WDA: Mentoring Starter Kit Video Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes of filming the WDA: Mentoring Starter Kit Video

Sorry for the delay, here’s the behind the scenes for the Singapore Workforce Development Agency Mentoring Starter Kit video launched on the week of Teacher’s Day!

In case you have yet to watch it, here’s the video!

I acted as Daphne Yong, a new pre-school teacher on her first day of work in a pre-school. I was surprised to see this photo (above) on the notice board in the preschool we were filming in.
P.S. I did not choose this photo, the crew got it off my Facebook.

Wisdom to Share, Courage to ask
I’m acting as Daphne Yong

My tuition kid kept saying how the name sound like “Ducky” upon watching the video and another friend said the principal seems to pronounced my name as “Daffy”. So this has become my Daffy Duck video I guess.

I got some interesting questions from people who watched the video clip, eg. Why didn’t you use your real name? Why can’t you change or have a say in the script (meaning to get them to use my real name)?
My answer: Why do I have to use my own name? I’m not a REAL pre-school teacher!

Make Up Time

filming WDA mentoring starter kit
Teacher Nora getting make up done

Here’s Norain acting as Nora, the experienced pre-school teacher who was supposed to be my mentor.

workforce development agency
That’s Moi!

This video was filmed few months back before my acne problem had fully recovered, so the poor make up artist had to do a lot of concealing for me.

Working with kids

Filming with kids and pets are some of the most feared moments in the entertainment industry, and I was really anticipating the day, as you can see, this time, I am working with not just a child, but a group of them.

Problem 1:You need me to be Naughty? I can’t!

Mentoring Starter Kit Launched for Early Childhood Care and Education Sector
Trying to get them to do certain actions

The director needed a scene where the children had to be really playful, running around and creating a mess. You might be surprised, but this is one of the scenes where the crew had to spend some time getting it right. The students had been taught in the kindergarten NEVER to throw the toys and run around, when we tried to do that, they were practically bewildered.

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) professionals
Getting them to be naughty when they are good

So in the end, the crew need the real pre-school teacher to step in and help directing the kids.

Problem 2: They love and hate the camera

Teachers’ Day 2013
Getting them to look at me while camera takes the back of their head

I took this picture accidentally while trying to get their attention. The videographer had to take some photos and clips of the children from the back listening to me, but the kids were so curious with the big camera behind that they kept turning back! Another moment was when a child started crying when he was asked to do something and he noticed a camera facing him!

Problem 3: They take words and lines literary

There was this scene where I had to stop a few playful kids from throwing the toys around but they weren’t listening. So when the director got the camera rolling, I started calling them to stop throwing, and they really did. So in the end, I had to tell them to continue throwing verbally while acting as if I want them to stop. If you want to know how it feels, trying saying “Yes, continue throwing” while shaking your head.

SEED Institute, the National Continuing Education and Training Institute (NCI)
Sleeping kids: Easiest? Or not.

Parents who have tried getting an excited kid to sleep will know how it felt. They fidget around, they peek at what’s going on, and you would need to film at angles where it would not seem to obvious. Now that they are all getting into the sleeping mode, try getting them up again. Haha.

Problem 4: You can see + touch, but you can’t eat.

Meal time with Kids

This is equally torturous being done to an adult, not to say kids! The featured children were give some biscuits on their plates but they were not allowed to eat for another 20 minutes. And some time, their biscuits were transferred to other kids. Imagine that, they don’t know what was really going on, and when they finally thought it was break time, their biscuits were taken away. The feeling must be horrible!

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) professionals
Getting restless kids to work on certain scenes

Falling Down, and Standing Up Again

beautiful playground
Scene where kid hurt himself

Here’s one of the “events” that happened, making Teacher Daphne’s day worse than ever.

 ECCE Mentoring Starter Kit
Guess what, Norain is a REAL nurse!

A little kid had fell down and injured himself. The crew tried bandaging the boy but it looked weird regardless. Norain revealed her true identity (a nurse!), and made a perfect bandage for the kid.

 ECCE Mentoring Starter Kit
Getting lectured by parent; Kid secretly happy

This was an interesting scene as the angry dad had to ramble a long string of words while I just had to act sorry. I was kinda glad I didn’t had to do that as it’s not easy! And because of my height, I had to stand on a stack of books for the close ups! (oops!)

