Deadly Canvas - Pilot

Eliza Hellina is the daughter of the late industrialists, Richard and Mary Hellina and the owner of Dying Art Tattoo Studios. An egotistical and tortured artist with a lust for fame and artistic immortality. After leaving her conventional fine art gallery job during a turbulent crisis of conscience she immediately puts a down payment on a commercial property and starts her tattoo shop, despite the concern of her closest friends. The first day is a success but as Eliza is cleaning the shop that night there is a break in and she ends up killing the two intruders in self-defence. Panicked and frustrated, she decides to hide the double murder. Upon examining the bodies she discovers that one intruder is, Brian, a man she tattooed earlier. He has Eliza’s tattooing debut, a fresh piece of art on his body and now it threatens to be wasted, buried or burned. She is furious and decides to hide their bodies on crown land but not before cutting off his tattoo to preserve her art. She stretches the skin over a frame in a fit of insanity and puts it up in her tattoo studio. The piece is a raging success and sells to Eliza’s former employer for a hefty sum, igniting Eliza’s muse for human skin stretched over a wooden frame.

Eliza is hooked and as she finds more and more victims to satiate her lust for fame a terrifying narrative begins to develop in the small community of Heyde’s Valley. A murderer is on the loose, “The Deadly Canvas Killer.” In her quest for vengeance and fame Eliza comes across a young girl, Mia, who challenges Eliza’s sociopathic nature and starts Eliza on a more honourable and compassionate path of killing to rid the world of evil, all while continuing to pursue her lust for fame and artistic immortality. Eliza continues to exact her justice and wrath on all those she deems worthy with little regard for consequence yet an oddly calculated and methodological ease. Eliza continues to foster an almost motherly relationship with Mia throughout the first season providing Mia with law textbooks so she can study the perfect murder, motivation to be brave and bold, and checking in on her time to time at her various foster homes to make sure she’s being treated well. Soon, the special detective Vieta Qadira is getting too close and forces Eliza to take Mia and flee but not before Eliza can reveal her whole story to the reporter James the night before they escape town to ensure her infamous place in history.

  • Sarah Selnes
  • Nick Bohle
    Monique's on 4th, Rationale, Spider, A Wink or a Smile, #Partytime.
  • Project Type:
    Television Script
  • Genres:
    Drama, Crime
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Lime Light Film Festival
    Lime Light Film Festival
    September 9, 2021
    Best Sound Design
Writer Biography - Sarah Selnes, Nick Bohle


Sarah Selnes, is a passionate and dedicated Canadian screenwriter with multiple copyrights to date. These are but not limited to: Deadly Canvas (co-written by Nick Bohle), Originally Human, Thy Hallow Tide & Knight of Thy Hallow, among others. Sarah has an incredible origin story. Less than 6 years ago, in British Columbia, Sarah escaped a life of unimaginable mental, physical and sexual abuse when she ran away from her abuser in a daring escape and came home to Lethbridge to seek refuge with her family. She reported the crimes committed. There was an investigation and charges laid against her abuser. However, a publication ban was then enforced, silencing Sarah from telling her story. Moving from a victim to an advocate, Sarah worked hard and now has a certificate in Avs-100 (Alberta Victim Services). Sarah now works aiding victims in Alberta through their difficult times with real-world advice and a relatable past. A couple years ago, in an effort to lift the publication ban, Sarah represented herself, filing for a court hearing to lift the ban that was placed on her case. In a rare win, she was successful and now has the legal right to talk about her past.

Sarah uses her traumatic history as a means to inform and heal the world around her. She recently held an educational seminar with the RMCP-VSU manager at Lethbridge College which educated budding and rookie RCMP officers how to behave and react to the victims of various crimes. Sarah has continued her education, gaining a certificate in Brain Health and a certificate in Violence Prevention and Awareness. Drawn to the artistic forms, Sarah turned to NAIT university, gaining a certificate in Tattoo and Piercing Safety. Sarah loves creating custom pieces of art, as well as developing scripts. She has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience from writing the screenplay "Deadly Canvas" and looks forward to a long career as a screenwriter of both serial and feature productions. Since returning to Lethbidge and settling back into a more conventional life Sarah recently adopted her son in late 2019, as a single parent. She is a proud loving mother, who advocates for N.A.S babies. Sarah endured her abuser for more than 14 years and has experienced incredible mental, physical and psychological trauma. She has seen things many will and should never see but her wealth of real-world traumatic experiences gives incredible insight, colour and nuance to intricate stories, characters and circumstances. Finally, as if Sarah hasn’t been limited enough by her past she also manages to write despite dealing with dyslexia, no doubt a result of her disadvantaged youth. Regardless, Sarah boldly creates moving, rich and wildly interesting narratives that deserve to be seen on screens around the world.


