Chapter 127: The Recording of the Segment's First Episode!
Three days later.
Beijing Television Station recording studio.
"The rostrum should be here, yes, a little bit more." Dafei instructed the stage staff, "The guest seats should be placed on the opposite side of the rostrum."
"The lighting is not good enough; it's too dim." Hou Ge said.
Xiao Lu was preparing the guests and lecturer's introduction script, which were to be given to Zhang Ye.
Although they weren't exactly experienced yet, they were still experts in their fields. They did not fully understand the TV industry and it's workings, but they were very professional and it was what they were good at, so there wouldn't be any hiccups.
Zhang Ye arrived.
"Teacher Zhang is here?" Dafei greeted.
Xiao Lu had finished writing and came over immediately, "Teacher Zhang, for you. This is the introduction script. It's for today's lecturer and guests general information.
"That's good, I will memorise it." A lot of hosts who introduced their guests usually held a cue card. Some hosts even made a big issue and used teleprompters. But Zhang Ye never had this habit, he liked to do things to perfection and since he was trained in media, he put more emphasis on going off-script.
Half an hour later.
Hu Fei walked in quickly, "Is everything ready?"
"Everything is ready, Brother Hu." Dafei said. "I've already checked twice over."
Hu Fei laughed, "Good, I'm assured when you guys handle it." Looking at his watch, he said, "It's almost time. The audience will be arriving soon, have the guests and lecturer arrived?"
Xiao Lu said, "I didn't see anyone."
"Still not here?" Hu Fei was surprised, "I've informed them it's at 8 A.M., and it's already half past eight now."
"I will hurry them then." Xiao Lu was in charge of coordination. She immediately made a call. After speaking for half a minute, she hung up and said, "The teachers said that they will be arriving very soon."
Zhang Ye frowned. He had wanted to interact with the teachers beforehand for a short dry run, but it looked like there wouldn't be enough time now.
"Let's not wait any longer, let the audience in first." Hu Fei instructed.
Coordinating with the lecturer, planning for the program, communicating with the lecturer, all of these had been delayed for some time already. Today was already Thursday, and the scheduled broadcast was this Saturday; it couldn't afford to be delayed any further. The recording had to be done by today, otherwise it would be too late.
The audience began to enter the studio.
Some of them had tickets, which were handed out by the station. Some of them were staff members of partnering units and didn't require any tickets.
"Haha, Teacher Zhang!"
Someone called out to Zhang Ye as he was reading his script.
The trio of Auntie Sun, Big Sis Zhou and Xiaofang had also come over.
"What are the few of you doing here?" Zhang Ye had not expected them and was a little happy.
Auntie Sun laughed, "This is your first time being a host, hosting a new program. Of course we had to be here to support you. We had to fight a long time for these tickets."
Big Sis Zhou pointed at him, "Please do well; I think very highly of you."
Zhang Ye guided them and said, "Then please take these seats at the front row. They are VIP seats. Hur Hur."
"That will be good. We will share some of your spotlight and enjoy the VIP treatment." Auntie Sun and the others took their seats on the first row, which were very close to the stage. The program's tickets were all handed out at the last minute, so it wasn't too formal and there were no seat numbers. Afterall, the recording studio was small, their program didn't have any fame and thus things were not too strict. Since there were no seat numbers, Zhang Ye could still call the shots on some matters, like seating the VIPs at the front. His old colleagues had come to support him. Zhang Ye was definitely touched by this.
The audience members were all now seated.
Former assistant Xiaofang laughed a little, then took out a piece of paper from her bag. It wasn't really a paper, more like a banner, and on it was Zhang Ye's name. They felt like groupies, holding the banner above their heads and swaying left to right.
Zhang Ye smiled bitterly. Surely that wasn't necessary?
Over there, Xiao Lu was anxiously stomping her feet, "Why are they not here yet!"
Hu Fei's expression did not look too good, "Call them again! Do they have any concept of time!"
Xiao Lu called them again, then told Hu Fei, "They seem to be coming over together and even said they will be here immediately."
"This immediately has taken half a day?" Hou Ge said unhappily.
"Their diva behaviour is even worse than the stars? They might have been invited to Central TV before, but what's the big deal!" Hou Di said.
After much discussion and research the past few days, Hu Fei and his program team had decided on presenting Romance of the Three Kingdoms on the first episode of "Musings of History". Why? Because this was one of the Four Great Classical novels. This novel had been read by almost everyone, the audience base was large, and its influence was also great. As the pilot episode, its topic would interest a lot of people and help pull up the ratings. Otherwise, if they had presented about a lesser-known historical figure or novel, most people would not understand or know about it. In that case, the ratings would definitely not be good. The first episode was also the most important episode. Hu Fei and the team had to prioritize it over anything else. It would have to be done to the best of their ability!
So they had invite a Renmin University's professor for this episode. He was called Ma Hengyuan. He was not a historical scholar, and neither was he a historian by profession. He was a literary scholar who researched some historical novels and literature works and was considered an authoritative figure in this field. His knowledge on "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" was considered to be very thorough and deep and he even appeared on a Central TV program to give a talk about the Three Kingdoms to a group of university students. It might not be considered a great achievement on the national level, but within Beijing, he was a famous professor. Hu Fei had spent a lot to invite this professor because he acknowledged his professional knowledge and reputation.
