Braving the Camera to Teach Kids How to Survive an Earthquake

Earth Observatory Blog

Braving the Camera to Teach Kids How to Survive an Earthquake

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Assistant Professor Wei Shengji at his first-ever filming for a TV show

As an academic who lectures regularly to a hall of about 300 students, he never thought that he would feel nervous in front of only eight people. And so he was surprised when he became increasingly aware of the loud pounding of his heart and the beads of sweat that began appearing on his forehead.

The unexpected had happened – Assistant Professor Wei Shengji was feeling nervous.

Asst. Prof Wei feeling a little nervous in front of the camera

A Principal Investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, the 30-year-old China-born earthquake expert was enduring the hot, bright film lights that had been set up at the earthquake simulator in Science Centre Singapore. Dabbing his forehead with a piece of soft tissue, “This is much harder than I thought,” Asst. Prof Wei declared after his 10th take for the first scene.

Asst. Prof Wei getting prepped for his first scene

He was participating in the filming of a new children’s Chinese-language TV series called Young Travellers’ Survival handbook. The episode that Asst. Prof Wei was involved in is on earthquakes. It aims to impart basic earthquake survival knowledge and skills to kids.

Running through his lines again

In one of Asst. Prof Wei’s scenes, he described the “drop-cover-and-hold” technique, a widely-accepted practice recommended by several disaster-response communities.

Please click on the video below for a sneak-peek at Asst. Prof Wei’s performance in front of the camera. 

Photographs and video by Shireen Federico.

Geographic Area: 

  • Singapore