AM: Chapter 16
The song ‘Memory Fragments’ by Chen Yijun was a song written, composed and arranged by herself. The theme was first love and the story took place in the high school era. In this world, most children with alpha and omega genes started to differentiate when they were around 16 years old. As their glands matured, they would have distinctive pheromones odor.
However, betas still accounted for more than 70% of humanity. They didn’t have glands, pheromones smell and they didn’t suffer from estrus or susceptible periods. Speaking of beta, people’s first reaction would be: ordinary.
Most of the movies, dramas and songs in the entertainment circle focused on alphas and omegas—the mutual attraction of pheromones and the perfect fit of genes sounded like a matchless love.
Chen Yijun’s song told the story of two betas. She was a beta herself. Perhaps it was due to empathy but the lyrics had a strong sense of substitution.
The script of the MV was also very interesting. Chen Yijun debuted at a young age and was now 25 years old. No matter how much she looked like a high school student, fans knew she wasn’t a 16 year old girl. Therefore, the script adopted the format of ‘dreaming back to high school,’ allowing Chen Yijun to travel back in her dream. In this way, the male lead just had to be around 18 years old and the female lead wouldn’t seem abrupt even if she was an adult.
The reason why the MV was delayed until now was that Chen Yijun hadn’t found a suitable male lead. It wasn’t until she saw Cheng Xia in the office that she had a ‘bright eyes’ feeling.
She boldly let Cheng Xia, an omega, come and play a beta senior. It was because Cheng Xia looked very sunny. He didn’t have the softness of an omega. He was fresh, naturally handsome and not as aggressive as an alpha. This was very in line with the image of a beta senior in high school. In the future, if fans knew that Cheng Xia was actually an omega then the contrast would attract a wave of attention and topics.
Cheng Xia read the script several times in the car and became familiar with the plot.
The female lead of the story was very ordinary. In her first year of high school, she secretly liked a senior. The other person was also a beta but he was the best among the school betas. He was too outstanding and dazzling. The female lead didn’t dare confess even on the graduation day.
As an adult, she worked hard and finally succeeded in her career, creating her own clothing brand.
On the 100th anniversary of the school, the school invited her back to give a speech. She returned to school and saw the senior she had a crush on. The past came to mind and that night, she had a long dream. In the dream, she seemed to travel back to her childhood. The senior she had a crush on was very close but very far away.
The handsome teenager played piano in the music room, read carefully under the trees or ran around on the court. The scenes were as clear as yesterday.
The final scene returned to the auditorium where the two of them met again. She had just reached out and touched the young man’s fingertips when the entire scene shattered like a mirror. She woke up suddenly and heard the alarm clock urging her to go to work.
It was a very simple story about ‘secret love’ that made people feel bitter after reading it.
The unspeakable likes of youth could only be completely buried in memories. Cheng Xia had never had a crush on anyone but he thought that Sister Yijun’s song would definitely resonate with a lot of beta boys and girls.
In high school, the school was full of rumors about ‘who differentiated into an alpha’ and ‘who differentiated into an omega’. It seemed that no one paid attention to betas.
However, around 30 of the 40 students in a class were betas. This was quite a high percentage and they seemed ordinary. They weren’t like alphas who were the focus of attention or protected like omegas. Still, they would secretly like someone and they would be sad because their secret love had no results.
As a popular beta star in the entertainment industry, this song would be particularly in line with the psychology of beta students, regardless of the song’s intentions, starting point or the theme it wanted to express.
Cheng Xia liked Chen Yijun’s new song very much and was looking forward to what the MV script would look like.
Director Zhang greeted Cheng Xia when he came to the studio and briefly told Cheng Xia about the content of today’s shooting. “Today is mainly for trying on makeup and styling. We will shoot some simple indoor scenes. I want to finish filming the part where the male lead plays the piano in the music room. Looking at the weather forecast, it should snow in the afternoon.”
He squinted and imagined the scene while gesticulating. “Heavy snow outside the window, in the quiet music room, the handsome boy is playing the piano. The female lead passes by and watches him but doesn’t dare disturb him… at that time, the two cameras will shoot you clearly from different angles and it will be edited later!”
Chen Yijun excitedly turned to Cheng Xia. “Once post-production combines this scene with my lyrics, the effect must be first-rate!”
Cheng Xia was driven by the mood of the two people and seriously asked, “Director Zhang, do I just sit there later?” He pointed to the piano and stool already placed in the room.
“Yes, you don’t have to move around in the scene. Just sit there and play the piano from start to end.” Director Zhang paused and suddenly asked, “By the way, can you play the piano? Let me take a look at your hands.”
“Yes, I have learned the piano since I was a child.” Cheng Xia stretched out his hands to show the director.
