Dongho immediately unclasped his hands and stood properly. Park Hoon’s gaze returned to the monitor. Maru thought that the shoot would resume, but Park Hoon stood up again.
“Look at me.”
Park Hoon took a step away from the monitor before hopping.
“Do as I do.”
“I said, do as I do. Here, loosen your hands and start hopping. It might be too embarrassing for you to do it alone, so let’s have everyone do it.”
The shooting location turned into a gym class all of a sudden. Everyone started hopping around like the producer after hesitating for a while. Maru also jumped lightly. This continued for around 30 seconds. Everyone seemed confused at first, but they eventually started chuckling as they looked at each other.
“Okay. Dongho. Stay completely still.”
Dongho stood naturally as he exhaled. Park Hoon told him that his posture was good before shouting ‘ready’. The shoot immediately started. The camera skimmed over the main entrance before putting Yeseul and Okseon in one frame. After the two exchanged lines, Okseon snorted and turned around. When Okseon climbed about half of the stairs, Park Hoon shouted cut.
“That was good. We’re going to do the same thing again, but this time, the camera will focus on Yeseul. Okseon, you can keep doing what you were doing.”
The shoot was repeated to get more cuts for the edits. After shooting the same scene about five times from different angles, Park Hoon nodded and said that they should go up. Maru and Dongho stood in one corner of the corridor like mannequins during the whole shoot.
“Can’t he let us rest? It’s not like we’re in the camera angle anyway. I’m fine by myself.”
It seemed that Dongho had calmed down a little as he started grumbling again. It also seemed that he didn’t even remember becoming totally stiff in front of Park Hoon.
“You should understand. They’ll have to do the same when you start acting later.”
“Who says I don’t understand?”
Maru shrugged before avoiding Dongho’s gaze. He decided to let him be since he wouldn’t listen no matter what Maru said to him.
They moved to 2nd year class 1. The students wearing school uniforms were seated throughout. Okseon, who finished her cut without an NG, was mixed among them without her sour expression from before.
“Sorry, I’m late. Sorry, sorry. I was on the wrong schedule. Am I late?”
The one that appeared while making a nasal laughing sound was Suyeon, wearing a neat suit. She looked like a stereotypical teacher-in-training.
“You’re just in time. Let’s go over there. We’ll take a look at the movement lines,” said Park Hoon as he pointed at the podium.
Suyeon replied ‘of course’ before standing behind the podium. While those two talked to each other, a rather short lady approached Suyeon and touched up her hair. Her neat hair was ruffled which created a rather immature image.
“I’m tying up my hair, right?”
“You won’t look like a teacher if you untie it. Also, isn’t your make-up too heavy?”
“I’ll tone it down a little.”
The lady touching up her hair took out some cosmetics before fixing Suyeon’s make-up in a flash. Suyeon looked a little more immature than before.
“Is this okay?”
“Let’s keep that image in the future.”
“Well, then. We’re going to start again. Since it’s the first shoot, let’s finish things off quickly and go home.”
Maru sat in his designated seat. He was at the back of the class. It would be his real seat at school if he was right next to the door. The others sat around him as well. At the center were Kang Giwoo and Ahn Yeseul. The two sat next to each other. Dongho and Joomin were in the next column over, and they sat next to each other as well. Okseon sat at the front of the class. The camera director climbed a low ladder. It seemed that he was trying to get the whole class in one shot. Park Hoon explained the scene before starting the shoot.
“This is the teacher-in-training who will start listening to class with you all starting today. Okay, let’s introduce you to everyone.”
Suyeon made a confused expression before carefully walking forward. The nervousness of her first time at work could be felt. It was as Junmin said: she didn’t gain everything through putting men to bed. The way she licked her lips slightly didn’t look unnatural at all. The fear and expectation harbored by someone that was between a university student and a teacher were expressed perfectly by her small actions and slight trembling.
“I’m Park Chaeyeon and I’ll be studying with all of you throughout May. Although it might be short, I hope I can get along with everyone.”
