Life, Once Again! - Chapter 299
The air was refreshing. It seemed that the air conditioner was doing its job in a place unknown to them. To the left and right of the entrance were stairs to the 2nd and 3rd floors, and in front was a glass door with ‘Passion’ written on it in big letters. Through the glass door, Maru saw some people who were busily preparing for the shoot. Some students could be seen playing with a volleyball as well. It didn’t seem like they were in class though. They seemed to be here to help the drama out.
“Students, please wait.”
The producer that was shouting at the staff spoke to the students with a smile. He was a kind(?) man to people that weren’t his subordinates.
The students, while they followed the instructions, still shouted at the main actors of the drama who were practicing to look over to their side. When some of the actors waved at them, cheers loud enough to fill the entire gym erupted out.
“Sorry about that! Please wait a little more.”
“Woomin-oppa! I love you!”
“Oppa, you’re so adorable!”
Maru had a look at the girls that were screeching on the 2nd floor balcony. Isn’t that dangerous? The teachers had to move in order to stop a girl from falling over the rails. The girls gave glimpses to the actors in the court even as they were being scolded by the teachers. It seemed that they really liked the actors.
While the actors did a rehearsal in the basketball court on the right of the first floor, the supplementary actors started waiting again. During that wait, some of the students approached them. It seemed that they were curious about the identity of the people sitting here.
“What are you doing?”
“Are you going to appear in the drama?”
“For a very brief moment, I guess.”
The girls did not stay for long. They seemed to have lost interest and went back to their group.
“It’s been more than an hour since we’ve arrived, but we haven’t even started.”
People looked at the main set that was still undergoing preparation with boredom. Maru left the group for a moment because he got a call.
-How’s it going?
“I’m waiting just like you said.”
-I knew it. Oh, I have to visit the company because of work, so call me if you need me.
“Don’t worry about me and do what you need to do. I can just take the bus home.”
-I can’t do that, I’m your manager after all.
“That will be more comfortable for both of us. Get some proper food if you have time left over after your business. I’ll take the bus, no, I’ll take the taxi home. I’ll probably be paid a transit fee if I submit the receipt.”
-Hey, you’re quite knowledgeable about that. You’re not the type to lose out even if you end up working in a company.
“Yes, I hate having to make unnecessary losses. Anyway, you can do your business as usual. I think I’ll have to wait a little longer.”
-Alright, do your best. Oh yeah. Apparently, the producer there is acquainted with director Choi Joonggeun. And the reason you got in it was also thanks to director Choi’s suggestion.
That was rather unexpected. He naturally thought that it was Junmin who had put him in here. He remembered Joonggeun’s face, who he had seen a month ago at the movie set. Did he see Maru in a positive light? Or perhaps there was some other reason? After thinking about it a little, Maru made a faint smile. He was just a supplementary actor. Why would there be a reason at all? He probably just uttered his name at random when he was asked for a suggestion. Hanging up, Maru smiled at the leader who was glaring at him before returning to the group.
“Okay then. We’re starting the shoot. Let’s do everything in a single shot!”
The students that were watching were placed around the perimeter of the basketball court. Some cheered out loud, while some just chatted with each other. What the producer wanted was for it to be as natural as possible.
The camera started rolling and the actors started their bit. A tall actor dribbled the ball as he charged towards the opponent’s area before doing a lay-up shoot. The ball left his hands and hit the backboard once before going right for the ring, but it was unfortunately deflected away.
“Good, good. One more time. Let’s just do that one more time.”
The producer gave out instructions again and people started cheering. The students seemed to like the fact that they were doing something other than studying in class, so they cheered loudly despite the fact that they were doing the same scene again. This time, the shot went in. From the posture of the one that threw the ball, it seemed that that actor played basketball on a frequent basis.
“Good. Next, Lee Jin and Yu-ri. Badminton scene.”
From how there weren’t any lines for consecutive scenes, it didn’t seem like an important part. It was probably just shooting ‘ordinary’ scenes that went in between the important bits. This time, the boys started cheering out loud.
