Cheng Xia came to the set with his agent at 8:30 a.m.
The scenery of Mingde Private High School really deserved its reputation. There were green trees and flowers everywhere. School buildings stood in the misty mountains and looked more like a holiday resort than a school. Pei Shaoze had contacted the school to book an unused building. It was behind the school stadium, and many empty rooms in the building could be converted into indoor scenes such as classrooms, the library, the auditorium and the bedrooms of the main actors’ houses.
The props team and scene designers came to set up the scene early this morning. First, they built the classroom that had the largest number of scenes in the drama. They also built several dressing rooms and makeup rooms next door.
Cheng Xia followed his agent to the dressing room to change clothes. Then he came to the filming set after finishing the styling.
There were 40 seats placed in 4 rows in the classroom. Qin Nian’s seat was in the far right of the third row by the window. In the first year of high school, after the midterm exam, a transfer student called Lu Fengyang suddenly appeared in the class. The teacher arranged for Lu Fengyang to sit in the last row.
Qin Nian and Lu Fengyang’s seats were far away and they didn’t speak. On that snowy night, Lu Fengyang fought with gangsters. After Qin Nian passed by and saved them, they became familiar with each other. It just so happened that the class had to readjust their seats every time after a test. The headteacher moved Lu Fengyang’s seat next to Cheng Xia’s one and the two of them unexpectedly became tablemates.
The scene of the snow night drama had been shot at the 17th High School. There hadn’t been enough time there and the indoor scenes were left to Ya’an to shoot. So today, Cheng Xia and Shen Kai were to continue the plot after the snowy night fight. Since it was the plot after the snowy night, the two of them had to continue to wear winter clothes.
Cheng Xia wore a sweater with his school uniform. The temperature was nearly 30 degrees Celsius. He was extremely hot in the woolen sweater. Fortunately, there was air conditioning in the classroom. Once Cheng Xia walked into the air-conditioned classroom, Director Liu hurriedly waved to him. “Cheng Xia, come here.”
Shen Kai was sitting next to Director Liu at this time. After seeing Cheng Xia, they smiled at each other in greeting.
Director Liu pointed to the actors dressed as students next to him. “They are the cast from the Ya’an Film Academy recruited by the assistant director. In the next two months of shooting, they will follow the crew and act as your classmates and family members. Get to know them first.”
Extras didn’t need to appear again after filming one or two scenes. Meanwhile, the actors who ‘followed’ them around weren’t important roles but they often moved around the protagonists such as the protagonist’s classmates, teachers, family members, etc. There weren’t many big scenes in school dramas so there were only dozens of actors in this group.
Cheng Xia took the initiative to greet everyone. One of the cute beta girls came up to him and softly told him, “Cheng Xia, I have seen your ‘Memory Fragments’ MV. I didn’t expect to have the opportunity to film with you. I am very happy!”
Another beta boy said to Cheng Xia, “I am a junior at the Ya’an Film Academy. I’m here to have a meal with the crew. Please take care of it.”
There were many students at the film academy who were close to his age. Among them were many handsome men and beautiful women but they never had the opportunity to play leading roles and important supporting roles. They could only run between various crews and eat the food there. This was the real status quo of the academy students.
In comparison, Cheng Xia felt that he was really lucky to be able to play a leading role at the age of 18. President Pei was the source of all his luck.
There seemed to be telepathy. Just as he thought of President Pei, Pei Shaoze walked into the classroom.
President Pei had sprayed the pheromones masking agent today and didn’t seem as aggressive as usual. The alpha who had controlled his pheromones seemed to have become much gentle. He also wasn’t wearing a tie and wore more everyday and casual clothes.
The group of actors saw him and were shocked. This man had long legs, a handsome appearance, and was more impactful than the young Shen Kai. He had a type of calm and coolness where he wouldn’t be perturbed anywhere he went. Even if his pheromones were covered up, he was full of aura and instantly became the focus of the audience.
As they were feeling stunned or confused, Director Liu took the initiative to give introductions. “This is President Pei, our producer.”
Producer? None of the actors and actresses expected that this producer’s appearance wouldn’t lose to a celebrity. The producers of most crews were very ordinary and there were even many greasy middle-aged uncles. President Pei was simply a clean type in the world of producers.
Pei Shaoze walked up to the group and nodded to everyone. He had checked the details of this group. The young ones were all students of the Ya’an Film Academy. The two actors who played Lu Fengyang’s parents were old actors in the circle who often played the protagonist’s parents. They had no problem.
