Character Development Cha Mi Kim

I decided to reverse the characters of my story: instead of two children, I have two baby tigers getting chased by a hunter. For the character setup, I developed the mom and the two baby tigers. I wanted to still have Korean elements in tact, so I used a traditional Korean color palette for each character. I also wanted the animation to look like a flat paper-like feel, so I used low-poly/geo shapes for the models. I haven’t decided whether I wanted to use vector or 3D versions.

Two babies: bright, short and pudgy. Sharp eyes to make them look stubborn. More traditional-tiger like colors. Jumpy but clumsy.

Mom: dark, deep colors. Tall, and lean w long legs and tail. Graceful but stern.

Hunter: (will come soon) Greedy and very tall. Thick build. No specific features–average looking man.

Expensive but useful product Cha Mi Kim

Expensive but useful product:

ROOMBA:

The Roomba effectively and efficiently cleans the house, and returns back to it’s charging station once it’s done! It also reaches places that’s generally difficult to reach (under the couch, beds, etc). For people who think cleaning the house is a chore (which I assume is most people), this is a life savor (saves time and energy). But it’s really expensive for what you’re getting (why wouldn’t I just do the work myself if I could use a $30 vacuum cleaner instead of buying a Roomba at around $800?) IF this was $8 instead, everyone would be buying one. You’re not just buying a vacuum, you’re buying a cleaner at the same time. Everyone will have a vacuumed house. There would also be no one bragging about simply having a Roomba (although distinctions between brands and models will probably still exist), because it’d be the new norm.

The Uses of Enchantment Response Cha Mi Kim

The Uses of Enchantment:

The Child’s Need for Magic: Bettelheim explains that the life of a fairy tale relies on the child’s framing of the world. As mentioned in the introduction of the book, the world a child lives in is one different from our own, because their lives are animated. The comet example he gives is a perfect example of the two worlds clashing: a child is interested in their hand made “comets” until they learn that it’s nothing but a piece of paper. These stories, fairy tales, myths, Biblical stories alike, are effective because they offer a validation of their respective experiences. I relate to people finding comfort in the hope and answers these stories give them, even if they are masked in metaphors and unrealistic things like magic. In the context of the reader’s life (mine included), it’s not all unrealistic–they’re shared experiences, and a justification of their feelings/thoughts.

Vicarious Satisfaction Versus Conscious Recognition: What good is it to share a story/thought if the audience doesn’t understand it? Fairy tales are constructed the way they are (morals, simple characters, magic) because they are targeted towards children. Unlike adults, children don’t get much out of realistic stories–they will have a difficult time relating to it and getting much out of it other than the obvious plot line. In order to connect with them, the storyteller has to make an effort to reach their imagination, a world they live in. Bettelheim mentions illustrations as distracting rather than helpful, which I thought was interesting, because my mom always said the same thing when my brother and I read comic books on the weekends. She’d say “it’s not necessarily that I think comic books are bad, but they fixate the story’s image and you leave no room for your own imagination.”

The Importance of Externalization: Again, this section taps into the importance of validating a child’s experiences. Bettleheim makes the point that although these children relate to these stories, they understand they are not real. These stories make the distinction very clear on purpose (magic, setting, characters) as not to confuse the child–if it gets too close to reality, then they start getting confused about how to translate the fairy tale.  This helps the child identify and deal with his emotions. The idea of embodying destructive wishes was really interesting, because while the child may not realize what he is doing, as he is sorting out the good and the evil, and choosing who they want to be more like, they are essentially revamping their own character. I can look back at my childhood and remember how I would feel bad when I related to things an evil character did, and try my best to not repeat those thoughts/actions, because I didn’t want to be that character.

Transformations: In fairy tales, they often divide up one character to simplify them. As discussed, if a character is too complicated, then the child may not be as responsive to the story. So, they split up a complicated figure into two entities–the good and the bad (generally) for the child’s understanding of the story. This is where the step mother comes in: the good mother and the bad mother. This is particularly interesting to me because I always assumed the step mother characterization came from real life step mothers. I figured many kids in real life didn’t like their step mother (which makes the story relate-able), and many step mothers probably didn’t really like the kids either, especially when it was more unorthodox. The idea of split characterizations is new to me, and I buy it. With the two, you have both the good and the bad times that you’ve had with your mom, and by making them both in the same place of their social network (in this case, a mom,  a power figure who is also supposed to give you love and nurture) it helps the two characters overlap.

Bringing Order into Chaos: This is about the stages a child goes through when becoming aware of his surroundings, hence the “chaos.” The child at this stage cannot handle two contradicting thoughts at once, so they tend to tune out one and go all light or dark. And to help with this, fairy tales depict characters the same way–either all good or all bad. The stories help sort out/organize these feelings and helps the child contextualize them so they can better understand their own experiences with the same feelings.

Reading this, I can’t help but reanalyze my own responses. I would always fantasize about being the main character of the story, and being proud of myself if I did something similar to what a main character would have done (share snacks with my brother, for example). It also allowed another world to exist for me, which was huge because it made me want to believe there are really good people and I could be one of them. It’s slightly weird but also eyeopening and cool to see a lot of the reading rings true for how these fairy tales impacted me when I was younger.

Sun and Moon Revamped Cha Mi Kim

Story of the Sun and the Moon:

Quick detail I forgot to mention in class: originally, the girl was assigned to be the moon, but because she was scared of the dark and kept crying and whining, the gods let them switch places. But, she didn’t like being the sun so much either because she was too shy to be around so many people at the same time, that she was constantly blushing: that’s why the sun shines so brightly.

