Chapter 604 The consciousness of a teacher of the people is higher
At the scene, everyone was starting to get busy.
The director and staff of the film crew were giving out their instructions for the shoot.
"Get in place, everyone, get in place!"
"Camera 1, pull back."
"Once the actors are done with their makeup, we will start immediately."
"Will the extras take note: please remember to stay behind the yellow line as there will be a explosion scene later. Although it won't be dangerous, everyone should still take note not to stray past the yellow line."
"Is Teacher Zhang ready?"
"Not yet, but he'll be ready soon."
"Alright, we will start rolling the cameras once Teacher Zhang finishes getting touched up!"
In the studio.
A female makeup artist quickened her work on Zhang Ye as she applied makeup on his face here and there. Very soon, Zhang Ye could see himself aging 10 years in the mirror, but perhaps due to the fact that he had only very average looks, it did not make him look too different. He would probably still be recognized by his fans immediately.
Drawing his eyebrows.
Applying some eyeliner.
He was still quite unused to all this. As a host, he never had to do such makeup to make him appear more villainous looking. At most, he needed to apply some foundation to take the shine off his face for the camera.
Zhang Ye had already changed into his costume for the role, similar to that of a Chinese tunic suit.1 He did not just sit there doing nothing, but was going through the script repeatedly. This time, he wasn't going through the script for his own role, he was going through the overall screenplay for the whole movie which had all the information of the characters, including their age, where they were born, their background, character developments, etc. To enable him to play his role well, he had to know the full screenplay as it would aid him to better understand the intertwined relationships and plot. With this information, he would know what emotions to portray and at which time to do it.
This was the first time that Zhang Ye had seen a full screenplay, and to be honest, it left him a little confused as there was simply too much information in it. The plot was also very rich, with many subplots happening at the same time. It even included a list of alternative plots and script lines. As the filming had actually already wrapped a few days ago, a lot of these backup plots were deleted since they were not used or cut from the final version of the movie. Because of this messy editing in the screenplay, when he saw it, it also left him unable to comprehend what was still valid or what was already invalid. It felt like a good movie, but it also felt like it might not be too good. He didn't know for sure.
Back in his previous world, Zhang Ye was a movie buff as well. Every time he had finished watching a film, he would always discuss it for a whole day with his friends. They would point out what they felt were errors, or a part of the movie that was not well shot, a part of the story that wasn't logical, or even say something as extreme as how a movie was so bad that it shouldn't even have been produced. Thinking about it now, it was really easy making those comments as an audience member. Only when he was put into the situation himself did he realize just how complicated a movie production was. Just this screenplay alone had given him a lesson on how difficult it was. As the saying goes, the insider knows the ropes, while the outsider just comes along for the ride. That couldn't be more true, as everything was always easier said than done.
The female makeup artist stepped back and adjusted her head as she observed her work, then with a sudden snap of her fingers, she said, "It's done, Teacher Zhang." She turned around and shouted, "Director, Teacher Zhang's makeup is done."
Zhang Ye put down the screenplay, stood up, and went outside.
"Alright, everyone, get into your positions," Wang Chengpeng said loudly.
The assistant director said, "Teacher Zhang, take your position over there."
Wang Chengpeng instructed him, "Remember, you need to be more expressive with your emotions later on. When Old Zhang and Dalong walk over, you need to have aggression in your eyes. Don't hold back on that."
"Sure." Zhang Ye got into position and sat in the armchair, at the center of all the extras. He held up a cup of tea and sat up straight.
Wang Chengpeng had his own style of directing. He used a megaphone and ran through the plot for this scene. Even though the actors were already very familiar with it, he did not leave out a single word and explained in detail about the entire scene. This was to help the actors relax and at the same time lead them quickly into their character roles.
Suddenly, the air was filled with the din of clashing gongs and cymbals.
Many of the extras were putting in the best efforts for this scene of celebration at a martial arts school.
Zhang Yuanqi was dressed in a long white robe, while Dalong was in his martial arts attire as they walked slowly over. The two of them were already in character. Zhang Yuanqi had an icy expression while Dalong was all smiles as he laughed and joked as he walked beside her. Soon after, a smile appeared on Zhang Yuanqi's face and she gave Dalong a look.
The three of them met.
Zhang Ye was covering his tea cup as he raised his head to meet their eyes.
Zhang Yuanqi and Dalong were both standing in front of him at this moment.
Suddenly, Zhang Ye's eyes narrowed as the tea cup lid lightly knocked against the tea cup!
"Cut!" The director called out.
Zhang Ye looked over.
Only to hear Wang Chengpeng say, "Little Zhang, that's not good enough. You need to express more with your eyes, show your aggressiveness. The way you're looking at them is correct, but it needs to be more intense because it's not enough to carry it from real life into reel life."
Zhang Ye understood and said, "Alright, I'll take note of that."
Dalong and Zhang Yuanqi both said nothing and went back to their own positions.
Wang Chengpeng shouted, "Again, action!"
And so, the second take was over and done with.
Next up was the explosion scene. Zhang Ye did not have to do much for this scene and only had a line in it. It was very simple for him as this scene had more focus on Zhang Yuanqi and Dalong. The both of them had already shot this scene before, but because a few cuts needed the third male lead, Zhang Ye, to appear together on screen with them, they had to redo this scene's shoot again. Of course, the reshoot was only done for the critical cuts. Those parts that did not have Zhang Ye appearing would use the original footage instead.
As it was a little dangerous, the preparations for this scene were also more troublesome and took a little longer. Dalong's errors led to two cuts; two extras who didn't portray the right expressions also made the director call for a cut three times. When one of Zhang Ye's lines did not communicate the mood of the scene, a cut was also called. For this whole scene, it took almost an hour before the the director was satisfied with the outcome!