When the actor in charge of the teacher’s role started clapping, everyone else started clapping as well. The applause did not stop until the cut sound.
“Good, Suyeon. Keep that up.”
The camera director climbed down from the ladder and shot Suyeon from the front. During that time, the people positioned behind the camera sighed in relief.
“I should be like that too.”
Yeseul practiced her lines with different expressions as though she was provoked after seeing Suyeon’s acting. Maru also looked at his script during his waiting time. Drama scenes changed by the second when watching, but there were many occasions where a single cut would take more than an hour to shoot. If a producer who was very greedy for a good picture was in charge of directing the scene, or the script was delayed and they were running out of time, shoots through the nights were the norm. There were many cases especially with daily dramas where shoots would happen 24/7.
“Let’s do that again.”
Suyeon’s acting looked decent, but Park Hoon didn’t seem satisfied with it. Park Hoon looked at the monitor with a sharp gaze, while Suyeon talked as though she was talking to an invisible person. The lights on the camera turned on again and the film started rolling.
“That’s quite strict.”
“He wasn’t that strict with us though.”
“Maybe he has different expectations.”
Everyone nodded at Giwoo’s words. Despite the fact that there was no NG, Park Hoon kept saying that they should shoot again. Only on the fifth try did his mouth utter the word ‘okay’.
“Director, aren’t you being too strict with me?”
“Just consider my expectations of you that high. That’s my bottom line. If you go below that line, I’m going to shoot again, so it’s up to you to do what you want.”
“Yes, yes, director.”
Everyone laughed when they heard Suyeon’s nonchalant reply. Thanks to Suyeon who smiled at everyone, the atmosphere became more relaxed.
“Let’s go. Get ready, little dreamers. Also, Yeseul.”
“Come here for a sec.”
Park Hoon called Yeseul out of the classroom. A moment later, Yeseul came back in again, looking a little dejected. It seemed that she was given directions in a place others couldn’t see. The director was being considerate of her, in a sense. If she was pointed out where everyone could see, she would have been even more dejected.
He told the actors he trusted upfront, and was considerate of the actors he did not. Producer Park Hoon showed everyone that that was the way he treated people.
“There’s a scene on the school field as well, so let’s hurry things up,” shouted Park Hoon as he sat on the chair.
The camera moved towards the front of the class and shot everyone in their seats. This was the scene where Okseon, the class president, fought with Jichan. Yeseul would interrupt the fight midway and reveal more of the relationships between the characters.
“Why don’t you stop talking since we’re in the middle of class?”
“When did I talk?”
“You shouted in front of that teacher-in-training. You might think it’s cool, but it only makes you look dumb, you know?”
“Hey, do you want to interfere with everything since you’re the class president?”
Okseon and Jichan glared at each other as they said their words. Yeseul, who was watching the situation, quietly walked in between the two. Just as Yeseul was about to say her line, Park Hoon shouted cut.
“Kids, you aren’t here to play around, right?”
Park Hoon’s mouth was smiling, but his eyes weren’t.
“Concentrate. If you don’t have the confidence to get your emotions together when the shoot starts, then you should get them together beforehand. The reason I respect actors is because they do their job. You see the actors standing over there? Even they are trying their best to get into their roles before the shoot begins. Do you think you can get into your character immediately once the camera starts rolling after laughing and talking while the camera isn’t? Why don’t you have a look at the monitor and see what your expressions were like?” Park Hoon said as he waved his finger up and down.
He looked a little angry.
“This is a year-long drama. Please allow me to send you off with a smile when the last episode airs. This is a big opportunity for you too, isn’t it? 800. That’s the number of people who participated in the audition in order to get a spot in this drama. Why not at least be aware of the fact that you deprived them of their opportunity? You’re here in the shooting location, and as long as you stand in front of the camera with a character assigned to you, you are a professional no matter what your age is. This is the last time I’ll say this. Today, I’m only doing this because I’m a senior on the scene and it’s the first shoot, but if I don’t see any improvements even after I give you directions next time, it’ll be an endless loop of shoots. If we run out of time to edit the scenes, then the drama will look like shit.”