Pei Shaoze saw that Cheng Xia was still wearing a sweater with his school uniform and asked, “Is it hot wearing such thick clothes?”
Cheng Xia shook his head. “It’s fine. There is air conditioning in the room and I can endure it.”
Pei Shaoze looked at everyone and calmly said, “Today is a winter scene and the temperature of the indoor air condition is very low. However, it’s 30 degrees Celsius outside and sunny. After the filming, adjust for a few minutes before going out to change clothes. It’s easy to catch a cold when switching between hot and cold.”
The man’s eyes swept across the room like he was caring for everyone but his eyes fell on Cheng Xia when he said his last words. Others didn’t notice it but Cheng Xia saw it. His heart warmed as he looked into the man’s eyes and said, “Thank you President Pei for your concern.”
The other actors followed suit. “Thank you for your concern, President Pei.”
Pei Shaoze hummed in response and walked to Director Liu’s side. Director Liu saw he was only wearing pants and a short-sleeved shirt and couldn’t help reminding him, “President Pei, don’t just care for the actors. You might also catch a cold! The air conditioning is so low? Didn’t you bring a coat?”
Wearing short sleeves in a low-temperature air-conditioned room was indeed a bit cold. Pei Shaoze saw that the surrounding screenwriter and cameramen were also wearing coats and turned to his brother behind him. “Xiao Yan, go back to the hotel and grab my black coat.”
Pei Shaoyan himself had goosebumps from the cold. He heard this and hurriedly replied, “I know President Pei.” Then he ran out.
Soon, the props were in place and filming began.
Today was the first time a ‘class group scene’ had been shot since the start of filming. Director Liu wanted to cultivate a tacit understanding with the cast and protagonists. The content of this scene was when the seats were adjusted after the monthly exam. The headteacher announced the new seating schedule. Lu Fengyang happened to be changed to Qin Nian and the two of them ended up sitting next to each other.
Director Liu first did a trial shot. He asked everyone to move according to the script and to match the lines. The actors sat in their seats according to the roles they received. The 40 students of Class 17 of the third year of the high school sat down in the classroom.
This was also the first time Cheng Xia had encountered over 40 people while filming. He was inevitably a bit nervous.
If there were too many people, it was easy for the scene to be chaotic. During the trial shot, some actors forgot the name of the role they received and didn’t respond when the class teacher called out their names. Others bumped into classmates while changing seats. Another nervously knocked over a pencil case on someone’s desk…
The classroom was a mess and it took 30 minutes until everyone was familiar with the character’s name and where they should go.
Pei Shaoyan walked in with the coat and found that his older brother’s arms were stiff from the cold. He couldn’t help whispering to his brother, “Why didn’t you go out for a while? It’s freezing to death here!”
Pei Shaoze answered calmly, “I’m fine.”
His physical fitness had always been good. It was just turning on the air conditioner and he wouldn’t catch a cold. Pei Shaoze put on his coat and continued to watch the set. It might be due to ‘once bitten, twice shy.’ There were too many people at the scene today and he was worried that something might happen to Cheng Xia. He had to watch the filming to make sure that no one was malicious to Cheng Xia.
Liu Xueyi was used to the chaotic nature of group scenes and patiently guided the newcomers on how to move with the cast. Gradually, they became familiar with it and there was no trouble during the trial shooting. Liu Xueyi waved his hand. “Okay, we will start filming now. Pay attention to your positioning. In addition, familiarize yourself with your lines again, and don’t forget the words!”
The lights turned on and filming officially started.
The middle-aged woman who played the class teacher stepped onto the podium. “Students, for this month’s exams, our class’ results were good. We are ranked third in the entire year! In addition, student Qin Nian once again took first place in the year!’
All eyes turned to Cheng Xia. Cheng Xia immediately entered the act and a bright smile appeared on his face.
The people invited from the film academy were very professional and their lines were good. Cheng Xia and Shen Kai were also in a good condition today. Director Liu had set aside the entire morning to film this scene. However, at 11:30 a.m., the actors finished their performance and Liu Xueyi clapped excitedly. “Very good! Everyone worked hard and this scene is over!”
There was a loud round of applause in the classroom.
Looking at his fellow ‘students’ in school uniform, the teacher in front, the formulas on the blackboard, and hearing people call him ‘Qin Nian,’ Cheng Xia felt like he really had returned to the high school time described in Folding Paper. He was in a trance when Director Liu said it was over before he was freed from Qin Nian’s identity.
Lunch was eaten directly in the classroom and the shooting would continue after eating.
