Wuxiaworld > Superstars of Tomorrow > Chapter 301: Premiere

Chapter 301: Premiere

Chapter 301: Premiere

Translator: BeetleBarker Editor: Tennesh
As the days passed, the number of people who had finished filming all their scenes increased, but very few people left the cast and crew. They only left if they had important matters or other arrangements to attend to.

During free time, one actor asked another, "When are you going to receive your bento box?"

The one who was asked stared at the sky in frustration. "Given the pace of filming, probably in two days."

The person in front patted the other's shoulder. "You can do it."

"What about you?"

"Me? Haha, my bento box is already cold."

"When did you receive it? When are you leaving?"

"I'm not leaving, I still have to stay here and study. What a good learning opportunity!"

Those who had finished filming all their scenes were not willing to leave. They felt that leaving early was losing face. They could stay on for a period by paying for their own food and lodging. To put it nicely, this was termed "retained cast studies." Of course, there were indeed many benefits, and there was a lot to be learned.

These people that stayed behind at their own expense provided manual labor, moving stuff and carrying equipment, and they were also on standby. Perhaps if they were lucky, they would be pulled into an extra role and have a few minutes of screen time. Even if the makeup for these extra roles was so thick that they couldn't recognize themselves, they felt satisfied anyway.

These people were more than delighted to work and fork out their own money. The companies behind them were also supportive and would reimburse part of their expenses. Generous companies directly covered all their expenses. Only by staying on with the cast and crew could they continue riding on the large ship that was "Founding Era." Whether it was the actor's own value or the company's commercial benefits, staying on was the best option.

The production team never chased anyone away. Many actors that were able to get into the cast were capable. They could act as old people or pretend to be young and could even portray a different gender.

Fang Zhao's filming went smoothly, and there were no situations where he released his full imposing aura. He was here to act, not to crush people with his aura—that wouldn't be beneficial for cooperating.

A historical serial wasn't history. Other actors were not the actual people from back then.

Fang Zhao could clearly differentiate reality from his memories.

From an artistic point of view, now he was just working together with other actors to bring an adaptation of actual history to life in the form of "Founding Era." This would let many more people remember what had happened during that time and the people that had sacrificed so much for these lands.

From a cultural and artistic aspect, it would leave its mark in history.

As Fang Zhao's motive was different from others, he treated this very seriously. Furthermore, in his own words, he did not consider it very arduous, so when compared to others, it seemed much more effortless for Fang Zhao.

It could not be said that he had very little to do. In fact, in the Yanzhou chapter's filming team, his duties were much heavier. Filming was tougher, and he did not use a body double, instead doing everything by himself. If he were anyone else, they would probably have laid down from exhaustion, but Fang Zhao still seemed enthusiastic and full of vigor every day. His appetite was also good; others might not even be able to finish a meal, yet Fang Zhao could finish up to three on his own!

Some people in the cast and crew loved to see Fang Zhao eat. Watching him eat a lot with relish, others would feel slightly more ravenous and stuff a few more mouthfuls of food in.

An old actor noticed Fang Zhao eating with such relish and could not help but ask, "Fang Zhao, how are you able to eat so much?"

Fang Zhao swallowed and replied, "Because I'm hungry."

That old actor hiccuped, following which he turned to the person beside him and sighed. "Given Fang Zhao's physical and mental qualities, it is no wonder he rose up through the ranks during his military service."

When the cast and crew were filming, who wouldn't be tired and hungry? But there were times where one would just feel unwell deep down. It might also be due to being too immersed in their character and being unable to completely separate oneself. When one was feeling stifled or panicky, it could give rise to a physiological rejection and they would not be able to bring themselves to swallow their food.

But take a look at Fang Zhao. A short while ago, he had been even more immersed in his character, but when filming was done he, squatted at the side and dug in.

While others were still holding onto their food in a daze, this person had already started on his second portion.

When others finally adjusted their state of mind and separated themselves from their character and were about to start eating, this person had already finished his third portion and was helping others in the cast and crew.

When others had finished forcefully stuffing food into their mouths, memorized their lines, and adjusted their state of mind, this person came running back to let the makeup artist touch up his appearance, and he got into character in one second.

"A really natural actor," yet another old actor lamented.

"How many years has it been since I have felt that sort of pressure!" old actors said as, with complicated expressions, they watched Fang Zhao as he entered his filming state.

This was also a reason why many successful old actors from the cast felt pressured. When juniors performed too well, it would make these seniors feel like their zeal wasn't sufficient and they were not professional enough

The pace of the production team's filming was very quick. Now, the second season's filming was almost done. Actors had already adapted to the situation and environment and were used to this sort of intensity. They were all quality actors, and after adapting, the filming of the second season had proceeded even more smoothly and quickly than that of the first season.

Nowadays, face makeup was simple. Every actor and role had special prosthetics that could be stuck onto their face. With a little touch-up from the makeup artists, even through a high definition camera, there would not be any traces of makeup, and it saved a lot of time.

Apparel, scars, and others were all the same. Everything had become much simpler with technological advancements, and not a lot of time was required for makeup. Naturally, efficiency had increased as well.