Nick Bohle is an award winning sound designer, filmmaker/producer (CMPA), writer and professional film and television actor best known for his role as "Toby" in 'Tribal', "Joe Kipp" in 'Secret History of the Wild West' (APTN), 'Billy the Kid' (MGM studios), "Malchai Laslo" in 'Wrath of God' (Herd of 1), 'Rationale', and 'Open Mic at the Comedy Cabaret' (Gate 67 Films). He has been an ACTRA member since 2017.

Nick is a multi-time award winner and 2021 Golden Sheaf nominee for his work on Monique’s on 4th (Director, Producer, Sound Designer, Editor, Composer, writer). Currently, Nick is the owner of HatChap Productions Inc. in Lethbridge, Alberta. He has been working professionally as an independent filmmaker, writer and professional actor for over 11 years now.

Nick possesses both a diploma in Professional Recording Arts from the Art Institute of Vancouver (2010) and a B.F.A in Dramatic Arts with a focus on Performance, Writing and Directing from the University of Lethbridge (2017). Nick and his company, HatChap Productions, are also multi-time grant winners, having been granted funding from the Storyhive program and Creative Development BC’s Career Development Grant. He is a skilled music video, film and commercial producer, director, cinematographer and writer with a mission to heal through the power of story. In 2019 Nick was a mentor for the Lethbridge - Community Stories Documentary Program funded by Telus. In the program Nick mentored 3 filmmakers from concept to delivery on each of their own documentary projects. Nick is passionate about fostering a vibrant film economy in Alberta and works tirelessly to that end. He is also the vice president of the Lethbridge Independent Film Society, aiding local filmmakers to access learning, resources, gear and more and providing awareness for the economic and cultural benefits of film to a community.

Over the past 6 years Nick has contributed or led multiple short film and music video projects as a producer, director, editor, writer, actor, composer and/or sound designer which have garnered selections or awards at over 40 international and domestic festivals. Some of those titles include: “Monique’s on 4th” directed by Nick Bohle & Erica Barr (6 selections/awards and counting), “Rationale” directed by C. Blake Evernden (13+ selections/awards and counting), “A Wink or a Smile” directed by C. Blake Evernden (10+ selections/awards), “Spider” directed by C. Blake Evernden (15+ selections/awards), “Open Mic at the Comedy Cabaret” directed by Gianna Isabella (selected at Calgary International Film Festival), “Human” directed by Nick Bohle (awaiting launch on festival circuit).

Currently, Nick is screenwriting multiple serial and feature scripts, including Deadly Canvas, This is Destiny, The Gardeners and The Byrd of Agartha. Finally, Nick is very excited to soon see the release of “Wrath of God” by Kyle Fleishman and Julian Black Antelope. In this film, Nick leads an all-star Alberta cast in an epic crime action drama set in gritty Brooklyn, New York.

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Writer Statement

I (Nick) believe in the power of story to heal our world from the inside out. All of my productions focus on healing. That comes in many forms and through innumerable characters.

In Deadly Canvas, we explore themes of right and wrong, egoism, lust, power, control and pride with an extreme character in Eliza Hellina. She is bold, unforgiving and determined in her quest for fame. This provides a rich ground for intense catharsis for women around the world who have been subjugated and held back throughout their lives. Eliza takes control and does it with a calculated ease that sets any injustice in its place. The series, created by Sarah Selnes, is shocking, gruesome and elegant all at once. It forces you to question the line between right and wrong and demands you choose a side.

In this pilot we witness Eliza's origin story and start to discover why Eliza will go to any length for fame, notoriety and her own brand of vigilante justice. Through a mosaic of flashbacks we learn how Eliza became the Deadly Canvas killer and witness the dawn of a notorious serial killer and infamous artist.