Life, Once Again! - Chapter 650
“Get a decent-looking actor ready. Also, find out when the child actor is coming.”
That came out from the assistant director’s walkie-talkie. The walls of the buildings had turned yellow-ish now. The shoot moved on to the next scene. Geunsoo and the actress that played his wife were sitting on a café terrace. From the way their shoulders touched each other’s without making them look awkward before the shoot, they seemed to be on pretty close terms.
“Actors have it good. They get good treatment.”
The woman with glasses and the woman with freckles spoke as they looked at the café terrace. The other background actors also commented.
“Maru, do you also get that kind of treatment when you go to a shoot?”
“Someone as lowly as me would never get that treatment.”
“How about your manager? Doesn’t your manager look after you?”
“I do have a manager, but he’s in charge of all the child actors and usually moves around with Sooil a lot. The other child actors usually work without a manager.”
“Oh, there’s someone named Yoo Sooil.”
“Ah, Yoo Sooil! I know him. I saw him in a drama before. Didn’t he shoot a commercial as well?”
“He’s famous after all.”
For some time, everyone asked him about Yoo Sooil. He didn’t know anything much, so he couldn’t give them a specific answer. The people asking questions also changed topics after hearing obvious answers. They asked what being an actor was like, what they had to do, and what was hard about it. Maru replied with what he could and what he knew. He neither exaggerated nor undermined it. He only said the facts so that it could be a guideline for those looking to walk down this path. They would have to choose whether they proceeded forward or turned back.
That came from one of the staff. A car entered the parking lot and a woman walked out after the car stopped. The woman, wearing sunglasses, immediately opened the passenger seat. Maru looked at the girl getting out of the car. She was Kim Bitna, who walked boldly with a child’s face. She walked over to the terrace and sat in between Geunsoo and the actress. Geunsoo grabbed Bitna’s hand and waved it around.
“Looks like she’s that woman’s daughter.”
“She’s pretty. My daughter was cute like that when she was that age.”
Maru smiled as he listened to the grocery store man’s words. The shooting set became busy along with the arrival of Bitna. Makeup stylists all flocked to Bitna, while the director approached the three people sitting on the terrace and explained to them what they had to do.
“Looks like it’ll start soon.”
Maru stood up and did some stretches. The sun was going down. The assistant director, who had been looking at the sky for a while now, grabbed the walkie-talkie and called the director. It seemed that the sky was finally in the color they wanted. The director also looked up at the sky from the café terrace. From the way he nodded, he seemed satisfied with that as well.
Maru finished off his exercise by trilling his lips to relax his facial muscles. It wasn’t that he was going to do an emotional act in front of the camera, it was just something he did out of habit before every shoot. He also took a deep breath. The air at a shooting location would be thick and would make him pant if he didn’t breathe plentily right now. He had gotten used to that environment after shooting dramas, but it was still pretty difficult to deal with. He would probably never feel at home during a shoot until he retired.
“You’ll start from this bench.”
The assistant director walked forward. The background actors followed him and learned about their movement path. They walked past the terrace the main actors were sitting on and entered the café.
“You and you. Sit down here. We’ll bring you coffee so talk to each other naturally. Anything is fine. The camera won’t be able to catch your mouth in detail. If you don’t have anything to say, you can recite the national anthem.”
The glasses woman and the freckles woman sat at the table next to the main actors. It seemed that they were chosen because they were decent-looking college students. There were a total of three tables on the terrace, and the sleeveless took the last table. She was putting on a pose while holding a cup with a straw in it.
“We’re starting the shoot. You just have to start from the starting point and walk over once we give you the signal.”
They left the café. Along with the action sign from the director, the main actors started acting. Geunsoo, the actress, and Bitna produced a bright mood and showed what a harmonious family was like. Just as the café part timer actor came out with the drinks for the main characters, the assistant gave the signal. It was the signal to move. Maru looked at the background actors behind him before moving first. There were people who were uneasy about their movement, so he decided their path for them beforehand. Ahjussi, go past the bench, hyung, walk towards the street lamp, and noona, to the center – like that.
A dozen or so people walked past the café. Maru went inside the café and looked at the last background actor that was leaving the camera angle. Everyone moved according to their predetermined paths without making a mistake. If an extra made a mistake, they would get an earful 100% of the time. A leader with a bad personality would swear at them as well. Mistakes were only tolerable for the main actors.
The director’s loud voice could be heard. He was shaking his head as though he didn’t like this. Maru listened to the director’s voice that was coming out of the assistant director’s walkie-talkie – Assistant director, the two women at the front are too frozen up.
The assistant director approached the glasses and the freckles and said something. It seemed that he was consoling the two, telling them not to be so nervous. It seemed to be going well until the freckles stood up.
“I don’t think I can do it. I’m too nervous.”
The staff sighed and put down the equipment, which made the freckles turn pale. Unlike the glasses, who had an interest in acting, freckles just came here following a friend. It was hard to receive gazes from over fifty people including the staff and the onlookers. To someone without immunity, attention was nothing more than a net that strangled them.
The assistant director tried to calm her down to no avail. The leader, who was watching from the side, also stepped up. The leader sent away freckles and walked over to the director. Maru observed the situation before approaching freckles.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I think I’m okay now. But before, I thought I was dying.”
Freckles sighed in relief. Glasses also approached and patted her on the back.
“Uhm, who is Han Maru?”
That was the assistant director with the walkie-talkie. Maru raised his hand.
“The director’s looking for you.”
When he left the café, he saw the director standing right in front of him.
“Maru, can you replace that woman from before? We don’t have any decent faces around right now.”
“Okay, I can do that. I don’t have to do anything specific, right?”
“No. You just need to sit down and have a chat. If possible, try to get the woman sitting in front of you to relax.”
