The producer, director, and screenwriter gathered together in a private room.
There were five screens hanging on the wall in front of them, and on each of the screens, there was a paused scene. Those were the videos showcasing the final performances of Jiaojiao and the five contestants.
The setting of the stage and the plot was the same. Before filming, they had also specified that the contestants were not allowed to change their lines without authorization. Thus, everything was kept the same, except for the candidates.
Only by shooting the same scene, with the same lines, could the judging panel tell who was the better candidate for the male lead role.
The three judges studied all the videos carefully. Then, they had a discussion and shared their views.
"In your opinion, who is the most suitable candidate?" As the producer, Sheng Jiaoyang had the right to speak up first, so she began the discussion.
"Actually, the difference in their skills isn’t that obvious. Judging from their performances on-screen, you can see that Liao Feng really knows how to use the camera angles to make himself look good." Qin Anliang was a director, so he paid great attention to that detail.
Then, Ma Tingting said, "I think that among the five of them, Song Junyi’s acting was the closest to the male lead’s character, and his disposition is also very similar. He can bring out the inherent qualities of the male lead, and make the male lead look more pleasing to the eye."
Sheng Jiaoyang nodded slightly as she looked at the scenes on the five screens. Her gaze slowly swept across the faces of the five contestants.
"As Anliang said, Liao Feng really has a strong sense for the camera angles. However, we don't need a male lead who has that particular strength. The other four candidates were not bad either. Tingting also has a point. If we choose someone who could bring out the male lead’s inherent qualities, then we don't need to worry about him doing a bad job in this role."
"Looks like you also like Song Junyi. Aren’t you worried that the other contestants would be dissatisfied if you were to choose him? They might think that he only got the role because he’s your fan," Qin Anliang said with a smile.
"Although Song Junyi is my fan, I won’t overvalue him just because of this. On the contrary, I would be more strict with him because I’m afraid that others would judge him since he’s my fan. But, he hasn’t let me down at all."
Sheng Jiaoyang paused and looked toward the camera before continuing, "If the other contestants have an issue with this, then I can't help it either. Even if I choose someone else, there will always be someone who won’t be happy with my decision. As the producer of this movie, I wouldn’t choose someone inappropriate for the role just because of some connection. I must be responsible for the money that I’ve invested, and I must be responsible for the movie production."
"Now that we have decided on a winner, let's go out and announce the result!"
The five contestants waiting on the stage were also whispering amongst themselves.
Amongst the five of them, three of them had graduated from an acting school. One of them didn’t graduate from an acting school, but he had been active in the National Film Studios for two years. Although he hadn’t received systematic training, he had experience in many roles, and his acting skills were very solid.
The last one was Song Junyi, who didn’t graduate from an acting school, or have any previous experience in acting.
He was a complete rookie.
However, as Ma Tingting said, the male lead role suited him very well. Whether in appearance, character, or behavior, his acting was very close to the image of the male lead that they had in mind. After he received training, he was no longer the same rookie he was at the beginning of the audition. His acting skills might be slightly lacking when compared to the other contestants, but his overall performance was very compatible with the male lead’s character, and he managed to pass every round until he reached the finals.
Although the five contestants had read the script, their understanding of the character was certainly not as good as that of Ma Tingting and Sheng Jiaoyang.
However, in the eyes of the contestants, regardless of whether they had been eliminated or were still in the final round, the strongest out of the five contestants was Liao Feng. Not only was he from an acting school, but he had also been active in the entertainment industry for a year, and his acting skills could be considered as the best out of the five.
Even Liao Feng was very confident in himself. Normally, everyone secretly praised him and said that he would certainly get the male lead role. How could a person with looks and acting skills like him possibly not be chosen in the end?
When the judges came out, the contestants quickly quietened down.
Everyone stared at the judges, but their gazes were mainly fixed on Jiaojiao.
They knew that the person with the most say was Jiaojiao, because she was the producer and investor of the movie.
"Before announcing the result, I would like everyone to know that if you weren’t chosen this time, it isn’t because you were not good enough, but because you were just not fated to act out this role," Sheng Jiaoyang picked up the mic and said.
"All the contestants who participated in our audition are very skilled. Although we can only choose one male lead, there are other roles in our movie. If you are interested, you can sign up after the competition, and we would make a decision based on your previous performances."
Sheng Jiaoyang paused momentarily and then said with a smile, "Next, I will announce the winner. The male lead this time is…"
Her words incited an immediate uproar, and everyone turned to Song Junyi.
The smile on Liao Feng's face froze momentarily. Then, he also turned to face Song Junyi. At this moment, his mood was particularly complex. When he had heard that Song Junyi won the competition, he subconsciously thought that Song Junyi had relied on his connection with Jiaojiao to get the role.
