Sunday, 19 January 2014

Script to Screen: Logline, Premise and Step by Step Outline

Title: The Obsessive Artist

The artist who fishes to find the perfect bristle

What would happen to the animals in the zoo if the artist does not stop his fishing to find the perfect bristle for his perfect brush?

Step by Step Outline:
  1. The zoo is packed with visitors and aspiring artist and Alvaro was seen setting up his easel at his favourite spot, by the river lodge. He can be identified as a perfectionist by the way he places his tools while setting up.
  2. As Alvaro starts painting, he becomes frustrated and annoyed by the way his painting was turning out as the brush strokes becomes clumsy and rough.
  3. He instinctively knew that his paintbrush have been fully utilised and he needed a replacement.
  4. He lured and netted animals from their enclosures in search of the perfect hair to recreate his paintbrush.
  5. Once Alvaro kills his victims and arranged the hair off of them to make his bristle, he would test them out. He would continue fishing until he got his perfect match.
  6. When Raul, the zookeeper, realised that the animals under his care were disappearing, he decided to engage the press and posted a reward to find the culprit.
  7. Raul had his eyes on Alvaro because he was acting suspicious around the animals that were going to be his next victims.
  8. Alvaro, on the other hand, was not aware of this because his obsession to recreate his brush got his full attention.
  9. On a particular night, Raul caught Alvaro in action and confronted him.
  10. A scuffled began, a man’s life ended. The killer was not known until an article about the incident was reported on the local newspaper the next day.
  11. A photo of the deceased zookeeper, Raul, was splashed across the front page of the newspaper with half of his well-groomed moustache missing.
  12. A sadistic smile was painted all over Alvaro’s face as he admires his fat new brush and his perfect painting.


  1. Okay - so nearly there - but I STILL think that your story would be better, if Alvaro isn't an artist who paints animals to begin with. Much better that he is your classic 'Arty' artist, painting avant-garde stuff (not figurative images), and we first meet him in his 'Arty' studio just at the point when his brushes are letting him down. He's having a tantrum because he needs the perfect bristle; we could have a quick montage of him going to art supplies shops and everyone saying 'no' - and just when he's red with rage and desperate - he sees the sign to the zoo; ACT 2 - we see him setting up his easel in the zoo.. do you see how this set-up really establishes his problem much more so - and his character - and his motive? In terms of adding a bit more urgency to ACT 1 and your character's motive, why not have, in the first Act, something that tells us that the artist is readying his painting for a grand exhibition or top art prize - hence his rage when his favourite brush finally gives up? In terms of visual storytelling, you could set all of this up in ACT 1 simply by ensuring all this info is contained in the first few establishing shots.

    1. Thanks again Phil for these wonderful suggestions! :)