Chapter 502

New Semester - Maru looked at the title at the top of the script. Below were the names of the main staff involved in the production of the drama. He looked a little lower. To Mr. Han Maru. The script felt rather new to him since it had his name on it.

“The script will arrive before the shoot for a while. This means that you’ll have the time to leisurely read them at home. However, you’ll have less and less time as the drama reaches the second half. You see the name Lee Hanmi on the script right? She’s well-known for her scripts for dramas, but she has a critical flaw. It’s that she’s very very slow.”

Byungchan explained while he was driving. Very very. He emphasized that she was slow twice, so Maru could imagine the speed. Byungchan even went as far as to describe her as the god of last-minute scripts.

“Thanks to that, it’s the shooting staff and the actors that get busy. I found out this while working as a manager, but apparently, she was the one responsible for the legendary three-strike last-minute scripts.”

“The legendary three-strike last-minute scripts? What the heck is that?”

“She changed the script of a daily drama three times in one day. She brought a fixed version of the script during the shoot three times. Apparently, no one was able to say a thing to her because she’s a big time scriptwriter.”

“Why is such an amazing person doing a youth drama then?”

“That just goes to show how much effort YBS is putting into this project. I also had a look at her interview, and apparently, she feels responsible for the conflict between generations these days. That’s why she supposedly wants to create an opportunity for parents to talk to their children.”

“Wow, that’s incredible. And here I’m only thinking about the money.”

“Apparently, people do care when they have enough money. Rather than that, how are you feeling?”

“I had a good sleep and my voice is normal, I’m completely fine.”

Byungchan nodded as he drove the car.

Maru closed the script and looked outside the window. The first shoot of the drama in which he played a supporting role was about to begin. He went to the website for New Semester that was synchronized with the TV station yesterday, and his profile picture where he was wearing his school uniform was there. There was also a bulletin board for the viewers, where there were a lot of posts cheering the actors on. Most of them were for Kang Giwoo.

“We’re here.”

The shooting location for New Semester was a middle school located in Seoul. The building looked clean as though it was just built.

It was 8 in the morning. It was just around the time the sun rose in the winter.

There were people standing in front of the entrance of the school who were changing the middle school plate to ‘Myungnang High School’. He went inside with Byungchan on foot. Maru greeted everyone he came across. There were people that greeted back, and some people just walked by with awkward smiles.

“I’m just a part timer though.”

The man he greeted replied with a rather embarrassed expression.

“Please take care of me anyway. We might see each other later. Thanks for your work.”

He didn’t care if the person he came across was a staff member at the TV station or not. It wasn’t like lip service cost money anyway. Who could tell for sure that that man would never become his superior in this field?

“There’s the producer.”

He saw producer Park Hoon, who was talking to a man wearing a thick padded coat. When he went up close, he saw that the man was the assistant director he saw during the audition. From his memory, he went by the name Kim Minjoong.

“Good morning, producer.”

“Ah, yes.”

“I’m from JA Production. And this is Han Maru, who’s participating in the drama. I wonder if you remember him?” Byungchan asked cautiously.

Park Hoon made a relaxed expression as though he understood the situation.

“Of course. This fella left a deep impression on me.”

“Ah, I see. My name is Lee Byungchan. I’m in charge of the child actors in JA. Of course, there’s no need for you to remember me. I’m just here to say hello. But I’m asking just in case, may I give you a business card?”

“Go ahead.”

“Thank you. Please call me any time if you need me.”

Byungchan handed over a business card while bowing.

“This fella’s waist won’t last. Stop it there.”

“Y-yes.”

“JA, huh. President Lee has a good eye for people. I wonder where he found a smart kid like that,” said Park Hoon as he looked at Maru.

“Our Maru is really good at work and is smart. He won’t disappoint you when it comes to acting either.”

“I know, I know. I picked him because he was good.”

“Also, please take this. Take it whenever you want something in your mouth during the shoot.”

