VH: Chapter 18

It had been a few days since entering the crew and the shooting went smoothly. His assistant worried about food and accommodations while the production crew was friendly and enthusiastic. Even Zhao Yingnan, who won the Golden Flower Award and was playing the male lead, specifically had an assistant come up to Li Zhao and say Li Zhao could discuss things with him if there was anything he didn’t understand.

Liu Fen, the actress who won the Flying Crane Award, also personally came to Li Zhao and praised him.

“Teacher Li, you are the focus of this scene. You must show the character’s natural elegance and beauty. The camera will be moved here and give you a close-up on your eyes. Let’s see if we can get a good shot to the end. Of course, it doesn’t matter if you can’t do it. This scene is very difficult. Many people who have been in the business for several years can’t do it.” The director explained to Li Zhao about the scene. “Let’s try it twice first. If it doesn’t work then we can change the shooting plan.”

“Okay.” Li Zhao was wearing embroidered clothes, a jade hat and handmade embroidered shoes. A cold wind blew and he couldn’t help shivering. The staff member nearby saw this and stuffed a hand warmer into Li Zhao’s hand.

Before the shooting, Li Zhao was hanging on the wire. The director followed holding the horn and shouted, “Teacher Li, now you now to show that sense of elegance that overflows from the screen. Your posture must be beautiful so that when the female audience sees you, they can’t help their hearts racing. We want this type of feeling, do you understand?”

The greatest significance of Li Zhao’s role was to please a party of the audience. He actually had another identity, which was the biggest villain of the movie. However, it was only implied in the script and nothing directly pointed it out until the end.

Li Zhao, “……”

To tell the truth, he didn’t quite understand. However, he was already hung up and the cold wind was blowing. He could only try to understand. He shot several times in a row before finally managing to get the feeling. By the time Li Zhao came down, he was frozen stiff. Da Ke brought him some hot tea and Li Zhao’s teeth chatted as he drank a few mouthfuls.

“Teacher Li, the effect is particularly good.” The director walked through Li Zhao’s group and praised Li Zhao before saying, “However, we still have to take a side shot. Do you think you can work harder?”

Li Zhao found that although the director spoke good words, he never let Li Zhao do less than was necessary. He asked the makeup artist to fix Li Zhao’s lips and started to shoot the side shots.

“Sister Liu, don’t you think the little actor pushed by the investor is quite good?” This actress was the one who played the second female lead, Liu Fen’s junior apprentice sister. They had different appearances and development routes so they had a good relationship over the years.

“Do you think he is acting well or looks good?” Liu Fen gave her junior apprentice sister a cup of ginger tea. “It can be seen that his performance is untrained but he has an aura around him. Combined with the bonus of his appearance, it is more than enough for him to play his role. In the end, he is the new person our company wants to raise. He needs some ability.”

On the day that Li Zhao came to the crew, the company’s senior management had specifically called her and asked him to take care of a new person when free.

“In the entertainment circle, an attractive and likeable boy like this is pleasant to watch.” The junior apprentice sister drank a mouthful of the hot tea while watching the newcomer through the lens. She spoke emotionally, “Fortunately, he signed with Strawberry Entertainment. Otherwise, such a delicious delicacy might be coveted by many people.”

“Oh.” Liu Fen smiled. “A person who can let the high-level management personally tell me to take care of him. Who would dare to covet him?”

Her junior apprentice sister was slightly stunned before smiling. “You are right.”

She looked down and drank hot tea, dismissing her little thoughts. Good money wasn’t easy to get but the price to her career would be higher.

“Good, this scene is over.” During their chat, Li Zhao finished filming.

“Teacher Li, you still have the last set of scenes to shoot. Once that is done, your role will be finished.” The director pulled Li Zhao to the electric heater and sat down. “The most important thing in this scene is the eyes. It is the type of gaze that arouses the audience’s infinite reverie while also creating a paradox with the plot. Do you understand?”

Li Zhao asked, “Is it to make the audience think that my role might be the real black hand behind the scenes? Letting some viewers think that I didn’t mean to look back and smile with that type of eyes?”

“Right. Teacher Li is very young but your ability to understand is very strong.” The director excitedly clapped while holding the script. “That’s what I want to feel.”

As a mature director, he didn’t show much resistance when he learned that the investor wanted to let a new actor obtain a role in the crew. In any case, it was an insignificant role that didn’t matter. At least the person inserted was pretty.

However, days passed and he had a somewhat favourable impression of Li Zhao. It was probably because of his low expectations but he found the other person was much better than his own imagination. It was inevitable that he would feel goodwill. Originally, the director was going to cancel this eye shot because a new actor wouldn’t be able to act out the feeling he wanted. Now he wanted to try it.