When the director finally called for a stop and gave it the "pass," all the actors breathed a sigh of relief and went for their breaks. With this, some people from the film crew went ahead to settle the payouts to the extras since their work was done here.
Dalong came up and asked, "Director Wang, are there still any scenes for me?"
Wang Chengpeng considered for a while before saying, "There's nothing left for today. You and Old Zhang can go back first."
"Alright," Dalong said.
Zhang Yuanqi smiled and said, "I don't need to be around either?"
"It's fine, I just need your double to be around. The key shoots will be tomorrow." Wang Chengpeng said, "There should be some scenes tomorrow morning, but I will need to see how the shooting will turn out this afternoon first to see if we can wrap the planned scenes by today. Zhang Ye doesn't have much experience in filming, so I won't be able estimate how long it will take. This afternoon's scenes are going to be the problem."
Zhang Yuanqi laughed and said, "Little Zhang shouldn't have a problem with that."
Dalong said, "I'll be leaving first then. If there's anything, you can just give me a call. I'll keep my cell phone on." As the film crew was going through its most difficult period now, everyone certainly had to work extra hard together to ensure a successful outcome.
The two leads left while Wang Chengpeng went to find Zhang Ye. Having already known him by now, he no longer addressed him as Teacher Zhang and instead just called him Little Zhang. "Little Zhang, how's it going?"
Zhang Ye dipped his head in greeting and said, "Quite well."
"Being cast into a lead role on your debut, it is already great that you can perform this way up until now. At least, you've exceeded my expectations for a rookie actor." Wang Chengpeng praised, but reminded him and said, "This afternoon and evening, we have a few scenes planned for filming. There will be day and night scenes, so I suggest you follow and stay with the film crew for the next few days. See if you require anything like a change of clothes and let me know. I will get someone to help you out with that, or you can get someone from your family to send them over."
Zhang Ye smiled and said, "That's not necessary. I'm not particular about such things. I just need to give a call to my mother to let her know about my schedule."
Beside him, the assistant director said, "We're going to have to go into the mountains tonight. It's going to be a tough shoot."
"No worries," Zhang Ye said.
The assistant director asked, "Do you have any diet preferences for lunch and dinner? I can get someone to prepare it for you."
Zhang Ye smiled and said, "I can eat anything. A box lunch is good enough."
The assistant director said hesitantly, "We do not know what time we'll be shooting until tonight, so you..."
"I'm fine with whatever time we shoot until." Zhang Ye said with a shrug, "Even if I have work round the clock, 24 hours without sleep, I should be able to do it. No problem. Just let me know your arrangements. As long as we can complete the filming properly, I have no objections. You'll have total control of me for the next few days."
The directors asked so many questions because, these days, celebrities were putting on airs more and more often. These days, it was a market of commercial productions. A movie's attractability mostly started with an actor. If the actor was a big-time celebrity, it wouldn't be easy to get them to join the movie. Even if they did, their temperaments were difficult to handle. For example, Dalong had many requests when it came to meals. For meats, he only took mutton, and would not have any chicken or pork. He was also very picky with any other side dishes and the film crew had to specially get those individually for him. Then, for Tian Xuetao, his conditions were that he has to go home everyday to sleep and not stay with the film crew. No matter how late it got, as long as they were in the vicinity of Beijing, he must be allowed to go home. If they were out of the city or country, he would request a hotel so that he could go back to it after filming. Together with some other celebrities with thousands of strange requests and conditions, nothing was really too odd and they had almost seen it all before.
This time, since they had to find a replacement to save the situation as the matter was very urgent, leaving them with not much of a choice, they naturally placed great importance on Zhang Ye's participation in the shoot. They would have given him much better treatment and would try to satisfy him in whatever ways they could. That was the reason why they asked so many questions of him, since they did not know Zhang Ye well and what special requirements he had of the film crew.
But Zhang Ye?
He had no special requirements whatsoever!
He was fine with anything! Everything was alright with him!
This made Wang Chengpeng nod positively to no end. He waited until Zhang Ye walked away before becoming unable to contain himself and said to his assistant director, "Intellectuals and artistic people alike are indeed much better to work with."
The assistant director felt the same, so he said, "Yes, Teacher Zhang is almost a B-list celebrity now, but for a person of that status to still maintain that humility, it's really rare. I heard from a friend in the industry that Zhang Ye really gives it his all when it comes to work. He had even recorded a show for over ten hours continuously for seven or eight days straight. There was also the case where he worked 24 hours without rest to help Beijing Television Station complete their public service announcement. He had really risked his own life for that! Hai, the consciousness of a teacher of the people is much higher than most people. If only our actors were like Teacher Zhang, then the duration of our production would have sped up by at least 30%!"
The screenwriter who was behind them blinked and said, "Zhang Ye is quite...different from what the rumors say about him."
The assistant director turned around and said, "Yes, he's really quite different from them."
The Zhang Ye in the rumors had too many nicknames!
The maggot of the literary world!
The oddity of the entertainment circle!
The hooligan of the educational world!
To many of the staff on the film crew who had heard about Zhang Ye before, they felt that he was a person who had a very bad temper and was someone who would beat up or scold others without even resorting to talking things through. However, the reality now was that they saw him in an entirely different light compared to what they had heard about him. Zhang Ye was not only unlike how they imagined him to have no respect for others, he was also someone who worked very hard, was professional, and dedicated to his work. Just look at it. When the box lunches arrived, everyone else was eating their lunch and resting while Zhang Ye sat further away, reading his script for the next scene as he ate.
They did not know that Zhang Ye had always been like this. If he decided to do something, he would be determined to finish it. He would always take his work seriously and do his best, not allowing himself to make any errors or be negligent. He was the type of person who would work so hard that he would risk his own life.