

Structure: FAIR

Theme: FAIR

Accuracy of Book Profile

For the most part the book is accurately described in the profile. Col Talan Madulás is mentioned in two separate entries within the "Additional Character Details" section.

Draw of Story

The idea of the Davao Death Squad leader coming after members of the US Air Force for stealing their gold that was in turn stolen from petty criminals is very intriguing due to it's multi-layered morality. The Death Squad in and of itself is a fascinating part of political history and Guam is surprisingly interesting setting.

Possible Drawbacks

While the four main characters are likeable, their backstories take a while to set up before the treasure is discovered to cause the main conflict. By shortening the character introductions and introducing the conflict earlier there will be more tension and the characters will be logically intertwined.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that the antagonist is the leader of the ruthless Marcos Death Squad. This is a formidable antagonist with a reputation based on horrific history that is intimidating to escape under martial law even under the protection of the United States government. Seeing how the protagonists will evade the squad leader is a hook worth checking out.

Fanbase Potential

This could have a fanbase that is larger depending on how military the genre is bent. If the story is adapted with more of an action slant it would have a larger audience that one that adheres to more of a military genre type war film.

Awards Potential

This could potentially have Awards potential for the villain and how complex the colonial history of Guam, The Philippines, and Hawaii are delved into if adapted into a war film period piece. If the adaptation is more geared toward action, then the story is less likely to have awards potential as action movies rarely are nominated.

Envisioned Budget

MEDIUM BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

LAST SURVIVOR, THE ACT OF KILLING, SQUARE OFF, PEARL HARBOR, THE HEART OF DARKNESS

What’s New About the Story

The originality comes from the setting and antagonist. The Philippines is a rich source of political corruption both by the government and the United States in their colonial ties to the the nation. Rather than focusing so much in the beginning on the character's personal dramas and military life, it could be beneficial to explain some of the political history of what makes the death squad so horrifying. Introducing the main conflict earlier and giving as much backstory to the antagonist will help make the tension rise faster and make all of the characters equally three dimensional.

Lead Characters

The main protagonist of Dex goes through a character arc of learning to be unselfish while also learning to value himself during the heist. He excels in hist cargo position, but learns that his relationships are more important than his work, and that there is room for pride in all his activities.

Uniqueness of Story

This has a rare gem potential in that the Davao Death Squad is truly stuff of nightmares and the corruption within the Philippines is a rich setting that is largely underrepresented in most countries' cinemas despite the geographic influence of The Philippines during wars and global colonial history. Focusing so much on US Armed Forces bureaucracy and the personal arcs rather than the main external conflict of the reclaiming sidetracks the rising actions and thematic focus of the story.

Possible Formats

Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series

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 introducing the antagonist and Death Squad much earlier, the story would have greater focus on one external conflict to link all of the four characters in a logical manner. A lot of time is spent on the character's internal conflicts, but the external conflict is what drives the pacing. Creating rising actions regarding the main conflict earlier in the first part of the story would help even out the pacing and create a hook to introduce tension.