Chapter 800: Da Hong Pao doesn't exist in this world? [1.]
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
In the afternoon.
The members of the first film crew were all inside their hotel suites. Some of them were packing up the equipment and luggage, some of them were finishing up their final bit of work, and some were laughing and chatting happily. The atmosphere was very relaxed. Having worked on the documentary for two full months now, once the filming wrapped, they suddenly felt no tinge of tiredness anymore.
Zhang Ye was standing at the window, on the phone.
"Brother Zhang, we've also completed our work over here."
"Congratulations, Director Zhang."
"I should congratulate you too. Have you guys booked the plane tickets yet?"
"Yes, we've already booked them. We'll be taking this afternoon's flight back to Beijing."
"Alright. I've already told the third film crew that they can go back as well. Our side here will be taking tomorrow's flight since we didn't manage to get today's plane tickets on time, so we will head back a day later than you guys."
"Alright, then we will wait for you to get back."
"Don't bother waiting for me. After you guys get back, take it that I have given my approval for you to have a few days' rest. Since we're already done with the filming, the remaining work will be the editing and voiceover recording. That will be my job and I'll have to spend a few more days to edit it. Most of you can just take a break."
"Then that's all. Handle the equipment and source footage carefully when you get back. Don't damage anything."
"We'll meet back at Beijing then."
After hanging up, Zhang Ye immediately made a call to Yan Tianfei. He definitely needed to report back to Old Yan that they had successfully completed the first stage of production.
When Yan Tianfei heard about this, he was overcome with emotion. "You've finally completed the shoot! Well done! Well done! I've heard all about the hard work that you guys have been putting in for the past two months. Teacher Zhang, it's been hard on you."
Zhang Ye quickly replied: "Hur hur, Director Yan, listen to what you're saying. This is my job and whatever I did was all part of my job. It's been hard on our brothers and sisters of the film crews though."
Yan Tianfei asked: "How much of the production budget have you spent?"
"Slightly more than 9.9 million RMB." Zhang Ye laughed and said: "I was controlling our spending. Another night at the hotel and another meal later, there should be almost nothing left of the remaining money."
Yan Tianfei also chuckled: "Good, it's a good thing that you've spent it all. The station has been pressuring us to lend them the money every day. I heard that Central TV Department 1 still does not have enough funding, so even if there is money left over, we won't be able to keep it. It's great that you've spent it all! After you guys have returned, I'll throw a celebratory feast for everyone."
Zhang Ye smiled and said: "Alright, I'll thank you for that first, Director Yan."
When the call ended, Zhang Ye heard Ha Qiqi and the others chatting behind him.
Ha Qiqi was all smiles as she said to the several of them, "I never knew that shooting a documentary could be so expensive. Back then, when I heard that we were given 10 million RMB for our budget, I thought that it would be impossible for us to spend it all. In the end, I couldn't have expected that if we didn't control our spending a little, we might not even have enough to last us the entire trip. Spending 10 million RMB to film a documentary? I think it's only us who try to make a documentary this way in the entire country! This is really a genuinely expensive documentary to produce!"
Tong Fu didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "That's right. There's really no one in the country who will spend so much money to shoot a documentary. Some of the 30 to 40 episode documentary series would at most cost around 2 million RMB to make, but as for us? Looking at Director Zhang's program proposal, it's only a total of 10 episodes?"
Little Wang asked, "What are your opinions about this documentary?"
Tong Fu exclaimed, "Regarding this, I don't know."
Huang Dandan coughed, "Yeah, it's indeed hard to say."
After hearing from these two staff members who were the only ones with real documentary making experience, it became clear to the several of them that those two were also in the same situation as them. After shooting for two months, they still did not understand what was so special about this documentary. They were only shooting the documentary in the traditional manner, albeit with HD video cameras, and they did not notice anything in the entire process that looked like a flash of brilliance. They just shot as much footage as they could, doing as they were told and following Zhang Ye's instructions. If Zhang Ye said they were to look for a certain type of food, they would go look and for it. Basically, they did not understand much of what they were doing at all.
Zhang Ye walked over with a smile. "What're you guys talking about? I heard everything."
Everyone suddenly felt awkward.
"Uh, we aren't talking about anything much," Tong Fu scampered to reply.
"Director Zhang, where should we go in the afternoon?" Little Wang changed the subject.
Zhang Ye said, "Whoa, you guys aren't tired?"
Little Wang smiled gleefully and said, "I'm don't feel tired. Our flight is tomorrow anyway, and we will have plenty of time to rest once we get back to Beijing."
"I agree!" Huang Dandan pumped her fist in agreement.
