Chapter 191: Teacher Little Zhang joins the Film Crew!
The next day.
The wind was getting stronger as it blew across the windows and made ghostly howls.
After waking up and showering, Zhang Ye received a message. It was sent from Zhang Yuanqi’s number. Without mentioning the subject, she only sent him an address. It was the address of the outskirts of Beijing where the movie studios were located. The message also included a telephone number as well as a time. There were two words beside the telephone number — Assistant Director. As for the time, it was indicated as before 4 in the afternoon. The Heavenly Queen must have arranged it and meant for him to report there.
It was still early, so Zhang Ye went online to research on the movie. Although the filming was not over yet nor was it about to be screened, some information were already available before the premiere. The movie was called “The Great Pugilistic World”. It was probably not a movie from Zhang Ye’s world, anyway he had never heard of this title before. The movie synopsis was about a youth in ancient times whose parents were killed. He dragged partners along with him, traversing Wudang and beating Shaolin to avenge them. It was the stereotypical revenge genre movie. Of course, that was how the online summary was written. As for the details, he was not sure either.
Zhang Ye set off in the afternoon. He did not drive as he knew that he would be with the filming crew for the next few days. He did not know where they would be headed to anyway, driving would instead be inconvenient. He packed some clothes along and took a cab to a bus depot. From there, he took a long distance bus to the destination.
In the suburbs.
At a certain movie studio.
It was a little deserted and cheap looking here. Zhang Ye looked around for a full day before he walked a distance and found the studio. This place was usually open. It could be considered as a tourist destination for visitors. But most of the time, like today, the studios were shut off to the public. The outside was densely packed with cars. It was estimated that there were about two or three filming crews inside so it was not considered a small place.
He reached the gates.
“Who are you?” a crew member looked at him.
Zhang Ye said, “I’m here to take part in the shoot for ‘The Great Pugilistic World’.”
The crew member waved his hand, “If you don’t have a pass, you aren’t allowed in. I’m sorry.”
Zhang Ye was annoyed, he could only make a call to the deputy director with the number in the message. He was probably busy as no one answered at first. It might have been put on silent mode. Zhang Ye smoked a cigarette before trying again 10 minutes later. This time, the call was answered, “Hello, Assistant Director, I am Zhang Ye. Sister Zhang asked me to contact you.”
“Zhang Ye? Oh, I remember. Hello.”
“I’ve already reached the outside of the movie studios, but they won’t let me in. What do you say?”
“Alright, wait there for a while. I’ve work to attend to so I can’t leave here. I will get someone to bring you in.”
After a short while, a 40 to 50-year-old man came outside. He had a simple face and looked very honest. But he had shifty eyes which made him look rather dishonest at the same time. It felt like they were eyes of a thief. Zhang Ye saw him and found him to be quite familiar looking. He had a rather good memory and somehow felt like he had seem him on TV last week at his parents’ house. He had a minor role on a TV serial. It was a city life drama. If he was not wrong, this man was acting as the main character’s good friend’s father. Zhang Ye did not understand this world’s dramas, he had only watched a few. But it was a coincidence that he had seen those few scenes before and the man was standing right in front of him. He was rather good and could act in a funny role.
“Zhang Ye?” Yao Jiancai walked towards him.
Zhang Ye reached out his hand, “That’s me, and you are?”
Yao Jiancai smiled and shook his hands, “I am Yao Jiancai, you may call me Old Yao. The deputy director asked me to come fetch you.”
Biting Building Materials? (literally translated)
Hearing this name, you would know immediately this person couldn’t be young.
“Yo, that’s too much trouble for you.” Zhang Ye smiled. “I’ve watched your shows before. Your acting was really good, you totally brought out the happiness with that role of a father.”
Maybe Yao Jiancai did not expect someone to know him as he had been acting for many years but remained obscure. He was forever a member of the supporting cast, so he laughed and said, “Not too bad, not too bad.” After that, he passed a staff card to him and they both strutted into the studio. Then, Yao Jiancai spoke with the air of a veteran to Zhang Ye, “Little Zhang ah, you are a newbie? I’ve been acting for so many years and I’ve never heard of you?”
Zhang Ye smiled. “You can say that.”
“Looking at you. You must’ve just graduated? From Beijing Film Academy? Majored in performing arts?” Yao Jiancai asked.
Zhang Ye said briefly, “Beijing Broadcasting Institute”
Only did Yao Jiancai made an oh sound, “Broadcasting, the Drama Film and Television faculty there isn’t too bad, but the best faculty there is still Radio Broadcast Studies faculty, yea….” After saying that, he lowered his voice and said, “I only heard about it today morning, the director had arranged a pretty good supporting role for you. There are a few fight scenes and several lines for you. Your surname is Zhang? Is that Producer Zhang your dad? Eh, can’t be. You don’t look alike. Oh, are you the Deputy Director’s relative?” Old Yao looked like an honest man, but he spoke without any propriety and felt like an old slacker.
Zhang Ye said, “No, I don’t know anyone from the film crew.”
Yao Jiancai said wonderingly, “Then that’s weird. This movie can be considered quite a big production, they wouldn’t use a newbie in it. You are a lucky kid, getting this job just after graduation. Even a Beijing Film Academy Performing Arts major would usually need to go through six months or a year’s worth of hardship and they still might not even be able to get a role. Even if they did, they can only get a minor role, hur hur. You better grab hold of this opportunity. People like us who don’t have looks or outstanding features, if we want to survive in this industry, we have to take every chance. If you don’t know something, you can ask me.”
