He had to put a dot on what was already a complete picture. Where did he have to put the dot? In a corner where there was blank space? Or on top of another colored spot?
The bus stopped at an opening in front of a mountain. When Maru got off the bus, he could see the sea. This place was near Gunsan port.
“I wonder if we’ll shoot near the port as well.”
“Since we’re here, I wish we could go in the sea as well. Summer equals sea and sea equals summer, no?”
“But this is supposed to be a port. Doesn’t that mean we can’t go into the sea?”
The kids that got off the bus all sighed as they spoke.
Maru saw the staff, who were holding shovels, gathered in front of the car holding the props. Joongjin and director Choi were explaining things to them. Seeing how the background was the mountains, the fight scene was probably going to occur here. It was a fist fight between some c.o.c.ky kids, and one of the students would die here.
“Die realistically okay? Realistically.”
“If it’s too hard for you, I’ll help you.”
Joon-gi and Sooyoung spoke while giggling. Maru pictured how his death scene would look in his head and contemplated what he had to do from here on. His part for the movie would be done if he shot today and tomorrow. The three others were the same. Two fight scenes and a funeral scene. The remainder of the shoot would probably occur under Joongjin’s immaculate instructions.
“What are you thinking about?”
“I’m thinking about whether I should stand out or just blend in with the rest.”
Hearing his words, Joon-gi and Sooyoung, not to mention Bangjoo, all closed in on him.
“Hey, it’s hot.”
“Is being hot the problem here? You’re talking about the shoot, aren’t you?”
Hearing Sooyoung’s question, Maru nodded his head.
“Do you have a way? Didn’t the director say that he’ll chase us out if we don’t do as he instructed?”
Joon-gi turned his head around to look at director Joongjin who was walking towards the mountain. The staff members that followed him held a shovel in their hands.
“That’s why I’m thinking about it. Today’s our last shoot.”
“It is also our first,” Sooyoung interrupted.
“There won’t be any problems even if we just do what we did in the morning and follow his instructions to the tee. The other actors are doing the same after all. However, it would be such a pity if we wasted this opportunity like that.”
How many movies would a nameless minor actor participate in over the span of one year? Moreover, this movie was making the news amongst movie critics as the ‘return of the genius director’. If what they said floated around the internet, the public’s interest would rise accordingly.
Since Joongjin was given acknowledgment for commercial movies after Spring Calendar, he should probably be able to achieve decent results with this one as well. Perhaps it might become a movie that millions of people would end up watching. Of course, there was also the possibility that Spring Calendar was just a one-hit wonder, but from looking at Joongjin, Maru didn’t feel like this movie would have bad results.
The fact that he cast Lee Hyuk, who hadn’t appeared on the screen for quite a while, shouldn’t entirely be because of his looks. As Sooyoung said, he might also have been in need of an obedient actor, but he might have needed the title of the ‘comeback work’ of a ‘pretty decent male actor’. From the beginning of the shoot to now, Joongjin proceeded as though he had already broken down a complete puzzle and was just reconstructing it from scratch. Perhaps his ears might be numb already due to the applause of the audience.
“So, what are you going to do?” Bangjoo asked.
What, huh. If he was asked about the method, then he had no answer for that. If he knew such a thing, he wouldn’t be thinking about it in the first place.
“It’s not like I’m completely out of cards, but before that, there’s something I want to ask you guys.”
“What is it?”
Maru looked at Sooyoung who asked back.
“The four of us are a set, right?”
“I don’t really like that word, but for now, yes, we’re a set. You and I, Bangjoo and Joon-gi are the main character’s ‘friends’ after all.”
Maru raised his hand and put Sooyoung’s hand, which was covering his nose, down.
“I’m asking just in case since the four of us will have to be together for today’s shoot, but are you going to follow the director? Or are you going to try various things?”
Friends A through D. They had practiced a lot for today’s fight scene. If any one of them was missing from the picture, the whole thing would look awkward. The reason Maru asked this question before talking about how to act against the director’s methods was because of that. This movie was entirely teamwork-based. If any of the three told him that they should just do as the director says, then there was no need to worry about any of this at all.
“I’m going to go with what you’re going to do, seonbae-nim,” Bangjoo replied without hesitation.
Maru shook his head at him.
“Think about it before answering me. You saw the director for yourselves. He’s the type of guy who would ask a person to leave the moment they do something that he didn’t ask for.”
“I’m fine with that. I’m here to do action acting, not move as I was instructed to. Also, you made a confident expression after calling my sister a while ago. I got the feeling that I can expect good things from you.”
He looked as though there was no need for second thoughts. Maru looked at Joon-gi and Sooyoung.
“We’re just minor actors, so we should try regardless. Also, would he really throw us out? He would have to throw out the entire action scene if he does that. Well, if he does tell us to leave, I guess we can only beg him to let us stay,” Sooyoung spoke with a laugh.