Park Hoon signalled the camera director before walking in front of the monitor again.
“Bear this in mind. There’s a limit to how much editing can do. Although they say editing can make or break the drama, you guys are the ones providing the source.”
After saying those words, Park Hoon apologized loudly for saying nonsense.
The assistant director shouted. Park Hoon crossed his arms and looked at the monitor.
It didn’t feel like a burst of anger had gotten the better of him. It felt as though he had been holding back for quite a while. Perhaps he was feeling that way since the first time the camera started rolling in the morning. If it was just one person doing bad, he would’ve called out that person separately just like he did with Yeseul, so he probably did that because he thought that everyone was doing bad.
Maru fixed his glasses. Park Hoon had just given them a warning, telling them that it was up to them to scoop the rice out and eat it. When he looked next to him, he saw everyone waiting for the cue sign nervously.
‘Yes. This is actually better in the first run.’
It would be harder to make the atmosphere strict again if they were let loose since the get-go. Although it was the actors that created the atmosphere at a shooting location, that was usually limited to the adult actors. With child actors, who couldn’t talk back to the producer in any shape or form, especially if they just entered the entertainment industry, the producer would direct the atmosphere at a shooting location.
Maru looked at how the adult actors were drinking coffee and laughing with each other. That strict atmosphere only applied to the child actors who were relaxed without knowing what they were going against. The veterans capable of perfectly digesting their part were just watching this place with interest. Producer Park Hoon did not say anything about them either. The respect that the producer mentioned was based on skill after all.
Park Hoon’s voice struck the shooting location.
* * *
Jichan felt his voice cracking. He raised his voice recklessly since he just had that type of character, but that seemed to have backfired on him. It was the second NG scene already. He felt as though he was sweating cold sweat on his back.
“Jichan, watch your diction. Also, control your emotions a little more.”
Ever since he shouted at everyone, producer Park Hoon spoke in a small voice. Jichan found that even scarier. When an NG happened and everyone looked at him, he felt like he had sinned and couldn’t raise his head. This wasn’t what he thought a shooting scene would be like. If he made a mistake, he thought that the staff and the director would encourage him as long as he apologized. That was the dream shoot he had in his mind. However, the drama shooting scene that he participated in as a main character felt completely different. He wondered how the actors he saw before were able to endure such gazes.
“Let’s go to the next scene.”
They finally went on to the next scene. Jichan sighed. The next scene was where the supporting characters talked to each other by the window in the class.
He saw Maru, Joomin, and Dongho sit down by the window. Dongho, who played the role of Dongwook, a prankster-type character, was muttering something to himself with a smile for a while now, but he didn’t look like he was having fun at all.
Joomin, who played the character of Yeonjeong, Yeseul’s best friend, kept uttering her lines as she stared at the script. It seemed that she had a hard time memorizing her lines.
Finally, Maru, who played the character Lee Chan, nicknamed the ‘professor’, just sat there calmly unlike the other two who were busy doing something. He looked strangely leisurely.
“Tell the Jimmy jib to wait once they’re done setting up. We’re going to go down right after I do this scene. Well, then. Let’s get ready and start.”
The camera moved in front of the three. Jichan was never as scared of the camera as he was today. It was thanks to producer Park Hoon’s words. The others sitting next to him were also busy looking at their scripts. Yeseul looked like she was about to cry, so he didn’t dare talk to her. The one that seemed to be the most normal was Okseon. She always had a poker face on.
The coordinators stepped out and the three looked at each other in their positions. Producer Park Hoon’s start sign fell and Joomin immediately started acting.
Oof. Things aren't looking good.
Remember way back when during Apgu when Maru asked if characters could be replaced? I'm hoping he'll get more screen time and potentially become one of the main charas through sheer popularity/ability.