Old Yao was very sociable, he would say whatever he thought and didn’t take Zhang Ye to be an outsider. This made Zhang Ye smile wryly but he could tell that comrade Old Yao was very nice to him, “Thanks, Uncle Yao.”
“What Uncle Yao, call me Old Yao!”
“OK, Old Yao, Hur Hur.”
“That’s how it should be, don’t be modest with me. Stay around me in the future, we will have good food and wine together!”
After exchanging a few words, the old and the young duo were already putting arms to shoulders. Zhang Ye rather liked him, he realized that Old Yao was similar to him. His words did not carry too much meaning, so there was nothing to be on guard for.
The movie studio was very big.
How big was it? It was very big!
A construction set from the 60s or 70s, a set from the Republic of China years, a town set of the ancient times. The sets placed side by side made one dizzy from seeing them.
He reached where the filming crew of “The Great Pugilistic World” was.
The camera seemed to have stopped rolling, a few actors who were wearing ancient costumes were seated by the corner, drinking water. Director Jiang was facing them and explaining the scene and giving some pointers. Over the other side, was a crew in charge of set layout. There were many people, numbering around 30 to 40 people.
“Assistant Director, I’ve brought the person here,” Yao Jiancai said.
The assistant director looked at Zhang Ye, then walked over to greet, “Teacher Zhang, you’re here? The script has been prepared, please take a look at your lines. I will get someone to do your makeup for you.”
Zhang Ye took the script, “Okay.”
The assistant director said worriedly, “There’s a fight scene, so there’s a possibility you might get hurt, you…?”
“I will follow your arrangements, I’m okay with anything.” Zhang Ye agreed without hesitation.
Yao Jiancai was stunned as he did not understand.
At this moment, a crew staff’s eye lit up. He quickly took a book over, “Teacher Zhang, I’ve been waiting for you the whole day. I knew you were coming, so I had my book and pen ready. Can I have your autograph?” His accent was that of a Beijing local, so obviously, he knew who Zhang Ye was.
“Sure.” Zhang Ye did not say much and signed it for him.
“Aiyo, isn’t this Teacher Little Zhang?” a girl who had a minor role as suggested by her costume, came running over, “You are here for the filming too? Why didn’t anyone tell me. My dad and mum are super fans of yours. I see them watching ‘Lecture Room’ everyday when I go home. They even said that the new lecture can’t be compared to yours, so they don’t intend to watch it anymore. They keep bugging me to download your collection of ‘Zhang Ye’s Analysis of the Three Kingdoms’.”
Zhang Ye smiled. “Thanks to your dad and mum for their support.”
“Come, let’s have a photo together,” said the girl.
“Alright.” Zhang Ye stood shoulder to shoulder with her.
The girl took out her phone and snapped a picture before going back to memorize her script.
Director Jiang also saw Zhang Ye but didn’t say much. He could be considered as a second tier director in the country and even that would make him more well known than Zhang Ye. He was only a minor character, so he didn’t need to be too bothered about him. He definitely needed to accede to Zhang Yuanqi’s request, but Zhang Ye was not that big a star for him prioritize him. Zhang Ye did have some fame in Beijing but not in other places. For the movie that Director Jiang was directing, the main leads and supporting cast were all easily more well-known than Zhang Ye. They were at minimum B-List or C-List celebrities. This was why Director Jiang did not bother too much about Zhang Ye, he was just doing the Heavenly Queen a favor by arranging a role for him. That was all there was to it.
And so, the others were confused.
A change of profession often meant a different field of knowledge. They were not in the same profession as Zhang Ye from the beginning. With the fact that most of the film crew were not living in Beijing as they had to travel all around the country for filming, most of the people there did not know Zhang Ye or where he was from.
Yao Jiancai was one of them, he was dazed.
Wasn’t Little Zhang a newbie? Why did some people want his autograph and have photos together?
Thinking of the time when he first joined the film crew, only a cleaning auntie liked his shows and had asked him for an autograph. He did not get such V.I.P. treatment!
“Little Yan.” Yao Jiancai strolled around to the girl’s side, “Who is this Zhang Ye?”
The girl said doubtfully, “Uncle Yao, don’t you live in Beijing, how can you not know who he is?”
Yao Jiancai said, “I’ve been away to the south for filming for the past few months. I don’t use the internet either, I don’t get things like new technology anyways because of my age.”
The girl laughed, “If you want to know about Zhang Ye’s deeds, I don’t think I can finish telling you about them today. In any case, he is very famous in Beijing. He has written novels, done radio hosting, TV hosting, been a lecturer, produced a public service advertisement and can match couplets. Especially in the field of poetry and scolding people, Teacher Zhang Ye is unbeatable. After the live broadcast incident recently, Teacher Zhang Ye already has no opponents left!” It could be said that she was very familiar about Zhang Ye’s deeds, so she explained it briefly to Yao Jiancai.
Scolding a colleague on Weibo!
Scolding his unit at the Silver Microphone Awards!
Scolding the Writers’ Association at the couplet competition!
Scolding a leader during a live broadcast on television!
After hearing all of that, Yao Jiancai was immediately stunned to the heavens!
F**k! This Teacher Little Zhang….is such a talent!