Ha Qiqi laughed. "The mountains and rivers here are quite scenic, but I don't think there's much of anything else to do here? Are there any local attractions in Wuyishan City? Or anything good to eat?"
Wu Yi said, "I don't know. I think it's the first time that all of us are here."
Zhang Ye suggested, "Why don't we go out in the afternoon to drink some tea?"
Little Wang clapped her hands as she mentioned, "I like drinking tea!"
"Since we're at Wuyishan City, if we don't give Da Hong Pao a try, we would really have come in vain." Zhang Ye smiled. "Of course, I'm talking about cultivar tea. We won't be able to afford to try the tea leaves that comes directly from the parent trees, and neither would they sell it to us anyway."
Ha Qiqi was stunned. "Da Hong Pao?"
Wu Yi also blinked and asked, "Cultivar tea? What cultivar?"
Little Wang was feeling puzzled. "Parent trees?"
Zhang Ye looked at them. "What? Have you all never heard of Da Hong Pao?"
How disgraceful! Aren't you all being a little too tacky! This is the noblest tea among all the famous teas!
Hearing Zhang Ye mention about this Da Hong Pao, the others all looked at each other puzzled!
Tong Fu asked with a confused expression, "What kind of tea is this Da Hong Pao?"
Scratching her head, Huang Dandan smiled embarrassed and asked, "Is there such a tea? I've never heard of it before."
"If Director Zhang says there is, then it must exist. Our limited knowledge can't compare to Director Zhang," fawned a staff member, though his eyes were filled with doubt at the same time. Da Hong Pao? Are you sure you're not referring to clothes? Is there even a tea that goes by this lousy name?!
This time, it was Zhang Ye's turn to be confused. It was understandable if one or two of them had never heard of it before, but for everyone present to have never heard of Da Hong Pao? That was somewhat inconceivable. Zhang Ye's keen sense of awareness told him that there was something wrong here, so he immediately probed further. "What about oolong tea?"
Little Wang said immediately, "I know about oolong tea. There are many types of it, but I like to drink Tieguanyin the most."
Ha Qiqi asked, "Do they have Tieguanyin here?"
"It doesn't seem like they have any exceptionally famous teas in Wuyi, right? Although it also seems like they grow tea here, their reputation and quantity aren't comparable to Suzhou's and Hangzhou's tea," Wu Yi said.
Wuyi's teas are not famous?
Fuck, are you from another planet?! The parent trees of Da Hong Pao are located right here! They sell those tea leaves by the gram in auctions! Each auction's winning bids could easily reach several hundred grand! Yet here you are telling me that there are no famous teas in Wuyi? Are you kidding me?
However, judging from everyone's expression and doubtful faces, Zhang Ye thought that he was probably the one who came from another planet instead. He was full of curiosity now. Could it be that there wasn't any Da Hong Pao on this planet? That those parent trees did not exist? But it was impossible. Even though there had been some changes in this world, there hadn't been much of a deviation from history. The more critical point was that those few old tea trees older than several hundred years should not be related to history at all! It should be an issue of geography and the mineral makeup of the location instead! In this world, Shanxi was still mining coal, Daqing still had oil fields, while Burmese jade was still as popular as ever, so there shouldn't be any changes in this area, right?
Then why did Da Hong Pao not exist here?
Or could it be that those parent trees did not actually disappear, but that the people of this world were still unaware of how precious and valuable it was?
At the thought of this, Zhang Ye's heart began thumping faster and faster as he became quite excited. The parent trees of Da Hong Pao were as good as money trees. It was the most expensive tea in the world! Moreover, nothing could even come close to its price, as it was countless times more expensive than gold was worth its weight! If only he could manage to get hold of some of the parent trees. The thought of that left him trembling in excitement!
Zhang Ye could no longer hold back his curiosity. "Let's go to the Wuyi Mountains scenic area and have a look!"
Ha Qiqi said, "Sure, I'll follow Director Zhang."
Little Wang cheered, "Oh, let's go then!"
One of the staff members was feeling tired and volunteered to remain back at the hotel to look after the equipment.
The others packed and changed. Then, together with Zhang Ye, they headed straight to the famous Wuyi Mountains scenic area.
Somewhere in the scenic area was the exact location where the Da Hong Pao parent trees grew. In Zhang Ye's previous world, this location was a prominent scenic spot called the Da Hong Pao attraction where tourists were allowed to take pictures from outside the perimeter surrounding the parent trees. Zhang Ye knew exactly where it was located!
[1. Big Red Robe Tea - ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Da_Hong_Pao]