Chapter 236: Program Title Introduction, “I’ll Feed a Bag of Salt to Myself”!
The next day at work.
At the office, almost everyone had come to work already.
“Hey, Zhang Ye’s here.”
“Did you all see it yesterday?”
“Of course! It was really awesome like they said.”
“No wonder the company spent so much money to advertise for him. Did you hear? Our web portal had an 8% increase in traffic yesterday night!”
“Only now do I believe that he is really, really, capable!”
“He’s so good at program planning, like with ‘Lecture Room’ or those public service advertisements and even ‘I’ll speak for myself’. But why is that new program that he is preparing so obscure? If you don’t seek death, you won’t die. Can’t he plan up a proper program nicely? Why must he attempt this baffling talk show thing? Even if his promotion was so successful, I am still not convinced of his new program.”
“Yeah. Sigh. Such a good promotion has gone to waste!”
“In my opinion, they should have just done the promotion for other hosts instead!”
“Sigh. Zhang Ye is here. Hush, let’s not talk about it anymore.”
Zhang Ye walked into the office.
“Teacher Zhang, good morning.” greeted Wang Bei who was seating in the center of the office.
Ah Qian and Little Yu also said good morning to Zhang Ye.
Zhang Ye greeted back everyone. He then nodded to Dong Shanshan, who had left the apartment a little earlier than him, before taking his seat at his desk.
Outside, Wang Xiong came inside to look for two people. After delegating some work to them and sharply criticizing a host who did poorly in recording yesterday, he finally came over to Zhang Ye’s side, “Little Zhang Ah.”
Zhang Ye stood up, “Leader.”
Wang Xiong patted him on the shoulders and said with a warm expression, “Well done! Yesterday’s advertisement had a really desirable effect. You should follow up on your program tightly; there aren’t many days left.” Saying that, he handed him a list, “This is our staff listing. You will be in charge of assembling the program team. Choose your team so that we can start work the day after. You will need to prepare the stage, script and the program introduction amongst others. Pay close attention to it.”
Zhang Ye nodded, “I will.”
Wang Xiong walked off as Zhang Ye looked through the list.
It was filled with the names of many members of the staff. They included details of their positions like copywriting, planning, directing, etc.
Zhang Ye also saw Ah Qian and Little Yu’s name. He only knew the two of them, so he looked over to them, “I need to assemble a team for my program. You guys?”
Ah Qian replied, “I’m already in Teacher Shanshan’s team.”
“Me, too. Sorry about that, Teacher Zhang.” Little Yu said apologetically, “‘Online Talents’ will be starting preparations today, so…..”
Zhang Ye smiled. “It’s okay. I will ask around.”
As he said that, he looked at a name and asked, “Is Xu Neng around?” This was a program director’s name.
A youth heard his name and stood up to walk over, “That’s me.”
Zhang Ye said, “My program is starting preparations soon. If it’s convenient for you….”
Xu Neng made a sound and said, “Teacher Zhang, sorry, but I have already been appointed as deputy director on two programs. The workload is very heavy. I can’t take on another role.”
“Well, that’s fine then.” Zhang Ye looked at the name list again. This time, he found a 50-something-year-old comrade. He hoped an experienced comrade could lead the team.
When he found him finally, the experienced producer did not seem interested. He replied to him without enthusiasm, saying, “I still have work on my hands. You should find someone else.”
After asking several people, all of them said that they were busy!
Zhang Ye was initially patient, but in the end, he ended up becoming frustrated!
Busy? A good program did not require pushing for hires. Everyone would rush to join instead. Because when a program ended, their names would be credited. The experience and credentials gained could help bolster up their resumes when they wanted to job-hop to other companies. But right now, these people were all dodging him! It was simply because they were not confident of his talk show segment and did not want a share of it because of what could happen if it failed!
Dong Shanshan suggested an idea to him, “You don’t need to ask them for their opinion. Just put down their names and give it to the Leader. They would have no choice then.”
Ah Qian also agreed, saying, “Correct. You are the program team’s highest decision maker.”
Dong Shanshan’s new program was headed by an Executive Producer who was in his forties. The members of the program team had been decided by that Head Producer. Dong Shanshan only gave suggestions, but she did not have the authority to decide on it. However, Zhang Ye was different. To headhunt him, who was both great as a host and a program planner, the company had given him preferential treatment. For example, he had the freedom and absolute authority with regards to the program. This was not treatment any typical newcomer would receive. In WebTV, only the hosts who had been famous for a long period of time could be given the title of Executive Producer.
However, Zhang Ye said, “There’s no need.”
“Then how are…” Little Yu asked.
