Life, Once Again! - Chapter 824
People rushed over, held out their phones towards the actor standing in front of the screen, and kept hitting the shutter button. The artificial shutter noise even buried people’s voices. Amidst the ear-piercing noise, Daemyung looked at the screen that had turned white. 30 minutes ago, the story that he had written was brought to life on that screen. His thoughts became words, and his words became a video. Now that he actually showed it off in public, he couldn’t stay calm. From the moment the lights turned off, he clutched his hands as though to pray. He felt like he was sitting there without clothes on. After the film began, he was more concerned about the reactions of the audience than the screen itself. He felt a sense of guilt when he saw a guy two seats in front of him take out a phone and start playing games, but he sighed in relief when he saw the person to the right side exclaim and nod. When the film ended, he almost ended up going up to that person and thanking them.
“I’m so tired.”
“Why are you tired when all you did was watch a film?”
“Maybe it’s because I was too focused on everything besides the film.”
Aram had a look at Daemyung’s face before leaving, saying that she was going to buy some drinks. She didn’t forget to snatch Bangjoo by the arm as she left.
“Congratulations, writer. It’s your first successful piece.”
Sora had left the stage.
“Aren’t you supposed to be on stage?”
“Everyone’s taking photos with Sooil-oppa. I thought I’d be a nuisance if I stayed there. Maru-seonbae is taking photos for the audience with a smile.”
Maru was lining people up while joking around with them.
“If it had been me, I would’ve left because it would hurt my pride.”
“He’s not the type of guy to concern himself with that.”
“I wish he would. They’re both actors, aren’t they?”
Sora looked at the stage for a while before gesturing at him to leave behind a commemorative photo. They took a photo together with the people flocking in front of the screen as the background.
“It’s going to take quite a while if all of those people want to take photos.”
“Don’t you think it’ll take at least 30 minutes?”
“I think it’ll take more because word has already spread throughout the cinema. Although members of the staff are controlling them, it doesn’t seem like there will be an end in sight if he keeps staying here. I should go ask him when he’s going to leave. We should decide on the time to leave so that we can have the afterparty.”
“We’re going to hold one in Maru-seonbae’s house. We already have everything ready, so all we need to do is to go and drink to our heart’s content. When is Jiyoon-seonbae getting off work?”
“Six at the earliest; seven if she’s late.”
“I guess we should just tell her to come after.”
It seemed that she had already come up with plans. Daemyung placed his two hands on the backrest before looking down at the stage. He could no longer remember the suffering he went through when he was looking down at a piece of blank paper with a pen in hand. Only a sense of accomplishment from having done something together with other people swept him away. It finally felt real to him that his first work had ended. He felt thankful for everything, whether it was the solitary time he had during writing or the shoot he did with everyone.
“Thanks for being in charge of the production. I wouldn’t have been able to make one like that.”
“But of course. Anyone else wouldn’t have done it as well as I have. But if the writing wasn’t good, I wouldn’t have been able to make such a good product. Good work, seonbae. If you write anything else good, please give it to me again. I’ll definitely make the time to shoot it. At that time, let’s try using expensive actors. I had a taste of the Yoo Sooil effect, and I don’t think I can make do with ordinary actors.”
Sora’s eyes were filled with greed as she looked at Sooil on the stage. She seemed to be planning a method to coax him again next time. Sooil would probably have a hard time because he just caught the eyes of a greedy producer. Daemyung said that such a thing wouldn’t happen but still hoped for her to come up with a good plan.
“Are you director Kang Sora?”
A man’s voice interrupted him while he was imagining shooting with multiple famous actors and Maru. Daemyung looked at the man standing in front of Sora. He was wearing gold-rimmed glasses without a lens, a Hawaiian shirt, and a pair of red slippers. Sora first said hello to the middle-aged man with an exotic sense of fashion.
“Yes. I am Kang Sora.”
“You look much younger than when I saw you from afar. Are you still in college?”
“I’m taking a break. I don’t really plan to go back, though. Anyway, what brings you to me?”
“I liked the film quite a lot, so I came to have a talk with the director. I didn’t have the courage to go up to you when you were at the front because of so many people, but thankfully, you came down like this.”
The man’s actions and words were quite cheerful. It probably wasn’t just his clothes that made him look younger than he actually was. Daemyung tried to step away in order to give them more space.
“Hold on. I heard the director introduce you as the writer. Are you the writer who wrote the script for the film?”
“Yes, I did write it.”
“Then let’s have a talk as well. I liked the production style, and I was also rather interested in the lines. Or do you have to attend to something else?”
“No, if it’s about this, we can talk about it any time,” Sora said.
This guest was rather unexpected since the attention of the entire audience was on the actor. Daemyung waited for the man to speak.
“First, allow me to ask the director. What is it that you expected from those two actors?”
“What I expected, huh. Honestly speaking, I wanted the acting skills and fame from Mr. Yoo Sooil and just acting skills from Mr. Han Maru. I mean, how many times would I be able to use actors like them in a low-budget film? Especially since neither I nor the writer has made a name for ourselves.”
“I guess you got that name value at least. You got so many people watching it.”
“He’s a guaranteed success ticket after all.”
“What was the hardest scene to shoot? From the way I see it, I think it should be the last scene, where they talk under the streetlamp.”
“That’s right. It was quite a still scene, so there was no room to use dramatic effects, and I had to rely entirely on the actors. I thought about splitting the cuts up into little bits and then editing them later but then I thought that changing the angle several times was no good, so I just faced the camera to their front and did a long take.”
