Saturday, 19 January 2013

Aarghh. Story Synopsis. Constructive criticism required please.


'Jimmy the Squeak' (world renowned gentlemouse thief) has been under surveillance from his arch nemesis and Cat Burglar extraordinaire 'Whiskers McGraw'.

After a stake out lasting almost several seconds 'Whiskers' has ascertained the hiding place of 'Jimmy's' stash... the big fish tank in the front window, guarded only by a single unassuming goldfish.

Without further ado 'Whiskers' makes his preparations, intent to break in that very night.


We see a deserted high street (main street) in the dead of night and a made aware of a shadow. the camera follows the small object as it scurries across the street, dashes up a side alley and nimbly hops a fence or two. Leaping on a windowsill, the camera cuts to a close up of an extending claw and we hear the squeal of glass being cut. A second later and our burglar deftly enters the rear of the pet shop, triggering a silent alarm.. our thief uses shadow and their innate agility to proceed to the front of the premises where we see our hero drop to the floor behind the tank. The trap is sprung!!


Okay, this is where it gets a little hazy and I need some assistance..

We see our hero either...

- tied to a chair, spotlight in eyes being sweated down by a certain dastardly mouse.. or..

- strung up about some time related device of his imminent doom.

We see the true nature of 'Jimmy the Squeak' as a maniacal mousechopath...

erm... okay, so I need to get from the trap, to the treasure. It would be nice if I could hamstring both mouse and cat and have the fish come out on top... and I still need to incorporate the helium balloon.

This is easy enough if I can demonstrate a reason to have helium. Perhaps the mouse has voice recognition as a lock on a certain part of the building, the cat needing a higher vocal register to gain access.

Perhaps he brings scuba gear to get to the treasure only to find his air switched with helium.

I can trim down the second act greatly if the trap is sprung as soon as the property is entered which leaves motive, escape and resolution for the latter half of the second and third act.



  1. Hi Simon,

    I'm actually experiencing difficulty in following the action of your break-down here - I'm a bit confused by the goals of your characters; you've got a mouse that has a stash of ... fish? Or is it something else? The cat wants the stash - or the fish? (And if not the fish, why not the fish, if he's a cat?). Is the mouse living in the pet shop - and is it actually important that they're both thieves? There maybe some issues with Act 1 and 2, which is why Act 3 isn't clear, and if the helium balloon is causing you some head-scratching, how about putting it into act 1, or building more of your narrative around it. The idea of a cat using a helium balloon as its mechanism for gaining entry makes good sense, for example. Personally speaking, the idea of the fish outwitting the cat in Act 3 is pleasing - so do you even need a mouse in the mix?

    Also - I notice that you're not actually following any of your classmate's blogs, which must be isolating for you: see below:

  2. Hey Simon,

    See link!

    Cheers! :D

  3. OGR 24/01/2013

    Hi Simon,

    Okay - this is a truncated version of our 'brainstorming-while-plugging-in-lightboxes' session on Tuesday... so

    1 cat wants 1 fish; elsewhere in the petshop, 1 dangerous dog is leaping up and down in its enclosure; fish outsmarts cat x number of times, before replacing cat's ACME oxygen tank with helium gas; cat inflates, fish pops cat-balloon, cat drops into dog enclosure - or variations on that theme. Just feels nice and tidy - and in a classic tradition.

    In terms of the fish-outsmarts-cat gags, usually a set of 3, with each gag escalating in complexity and pain satisfies the structure, with the 4th attempt being the one that concludes the narrative (i.e. helium balloon gag).

    Anyway - it would be good to see an OGR style document on here before too long with your latest premise and logline etc.

  4. OGR 10/03/2013

    Hey Simon - nothing on here re. 'Fantastic Voyage'? :(