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  • Writer's pictureR Cipolletta

e35: Refocussing

Project Planning & Organising 12.11.20

Making a List (Checking it Twice)

During Suzie and Marie’s seminar, I began to get inspired toward some ideas for the Detective, which I have copied and pasted into the Notes section bellow for reference.

Ethics of a Name:

First and foremost, I finally went ahead and decided the story would involve either the character’s name or surname to be Deccker - a play on the word Detective which is neither too obvious to be tasteless, but not too obscure to be taking itself too seriously. It was an idea that I had been toying with for a bit, but that struck some resistance in me due to it sounding very.... white - for lack of a better word. The protagonist, turning out to be as ethically diverse as she did, made me feel like I might have to consider names from different cultures and led me to hesitate on the implementation. Then the ethics of researching and implementing some sort of culturally appropriate name started to make my head spin so I threw it to the wind and said to myself 'she’ll be called what I want her to be called' and that was it.

I may re-examine this view in favour of hiding some hidden meaning in a cultural name, but for now I’m taking a leaf out of my own book and choosing to ignore political and cultural commentary - a fictional story is a fictional story and sometimes it should be allowed to be just that. Plus I'm a firm advocate that since life is not as simple as 'they look like X so they must be X', so I'm happy to have that message come across in my work as a happy question mark, rather than a ham-fisted, cheaply-executed, time-crunched attempt at diversity, which it could have easily become.

I'm very happy with this decision and now she finally has a name!

In the Spirit of Christmas:

Secondly, I was inspired to write a list of cervid cases during the seminars. Since the official start of the Christmas period (what with Halloween come and gone), and with all the stressors that were introduced into my personal life, my work has been suffering and I’ve been struggling to retain focus because I felt overwhelmed with anxieties that I had way too much to do and too little time. I kept thinking “I have to figure out all of the deer cases! I don’t know the whole story yet!” and it was driving me absolutely mad.

Having the seminar after this difficult and stressful period helped me ground myself once more. I decided to rescope the ridiculous idea that I had randomly forced onto myself that this project had to somehow have a million cases in it and instead set myself a limitation - write the ideas you already have, polish them, and finish them. No more fussing.

This is what my seminar notes (copied in below) consisted of - and I quickly realised that they were infinitely better than anything I had come up with since November started because they were organic! And fruits of genuine inspiration rather than forced, empty messes.

I could worry even further about whether this list is the finalised list or whether I should be subtracting any more from it in the name of proper planning, BUT at this stage I will focus on learning my lesson and let the decisions following this point happen (or not happen) organically as I progress. I will be eliminating the Trello page for this same reason, and just prioritise on the budding new concept artist instincts that I'm wanting to nurture.

What follows is the current, refocused plan to finish off all the components of my Body of Work submission:

  1. I will start with the fully rendered shots that I want to turn into Polaroids, using McCaig’s digital painting methods.

  2. Then move onto the rougher storyboarding exactly how Deccker came to find them, thereby fleshing out the story beats.

  3. Once completed, I will move onto animation and cryptography implementation, bringing to life the gifs that will be translated into the Polaroids.

  4. The last stage is to print everything out, testing, polishing, and amending as I go, and filming the result for the submission and MA Degree Show.

Conforming to the above schedule, my immediate next goal for the rest of the week, and perhaps eating into the week after, is to get these scenes drawn and as close to completion as possible (if not fully completed). It’s a nice little coincidence that there are 4 bullet points and 4 weeks remaining, but I am not going to go as far as to limit one step per week.

After 10 days of existential chaos, I am excited to be back on track.




  1. The Trapped Doe

  2. The Flying Moose

  3. The Antlered Tree

  4. The Trapped Elk

  5. The Uncanny Dog

  6. The Bait (END)

  • (6) Deer are prey (side-facing eyes)... a deer with forward-facing eyes (predator)? Bipedal. Tree branches in the shape of deer antlers...

  • Background elements: show the bandaid on the missing finger. Show the head of the mounted cervid (follows her wherever she is, she never notices). Should be the cervix at the end - so it is unclear whether it’s a nightmare or not... Vengeful Spirit. The mount climbs down...

  • (5) Take the dog to the truck/vet. He is absent from the last story beat and she is drunk while she waits. Not known if he died (is he injured?).

  • Does The Trapped Elk hurt the dog? Get him taken to the vet and turn into (5)

- R Cipolletta



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