“They’re quite small. They looked tall on TV too.”
“Most idols are small. But they look tall on screen because of their proportions.”
The only joy for the supplementary actors was chatting since they had nothing to do but wait. There were quite a few others who had experience doing this part time job other than the aspiring actor, so they spent their time listening to those people.
“It would have been better if we saw them somewhere else…,” one person sighed as he spoke.
Although there was a celebrity right in front of them, they were people that lived in a completely different world than them. Just like how watching the lions at the zoo several times would make one indifferent to lions, watching celebrities like this for a long time made them feel indifferent. Moreover, they were here not to watch, but to earn money. Their waiting time was getting delayed indefinitely while the leader was looking down on them. They couldn’t be like the students and be happy that they were watching celebrities.
“Cut! Next scene.”
The shoot progressed quite quickly. The pace was definitely different to that of a movie shoot. Perhaps it was because there were no lines for now, but it seemed like they weren’t taking second shots for the scenes that made the cut. People started moving the equipment. After even the heavy sounding equipment was moved, the leader gave them a signal.
“Look here. The students will split into two sides and start fighting in this scene. There’s no fancy action or something like that, so don’t get nervous. Here, from you to you, you are team A, and the rest will be team B.”
At that moment, the woman with the red cone appeared.
“Who is Han Maru?”
Maru raised his right hand. The woman gestured for him to come.
“Why are you here? We were looking for you.”
“Because I was supposed to be a supplementary actor.”
“You’re right, but not right. You know what your role is, right?”
“Yes. The one getting hit.”
The woman nodded before telling the leader that she’ll be borrowing him for a moment. He followed the woman to the corner of the gym.
“Consider it breaktime and just sit down at ease. You just need to start looking at the actors worriedly once they start fighting.”
“Do we have to say things like ‘what do we do?’?”
“Saying things like ‘what do we do’ and ‘shouldn’t we call the teachers’ are good if you can say them.”
The producer briefed the students and the actors were going over the scene next to him. It seemed like the scene was about punching and dodging.
“I told you that’s not it. Look closely. The camera will shoot from your right side. What does that mean, then? It means that your right side will be on the frame, right? If you grab the opponent’s collar and swing your fist like this, the camera will catch that you’re not doing it for real.”
A man with a sharp chin explained to the two actors. He was frowning as he didn’t seem to like the acting of the two actors.
“Let me show you again. Exaggerate your movements. You don’t have to grab tightly, but if you swing your arm awkwardly, it will look terrible. Also, don’t just use your arm. Use your waist as well. Only then do the viewers realize that there’s power behind that punch. Here, look at me.”
A straight jab brushed past one of the actor’s nose. Maru, who was watching from the back, felt as though the punch went straight into the face. It was completely different from the idol boy’s punch from before.
The man didn’t look satisfied, but he didn’t frown at the actors for long. After a deep sigh, he encouraged them that they should try again.
“Director Kim. He’s the one getting hit.”
The woman introduced Maru. Maru slightly nodded in greeting.
“For now, you two can go over that scene by yourselves. Both of you are talented, so you should be able to understand what I mean with a bit of practice. Since you’re doing this, you must appear cool on TV, don’t you think?”
Director Kim turned around after speaking. He walked two steps towards Maru before scanning him from top to bottom.
“Phew. Your work today is for you to get hit by the punch from that guy over there. The producer will tell you the details during the rehearsal.”
“What exactly do I need to do?”
Maru asked director Kim who had a similar stature to him. Since he wasn’t here to fool around, he had to work properly. To do his work properly, he had to know what he was doing. Director Kim’s explanation wasn’t enough for him, so he had to ask again.
“You have to pretend to get hit.”
“Where do I get hit?”
“On the face. You’ll get hit by a backhand while you try to pull him back from fighting.”
“A backspin blow, huh?”
“Haha, you can call it that, too, I guess.”