While filming for the second season was underway, the first season was in postproduction. It was rumored that postproduction was almost complete.

Although filming might have seemed quick, the cast and crew had put in a lot of effort. Also, they had prepared for a long time.

The cast had not made preparations only after the "Founding Era" project's reboot had been announced. Rather, plans had been made some years earlier, but they hadn't been carried out then.

The script had also been released earlier, but only after it had been rebooted had the consultation team looked through it and made amendments. Design plans for the construction of sets had long been prepared beforehand and had already been meticulously drawn up.

As for actors, those that had internal information had started preparing a few years earlier and had just been waiting for the project to be rebooted.

On the accompaniment music side, the music team had been hoarding pieces. Some extremely capable teams could even create accompanying music that better fit the plot at the last moment. With so many elites and talented people, Roman could use whoever's work best suited his requirements.

Quick filming did not signify that large quantities were being churned out at the cost of quality. Postproduction was also tightly supervised and had stringent requirements. With a lead director like Roman, who had very high standards, nobody could even think about just going through the motions.

From filming all the way to postproduction, everyone gave their all. The entire cast was like a well-oiled machine that was running precisely and efficiently.

Besides filming, every once in a while, Fang Zhao and other actors playing important roles in the same team would have to visit psychologists for a talk.

This was an arrangement of the production team's, and it was a clear-cut requirement. For Fang Zhao and other actors who held more important roles, they were required to visit the psychologist once every seven days. The production team was worried that these actors' mental health might be affected if they got too deeply immersed in their characters.

The production team cared about the physical and mental health of their actors and had also considered many aspects.

Actually, the original plan after filming started had been to be in a completely sealed mode without any access to the internet all the way until filming ended. Ultimately, following suggestions from the psychologists, it had been changed to two hours of internet access every seven days of the week. The reason was that people needed to release tension. This gave actors a time to drain all their pent-up feelings and emotions.

The psychologist in charge of Fang Zhao and the others was called Dai Yu.

Dai Yu knew many of these actors. As he was in the cast and crew, although he was not participating in the filming, he found out by talking to those actors that this might be the actors' toughest ever challenge yet. He could understand the mental states of these actors through conversations with them.

From Dai Yu's professional viewpoint, "Founding Era" was like a dark and gloomy forest fraught with strange dangers. When actors stepped inside, they were extremely careful even when it came to brushing away a single leaf. As they advance further in and fell even deeper, it got even more dangerous, and any object had the possibility of being a threat.

What Dai Yu needed to do was guide those actors deep in the darkness back out.

All the other actors were fine. The only one Dai Yu felt was a difficult problem was Fang Zhao. Every time he faced Fang Zhao, Dai Yu felt like...

Every time Dai Yu was dissecting Fang Zhao's mental state, the Fang Zhao sitting in front of him seemed to be scanning Dai Yu's mental state as well.

Dai Yu coughed lightly, relieving the strange atmosphere that had built up. He remembered his previous chats with other actors and continued, "People of those times seemingly became like beasts. Supposing they lost their humanity, it would signify that they would lose many things."

Fang Zhao replied, "Lose your bestiality, you lose everything."

Dr. Dai paused and looked at Fang Zhao before looking away quickly and nodding his head. "That's right. They were forced into it. Without change, they had no way of survival."

Dai Yu then took the initiative to talk to Fang Zhao about some other topics for around 10 minutes before he ended this session.

After Fang Zhao left, Dai Yu poured himself a glass of warm water. His finger that was hooked around the cup was trembling slightly. After finishing his water, he stared at the chair Fang Zhao had sat in and pondered.

If he was more attentive, he would have realized that every time Fang Zhao came over, the chair's position was slightly further away compared to others.

From several conversations here, Dai Yu had found out that Fang Zhao was a dangerous person. Fang Zhao might look rather harmless, but his true nature might be even closer to the role he was playing.

Fang Zhao was unlike others. Other people would seem to sink into the dark and dangerous forest because of acting. As for Fang Zhao, his head had an expanse of gloomy forests that was deeply rooted and could not be removed. Dai Yu was powerless.

The sort of temperament Fang Zhao had was probably close to what people during the Period of Destruction had had. It was probably because of this that Roman and the Committee of 100 had selected him.

But all those issues had nothing to do with the psychologist Dai Yu. All he had to do was make sure the actors would not delve so deeply they could not get out. Apparently, during this period, the others had a tendency to sink too deeply and needed lots of talking to, as well as some guidance.

As for Fang Zhao... he just had to go through the session as a formality.

When many young actors came here, they were nervous, but when Dai Yu was speaking with Fang Zhao, the psychologist was the one who felt pressured. Every time Fang Zhao came, Dai Yu would feel uneasy, as if he was being watched by a wild beast.

That's right, over here, Fang Zhao wasn't nervous; Dai Yu was the one all tensed up.

————

December passed by really quickly. As the new year and a new month came, a half-minute-long trailer for "Founding Era" subsequently appeared.

The accompaniment for this trailer had been created by a reputable music association.

A piano played at the start, supplemented by a violin. It sounded gloomy and restrained and also seemed quiet and lonely.

