My final project was based on the classic fairy tale from Hans Christian Andersen. Here’s the link to the original story: http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheEmperorsNewClothes_e.html
The modification I did to the story was changing the sequence of the two major events that happened at the end of the story, the crowds praising the clothes, and the child pointing out that the emperor was actually wearing nothing at all. The message behind the story now is about it’s better if you talk less.
The initial inspiration on this modification was the issue of speech freedom in China. Not just China but I’m pretty sure that all governments over the world are constraining people freedom of speech. It only differs in its degree. Like in the original story from Andersen, the king wanted this clothes because he wanted to tell the people that are not suitable for their position/ people that are stupid. It’s for the good sake of his own country. In my modification, the minister chooses not to tell the truth because he wants to stable the govern. It appears to him that it’s better to have a not-so-smart king than the events (revolution, chaos, and etc.) that’s gonna arise if the public realized that. The king and the minister’s deeds all come from a good original intention (the courtier is just selfish and don’t care about the future of the country).
However, when it comes to the public, most of them don’t dare to speak up. Those who dare to speak up, just like the little child, are “taken away” for the “good sake” of the country. You don’t have to solve a problem if there’s no problem.
Yet, it still comes back to the problem, to what degree can a government control over people’s freedom of speech? No more social media or search engine form the capitalist society. No one is allowed to oppose the rightful government. Everyone is only allowed to praise the ruler. Indeed, the government will live happily ever after.
Here’s the original storyboard I made for the animation, However, it turns out to be that I’m not going to make it clear about the two storylines that I proposed. I go ahead and deleted the “real world” line and kept only the paper puppet part.
I hand drew all the characters on Photoshop and used copyright free images for the background and the group of crowds.
Then I printed them on 300g A3 paper with the school printer and hand cut them. I used blue tacks to stick the paper doll on a bamboo stick so that I can film and animate them. All footages were taken by the Panasonic w850/w870 camera from the library. It has a really close minimum focus range and works really well if the video is the only thing that you require.