Life, Once Again! - Chapter 275
The newest member of the lighting team was drinking his coffee while crouching down when a drop of water hitting his head made him look up.
“I think it’s gonna pour.”
During the morning, when they were shooting the street scene, the weather was perfect, but rain clouds started appearing after five o’clock, and now that it was past eight, it looked as though it was about to pour at any moment. Even the people who were watching outside the restricted zone started leaving one by one. There were people holding umbrellas as well.
“What do we do with the lights when it rains?”
The newest member asked his senior, who was smoking and drinking coffee next to him.
“Obviously, we’ll have to finish before it rains.”
“But I don’t think they plan to finish yet.”
“Then we have no choice but to get ready.”
The senior stood up after sucking on the cigarette for one last time. The newest member also followed suit. The lighting director was coming back after talking with the director.
“Hey, get the rainproofing equipment from the car.”
“God dammit, is it overtime?”
“The director is not satisfied so do you think he’ll end it here? That old sir is amazing too. He’s planning to stick with us until the end. Oh yeah, you over there. You know that we’d be doomed if the lights go out, right?”
“Yes, I do.”
“If the lamps break, we’ll get roasted as well. Look after the generator and the power supply. Let’s cover up the main light first. Also, get ready to pull out since he said we’d be pulling out if the rain starts getting unbearable.”
“Aren’t they making us do too much work?” The senior grumbled.
“Hey, they give us the money at least. Don’t complain and start working. Oh yes, you, once you’re done, then come to my side. You were interested in movie production, right?”
The youngest member brightened as he asked back,
“Can I really?”
“Just make sure you do your job properly.”
The lighting director returned to where the main camera was. The youngest member inwardly rejoiced, clenching his hands.
“Don’t you think you joined a good team? There aren’t many lighting teams that take care of their new blood. I’ve visited a few places but every single time, their new recruit just ran errands. But he’s different. He takes care of people under him.”
“I’m a lucky child, then?”
“That’s right. You’re lucky that you entered this team. Well then, let’s put on the rain covers and clean up the cables. Don’t forget to dig drain passages so that water doesn’t pool. You did this in the military, haven’t you?”
He then took out the rainproofing equipment from the car and installed them. The shooting scene became busy. The other teams were also preparing their equipment just in case it rained.
‘This is how movies are made?’
As the temperatures dropped, people started installing electric heaters for the actors. People that seemed to be managers brought towels and gave them to actors who were getting ready to act. The filming team was busy installing rainproofing equipment while the place where the director was watching the monitor had a canopy set up.
“How many times are we doing this again?”
“That was the fourteenth time.”
The script supervisor’s voice entered the youngest member’s ears. As the script supervisor was in charge of recording the progress and the order of events that occurred during filming, there was nothing more annoying than repeating each scene several times over. Even more so, because of the change in weather and the following change of equipment. The new recruit looked at the script supervisor who exchanged a few words with the director before quickly walking away. Just as he returned to the car and was cleaning the devices that got wet from the drizzle, the lighting director appeared.
“We’re changing the backlight. Get the one at the very back.”
The youngest member took out the light stand and followed the lighting director. From how the actors were standing up and starting to exercise, it seemed that the filming would resume soon.
“Over there, hold the boom mic properly!”
The person that seemed to be the sound director suddenly shouted. The person holding the boom mic flinched and adjusted the directions of the boom mic.
“Director Kim, what did you do with engineer Park, and why is a newbie holding the boom?”
“Engineer Park got a ruptured appendix. He told me he’d be joining us after the surgery and sent me that guy, but he’s not up to par.”
“Just make it so that I don’t capture some fur on my camera. It was drooping down before too. Why don’t you hold it?”
“I’m not lowering myself to hold that.”
“Quit your yapping. Director Choi Joonggeun is in a bad mood, so let’s be careful.”
“That dude gets in a bad mood on a whim though. It’s nothing new. Oi, director Choi! Stop being so angry!”