"The winner is Song Junyi?! And here I thought that Xu Jiaojiao would not pick him so that she can avoid arousing suspicions!"
"I didn't expect the winner to be the sole rookie amongst us. On what basis did the judges make that decision?"
"Why is it Song Junyi? Liao Feng's acting skills were obviously better."
The contestants off stage murmured one after another.
Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t pay any heed to the voices off stage and continued, "Part of our script is based on a true story, and Song Junyi’s acting, in general, was the closest depiction of the male lead’s character. Moreover, everyone is aware of his current strength. When we choose someone for a role, we are not looking for the most outstanding candidate, but the most suitable one."
"The other candidates were also very skilled, but as I said earlier, this has nothing to do with your ability. You were just not fated for this role. This is why we wouldn’t call the winner of this audition the champion, because acting skills was not the only criterion for choosing the winner."
The contestants had no choice but to accept the outcome. Since Song Junyi made it to the finals, they had to admit that his skills were not bad. At best, the other contestants could only be envious of his good luck.
After the finals were fully recorded, the three judges didn't leave the set immediately. Instead, they took out a list of character names, and a description of their characters.
This list was sent to all of the contestants, and they were given an opportunity to audition for these other roles after reviewing the characters.
Even if it was just a supporting role in the movie, for the majority of the contestants who had no foundation in acting, this was an opportunity that couldn’t be ignored. Although this opportunity was not as attractive as the male lead role, many of them were mentally prepared to fail the audition when they participated. The majority of them wanted to make use of this competition to make themselves more famous. Then, there would be plenty of other opportunities waiting for them.
And now, an opportunity was presented right in front of them!
"Chairman Xu, is there a suitable role for me in the movie?" Liao Feng went up to Sheng Jiaoyang and asked her directly.
Looking at the ambitious Liao Feng, Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t answer him immediately, but asked him instead, "I remember that you have signed a contract with Entertainment International, right?"
Liao Feng's eyes lit up, but he didn’t act presumptuously. He smiled and nodded, "Yes, I did. In fact, according to seniority, I have to call you my senior."
Although everyone knew Jiaojiao's age, no one treated her as someone of that age. Liao Feng was ambitious, but that's because he did have the skills to back his ambition up. Yet, he could only lower his pride in front of Jiaojiao, and he didn’t find it uncomfortable at all.
The situation was just like comparing an ordinary 20-year-old university student to a 10-year-old genius who studies in university. In front of the genius, the ordinary 20-year-old university student wouldn’t dare overvalue himself just because of his age. Rather, he would be full of respect for the genius.
That was the situation now.
In the minds of many youngsters, Jiaojiao was not just a legendary person, but an unparalleled legend.
When Sheng Jiaoyang heard Liao Feng call her senior, her expression remained the same. She still had a friendly and polite smile on her face as she said, "There is indeed a role suitable for you: the female lead’s boyfriend. Although the role doesn’t have many scenes in the movie, it’s also a very important role. This role has something in common with that of the male lead. I really need someone with good acting skills to bring out the qualities of the character. I can see a lot of potential in you. Do you want to try out for this role?"
Liao Feng accepted her offer without a second thought. They were from the same company and Jiaojiao was the chairman, so the role she offered him would definitely be a role she found suitable for him after much consideration. After all, if he became successful in the future, he would bring more benefits to the company.
No one doubted Jiaojiao's insight. If she didn’t have good insight, she couldn’t possibly have gone from an ordinary supermodel participant to where she was today. The way she walked her journey to success made others look at her with envy, but they couldn’t do anything about it because the gap in ability between Jiaojiao and them was just too wide.
Song Junyi hesitated when he saw Jiaojiao and Liao Feng chatting happily.
A contestant gently bumped him on the shoulder and said, "Although Liao Feng hadn’t landed the role of the male lead, it seems that he has caught the goddess’ eyes. Look how happy he is when chatting with her. He must have secured a good opportunity."
Song Junyi didn't say anything, and he didn’t look glum at all. In fact, he had no problem with Liao Feng robbing him of his spotlight, because even he felt a little unsure why he was chosen as the male lead. He couldn’t tell if he was chosen because he was the best fit, or because he was Jiaojiao’s fan.
While hesitating, he saw his goddess look in his direction. She waved her hand and signaled for him to go over.
A gleam of delight flashed across his eyes, and he walked over.
"Our dear male lead, there’s one thing you need to arrange before we begin filming."
Song Junyi froze momentarily and then asked, "What must I arrange?"
"You must ask your school for academic leave. You’re still in school, right?"Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Yuna | Editor: Cookies | TLC: Grace