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Viral underwater video shot in Shanghai’s Songjiang district

By He Qi in Shanghai | | Updated: 2021-06-16 17:04
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A cameraman shoots an underwater video at Tuko Photography Studio in Shanghai’s Songjiang district.[Photo provided to]

An underwater dance show, which went viral online recently, has sparked curiosity among the general public about its production process. Few knew that the dance show was shot at Tuko Photography Studio in Shanghai’s Songjiang district.

Songjiang has in recent years been focused on transforming itself into a base for TV, film and other productions.

The video features He Haohao, a former synchronized swimmer, playing the role of the Goddess of the Luo River - a mysterious character created by poet Cao Zhi during the Three Kingdoms period (220-280). It went viral in China after it aired on Henan TV on Saturday night as part of China’s Dragon Boat Festival celebrations.

Converted from an old factory building, the shoot’s venue is the country’s first underwater photography studio with a steel structure. It is also the largest of its kind in Shanghai.

The studio’s pool has a depth of about 5 meters and can hold 486 tons of water. The pool also has a water circulation system and a temperature control mechanism. Photographers can capture images through the glass panels on each side of the pool and adjust shooting height and angle using a mobile platform.

According to He, shooting the scene was not easy. Filming took three days to complete and each dance segment required her to be underwater for 50 seconds. She had to be underwater for a total of 26 hours to complete the dance sequence that lasts less than 2 minutes.

Being underwater for such a prolonged period has affected He’s eyesight, but she said the sacrifice is well worth it because she relishes the opportunity to share traditional culture in a creative manner.

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