What Byungchan gave him were some cough sweets. Maru realized what all the candies, drinks, and chocolate bars in the back seat were for.

“Thanks, I’ll take it.”

“Please take care of our Maru.”

Byungchan smiled and stepped back. Maru also bowed towards the producer before turning around.

“Phew, thankfully, he’s not a picky person.”

“You’re going through hard work.”

“This isn’t even considered hard work. A person with a dirty character might have sworn at me for saying hi.”

Byungchan frowned as though just imagining it displeased him before patting Maru on the shoulder.

“Come with me. The camera director is over there. I got to know him while taking Sooil around before, so it should be easier.”

Byungchan smiled before starting to walk. Seeing that, Maru thought that Byungchan would become really well-known in this field. Of course, his own dream was to become an actor, but no one knew what the future had in store for him. Byungchan’s way of leaving behind a good impression of himself on the people he came across was a big talent when it comes to being a manager. Once he was promoted into someone like a head-manager, he would definitely shine even more.

‘Ah, maybe that’s why I was sworn at a lot when I was a manager, huh. Because I give off a bad impression?’

Just as he was thinking about such a thing, Byungchan’s voice could be heard.

“Maru, come here quickly.”

“Yes. I’m going.”

Maru also made a business smile and followed Byungchan.

* * *

“Let’s do it with your glasses on. It suits you more.”

He heard those words from Park Hoon during make-up. Maru quickly put on his glasses.

It was 9 a.m. The shoot looked like it was going to start soon. Maru picked up his script and stood in front of the 2nd year class 1. He saw the other actors getting some warmth from the heater placed in the corner.

“Wow, it’s cold. Okseon, don’t you feel cold?”

“I don’t.”

“Really? I’m freezing. Are you really okay?”

“Yes.”

Lee Joomin and Kim Okseon had met each other for the first time since the get-together. Joomin was still as outgoing as ever while Kim Okseon had a hard time talking. Seong Dongho was grumbling as always in a small voice.

“The shoot began over there,” said Joomin as she looked outside the window.

That was the scene where the three main characters: Kang Giwoo, Ahn Yeseul, and Park Jichan came to school. Students wearing school uniforms were acting as the background in groups of three to five.

The microphones, cameras, and reflectors moved according to the route the three were moving. The producer seemed to have shouted cut as the actors stopped and talked to each other before walking back to the entrance again. They repeated the same scene around six times before the camera and the actors moved towards the left entrance of the main building.

“Since we don’t have anything to do, should we go over the lines?” Joomin suggested.

Everyone gathered with their scripts since they didn’t have anything to do.

“But even if we want to, there are a lot of gaps since those three aren’t here.”

“They are the main characters after all,” Okseon said in a small voice.

“Let’s just ignore those lines. It’s not like we can’t act if the main characters aren’t here.”

Hearing Dongho’s words, Joomin made an awkward smile.

“That’s true, but we really don’t have any screen time in the 1st episode huh. Even though the supporting characters are supposed to be right below the lead characters.”

“If we aren’t going to start, I’ll just do one by myself,” said Dongho suddenly as he left the group.

Joomin didn’t say anything before laughing awkwardly.

“Let’s take it slow, to exercise our voices too. It looks like they’ll need some time over there. Dongho, why don’t you join us?”

Hearing Maru’s words, Dongho made an annoyed expression but still joined the group. It was good that he was easy to handle, Maru smiled as he looked at Dongho. Dongho looked at him sourly before turning his gaze to the script.

He did not want discord to occur on the first day of the shoot. Burning up in passion wasn’t something he wanted, he just wanted things to go smoothly. There wouldn’t be any noise as long as he showed some interest to the kid that wanted attention, and left the girl who wanted to stay quiet alone.

“Noona, let’s begin.”

“Oh, okay. L-let’s begin.”

As long as he gave Joomin, who wanted to lead everyone else as the eldest, a little push from the back, it would be much easier to gather everyone into a group.

“Then I’ll start.”