Just as he was about to return to the café after nodding, the leader spoke out in a loud voice.
“Director Lee, I said we can just pull her forward. She won’t make a mistake now, you know?”
“Leader, she has a very strong face. It’ll be captured by the camera all the time, and it doesn’t look good.”
“But the young ones are all pretty and fashionable these days, you know? And it will look more realistic as well.”
“Director Lee, don’t say that and just try her out once. I’m not saying this because she’s the daughter of a friend of mine, but because she really has the skill. She had the power to attract attention.”
“Yes, I get that the lady over there has a character. But just like you said, she attracts attention. An extra should look like an extra. Look at that.”
The director pointed at sleeveless who was sitting at a table on the terrace. As soon as she realized that the director was looking at her, she crossed her legs and leaned back before making a drowsy face. Maru couldn’t tell whether she was trying to boast her feminine beauty or was acting, but it was clear that she wanted attention.
“She might look like that right now, but she’ll change dramatically once the shoot begins.”
“I don’t believe in actors who say ‘they’ll switch modes once they start the shoot’. Do you think actors that get into the emotion before the shoot do that because they have nothing better to do?”
The director had raised his voice a little. It seemed that the frustration and anger he had suppressed with a cap known as ‘relationship’ had reached the limits of the cap. The leader immediately stopped telling him about using sleeveless as a better character and accepted. He probably noticed that probing the director out further would result in losses. The leader scanned Maru from top to bottom before walking away from the monitor.
“He’s rather consistent.”
“He doesn’t have a bad personality, but he covers for the people he considers his own a little too much. I really want to flip everything over when he acts like that from time to time, but he never crosses the line. His ability to not cross the line just by a hair’s breadth is so precise.”
Maru was reminded of the leader’s eyes. He had a look at the café. The leader was talking to sleeveless. When sleeveless tilted her head in dissatisfaction, the leader quickly combed his rather spare hair sideways. It seemed that he was embarrassed that he wasn’t able to show his friend’s daughter his own abilities.
“Should I go up just like this?”
“Should we comb your hair backwards? To make you look older, I mean.”
When he went to the café terrace and sat down, a woman holding makeup tools approached him and touched up his face and hair. While undergoing makeup, Maru felt a prickly gaze, and it was from the leader and sleeveless.
“Are you the one?”
“Yes. The director told me that he doesn’t care even if it’s a couple.”
Glasses, who was sitting in front of him, smiled faintly before sighing. It wasn’t that she was at leisure, she just liked the fact that she could be in front of the camera. She was talking naturally while holding the coffee cup before, but right now, she sat upright and looked clearly stiff. It seemed that the absence of her friend had brought out her nervousness.
“Why am I so nervous all of a sudden…?”
Glasses kept blinking endlessly. Her eyes were looking towards her friend, freckles, in a nervous manner. Unease exuded from her eyes. Maru tapped on the table to get her attention.
“Do you know how many dwarves lived with Snow White?”
“Why do you ask so suddenly?”
“No particular reason. How many were there?”
“Isn’t it seven?”
“Correct. Then what was the material of the magical carriage that took Cinderella to the ball?”
“A pumpkin of course. Why are you asking such a thing?”
Just as glasses was becoming curious, Maru saw the background actors start to move. Following that, they got a sign from the assistant director.
And roll – Following that, the slate could be heard as well. The only remaining one was the director’s action call. Glasses’ lips trembled. 1, 2, 3, action – as soon as that came out, Maru grabbed the cup with his hand.
“Noona, do what I do.”
“For now, try grabbing the cup like this.”
“C-can we talk like this? The camera’s rolling now, isn’t it? It will be an NG if our voice gets captured, and that….”
“It’s fine. Go on.”
Behind glasses were the main cast, who were acting. As soon as she heard a voice from behind, glasses tried to look back with a stiff expression.
“Noona, look at me.”
Maru estimated the location of the camera and turned around slightly so that his expression wouldn’t be captured. Then he stretched out the part below his nose and widened his eyes.
“I look like a monkey, don’t I?”
Glasses looked at him with absurdity before laughing with her mouth covered as though she was coughing. What are you doing – while she was saying that, her eyes were drawing a curve.
“The camera might see you.”
“It can’t. According to the layout right now, it’s shooting my shoulder, so your face won’t appear in it either, you know?”
“Really? Did it just go past us?”
“Of course. Did you think that the camera would be shooting you all the time? Aren’t you a little too full of yourself?”
“We’re pretty close to the main actors, so I thought I was in it for sure.”
“Honestly speaking, your face doesn’t look that good, so they can’t afford to shoot you for a long time.”
“Hey, what’s wrong with my face? I’m not too shabby.”
“And where’s that confidence coming from?”
“I look pretty decent, don’t I?” glasses said as she raised her chin a little.
Maru smiled. At the same time, an ‘okay’ could be heard from afar.
“What the heck? Is it done, just like that?”
“Yes, it’s over. Well done. Your expression was really good.”
Maru heaved out a heavy breath before stretching his arms out. If she stayed frozen in front of the camera, the director would have shouted cut instead. It was rather fortunate that they finished without a hitch, but Maru thought that she just barely made it. Freckles walked over and complimented the two, saying that the two looked great. Just as Maru was looking at glasses, who looked confused, Maru saw Bitna, who was walking over to him.
“Hi, Bitna. How have you been?”
“You were good at acting back there. I should learn a thing or two from you.”
Bitna bowed as though she learned that she should thank people if she was complimented. Maybe this was why people said that daughters were great. When he looked at Bitna, who looked at him with round eyes, Maru was reminded of her sister. He wondered if she was doing well and whether she got rid of the problem she had. Just as he was about to ask, everyone was told that they should eat. It was time for dinner.