Life, Once Again! - Chapter 703
“Apparently, Kang Giwoo is shooting a movie,” said Seong Dongho.
He enviously looked at Giwoo who was talking to the director.
“Good for him.”
“From what I hear, he has a pretty significant role. Maybe it’s the winner takes all in acting too after all. I don’t think my acting skills are that bad.”
“You should keep trying. Maybe you’ll do well someday.”
“Why does that make me feel worse when you say that? It’s because you got a main character role in a drama, huh? Is that why you’re doing this to me?”
“Dongho, you should have a good heart because only then will fortune come to you.”
Maru patted Dongho on the shoulders before walking over to the assistant director.
New Semester had been getting good ratings with the young romance between Kang Giwoo and Ahn Yeseul, but it had now changed lanes and abandoned the sweetness. Signs started showing up a few episodes ago, and it was going to get even more serious from this episode onwards.
Producer Park Hoon, who was talking to the camera director, walked over. Kang Giwoo and Ahn Yeseul were with him.
“As you know from the script, there will be a lot of detailed emotional expressions from this episode onwards. I’m going to give you as much advice as I can, but things will change depending on how much preparation you’ve done. Giwoo, Yeseul, you two especially should try hard. Just from the script, it’s obvious that the writer has a lot to ask from you,” said producer Park Hoon with a serious face before they started the rehearsal.
What New Semester ultimately aimed to do wasn’t school romance; it was to reflect the ecosystem known as a school in both the dramatic and ordinary aspects. Just as writer Lee Hanmi said openly, New Semester had brought social problems as well as the conflict between the student and the adults in order to escape that cheerful image of youth dramas. This episode was going to be a concentration of all those elements.
“We’re going to be zooming in on you a lot. Until now, we tried covering things up by going with a full shot if your emotional acting was not up to par, but it’ll be hard to do that anymore. If you don’t want to get caught up in acting skill issues, you will have to do your best,” Park Hoon said in a cold manner.
The camera was installed in place. After looking at the boom mic above his head, Maru took a deep breath. Today, he only had one scene, and it was a conversation with Giwoo. He had a line that was more than three sentences after not having one for a long time. Above all, he started his shoot first. He didn’t need to wait, and he would get to leave after this shot.
“I heard Dongho say that you’re shooting a movie. Congratulations,” he said to Giwoo.
Although they couldn’t be said to have a good relationship, he wanted to congratulate him as a coworker at least. Giwoo looked back at him with complex eyes. His trademark smile was gone without a trace.
“I’m just congratulating you. I don’t have any other intentions.”
“What the hell happened to you?”
“I said nothing. Oh, yeah. You aren’t up to that childish stuff too, these days, are you?”
“I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”
“Yeah, who am I to say anything? But let’s not bully people who have it hard. It’s all karma you know? If you don’t want to get into big trouble later, you should do some good deeds too.”
“If you’re trying to pick a fight with me, why don’t you do it after the shoot? Or are you coming at me openly? Are you underestimating me that much? You just won against me once. If you’re trying to use that to put me below you….”
Maru shook his hand. Giwoo became quiet.
“You went too far there. That’s a bad habit of yours.”
Giwoo, who was glaring at him, eventually just sighed. It seemed that he also thought that he was acting too sensitively.
That signaled work time. Maru tapped on his cheeks before calming down his emotions. Giwoo also put away that arrogant smile of his and loosened his lips.
He looked at Giwoo while thinking about the line in his head.
“Are you worried about something lately? Why do you look so gloomy?”
Giwoo sighed very softly.
“Lee Chan, I should go to a factory and not to school if I want to earn money, right?”
“What do you mean by that so suddenly? You need money?”
“The thing is… nah, it’s nothing.”
Giwoo turned around and walked over to the end of the corridor. Maru looked at his back without relaxing his emotions until the very end. When Giwoo turned at the end of the corridor and left his vision, Park Hoon shouted cut.
“Good. We’ll flip around and do it again. Keep your emotions together.”
The lights, the camera, and the staff all moved. The camera was pointing at the side of Giwoo’s face this time. Maru relaxed his shoulders. His face wouldn’t show up in this cut. Only his body and his shoulder would appear like a background object.
“Maru, say the same line just like before. And Giwoo, we’re going to do a tight shot now. Watch out for your expression. Also, I see something on Giwoo’s lip. Let’s quickly take care of that before we start.”
The make-up artist touched up Giwoo’s face.
-I’m a little bored, so why don’t you let me?
The masked man spoke to Maru after staying quiet. He looked like he felt restless whenever he was at the set. Maru told him to stay still before doing the same shoot with the same line. The director shook his head and shouted cut. It seemed as though he didn’t like Giwoo’s face from what he saw when he looked at the monitor.
“Giwoo. I said that’s the wrong expression. Giving up education, something that a student naturally receives, and choosing to work over that is something very frustrating and scary. Even though the Kang Giwoo in the drama might be someone who’s just and cheerful, he can’t stay calm in the face of a gloomy situation like this. You should know that from interpreting the script, right?”
“I’m sorry. I’ll do it properly this time.”
“I know that it’s difficult. That’s why I told you that I will be giving you a lot of advice even though I haven’t been interfering with you that much until recently. You’re going to have to watch out for the minor details. Even the most minute details will be captured by the camera.”
Park Hoon looked at the monitor in displeasure. He looked like he was on edge as well. Perhaps the change in the drama exhausted the director as well.
Maru nodded towards Suyeon who was smiling brightly behind the camera. He had to greet her first because she would make her way over and talk to him if he didn’t do so.