The youngest member supported the lighting director as he listened to the conversation. When he first came to the filming scene, he didn’t know what to do. People were calling each other from places, but he couldn’t understand them properly and wandered around without knowing anything to do. Sometimes, he helped out a team that wasn’t his own and was scolded because he didn’t do his own job. Though, he got used to the job now and there weren’t any more problems.
“Everyone on stand by!”
The youngest member of the production team shouted. Seeing that person checking up on the state of every actor, the lighting team member cheered for him inwardly. Let’s do our best as the youngest members of each team.
“Hey hey! It’s starting to rain.”
“Don’t let the outfits get wet!”
“Watch out for accidents!”
It started raining, but not enough to put up umbrellas. However, that only applied to people, as even that amount of rain was fatal for the equipment. As such, the filming location became more bustling. Despite that, there weren’t any big accidents thanks to all the preparations they had done before.
The youngest member of the lighting team approached the main monitor in secret with his senior. They saw that the director, the script writer, and the camera director were frowning. They were clearly giving off the unapproachable aura. They were retaking each scene many times. Seeing wrinkles on director Joonggeun’s forehead, he gulped.
Moonjoong was sitting on a bench in the streets, and on the other side were extras that would just pass by. This was the main character’s soliloquy scene. When Joonggeun signalled with his eyes, the assistant director gave the signal to the youngest member of the production team.
“Get the clapper ready.”
With the assistant director’s signal, the youngest member of the production team stood in between the camera and Moonjoong, holding a slate. He waited with the slate open. After the recorder gave him the signal, a small electrical noise sounded throughout the scene. Then, the vice-director gave him the signal.
“Three dash two dash fifteen!” He shouted with the slate.
At the same time, the camera gave off some vibration sound before turning on. He clapped the slate. He then quietly got off the scene and there was a very short period of silence. Eventually, Joonggeun, who looked at the front with a serious face, spoke.
The youngest member of the lighting team watched the filming scene without even being able to gulp in fear of making a noise. Along with the director’s shout, the extras that were standing far away started walking at a steady pace. The boom mic closed in on Moonjoong. Although there were dozens of people in the location, it was quiet to the point that the sound of rain was the loudest.
“Looks like it’s gonna pour.”
Moonjoong started his line. This was a short part of a scene, but they were doing this for the fifteenth time. Although this was the last cut of the scene, it was flabbergasting seeing how many times each scene was retaken. The obstinacy of the director could be felt strongly. The youngest member concentrated on the main monitor. As he was looking at it from an angle, there was a slight distortion, but he did manage to see the whole picture. The figure of Moonjoong in the frame closed up from a full shot to a bust shot. The youngest member concentrated on the movement of the camera. Camera movement was the basics of film direction, nay, the essence of it. It was what evaluated the director. As he was studying framing, this kind of opportunity where he could see such a thing in person was golden.
Moonjoong, who was sitting down, stood up as he picked up the waste cardboard and looked up into the sky. At that moment, the rain started thickening. His head, which was urgently dried after the previous scene, became wet in an instant and rain started covering his face. The low-brightness light faintly shone upon Moonjoong’s figure, and the camera framed Moonjoong’s face in depth. The extras just passed by and Moonjoong shook off the rain from the waste paper with a bitter smile. The rain from the sky and the droplets that Moonjoong shook off intermixed.
“It’s quite a vicious downpour.”
The youngest member of the lighting team clenched his fist. That line just now was different from the original. The script supervisor seemed to have noticed that and started checking. The assistant director was also looking at the script. Then the director?
Joonggeun was looking at the monitor without a word. It looked as though he wanted to pierce the monitor with his gaze. Moonjoong slowly walked towards the direction the extras came from. The cardboard dragged on the ground, leaving behind a long trail.
He couldn’t look more pitiful. This wasn’t a scene that was in the script. Perhaps this was agreed upon beforehand? Or was it an ad-lib on Moonjooong’s part just like his line? Then, Joonggeun gave instructions to zoom out from Moonjoong steadily, producing an effect where Moonjoong and his trail wandered off into the distance.