Director Kim’s eyes were following the two actors that were practicing. Although they were better than before, they were still too careful. Director Kim didn’t seem to like their punches at all.
“It’s not like an action scene can be created in ten minutes,” director Kim muttered to himself.
Maru could read an expression of disappointment from him.
He was aware of how stuntmen were treated in the movie industry. They put on the masks of actors and do the action in their stead, but people did not call them ‘actors’. They were classified as ‘staff’. And the words that director Kim said just now was enough for Maru to tell how much the producer disdained such action scenes.
“The rehearsal is going to start in ten minutes. Please rest until then.”
The woman with the red cone shouted. Actors rested with other actors, while the staff rested with other staff members.
“I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to do the explanation now because we’re running out of time.”
Director Kim nodded once before telling Maru to try grabbing his arm. Maru grabbed his arm with both of his hands just like he said.
“It will be the same in the rehearsal. If that kid does what he learned, then he’ll move like this.”
Director Kim pulled on his arm forward violently. Maru wasn’t putting strength into his arms, so his body was pulled forward. When he regained balance and started resisting, director Kim shook off his arm again. As he wasn’t told what he was supposed to do, Maru lowered his center of gravity and pulled his arm downwards as he pushed himself against director Kim. It was a clinching move from boxing.
‘When am I supposed to get hit?’
He looked at the director with that question in his mind.
“Hey, do you do sports?”
“Yes. I did some boxing thanks to my father.”
Director Kim looked visibly brighter than before. It seemed that the fact that Maru had experience boxing was quite good for him. He even put his arm around Maru’s like he found a comrade.
“You have a good posture. Your father must like sports, huh?”
“Yes. He was a boxer when he was young. Though, he never debuted as a pro.”
“Boxing, huh. Boxing’s good. Although there aren’t many matches these days because it’s declining in popularity, boxing used to be the thing in my days.”
Director Kim started weaving on the spot. He was like a child who found a treasure.
“Hey, are you afraid of punches?”
“I’m more afraid of money than punches.”
“Now, you know something. This will be easy. I tried to shake you off twice, right?”
“Endure the first one, and get hit on the second. I’ll tell you which way you should turn your face when we do the rehearsal so don’t worry about that.”
Just as Maru nodded and said that he understood, a fist flew at his face. Although it was a sudden punch, Maru was able to react. He raised both of his arms to put his guard on and twisted his body sideways to block the punch with his shoulder. The punch stopped just before it hit.
“Looks like you did learn boxing.”
Director Kim smiled and opened his fist before patting his shoulder. Maru also loosened his posture and smiled back.
“Alright. Rehearsal is starting.”
After a moment’s rest, rehearsal began immediately. Director Kim stood in front of the two actors that were going over their fight scene. The supplementary actors participated this time. This was the crowd scene where they try to hold back the two main characters from fighting. Students were placed on the outer perimeter, and actors were located on the inside where the actual fight was going to happen.
“Look here. You two are friends that don’t like each other that much. A quarrel during class escalated and a fight is triggered when you see this guy trying to make a move on the girl you like. Alright? A tense atmosphere forms and you two start fighting. Well then. Our actresses should watch the fight anxiously, and the two of you grab each other’s collars and glare at each other. Alright?”
After he told the main actors what they needed to do, he started explaining to the supplementary actors. After finishing his explanation, the producer called the two main characters as well as Maru.
“Hey, grab his arm here. And Woomin, try to shake his arm off fiercely.”
The two then did what director Kim told them to do. Maru was supposed to hold the arm back once and get hit on the second shake. He tried rehearsing the action with the actor, Woomin. He was rather awkward at hitting as he seemed to be afraid of hitting someone else’s face.
“Uhm, it’s fine if I get hit, so do it with all your might. I’ll just dodge if I think it’s dangerous,” Maru told Woomin.
“Will it really be alright?”
“Yes. It’s fine.”
“Okay, then I’ll try.”
The producer raised his hand and told everyone that the shoot was going to begin.
Maru stretched his neck out sideways before standing in position.