Zhang Ye finally put down his words, “If no one wants to, I will do it on my own!”
Ah Qian said in shock, “On your own? How can the team’s work breakdown be….”
Then, they could only stare in a dumbfounded manner as Zhang Ye filled in his name in all of the team list’s columns. Executive Producer – Zhang Ye. Director – Zhang Ye. Overall Planner – Zhang Ye. Technical Advisor – Zhang Ye. Costume Design – Zhang Ye. Stage Setup – Zhang Ye. He wrote his name closely in all the columns, ignoring the dumbfounded stares of his colleagues. Zhang Ye then directly brought the list to Wang Xiong’s office and submitted it.
Wang Xiong took a glance and nearly fainted, “Little Zhang, what do you mean by this? I know you are multi-talented, but do you need to go this far? Is this because they don’t want to join your program team?” Saying this, Wang Xiong’s face also scrunched up, “Don’t worry. Just fill in their names. I dare them not to come!”
Zhang Ye heart warmed up as he said slowly, “Leader, a forcefully ripened fruit does not taste sweet. I will be fine alone. Just give me a few cameramen and lighting assistants and I will do the program well!”
Wang Xiong said in worry, “Besides them, I will find a few more people for you.”
“It’s really alright, Leader. Thank you. My program will be handled better by myself. If there are too many people, it will be counter-productive instead,” Zhang Ye insisted.
Wang Xiong hesitated for a moment, then smiled bitterly, “Alright then. If you say so. Then it is set. The cameramen and other crew will be arranged for you. The other departments will also coordinate with you at your convenience. The costumes and program intro filming will be prioritized for you and Dong Shanshan’s programs!” After saying all that, he gave Zhang Ye a document, “Go to Studio 7. From today until the first day of your program’s recording, it will fully belong to your production team. No one will be sharing it with you, so as to let you get the place up and running. If your program really gets the approval, only then will we arrange for the studio to be shared with others. The set’s layout will be adapted to whatever program is being recorded. After all, our recording studios are not abundant, so it gets a little tense.”
Zhang Ye said, “I understand.”
“Give this document to Supervisor Wang. He will arrange the rest for you.” Wang Xiong said.
Soon, all of the department’s staff heard of the shocking news. As many people did not wish to be in Zhang Ye’s production team, Zhang Ye filled in almost all of the team’s positions with his own name in a fit of anger. Eventually, even the Leader had approved of it. This made everyone at a loss of whether to laugh or to cry. They thought that with such a tantrum, if it were left to Wang Xiong to arrange, who would dare not turn up? They could not possibly turn it down either. A new program would definitely need a proper team. But who would have thought that Zhang Ye was so indifferent — They don’t want to come? Then I don’t even f**king want them! With Zhang Ye’s move, it had left many in the office feeling awkward and feeling bad.
Wang Bei was speechless, “Teacher Zhang, you can’t handle it all by yourself!”
Ah Qian also said, “Yeah, you only have a pair of hands and legs. How can you handle so much work? This…. There’s even a lot of specialized positions in the team. You…”
Zhang Ye knew they meant well, but he had already decided. Understaffed? Then he will just work overtime for a few more days. Specialized jobs? Well, he had spent some time working at the television station, so it wouldn’t be difficult for him. Zhang Ye felt that he could handle it well, “I will be fine by myself.”
Dong Shanshan looked at him, “You know how to pick the costumes?”
Zhang Ye replied, “It will be a suit and tie for every episode. Every episode will have different colors.”
Little Yu was also sweating when he said, “How about the set layout?”
Zhang Ye, “It’s in the proposal. I’ve already written out the setup I want.”
Dong Shanshan rolled her eyes, “You can’t possibly do the post-production, too, can you?”
Zhang Ye said matter-of-factly, “My program will not require any post-production. As long as the audience shots and my shots are planned out properly, there won’t be any shots to edit.”
The surrounding colleagues had all heard this.
Bullshit! You really know how to bullshit!
Of course, they didn’t believe it. But those who had ever worked with Zhang Ye before, like Hu Fei, like Xiao Lu, Dafei and gang, would definitely know Zhang Ye’s claims were true. His recorded programs really did not need any post-production. All of the shots and sequences were all controlled by Zhang Ye’s pacing. Not even a second of additional footage would be recorded. It was because Zhang Ye’s broadcast program was already a finished product from his previous world. It had already been edited by the professionals from that world and all that was left was the essence. Zhang Ye had used the finished product, so, of course, there won’t be any mistakes!
Everyone continued to advise him.