Change: Instead of the kids being kindhearted and poor, I’d make them rich and spoiled. The tiger initially comes to ask for directions, but the kids make fun of the tiger for being ugly and having worn down clothes. Once they start taunting him and throwing rocks at him, he gets angry and starts chasing them down to eat them. The kids get scared and get up to the tree the same way, and ask for the rope. The gods reluctantly throw down the ropes because they have an obligation to keep the children safe and can’t turn them down, but also decide they brought this upon themselves. The gods tell the kids they need to be punished in order to be held responsible for their actions, so they turn the kids into the sun and the moon so they have to serve the rest of humanity and animal kind forever, and can never be together ever again. They’re bound to solitude and servitude for life. The end.

Cinderella Reading Responses Cha Mi Kim

Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses:

This is written in the point of view of the two evil sisters after they’ve been blinded by the birds. Kathy talks about the darkness that her sister and she’s stuck in, both literally and mentally. Their relationship has always been supportive, but if they were helping each other find happiness before the incident, they were now helping each other accept the darkness and death. The syntax (pauses and short sentences) as well as the illustration makes the story rather chilling and spooky. At the same time, I cannot but feel sorry for her. The story was written under the assumption that the reader is already familiar with the story of Cinderella, so the reader most likely starts off with a type of hatred for the two sisters, and the story doesn’t get rid of that hatred, but rather softens it. When she said “We have names, by the way. She’s Sarah and I’m Kathy,” it hit me that I never really considered all the parts of the story I might be missing, which made me feel guilty for siding with Cinderella so fast. I still wish they had gotten some sort of punishment, but hearing her side of the story, especially the aftermath of the consequences, I cannot help but wonder if the punishment was too cruel for the crime. Because the story ends right after the mother and the sister gets their punishment, I never thought about it that much–I always thought of it as “they got what they deserved,” but visualizing the darkness and the their lives from there forward makes me reevaluate the ending of the story.

Transformations:

Sexton writes this poem about Cinderella with a “matter of fact” tone, starting with a list of cliches. She then goes on to tell the story of Cinderella which fits the plot of the cliches she listed in the beginning–rags to riches. Although the ending of the story is the same happily ever after, she makes it seem rather dull and boring, by describing them as “two dolls in a museum case.” Nothing ever happens to them, and with this, she sells the story as overdone, unrealistic, and superficial. There are a lot of imagery in the poem, which illustrates each scene, but the tone feels tired and worn out, so I read this poem almost in monotone (like a teacher who’s just been asked the same question about something that can be found on the first page of the syllabus for the 72nd time). She somehow used the exact plot and gave it a realistic twist with just the way she told the story, which I think is brilliant.

Another Cinderella Version Cha Mi Kim

The Cinderella story I’m used to (like many others, I assume) is the Disney version with the fairy god mother and the glass shoes with lots of magic and a ball room. But, when I was in elementary school, I remember picking up a book about a Chinese girl whose mother died and got an evil step mother. I didn’t make the connection that this was another version of Cinderella until the very end of the book when the prince comes looking for her with her shoe. The majority of the plot and set up is similar: kind, innocent girl has an evil step mother and evil step sisters, and is belittled and tortured day and night. Then there is a big party which she wants to go to, the sisters steal and ruin Cinderellas party clothes, but she somehow makes it to the party, accidentally leaves her shoes, and the prince finds her for a happy ending with the shoe she left. The differences lie in cultural context. In the Chinese version, the party was a Chinese New Years Party, she had golden traditional Chinese slippers, and the setting was in an old Chinese village with a river near by (lots of nature). The one that stood out the most was the tradition of feet binding. In China, girls had to bind their feet when they were little to make sure they stay small because of the beauty standards. However, because Cinderella was considered so unworthy, the step mother didn’t let her bind her feet. They would make fun of her by telling her no one would marry her with her big, ugly, unbound feet. This is why the prince could find her so easily with her shoes–because all the other girls in the village had bound feet, so her slippers were twice the size of every other girl’s feet.

I chose this version because this is the first time the story made sense to me. Before, when I watched Cinderella, I always wondered how it was possible there was not a single person with the same shoe size. Surely, if he was only looking at the fitting of the shoe, he could have easily gotten married to someone else. In this version, her feet were the perfect way to find her, because that was her unique quality.

MVP Assignment 2 Cha Mi Kim

A minimum viable product to me is something that gets the job done with the least amount of resources (time, effort, money). There is no excess–only the simplest way to present and solve the problem.

A good example: Tinder

The goal of this is to match people in their area for potential meetups+relationships with people looking for the same thing. Users swipe depending on whether they like a profile or not, and if two people both like each other, then they are allowed to chat. With mainly just the match and chat function, it has no excess (although you can now link your spotify and insta, but if looking at the earlier versions) functions. Users can choose to move the conversation to another platform if they want it to get more personal, but within the app, they only get the necessary functions (minimum info about the person, and chat function with text and emojis–no hongbaos and others like wechat).

A bad example: Facebook

While it started as a way of simple social media networking, Facebook grew to be an all-encompassing platform. It not only allows you to connect with friends, it also allows you to upload photo albums, life updates, make video/phone calls, go live, create groups and calendars, send money, poke friends, share content, advertise, tag people, etc. Facebook has so many features that can be taken away without reducing the main purpose of the platform at all (although the usage has transformed through the years, it is still, at the core, a networking platform to connect people, and chat/comment functions with a simple profile should be enough).