Joomin opened her mouth and said her first line.

* * *

“Everyone please move to the 1st floor,” said a staff member who came into the classroom.

 It seemed that the shoot outside the school was finished somewhat.

“Noona, let’s go down.”

“Alright. Everyone, let’s go down.”

He let Joomin walk ahead and followed suit. When he went to the central staircase on the 1st floor, he saw cameras. Giwoo, Yeseul, and Jichan were there as well.

“Well then, please gather round, our little dreamers.”

Park Hoon called the child actors ‘little dreamers’. Maru moved in front of Park Hoon. After looking at the seven people lined up in a row, Park Hoon spoke,

“Well then. We are going to show your characters off here. Okseon and Yeseul will get into a staring contest. You know what a staring contest is right? Glare at each other like you’re going to rip each other’s hair out. You know, that feeling you get when you see someone you hate. Try to express it in your own ways.”

“Yes.”

“Good answer, our little Okseon dreamer. Well, then. Let’s get into position.”

This was the scene where Okseon blocked Yeseul and a minor actor in the corridor and picked a fight with them. This was the scene where Okseon said her first line and the first scene where Maru, Dongho, and Joomin appeared on camera.

Maru took a short breath before concentrating. All of his senses became sharp before becoming dreamy just like he was about to fall asleep. Maru always went through this process before he immersed himself in acting. That sensation of everything calming down, and at the same time, the appearance of another self inside him. A rational Han Maru who would look at the state of the staff and the actors around him at all times stood a step behind him, while a Han Maru fully immersed in acting stepped forward in front.

Maru could feel those two selves at the same time, and he could control them as well.

‘Myungnang High School, 2nd year, class 1, Lee Chan. He’s similar to me, but he has more childish characteristics.’

Creating a character boiled down to endless conversations with himself in the end. Once he created a topic, a long conversation where rebuttals tailed one another began between the self immersed in acting and the self rationally looking around the world. Once that conversation neared the end, a suitable character he could be satisfied with was created.

Maru finished his preparations to become the character known as Lee Chan in the drama New Semester. He pushed up his glasses a little and stood crookedly.

“Hm, good. Let’s begin the shoot,” said Park Hoon as he walked towards the monitor.

Maru waited outside the camera angle. He was in a position where he would be in the corner of the screen if the camera followed Yeseul. Next to him was Dongho. He had placed his hands politely in front of his stomach as though he was being scolded. It was completely off the mark for a scene where the students were supposed to be talking and laughing together with their friends. Maru didn’t want the shoot to drag out due to NG scenes, so he poked him with his elbow before giving his hands a glance.

‘Oh, no.’

Despite the look, Dongho maintained his posture as though he was frozen stiff. Now that Maru thought about it, Dongho did say that this was his first drama shoot. He should have received camera massages in other places since he got the role of a supporting character, so Maru was surprised that he was frozen stiff like someone standing in front of the camera for the first time. He signalled to him once again, but it seemed that Dongho didn’t even have the time to pay attention to his surroundings. He was probably busy reciting lines in his head.

“Yeseul, were you at the arcade yesterday? Someone apparently saw someone smoking and that person looked just like you.”

That was pretty decent. Maru nodded as he looked at Okseon’s acting. He was a little worried since she wasn’t good with words usually, but her atmosphere had changed now that they started the shoot. The producer seemed to be satisfied as well as he continued with the shoot.

“Seri, I never did such a thing.”

Kim Seri. That was the name of the character played by Okseon. The three main characters, Ahn Yeseul, Kang Giwoo, and Park Jichan used their real names in the drama.

After Yeseul’s line, the camera moved to the side to capture the two people in a single frame. Maru, Dongho, and Joomin would be located between the two in the background.

“Cut. Dongho, relax your hands. You’re not being scolded here,” said Park Hoon.

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KTLChamber's Thoughts

Looks like our little attention-seeker doesn't know what to do in front of real attention.

I hate people like these...

Editor's Note:
I also hate people like that.