But Zhang Ye was stubborn. He did not listen. Actually, in his heart, he just wanted to prove them wrong. Hur hur. You guys don’t have much hope for this bro? Sure, then I will show all of you! Even if this bro is alone, he will be able to make this program great! At that time, let’s see who still dares to talk trash!
Before afternoon, Zhang Ye had found Supervisor Wang. He then went over to Studio 7, which temporarily belonged to him. The audience’s seats were all in place. The lights were also already set up. All he needed to do was to decorate the stage a little and it will be ready for recording. Zhang Ye had decided by now that for the next few days, this would be his office.
After lunch, Zhang Ye did not idle. All of the work to be done rested on him. He did not have any time to waste, so he began his first task, a task that was supposed to be handled by the Director or Deputy Director and the Marketing Planner — the making of the program’s title introduction.
Zhang Ye found the middle-age woman who had previously handled his promotional advertisement. He had known by now that this woman was called ‘Sister Four’. As her husband was also working in Weiwo company as the Deputy Supervisor of Logistics, his popularity was rather good. Everyone liked to call her husband as ‘Brother Four’, so ‘Sister Four’ naturally became her title, too.
Zhang Ye navigated left and right through the mess, “Sister Four? Is Sister Four here?”
In the small office, Sister Four looked up with a pair of disposable chopsticks in her mouth, “Oh, it’s Teacher Little Zhang?” She was just having some soup dumplings.
Zhang Ye smiled. “I need to record a title introduction for my program.”
Sister Four acknowledged, “Sure. Give me a few seconds.” She took her dumplings and stuffed them whole into her mouth. She probably got scalded by the hot soup since she gasped with her tongue out of her mouth. Then she stood up and called for a few people, “Li, Wang, time to work.” They brought along their equipment and followed Zhang Ye.
When they passed the costume department, Zhang Ye made a quick detour inside. He greeted the person in charge and choose a few suits of different colors quickly. He also took a few neckties and bowties of different colors. Then, he put them on a rolling clothes rack and rolled it out along towards Studio 7.
Inside, the few of them were stunned.
Sister Four asked, surprised, “Hey, why is there only you?”
Zhang Ye laughed, “It’s just me.”
“What about your production team? The Deputy Director? Who is in charge of the introduction title planning? Without it, how can we film?” Sister Four and her team were from the filming department; they did not need to do any planning.
Zhang Ye replied, “The Overall Director and Planner is me.”
After explaining a little, Sister Four did not know whether to laugh or to cry, “You’re really fantastic. Your guys from the WebTV department are really great, too. They are too snobbish. Who says that your program won’t make the cut? They are even dodging their responsibilities out of fear? Little Zhang, Sister Four supports you. Make a program with an average rating of 500,000 views to show them. I will take care of the camera filming. Your program will broadcast on Monday? Filming will be done on Sunday? I will pick a few cameramen with the best skills and report to you on Sunday!”
Zhang Ye was in a good mood, “Then I will say my thanks first?”
“Don’t be so polite. Just tell us how you want to film the title introduction.” Sister Four asked.
Zhang Ye had already planned it, “We will just do a few simple shots. I will be changing my costume for every shot, then we will put them together in post-production.”
Sister Four asked, “What about the title words?”
A cameraman interjected saying, “That ‘I’ll speak for myself’ advertisement slogan was too good. If you don’t use it in the introduction title, won’t it be a pity?”
“Yea, that slogan is too awesome!” another female cameraman said.
Sister Four professionally gave a wave of her hands, “That’s not suitable. It’s too full of passion. I might not fully understand Teacher Little Zhang’s new program, something called a talk show. But the overall theme is one of humor and jokes, right? With such a formal introduction, it will clash with the theme. That’s a definite no-no.”
But Zhang Ye laughed, “It won’t. Let’s use that then.”
Sister Four was stunned, “Don’t fool around, Teacher Little Zhang. That’s really not suitable!”
“It will be okay. Listen to me and when we are done recording, you will all understand.” Zhang Ye was confident, “Can all of you help me to set up the background? I will go get changed and then prepare a prop.”
There’s even a prop?
Sister Four did not expect it to be promising, but she didn’t say anything. She called for everyone to start decorating the set.
Zhang Ye went backstage to a room without anyone and got changed into his suit and tie. He looked much more spirited as he looked in the mirror, fully satisfied. Then, he looked everywhere for a “prop”, found something, nodded and prepared to make his own prop.
It was still lunch time.
When Zhang Ye came outside, he saw that there were still many people outside.
Dong Shanshan, Wang Bei, Ah Qian, Little Yu and a few familiar looking faces that he did not know too well. They probably wanted to take a look.
Dong Shanshan smiled and said, “Zhang Ye, do you need any help?”