“Let’s do that again.”
The shoot resumed. As though to prove that he didn’t win the spot of the lead male for nothing, Giwoo managed to get an okay from the director the second time.
They spent 3 hours shooting that short conversation in the corridor. Just like how the director’s expectations had gotten higher, the waiting time for New Semester would get even longer in the future.
The staff cleaned up the equipment and moved towards the classroom. Usually, producer Park Hoon would rest for about five minutes before going over to the next scene, but he seemed to have thought that they were short on time as he started decreasing breaks. Quickly, quickly – the line frequently heard in South Korea could be heard from all around.
“Han Maru, wait a bit.”
Park Hoon waved at him. Maru folded his script and approached him.
“How is it going with the other drama?”
“For now, there are no problems. I’m not sure if I’m doing well or not. While I’m doing my best, I’ll have to see the results to be sure.”
“There you are, acting modestly again. You’re done shooting for the day right?”
“Do you have anything else to do?”
“I need to go over to the other set later.”
“Really? I guess you’ve become a busy person now.”
“No, it just happened to overlap. Oh, was there something you wanted to talk about with me?”
“Rather than something to say, there’s a line I want you to read.”
The assistant director approached them and said that the setup would be done in 10 minutes. Park Hoon replied to him before pointing at the end of the corridor as he looked at Maru. After going there, Maru received a phone from Park Hoon.
“Can you say the stage directions and the line shown there? With your emotions too.”
Maru looked at the phone screen. He gave a cursory glance at the stage direction and the lines before giving the phone back.
“What, you can’t?”
“Oh, I just memorized it all.”
“All of that?”
“You want me to read it out loud for you?”
Park Hoon smiled and shook his head.
“Can I ask why you are having me do this?”
“I’ll just say that it’s a simple audition. There’s no big meaning.”
Just then, the assistant director called for the director from afar. Park Hoon raised his hand instead of replying.
“I’m just trying to get a feel, so you don’t need to put in too much effort. You just have to show me an image. Just show me the things that came to your mind first after seeing that.”
Park Hoon seemed to be in a hurry. Maru decided to hold off on asking for explanations until later and got his emotions together. The text on the phone was pretty provocative.
– Chulsoo looked at his sister. For a long time, he stared at her as though he was dissecting her with his eyes before he groaned.
“You… aren’t my sister, are you?”
The moment he dissolved his emotions into that line, Maru felt a sense of thirst. His emotions naturally dissolved into the line. As this was practically improvisation, he couldn’t really show any depth. He just stayed true to the text.
“Where’s my sister! Where is she! Tell me!”
A rather agitated voice popped out of his mouth. The raw, unrefined emotions shook his body and the space around it. Maru shouted into the emptiness. Unease, nervousness, and rage. Unrefined emotions surged and took away the unity in his acting. It was something that left room to be desired, but it was also something he couldn’t do anything about because of the conditions given to him. There was a limit to acting without knowing what the situation the character was in, his emotions, or the circumstances of the event.
Maru calmed his breath and his shaking lips. He finished off by dragging the fragments of rage that touched his brain inward. He lost focus and when his vision became full again, he saw people staring at him from the other side of the corridor. Maru made an apologetic expression before bowing.
“Is that how it goes?”
“It suits you much better than I expected. I also like how it tingles my back. Good, it’s good.”
Park Hoon smiled and told him to go. Maru returned to where Seong Dongho and Lee Joomin were, still with questions.
“What was that?”
“I’m not sure either. The director just had me say some lines.”
“I thought you were fighting or something.”
“I don’t have the guts to do that.”
The assistant director called for the actors. Maru waved his hand at the two people who started to move.
“Are you done?”
Suyeon talked to him just before he was about to walk down the stairs.
“Good for you, it ended early.”
“I have another shoot to attend to.”
“Really? I guess I can’t hold a busy person back for long. You can go now.”
“Good luck with work too, noonim.”
While waving, Suyeon spoke after she looked like she thought of something,
“I heard that the acting club got the grand prize.”
“Yes. Did you hear the news?”
“Unfortunately, I got the news from Miso-unni. You guys were once my students too. How could you not give me a single call?”
“You’re a popular actress, so it’s kinda hard to call you.”
“It’s not that you didn’t care about me? That unni, you should’ve seen how proud she acted in front of me. I wanted to give her a beating.”
“Then just come again next year and get the grand prize then. If you do that, it’ll be a tie.”
“But you would have graduated by next year, won’t you? That’s no fun. Facing little kids is only good as an experience. Anything more than that would be boring.”
“Don’t say that and make a visit later. Everyone will love it. A lot of them want to see you again. The 1st year students will probably freak out though. It’s Kim Suyeon in person after all.”
“What’s up with you? You’re saying something nice for once. Did you do something wrong to me? Or maybe you want me to do something for you?”
“I’m not that bad of a kid. Anyway, noonim, good luck with work. Treat me to some food later. What good is eating out of the same food pot? You should treat people from time to time.”
Maru waved at Suyeon who looked at him with weird eyes. He left through the school gates and took another few steps before looking back at the school.
“It does feel rather unfamiliar.”
He started becoming conscious of the fact that his attitude towards the people around him had changed. Something different from before had become distinct. Was he heading in a good direction? Or was he heading down a path of no return?
For now, he had no way of knowing.
“Yes, hyung. I just finished. You can take your time. I’ll be reading my script in the nearby café. Okay then, see you later.”
Maru called Byungchan before starting to walk.