What about the guests?
They were also experts and hobbyists of the field, who were as good as the professor.
But who would have expected, these people were actually so late on the day of the recording. This also represented their attitudes and respect towards the program. Yes, Hu Fei admitted that their channel could not compare to Central TV, but they are also a well known TV station with considerable reach, so how could they do this?
Everyone was waiting for them.
The audience became impatient.
"Why aren't you starting?"
"Wasn't it supposed to start at 8 A.M.?"
"Yeah, it's almost 9 A.M. now."
Zhang Ye had no choice but to announce through the microphone, "Everyone, we are sorry, but the program recording might have to be slightly delayed. Let's record the applause first. Thank you for cooperating." Of course, natural applause would have been best, but in most circumstances, this effect could not be achieved. Therefore, for recording purposes, most TV stations would have their program crew record some applause or cheering to add to the program in post production, to improve the viewing experience.
Xiao Lu went over to lead the applause, "On the count of 1, 2, 3, everyone start clapping together....."
After the applause and audience reaction were recorded, it was back to waiting for the arrival of the lecturer and guests.
A youth stood up and said, "Teacher Zhang Ye, since the recording hasn't started, can.. can you help me by autographing this?" He took out a copy of "Ghost Blows Out the Light" from his bag.
Zhang Ye smiled and walked over to him from the stage, "Of course."
"That's great. I came today just to see you!" The youth was very excited.
After Zhang Ye had given him an autograph, another teen girl ran up, "I want one, too. I want one, too!"
A moment later, an older sister asked him for an autograph, too, "My child really likes your fairy tales."
After signing three autographs, no one else bothered him. Since Zhang Ye wasn't that well known yet, most of those at the venue probably did not even know him. Not everyone who went on the internet would pay attention to his works and deeds. The amount of people who paid attention to him were still in the minority. This was normal.
"Who is this host?"
"I don't know."
"Is he famous? Why have I never heard of him before?"
"How could you not know Zhang Ye?"
Just as everyone were whispering and discussing, the lecturer and guests finally arrived!
From the backstage, a shadow emerged. The one leading the way was the Renmin University professor, Ma Hengyuan. He was a 50-something-year-old little man with a slightly sharp nose. One look and you knew that he was not an easy person to talk to. Following behind him were two men and a woman; they were today's guests. The men were middle-aged, and both were surnamed Xu. One was Teacher Xu from the Beijing Normal University, the other was Editor Xu, a deputy editor of a Beijing publishing house. The woman, younger than all of them, was called Ci Yan, and she was a newspaper reporter. She was in charge of the literary section.
Hu Fei was calm, "Professor Ma."
"Producer Hu." Ma Hengyuan smiled. "We were having some discussion on the way here, discussion about the program. That's why we were late."
Hu Fei did not mention it, "It's okay. Can we start now?"
"Yes." Ma Hengyuan said.
"Let me introduce to you." Hu Fei faced towards Zhang Ye, "This is Zhang Ye, the host. He will follow your lead on the set."
Zhang Ye put out his hand, "Professor Ma, how are you?"
Ma Hengyuan gave him a look, but ignored his hand. He nodded, "I know."
He did not want to shake hands?
What's the meaning of this?
Hou Ge, Dafei and the others wore a dark expression. You guys were late, yet your attitude is so arrogant?
That Teacher Xu and Editor Xu also pretended to not see Zhang Ye and only spoke with Ma Hengyuan. It was as if they had deliberately excluded Zhang Ye.
Only the newspaper reporter, Reporter Ci, held out her hand, "How are you, Teacher Zhang?"
"How are you?" Zhang Ye and Ci Yan shook hands, not taking the earlier events to heart.
They were not wearing their microphones yet, so the audience could not hear what they were saying, but surely they had eyes? When they saw that Zhang Ye had been ignored by the three of them, they all immediately started discussing. Auntie Sun and Big Sis Zhou were even feeling anger and injustice!
"What kind of people are those!"
"They were already given face!"
"Yet they are giving attitudes to Teacher Little Zhang?"
"So what if he is a professor? So what if they are experts? Are they really that full of themselves? Old bast**ds!"
Big Sis Zhou and the others were already scolding them. Zhang Ye's colleagues, Xiao Lu, Hou Ge and the others were very unhappy!
Why are they all so biased and treating Zhang Ye in this manner? With some thought, it was clear. Those people were probably the traditional literary professionals. Zhang Ye had scolded his unit before, scolded his Leaders and also at an event a few days ago, argued with the Beijing Writers' Association on a live broadcast. Even when the National Writers' Association had invited him to join, he did not agree. His name within the literary circle was now rotten. Many of those professionals had now blacklisted him.
Hu Fei whispered, "Little Zhang, bear with it."
"It's fine." Zhang Ye still had some grace. He had to put everyone's interest first. It was his first time as a TV host, so he could not mess this up!