The opening sequence of the trailer:

A truck driver leaning against a steering wheel, his fist clenched tightly. He looked through the shattered windscreen and hesitated...

A shepherd held onto a machete with his trembling hand as droplets of blood trickled down the knife's sharp edge.

A prison guard in a prison sat down on the floor and quietly lit up a cigarette.

A lady in an elegant dress stood on a castle wall and looked out into the distance.

People crawled out from a series of ruins, staggering step by step, as if they were entering an abyss.

...

The whole country in ruins, homes shattered, the sun and moon no longer visible, meteors raining down, struggles in the fires of war, moving forward in the darkness.

A bloodied feather against the light floated downwards.

Two steps from hell!

Calamities that did not cease and battles without any rest!

As the melody's tempo started to rise, drumbeats became even more powerful. The coloration of the image started to become even more intense.

Rising up abruptly from the darkness and being reborn from the ashes!

In that very long and desolate period, freedom, existence, blood, guarding...

Twelve massive monuments appeared.

Countless names flashed across.

The history of the Period of Destruction that only appeared in history books unfolded before the eyes of later generations.

A long journey, a hundred-year reflection!

"'Founding Era' will premiere on January 28, 12 p.m. Huangzhou time. Eleven chapters will be simultaneously broadcast."

This wasn't a warped fantasy but actual historical culture combined with video and music to form a work of art!

On January 1 of the 535th year of the New Era, on the first day of the new year, following the release of the trailer, every forum, video streaming site, social platform, newspaper, and magazine was occupied by "Founding Era"!

Without a doubt, the main theme for the coming year had been set!

Scenes of great jubilation happened online.

"Ah ah ah ah, it is finally going to be broadcast!"

"I'm counting down every single day!"

"Everyone is a big name!"

"The feeling of just randomly pointing my finger and it landing on a celebrity feels great. What an unprecedented grand allocation; I can't wait!"

"Were the 12 people that appeared right at the start of the trailer the 12 great generals?"

"Idiot! Did you sleep in history class? There are only 11 great generals! Fang Zhao isn't one!"

"Hahaha, the Wu Yan in the trailer is still a baby."

"Eleven Chapters, as a Yanzhou person, I will watch the Yanzhou chapter first before watching the others. How great!"

"Ahh, 11 chapters being broadcast simultaneously. What a difficult choice... Which one am I going to choose!? I'm from Huangzhou. Why isn't there a Huangzhou chapter among the 11 chapters!"

There were 12 continents in the world because of the Period of Destruction. Huangzhou was slightly special and was the only one without a local great general, and it was the only continent not named after a person.

Nowadays, Huangzhou was the world's political core. The people of Huangzhou always felt a sense of superiority, but this time, people of Huangzhou were depressed.

"Us Huangzhouans have been reduced to a supporting role in 'Founding Era'."

"No idea when we will be able to see a storyline concerning Huangzhou."

"We will have to wait till we're closer to the end. Only then will we get to see our continent's part."

"Whatever. Everything is good as long as we can watch it."

Once it premiered, there would be two episodes aired every day from Monday to Friday—none on the weekends. But the series wouldn't start until the 28th, and it was only the 1st now. How were people going to endure for another 20-something days?

If the series could not be watched yet, then head to the Cemetery of Martyrs to pay respects first.

Fans found out which characters their idols were playing and headed to the Cemetery of Martyrs to find out where these heroic characters' graves were.

Thus, on the first day of the new year, the number of people visiting each continent's Cemetery of Martyrs saw a sharp increase.

"This... Isn't there still some time till Memorial Day? Why are they so many people?" asked a puzzled worker at a Cemetery of Martyrs as he saw the number of people walking around the cemetery grounds.

"The impact of 'Founding Era'," another staff member replied.

Someone else joined in the discussion. "Commemorative portraits of martyrs are selling especially well this year!"

"In the past, nobody bought commemorative portraits. This year, right at the start, they have all been swept up. My superiors have even said that more artists have been hired to work around the clock, and there are a lot of portraits of characters I have never even heard about before."

In the month of January, it seemed as if the number of visitors to the Cemetery of Martyrs was increasing every day.

Very quickly, given the bombardment of information, even people who did not pay attention to these aspects also found out about the premiere "Founding Era" on Memorial Day.

All military districts, regardless of whether there were on Earth or a foreign planet, also received news about it, and they were eagerly waiting. There was much lesser entertainment in the military, and it was rare for there to be a series that the top brass supported. Naturally, this was highly anticipated.

In people's daily lives, whether they were at work, in school, or online, "Founding Era" was always unavoidably mentioned. This had already become a sort of phenomenon for the entire population.

"Founding Era" was going to premiere on Memorial Day. Schools and companies would be on vacation, and the streets would have much fewer people. For the Cemetery of Martyrs, this would be a rare occasion where it was quiet.

Finally, the day came. Some people were gathered together with their family members, some with their colleagues, and some were staying home alone, but they were all waiting. In some places where it was the middle of the night, people had stayed up waiting.

At the appointed time, the first episode starting airing, and everyone turned it on full of joy and expectations.

But their pleasure was short lived.