“I’m fine with all that, but what is this about Bangjoo’s sister?”
Joon-gi narrowed his eyes. Maru looked at Bangjoo and quietly asked if it was okay to tell them who his sister was.
“I don’t mind.”
Since he got permission, there was no need to hide it anymore. Maru told the others the conversation he had with Joohyun just now.
“Wait, this guy’s sister is Ahn Joohyun?”
“You mean that Ahn Joohyun?”
The two of them grabbed Bangjoo by the collars asking why they weren’t aware of this until now but soon treated him in a nice way while calling him ‘brother-in-law’.
“I did find it strange that Joohyun-noonim was walking right behind you when she came to the action school last time, but I never realized that you were her brother.”
“To think that you kept such an important thing a secret until now. What a disappointment.”
The two people kept poking Bangjoo by the waist.
“There’s nothing good if it gets known. Both for me and for my sister. Also, my sister said she has no intentions of getting married.”
“Why? She’s so pretty. There must be a truckload of men wanting to marry her.”
Hearing that question, Bangjoo’s expression darkened. Maru slapped Joon-gi and Sooyoung’s mouths with the back of his hand. When the two people glared back at him, Maru told them to stop here.
“Are you here to do an interrogation? Stop falling into your delusions and finish what we started.”
“Alright, alright. Damn, kid. Your hand is spicy.”
Sooyoung wiped his mouth with his palm as he continued speaking,
“Anyway, you’re saying that the director isn’t 100% stubborn in his ways?”
According to director Joongjin’s style, there was no way a minor actor could shine more than a lead actor. After all, in the world inside his mind, everyone should have their respective roles.
However, Joohyun achieved that. She made the director fall for her and managed to do her own act instead of the one suggested by the director. As a result of that, she became a star.
“If you get acknowledged, who knows? He might give you his full support.”
“We’re just minor actors, would he really do that?”
“It would probably be impossible to rise to the ranks of main characters since the story is already set, but it should be possible for him to allocate more screen time for us during the beginning parts.”
“It would be great if that happened. I would die satisfied if my face appeared on screen for just 30 seconds.”
“1 minute for me.”
“15 seconds for me!”
The three of them grinned in satisfaction.
“So all three of you agree?”
The three of them slowly nodded.
“But we can’t just outright go against his words, can we? I think it’ll be reckless to just tell him that we are going to do our own acts.”
“Of course, we’ll have to plan things out.”
“Plan things out?”
Maru crossed his arms. Joongjin didn’t look like someone who would talk nonsense. If they told him that they wanted him to look at their acts without any preparation, they might actually be thrown out of the set. However, was that the only way?
“For now, we’ll follow the director’s words. Honestly speaking, I couldn’t think of a better picture than what the director suggested during that classroom scene. What about you guys? Do you think you can direct people better or make it look better than that?”
The three of them thought about it for a while before shaking their heads. Joongjin’s skills were definitely exceptional. The owner of those exceptional skills was putting his heart and mind into creating a movie. If they were to have Joongjin paint a completely different color on top of what is a ‘completed movie’ in his mind, no small feat was going to do it.
“Since we’re here in the mountains, I’m probably going to die here. This is the scene where we have the most lines.”
“That’s true. Once we go to the port, the only thing we can do is to jump around cheerfully.”
“For now, do as the director says once the shoot begins. Once you think of a better act than the one that the director is telling you to do, you can bring it up then. Of course, only after discussing it between ourselves.”
“But what if he says no? The guy that tried to change the direction of turning got rejected on the spot. Wouldn’t he tell us to f.u.c.k off if we tell him that we want to change the acting when we’re just minor actors?”
“Once we four judge that it’s better than what the director is telling us to do, I’m going to push on with it.”
“Push on with it?”
“Isn’t it too dangerous? I don’t want to be thrown out of the movie altogether while trying to do something different,” Joon-gi spoke in a careful manner.
“That probably won’t happen.”
“How do you know that? It seems too much like a gamble to me.”
“I don’t like gambling. Challenging something is too dangerous after all.”
“I think what we’re trying to do is plenty dangerous though.”
“No. If the director is someone that can take responsibility for his words, then it’s not that much of a gamble.”
He didn’t say words like ‘he had a good feeling about this’. Maru talked to the others about this because he saw definite potential in this.
- Just following what other people have already done is, yes, it is very easy. There’s no risk in that. That is because numerous pioneers have experienced all the existing dangers and told their followers. Look, this is no longer dangerous - one would have said.
Joongjin said those words himself. He also said this - the ones that have faith in conventions start condemning people that try to escape such conventions.
Joongjin was a meticulous perfectionist. Precisely because of that, he wouldn’t want to contradict himself. He talked as though he was bored when they talked in the restaurant. He always looked for new, exciting, and fun things.
His declaration when he said that he would throw people out if they went against his frame, was perhaps, not such a strict declaration.