“No, take a seat.” Zhang Ye attended to them for a little while.
They went over to the audience seats and sat there, waiting to see how Zhang Ye would handle everything by himself.
At this moment, Wang Xiong and a Leader that Zhang Ye had never seen before arrived. They did not say anything, but went directly to the seats in front of the stage. It was obvious that Wang Xiong was worried about him. Being the Producer, Director, Costume Planner and Set Layout Planner made him worried that Zhang Ye would mess things up, so he came over to see if Zhang Ye could really handle it all. If there were any problems, he, as the Overall Leader, would have to answer for it, too.
There were many people in the audience.
The set layout was decorated simply.
Sister Four shouted, “Okay, ready.”
Zhang Ye adjusted his suit and then walked to the background wall, “Then let’s begin.”
“Cameras ready, 3….2….1, action!” Sister Four commanded.
The recording indicator on the cameras lit up. Zhang Ye looked towards the camera with a straight face and said, “You only smell my cologne, but didn’t see my sweat. You have your rules, I have my choices. You deny my existence, I decide my future…..”
Everyone off-stage was frowning.
Isn’t this still the advertisement?
Still using this as the title introduction?
To be honest, the advertisement was really good. But isn’t your program meant to be humorous? Isn’t it a program where you say jokes? Using such an advertisement as the title introduction is too formal! It’s not suitable at all! As expected, Zhang Ye had his limitations just working alone. How could he handle so many jobs by himself?
Wang Bei, Ah Qian and the others were all expressionless.
Wang Xiong was already shaking his head in self blame. The company’s Leader beside him also whispered to him several words. It looked like he was unsatisfied with the performance.
Sister Four sighed, thinking to call for a cut, but she didn’t and continued the filming.
Zhang Ye seemingly disregarded everyone’s expressions and became even more serious and formal. He poured his emotions in saying, “You mock at me having nothing, I pity how you always keep yearning. You show contempt for my young age, I will prove whose era this is. Dreams are paths destined to be forged alone, filled with doubts and mockery, but so what? Even if I’m all blue and black all over, I will also want to live beautifully!”
Up until here, Zhang Ye suddenly made a move that left everyone bewildered. He picked up a bag of his self-made prop. It was a bag used to hold condiments, the logo had been hidden by a sticker which was labeled — Salt.
What did this mean?
“I am Zhang Ye!”
“I’ll feed a bag of salt to myself!”
Only to see Zhang Ye tilting his head backwards and pouring the prop into his mouth. Then his facial expression became rich with emotions. He held his throat and coughed and spitted out a few times!
Everyone off stage suddenly burst into laughter!
“I’ll speak for myself” (Wo wèi zìji dài yán) sounded the same as “I’ll feed a bag of salt to myself” (Wo wèi zìji dài yán)?
What were you even thinking! What a godly twist! That was some f**king godly twist!
Dong Shanshan was cramping up from laughing. She held her stomach as she kept on laughing!
The others like Wang Bei, Ah Qian and Sister Four were also unable to sit straight from all the laughing! Zhang Ye’s serious expression had all led up to this twist! This contrast seriously made it so that everyone couldn’t help but laugh!
Zhang Ye put down the prop in his hand, “The cameras can stop rolling!”
Sister Four finally stopped laughing and gave him a thumbs up in admiration, “This title introduction….. is really paramount! Teacher Little Zhang, I am totally in awe of you!”
The few cameramen were also left in awe. They all wondered how this guy’s brain worked! Able to write serious advertisement slogans! But when it came to the title introduction, the words were unchanged, but when repeated, it achieved two very different results! One was full of passion, the other was totally hilarious! This…. So a title introduction could actually be presented this way! It’s too wonderful!
Wang Xiong’s face broke into a smile.
Meanwhile, the other Leader was a little dazed!
He finally believed that Zhang Ye could really handle multiple roles by himself. This short segment was enabled through his directorial work and production, planning, costumes, prop, etc!
When work resumed in the afternoon, the few “audiences” began leaving.
When Dong Shanshan and Wang Bei left, they were still laughing and discussing about the title introduction.
But Zhang Ye was still not satisfied, thinking it was a little monotonous. So he changed into a few more costumes and recorded a few more shots before calling it a day! To others, it was needless to say that for a program, especially a new program’s, its title introduction was especially important. Some people racked their brains over this and might film it over and over for a week or even a month. Because it would be aired constantly on every episode, from a certain perspective, it was even more important than the contents of the program. But Zhang Ye only needed an hour to complete the title introduction. Even with that, no one said that it wasn’t good!
“I’ll feed a bag of salt to myself”!
The title introduction has been decided!