If it could be done, it would be a highlight of the movie. If not, it wouldn’t pull down the entire movie.

“Then you should find the feeling first. In half an hour, we will officially start shooting, okay?”

Li Zhao nodded. He was wrapped in warm clothing as he sat alone in the corner to find the feeling. Da Ke didn’t dare disturb Li Zhao as he trotted over to place an electric heater by Li Zhao’s feet. Then he hid himself away.

After so long filming, Li Zhao had a complete image of the role in his mind. Thus, he could probably understand the feeling that the director needed.

It was said that eyes were the window to the soul. In fact, the big screen had higher requirements for the eyes. No matter how good-looking actor, if there were no feelings in the eyes than their beauty would be greatly reduced and they would be mercilessly mocked by the audience.

Just as Li Zhao was ready to give his phone to his assistant and start filming, the phone suddenly rang. The caller ID was a strange number. He rejected it twice in a row yet the other side kept calling.

Li Zhao frowned and accepted the call. The voice of Yao Shasha came from the phone. A few days had passed since seeing each other and Yao Shasha’s voice was strange. Li Zhao listened to her crazily rambling for a few minutes before slowly saying, “Sister Shasha, I’m just a new actor. I can’t help you.”

“Only you can help me, Li Zhao…”

“Sister Shasha.” Li Zhao interrupted her. “You are flattering me too much. I’m sorry but I can’t do anything.”

He hung up the phone and looked up to see Da Ke. “Da Ke, what are you doing?”

“Zhao Zhao, did Yao Shasha look for you?” Da Ke took the phone from Li Zhao’s hand and couldn’t hide his disdain for Yao Shasha. “I don’t know where she found out I was your assistant but while you were filming, she called me more than a dozen times. For a person like this, it is best to ignore her. In the beginning, she used her popularity to act higher than you. She didn’t discuss it with you at all when she wanted to hype you up. Now she is aware that she needs to talk to people before doing something? Too late!”

Li Zhao saw him acting like a court eunuch again and hurriedly ran to find the director to shoot the last scene.

Yao Shasha was hung up by Li Zhao and sat on the floor with a bottle of wine, crying. Her heart was full of boundless remorse. How much better would she be if she hadn’t made things so difficult for LI Zhao?

If she had known that Overbearing Female President would explode and that Li Zhao would sign with Strawberry Entertainment, how could he do those things? However, how could such things in the world be known early?

This eye scene was shot very smoothly. After shooting from several camera positions, Li Zhao successfully finished. The crew took a photo of him with the flowers they had prepared for him. The director reached for his shoulder and smiled kindly.

He rejected the crew’s invitation for a party to celebrate his finish. Li Zhao retreated early from the hotel and went shopping, buying local souvenirs and interesting small items.

Da Ke saw Li Zhao picking things with a very serious expression and felt some worry. This person must be so important to let a straight man choose gifts so seriously. Was it love?

Da Ke waited until the plane before asking in a pretend casual manner, “Zhao Zhao, you are buying so many things. It is to give to your relatives and friends?”

“No, I’m bringing it back for my agent and a good friend. I don’t know what they like so I’m just buying a few.” Li Zhao bowed his head to read over the new script the company had sent him. He didn’t look up as he continued, “Since it is a gift, I should bring back things they will like.”

“Oh.” Da Ke was relieved since it was better not to fall in love. He used to work with two artists, both of whom ended their cooperation with the company because of love and marriage. He was worried that his romance buff meant Li Zhao would go the same way as his former two artists.

Winter days were short. By the time it was 6 o’clock in the afternoon, the sky had gradually darkened. Yan Ting stood in front of the floor to ceiling window and looked down at the world outside the window, taking a step forward.

Then his phone rang. His index finger moved slightly as he looked down at the phone. The words ‘Li Zhao’ appeared on the screen, waiting for the owner of the mobile phone to pick up. Yan Ting looked at these two words and seemed to see Li Zhao waving in front of him. He slowly pressed the answer key.

“Ting Ting, I’m back and bought you a handful of souvenirs. Where are you now? I will give it to you!”

The cheerful voice echoed in the quiet office and every note was breathing with joy.

“I…” Yan Ting looked out the window. The street lights were lit up, drawing a dazzling pattern on the ground. “I’m at the company.”

“You have a job?!”

“Yes.” Yan Ting closed the curtains and turned on the office light. “It is a new job.”

“Great, wait for me a bit and I’ll pick you up from work.”

Yan Ting reached out and gently rubbed the cold ornaments on the table. “Okay.”

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