6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
HvlSxHY-show-poster2x3-4ik43uV.png

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

The Big One, in Graphic Form

Support Provided By
California Earthquake Authority Logo

KCET is collaborating with the California Earthquake Authority to raise awareness and provide resources to help you prepare for an earthquake. California Earthquake Authority is a publicly managed, not-for-profit, privately funded organization that provides residential earthquake insurance and encourages Californians to reduce their risk of earthquake damage and loss.

Imagine a magnitude 7.8 earthquake tumbling along the San Andreas Fault, then rolling through downtown on its way toward the ocean. If it's too boggling to even picture, take a look at Preparedness Now, a short video directed by Art Center College of Design grad Theo Alexopoulos that outlines the grim aftermath of a devastating quake.

Made in collaboration with USGS Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project as part of the Great Southern California ShakeOut when LA residents are asked to duck, cover and hold, the video exemplifies the energizing power of design-based visual communication. Its deft orchestration of photos, illustrations, statistics, music and voice-over renders a stark picture of devastation but does so in an way that communicates clearly and effectively.

"I'm really afraid of earthquakes," admits Alexopoulos, who grew up in Los Angeles. "During the Northridge earthquake, I woke up with my bookshelves falling on top of me and fires burning just down the street. It was a very frightneing experience!"

Alexopoulos began the project with a 25-page brief from the USGS that presented the scientific picture of a large-scale earthquake and its devastation. From there, he initially tried to synthesize the key facts into a one-minute music video. However, he decided he needed to convey more information and he wanted an approach that would appeal to a broader audience. He also needed to find the right tone. "I wanted an element of fear to scare people, but I also knew the video had to end by giving people a sense of empowerment."


Music plays a key role in the video. "The music drives the story line emotionally," Alexopoulos says, explaining that he worked closely on the music with hip-hop producer Josh Temkin. "The visual style is the evolution of stuff I've been doing lately, including photography and collages. And the type in the video was all taken from typesheets bought at a flea market in LA, which kind of gives the video a homegrown feeling."

The video's strength is in finding a balance between communicating a lot of statistical information, but doing so quickly and in a visually interesting way. Alexopoulos says that this graphics-oriented form of communication is becoming increasingly pervasive. "You see it everywhere online, especially with the huge number of viral videos that were produced around the election," he says. "When you have complicated ideas - as you do in science and politics - this form works very well." He sites videomaker Simon Robson and his short What Barry Says as one inspiration. "It's very political, has a strong point of view and uses very powerful graphics," he explains.

Now that the project is finished, is Alexopoulos calmer or more nervous about an impending earthquake? "It's funny - I'm fascinated by just how simple some of the preparedness measures are. They're obvious things - having a fire extinguisher, having some water... These very minor steps will really improve your quality of life. And my own fear? I guess doing the project has made me confront that fear, and I feel more confident now."

Support Provided By
Read More
A man in a bright yellow reflective safety vest stands behind two boxes stacked on a table. There are also bags of fruit. The man is wearing a mask and looking off to the distance. Behind him is a person wearing a bright orange safety vest and holding a clipboard. Their back is facing the camera and it appears as if they are guiding a line of cars.

Where to Get Financial Assistance, Food and More During the Coronavirus Crisis

Here's a list of places that are offering financial assistance, food aid, rent relief, debt relief and more. We regularly update it.
Two men in long clothing plant a small tree together.

African Leaders Warn COVID-19 Crisis Harming Climate Adaptation Push

The coronavirus-linked economic slowdown is limiting cash to help Africans pay to adapt to climate extremes, from drought to floods.
A group of mules lined up and reined together gallop down a commercial street. Spectators watch on the sides of the road and a mountain landscape fills the background.

Y luego hubo dos: Inyo y Merced atrapados en el nivel más estricto

Al no poder cumplir con los criterios estatales de infección por COVID-19, los condados de Merced e Inyo aún no pueden reabrir la mayoría de las empresas. El estatus de los condados amenaza un gran evento del Día de los Caídos en Bishop, por lo que la ciudad ha pedido al estado que reconsidere los requisitos de su condado rural.