The Climax: Shit-stepping moment

mentoring starter kit
Cameraman explaining how he is going to film the epic moment

This was one of our last indoor scenes where I had to step on the poop! I guess it is everyone’s favourite scene. Guess what is the poop made up of? Will reveal the recipe later!

mentoring starter kit
Demonstration in process… Well… our feet are all dirty

As we are all trying to settle the poop-stepping scene with just one take, we had to do all the expression scenes first without stepping. This was a pretty difficult scene for me as I was trying to put myself in the role of a new pre-school teacher. Yes, I might have the “Eww…” expression but as a teacher I don’t think I will show it on my face, so I was trying to get that awkward “Oh no” but pretending not to be too disgusted by it? Not sure if I was thinking too much, but yeap, that’s what I was trying to do.

singapore workforce development agency
Foot doing the talking (or filming)

So we had to do all the scenes with the poop before really stepping on it. So here, I was trying to let my foot do the acting, pretending to notice the poop at the very last minute and skip over it.

filming for wda
Looks yucky? Or yummy?

The poop was actually quite nourishing for my foot! Haha, the peanut butter oil was moisturizing for my dry and calloused foot, and it actually smelled pretty okay.

step on poop
Stepping on poop

Recipe for Fake Poop!
1. Peanut Butter
2. Squirt a little bit of [choose one or all] chocolate syrup, soda, seeds, barbecue sauce and mix it with a spoon
3. Depending on the texture, you can try to heat it up and leave it to chill.

step on shit
Aw… eeww,

2 years later

filming tiffany yong
Getting to meet the new teacher 2 years later

Here’s a scene for “two years later” where I’ve become more experienced and “older”.

Mentoring Starter Kit
Do I look more senior like that?

Me and the junior teacher. I didn’t do much except wearing a pair of glasses and changed my hair parting. This scene was done in 15 minutes, to the surprise of the make up artist who spent quite some time do a pinned up hair-bun for me.

Deleted Scenes

Here’s something I attempted when the scenes were more or less done. I requested for a more exaggerating facial reaction for the scene where the kids were throwing the toys around, so that they can have more options when doing the edit. I was quite embarrassed initially but it got more interesting when I went all out to do it.

deleted scenes
Going crazy

Yes, driven crazy by the kids.

Special Mentions

Special thanks to the following people who were involved in the filming. It was a great experience!

Mentoring Starter Kit Video
The MUA who helped me conceal all my acnes when they are still so obvious back then!
Mentoring Starter Kid Video
Teacher “Nora” and Teacher “Daphne” having organic candies!
the Mentor Handbook and the Mentee Journal
The best little actor around!
Splash Mentoring Starter Kit
The nice guys from Splash!

To know more about the Mentoring Starter Kit for Early Childhood Care and Education Sector, check out the press release from WDA.

Anyone had experience filming with pets or little kids/babies too? Do share with me your experiences by commenting below!

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20 thoughts on “WDA: Mentoring Starter Kit Video Behind the Scenes”

  1. This was a fascinating read! It was also a reminder that kids and pets are adorable, yet they are tough to work with on a set.

  2. Looked like a lot of fun, especially that Poop accident you acted out! Haha! As directors always say, do not work with children and animals because they are too unpredictable. Good your shoot went without a hitch. – Fred

  3. Pre-school, I think, had the very toughest job ever when it comes to teaching industry. And seeing them filmed on such videos like you shared, it’s not that hard to see why. And for an actress like you, it was indeed a challenge. But seeing those behind the scene segments can always prove you that working may be a high-pressured one at some point, but at the same time, fun.

  4. I have huge respect for pre school teachers. What they are doing is actually more than what a teacher does. They also act like a mother to these students. I hope you could share to us the movie when it’s finished. 🙂

  5. Wow! Thank you for walking us through the process of filming this one. Interesting process especially when dealing with kids. Good job! On mentoring, sometimes we are too afraid to ask for help because we fear it might be a sign of weakness. We forget that having a mentor will help us improve. -katrina centeno

  6. Aren’t the kids normally hard to direct as they have short attention spans? I think that’s already expected. Getting them to listen is challenging. There’s only a few children I’ve encountered who are super quiet and shy.

  7. Wow! Great video! I totally agree when you said children loves & hates the camera. Haha! I’ve had some experience with them for photo shoots and it was so tiring! You can’t really tell them what to do. They always seem to have their own world!

    Proud of you Tiffany for pulling this off just great! 🙂

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