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Kaonhou Project 1

In our everyday lives, we think that our lives are mundane. We do the same thing day after day after day, and we forget that each day is different from the next. Paulo Coehlo said in an interview once that there's a magic moment each day and that the magic moment occurs at different times of the day and is available for different durations. I wanted to convey that we have the power to change our lives. The chances are there everyday, and we just have to grab onto them.

This project began as a story about an overprotective girl who travels to the spiritual world to save her best friend, who had been spirited away by an evil spirit. I had planned to use cutouts that I would make myself, and designed the characters on paper. However, I quickly discovered that my vision for the project was very detailed, and therefore, too time consuming for someone like me who has no experience. I reluctantly abandoned the idea (for the time being), and let my hands decide a simple cutout design. The image of the little doll that was left behind after the battle at the village by the mountain pass in Disney's Mulan came to mind. Then I pretty much let the cutout characters create their story line. What came out of it was a short animation about two girls playing at a park and how they manipulate the objects in their surroundings to have fun.

I played a lot with the time durations of the pictures, as well as using the same pictures in different parts of the animation with different durations. Pictures that had the longest time duration were those that set up the environment for the audience because I wanted the audience to be able to "settle" onto the setting. Other pictures that had long time durations were moments where I used the object-based trick of making objects disappear or change. I also added a blinking transition in those moments to infer that an object will disappear or change.

I initially wanted to use sound for this project as well, but with the new time constraint, I discovered that I would not be able to do it. I haven't quite figured out if it's just me trying to be a perfectionist or what not, but the animation does feel incomplete to me without sound. My idea was to use onomatopoeias as the sounds in the animation. For example, to show that the characters were speaking to one another, they would both be saying, "Yakety-yak-yak," back and forth.

Overall, I enjoyed the process I went through to get this final product. I had a lot of fun and learned some new techniques and tools. With practice, experience, and a whole lot of perseverance and passion, I know that I will eventually be able to create films that reflect my visions in its entirety.