Perhaps it was due to stretching them from playing piano but the young man’s fingers were white and slender. Looking at them up close, they were really flawless. Director Zhang couldn’t help exclaiming, “Your hands are so beautiful! It is okay to zoom in directly and there is no need for a hand replacement!”
Playing the piano required a lot of close-ups of the male protagonist’s hands. Director Zhang was a bit worried at first. If the newcomer Chen Yijun didn’t have good-looking hands then he would have to ask a hand model to act as a stand-in for this scene.
It might only be an MV that lasted a few minutes but Director Zhang’s requirements were very high. If someone who didn’t know the piano sat there posing for a scene and blindly pressed the keys, it would be too embarrassing if professionals saw it.
Cheng Xia knew how to play the piano and his hands looked good.
Director Zhang immediately made a decision. “Come, we will first try to shoot this part. Cheng Xia, pay attention to the position of the camera.” He pointed to the camera behind him. “The first camera will mainly shoot you later and it will turn around you. Don’t worry about it. Just have a natural expression and focus on playing the piano.”
Cheng Xia nodded. He walked over to sit on the piano stool, lifted the piano lid and gently placed both hands on the keys.
Director Zhang returned to the director’s spot and gave an order. “Lighting, photography, props, ready!”
The staff members moved quickly.
Cheng Xia felt a bit nervous. After all, this was the first time he faced so many staff members and cameras. The strong lights above his head hit him and made him a bit dizzy. He took a deep breath and adjusted his position, trying to focus on the piano in front of him.
Director Zhang turned to the photographer next to him with an OK gesture. “Cheng Xia, you just need to casually play a song. The first machine, get in place!”
Cheng Xia heard this and his hands gently stroked the keys as he started to play a familiar piano song.
At the same time, the Ronghua Building directly across from the 17th High School.
Liu Xueyi was sitting in the VIP room. It was almost 11:30 and the person he made an appointment with still hadn’t arrived.
Xu Moran, the screenwriter who was with him couldn’t help complaining. “Brother Yi, one of my classmates is one of Pei Shaoze’s naughty friends. It is said that he went to the club a few days ago and played until five in the morning. How can he suddenly change personalities in a few days? My guess is that he was forced by his father to take over Group C of Tianxuan and he doesn’t want to do it seriously. Is the drama he invested in reliable?”
Liu Xueyi frowned. “However, I also heard rumors that he often works overtime recently and is serious about his work. In any case, he looked for me personally so I should meet him and talk.”
The moment he finished speaking, the door suddenly opened. An alpha walked in with his assistant.
The man was tall and slender, with handsome facial features and a trace of indifference in his dark eyes. He wore a gray coat and a simple striped scarf around his neck. The heating was turned on in the room so after entering, he took off his scarf and coat and handed them to the assistant behind him. Then he walked in front of the two people and proactively stretched out a hand. “Director Liu, Teacher Xu, it suddenly snowed and there was a traffic jam. I’m sorry for being two minutes late.”
Liu Xueyi hurriedly stood up and shook hands with him. “Hello President Pei.”
Xu Moran also smiled. “It is fine, President Pei. We also just arrived.”
Pei Shaoze told them. “Sit down and talk.” He leaned toward Zhang Fan’s ear and whispered in a low voice, “Xiao Zhang, go to the waiter to order. Serve the dishes in 30 minutes.”
Zhang Fan understood. He hung up President Pei’s clothes and turned to leave.
Pei Shaoze sat down and took out a contract from his briefcase. “Director Liu, I have seen your previous dramas and really appreciate your style. Therefore, this time Tianxuan has invested in a school drama and I would sincerely like to cooperate with you.” He pushed the contract to Liu Xueyi and continued in a low voice, “This is the contract that I asked the legal affairs department to sort out. You can check it first. In addition to the fixed remuneration, the director can also get a percentage of the final income of the show.”
A box office share was usually the treatment that movie directors got. Shares of an online drama? Liu Xueyi thought that this was a big pie that Pei Shaoze was drawing for him. It was already good if youth-themed dramas didn’t lose money. Want to earn money and get a share of it? It would be funny if he got a few hundred yuan at the end.
Then after seeing the contract, Liu Xueyi’s expression changed slightly. “President Pei, you want to hurry and shoot in time for a summer release? This… the competition is fierce during summer. A small investment online drama wants to fight with these big IPs in the summer holiday period is just…”
“Just looking for death, right?” Pei Shaoze raised his eyes and looked at Liu Xueyi calmly. “The summer is indeed a fierce fight but don’t forget it is also when traffic is the highest. We are shooting a school drama and most of the audience will be students. Students will be at home during the summer holidays and have a lot of time to follow a drama. As long as the drama is filmed well, the ratings definitely won’t be bad.”