“Cut!” Joonggeun spoke.
His voice was different from the 14th take. It sounded like it was filled with more vitality, or perhaps, joy. As soon as he said those words, the youngest member of the production team stood in front of the camera with the slate.
He immediately clapped the slate and shouted ‘three dash two dash fifteen’. The cameras all stopped and the audio recorders became quiet as well.
The rain started thickening.
Everyone looked towards Joonggeun.
“Alright! Thanks for your work! Pull out!”
The director gave the okay. The shoot had ended.
“Hey newbie! Let’s put things away!”
The youngest member of the lighting team ran towards the lighting director. As he was running though, his focus was on the director and Moonjoong.
“Senior, why did you give me such a hard time when you could do that much better? We ended up doing fifteen takes!”
“But at least we did it. How was it?”
“It’s awesome. Not just amazing, but awesome! I’m going to use that last take for this part.”
“I liked it as well. My mind cleared up a little when I got wet.”
“I guess we can only shoot in the rain in the future. You see this part here? There’s a trail left behind by dragging the cardboard. That left a deep impression.”
“Such a thing happened? I didn’t know that.”
Moonjoong laughed heartily. The youngest member of the lighting team believed that that trail wasn’t entirely a coincidence. It was the result of trial and error. It was a treasure that they would not encounter if they ended it with a single shot.
“Hey, get working.”
The youngest member of the lighting team came to himself and lifted the tripod.
* * *
Moonjoong drank some warm drinks in the car. The warmth flowed into his body, melting both his body and mind.
“Thank you for all your hard work.”
“It wasn’t that hard.”
“Should we go?”
“Wait until I finish drinking.”
“Okay. I’ll visit the convenience store for a bit.”
The temporary manager left the car. Moonjoong closed his eyes as he listened to the droplets of rain hitting the car. The shoot ended without a hitch. Although there was a small hurdle, they at least didn’t have to leave that scene to shoot later. They were finishing off the cuts that were scheduled for that day. Although it took some time for him to get adjusted into the role since it had been such a long time he last did such a thing, he was slowly getting a grasp on things.
‘There were quite a few familiar faces too.’
Some old friends of his had grown up and were directing the scene. The one that surprised him the most was the assistant director under Joonggeun. The high school student he met when he was about to retire from the movie industry and go back to the theater was now the assistant director. The reason he remembered him despite the fact that it had been such a long time was because that boy had declared to him that he would one day meet Moonjoon on the scene. Other than that, there were many other familiar faces around, so he had fun during filming.
Camera and audio equipment were upgraded compared to before, and some parts that were usually managed by people before were now being taken care of by machines, but movies were still filmed by people. There was no difference in the fact that there was a lot of discussion, dispute, and arguments. That part was what relieved Moonjoong. It felt like finding something nostalgic so he was very thankful.
Just as he was thinking, someone lightly tapped on the window of the car. The lady, who had a leisurely smile on her face, looked to be in her late thirties, and the youth standing next to him seemed to be just over twenty.
Moonjoong scrolled down the window. As the people outside had umbrellas, rain didn’t get into the car.
“Hello, sir. I’m here to say hi. Can I have a moment of your time?”
“I don’t know who you are, but you’re welcome to.”
“Thank you. My name is Park Narim, and I’m the president of NL Company. Next to me is one of my actors, Park Sungjae, who is also appearing in this movie. Sungjae, this is sir Moonjoong.”
“Hello, sir. I’m Park Sungjae, and I’m a new actor,” the youth greeted with a clear voice.
He was a handsome youth with a good-looking face and wide shoulders.
“Hello there, nice to meet you.”
Moonjoong opened the door and left the car before offering a handshake to Sungjae. Sungjae grabbed his hand with both of his hands.
“I hope to learn a lot from you in the future.”
“Don’t forget what you just said now and do your best. I’ll be cheering for you.”
Moonjoong lightly shook hands with him with a smile.
 I’m guessing this means ‘Scene two, cut three, take fifteen’…? I’m not sure