“The actors must have worked hard then.”
“Had it been anyone else, the shoot might have taken longer. It was fortunate that the road didn’t have any cars. If there were people nearby and even cars, I would’ve given up on shooting in that place.”
“I also like how you can see the river behind the streetlamp. What kind of intent did you have by putting the river in?”
“Finding that location was a complete coincidence. In the storyboard, all we had was a streetlamp and a bench beneath it. It was a complete stroke of luck that we found that place. I really liked how the light from the streetlamp touched the dark surface of the river. That was probably the luckiest moment throughout this whole shoot.”
“That feeling of ecstasy when you find a good place to enhance your story is quite indescribable. I know.”
“My words exactly. You know your stuff. Do you have an interest in this field?”
“Not a lot. I just happened to get into it. If I may ask one more thing, what did you find the most disappointing while shooting with the two actors?”
“There was nothing I was disappointed about with regards to the two actors themselves. They are both exceptional after all. They might look lacking in other people’s eyes, but within my scope of work, they were utter perfection. If another pair of actors acted the same characters, they wouldn’t have looked as perfect.”
“Your faith in them is pretty high.”
“They are actors who chose to feature in the film I’m directing. Don’t you think it’s a bigger problem if the director doesn’t fully trust the actors?”
“Many directors tend to say that. Trust the actors and leave them to work by themselves. I think it’s right to an extent. Though, it goes against my ways.”
“Your ways? Are you also a film director?”
“I do it as a hobby of sorts. Though, I don’t know how long I’ll last.”
“You’re just like me then.”
“You’re still pretty young, so I’m sure you’ll create many great pieces in the future. I’ll look forward to it. It’s a great thing to find new pieces worth watching.”
The man reached his hand out and Sora grabbed it. There was a brief tug of war between them. Daemyung smiled awkwardly at the man who turned around to look at him this time. He didn’t have the confidence to speak as fluidly as Sora did. Even if this man asked about the writing, he doubted he could say more than a few words. When he was writing, he thought about all sorts of things to the point that he felt dizzy, but whenever the pen left his hand, his head entered a state of zero gravity. All the words would just start floating in the air and then disappear into nooks and crannies. It was impossible to find the right words and combine them to speak properly. There were no ingredients after all.
“You’re very good at writing vivid words. It was really good. I didn’t see many participating pieces with good dialogue this time. The beginning was the best among them all. Honestly speaking, the plot itself was rather bland. I’m not saying it in a bad way. I’m just saying that it’s been used quite a lot, and so it wouldn’t be easy to find something new from that kind of plot. Since it’s a short film, the things you could talk about had to be limited, too. From just the storyline, I thought that the film would be rather unchallenging and quite boring, but I changed my mind after watching it. The lines were alive, so it was good to both my ears and my eyes. There are times when people get greedy for the first line. They look for cool – but now dead – words. I was really satisfied because I couldn’t see any of that at the beginning. I thought that it had to be the work of a veteran; I didn’t know you would be so young.”
Daemyung was at a loss for words because of the continued praise. His face felt quite hot because this man pointed out all the good points about his writing. It was true that he resolved to write lines that weren’t off-putting and didn’t end awkwardly, but he did not realize that he would get so much praise for it. He curled up his toes and thanked him. They then talked about the style of their writing as well as what books they usually read. As the questions weren’t related to the film itself, he was able to answer without a problem.
“It definitely is easier to write inside a quiet small room than a noisy place.”
“I think so too. I tried visiting a café once, and all the music and conversations around me distracted me to no end. After I checked that writing at home is the best for me, I tend to write at home most of the time.”
“It is interesting to watch young people talking and chatting in cafés, but it definitely isn’t the right place to write. But I do know of a really good cat café. You should try visiting it later. I’ll tell you about it. There’s no music and the visitors are all quiet, so it’s quite a good place to write. Though, the kitties that want to play with you can put you in a fix at times.”
The man nodded before taking a step back.
“The two of you look like great partners. The writer is good at writing and the director knows how to make the most out of their work. If you shoot a film again later, please tell me about it. I’ll definitely go watch it.”
Daemyung shook hands with the man. His lips kept curving upwards because of the unexpected compliments. If he didn’t hear that the plot was rather obvious, he might have been grinning from ear to ear right now. The man proceeded to explain his impressions of the film as a whole with various different facial expressions. Having gone through the man’s interpretation, the story sounded completely different. When he pointed out the things that were lacking, he couldn’t help but applaud. This man precisely pointed out the things that Daemyung himself had found after finishing the shoot but just buried in his heart because of the lack of time.
“You don’t have to listen to me so deeply. It’s just a personal thing. When it comes to creative work, the creator is the king. Even if people like me nitpick it all the time, you shouldn’t be shaken by it. It’s a different story if you’re doing a commercial film. but this is entirely yours. I hope you can continue to show me great works in the future.”
The man then turned around to look at the stage. Daemyung also turned around. The flood of people had subsided a little. They were finishing up the photo shoot session and wrapping things up.
“Now there’s finally some room. I should go talk to those people now.”
The man moved first, and Daemyung and Sora moved after him. Sooil, who was smiling while taking a photo with a lady for the last time, took a bow after looking at the man. Maru also acted like he knew the man. Both of the actors knew this man? The man stood in front of the two actors while dragging his slippers.
“We’ve met not too long ago, Mr. Sooil, and as for you, Mr. Maru, it’s been a long while.”
“Long time no see, director.”
Maru grabbed the man’s hand.