“This…” Liu Xueyi saw the other person’s serious expression and didn’t know how to refute it for a while.
“In terms of publicity, I don’t want to invest too much money. We are going to use newcomers this time and excessive publicity can cause negative effects. The investment should be controlled within 10 million and the money well spent. The script should be carefully polished and the shooting of each scene done to the extreme. I believe that the key to whether a drama can be popular or not is the quality and reputation.”
“……” Liu Xueyi and Xu Moran looked at each other in shock. President Pei’s words were simply that of a clean investor. It was unlike many employers who shouted every day about finding big-name celebrities and spending tens of millions in publicity expenses. For some dramas with an investment of 100 million yuan, the actors could take away 80,000!
Now President Pei was saying that quality and reputation were the foundation of a drama.
The alpha in front of them was very young but the calm aura when he spoke was something that a second generation couldn’t have. Liu Xueyi couldn’t help looking over with admiration. Xu Moran decided to go back and scold his friend. What type of rumor did he spread? Did the Pei Shaoze in front of him look like someone who went to a bar to drink until four or five at night?
“Director Liu, the profit sharing isn’t an empty promise. I think this drama will definitely make money.” Pei Shaoze paused before adding, “As for the actors, we will hold another audition once the script is revised. Tianxuan’s newcomers will participate in the audition. At that time, we will go to the scene and decide who has the best acting skills. I’ll just give you some advice and won’t force anyone into a role.”
“President Pei, since you trust me so much then I will definitely do my best!” Liu Xueyi’s voice was trembling and he was completely aroused by Pei Shaoze’s words. He wasn’t a very famous director. In the past, every time he talked about the contract, the investor would be arrogant and arbitrarily insert actors into the drama regardless of his opinion. If they bought money into the group, he would have to change the script and add scenes according to their whims. He could only endure it.
This time, President Pei gave him a very high remuneration, promised a revenue share. and also let him participate in the audition to personally determine the actors. He had no reason to refuse such great sincerity.
Such an investor was the best investor father in his mind!
After reading the contract, Liu Xueyi found there was already the official seal and Pei Shaoze’s signature on the last back of the contract. He admired President Pei’s neat work style even more. He took out a pen and just wanted to sign his name when he remembered something. He looked up and asked, “By the way President Pei, who is the producer of this drama?”
Pei Shaoze answered calmly, “I will be the producer myself.”
Liu Xueyi and Xu Moran, “……”
No, did he have experience?
Pei Shaoze smiled at the sight of their questioning eyes. “Don’t worry, I personally invested in this online drama. If I lose money then I won’t be able to raise my head in the company. I will definitely take this drama seriously.”
Liu Xueyi was silent for a few seconds before gritting his teeth and signing his name.
Just bet this time! If he won then he would earn a profit. If he lost then he wouldn’t lose anything.
In the eyes of Liu Xueyi and Xu Moran, Pei Shaoze had no production experience. A producer was very important for a drama. Not only was it necessary to coordinate the various parties and supervise the filming progress of the entire crew, they also had to follow up on the publicity process, submission for review and airing schedule after it was completed. A good producer could make the drama go smoothly. Could Pei Shaoze do it?
Liu Xueyi didn’t know that the alpha in front of him was the President Pei from another world who created countless celebrities and was called ‘the boss with the most investment vision.’ Producing a youth school drama? It was a piece of cake for President Pei.
The contract was signed smoothly.
By the time Zhang Fan asked the waiter to serve the food, Liu Xueyi had already signed his name. The director, screenwriter and producer were talking happily. Zhang Fan looked dazed.
I-It was set?
President Pei was really quick and resolute. This was the fastest contract Zhang Fan had ever seen signed since joining the industry.
After dinner, Pei Shaoze didn’t go directly to the garage. He stopped the elevator on the first floor and walked out into the lobby. Zhang Fan followed him. “President Pei, you aren’t going back to the company?”
Pei Shaoze looked at the 17th High School directly across from him. “Go and visit the crew first.”
Zhang Fan was taken aback for a moment before realizing. “Yes, Chen Yijun’s MV is being shot at the 17th High School!”
“Yes, she specifically told me yesterday.” Pei Shaoze walked to the door of the building. Snow was flying outside so he held up a big black umbrella and walked toward the opposite high school. “After all, Chen Yijun has already signed a contract extension with Tianxuan. As the boss, I should express concern for the artist who just renewed the contract.”
Visiting Chen Yijun was just an excuse. He wanted to see Cheng Xia. It was the first time facing a professional camera and a strict Director Zhang. He didn’t know if the little guy was still adapting to it?
Bonus ko-fi chapter
Gosh, idk how much I love Pei. He’s cold but not overbearing. Rational but actually has a soft spot.