Today was a class group scene. As long as there were any errors with the actors, the scene had to be redone. His lines were repeated over 10 times and his face was almost no longer able to make any expression by the end. Cheng Xia couldn’t help thinking of group scenes in dramas with warfare, police, or bandits. It would be much more difficult to shoot. Not only was there a large number of people but swords or guns were also needed. It was likely that the scene would take several days to shoot.
Being an actor wasn’t as easy as he thought but he enjoyed it.
Pei Shaoze sat next to Director Liu for a day and saw Cheng Xia repeating scenes back and forth. This young man was obviously very tired but as soon as Director Liu called out ‘start’, he immediately resurrected full of energy and a bright smile. Sure enough, this was an energetic young man who really liked acting.
Pei Shaoze started to think about what theme he should choose for Cheng Xia’s next drama. A school drama as the debut work was just to let Cheng Xia become familiar in the entertainment industry and his name slightly known. The next step was to improve his acting skills and gradually move from the idol path to the strength path.
How about a police procedural?
Cheng Xia wouldn’t be able to play a calm and wise police officer. After all, he didn’t have the age and experience. However, he should be able to handle the role of an intern in the police department or a student of the police academy with passion and justice. Moreover, the uniform would make a person more vigorous and handsome. He imagined Cheng Xia wearing a police uniform and it would be sure to look good.
Pei Shaoze was carefully thinking about Cheng Xia’s career plan when his head suddenly became dizzy. Perhaps he was too tired from accompanying the group scene all day?
Just as Director Liu decided to stop work, Pei Shaoze got up and headed back to the hotel first.
After returning that night, Pei Shaoze started to sneeze. He took a hot bath, changed into his bathrobe, and sat at his desk, wanting to see which of the novels bought by Tianxuan’s copyrights department was suitable for Cheng Xia. However, he had only started to read a few pages when the words in front of him seemed to double. He frowned and pressed his hands against his temples. There was severe pain in his head as if the blood vessels were congested and about to burst.
Pei Shaoze had a headache and simply turned off the computer.
Pei Shaoyan saw that his older brother’s situation wasn’t right and hurriedly asked, “Brother, did you catch a cold? You have been sneezing the whole time!”
Pei Shaoze frowned. “Maybe the temperature of the air-conditioned room was too low and I got a headache.
He had overestimated the physical quality of this body. Today, all the actors in the crew were wearing winter clothes so the temperature of the air-conditioned room was around the same as winter. He only asked Pei Shaoyan for a thin coat and sat in there all day. It was natural to get a cold.
Sure enough, he couldn’t be blindly confident.
Pei Shaoze stood up with his head in his hands and said hoarsely, “I’m going to get some sleep.”
Pei Shaoyan walked over and touched his brother’s forehead. He found it was frighteningly hot and hurriedly turned around. “I’ll go downstairs and buy you some medicine!”
Then he saw that his older brother’s feet were a bit unstable when walking. Pei Shaoyan immediately reached out and helped his brother lie down in the bedroom.
As he went out to buy medicine, he thought carefully before taking out his phone to send a message to Cheng Xia. [Cheng Xia, President Pei is sick and has a fever. I want to go downstairs to buy medicine. Do you know where the pharmacy is?”
This sentence was very technical. On the surface, it was asking about the location of the pharmacy. However, it was actually telling Cheng Xia, ‘Your boyfriend is sick and you’re his lover. Do you want to come and see him?’ If a person was sick then they hoped to be taken care of by the person they liked!
Cheng Xia actually understood Pei Shaoyan’s meaning and asked, [Is it serious? Can I come and take a look?]
The younger brother and Cheng Xia were chatting on the same channel.
Pei Shaoyan: [He has a fever and has been sneezing. He was on the set all day today. He probably wore too few clothes and caught a cold.]
‘Look at him, brother cares so much about you. He stayed at the studio all day to watch you and became sick from the cold!’
Cheng Xia immediately understood what the other person meant and thought, ‘President Pei got a cold after watching me act. How can I not take care of him?’
There were many people at the hotel and it wouldn’t be good for him if he was seen. However, Cheng Xia felt terribly distressed when thinking about this man lying helplessly in bed due to an illness.
His President Pei was sick and he wanted to fly to the other person’s side. So what if he was seen? It didn’t matter. Who would know him if he was wearing a hat and a mask? He wasn’t a famous star.
Cheng Xia hurriedly changed clothes and covered himself strictly. [I’m coming now! What room is President Pei staying in?]
Pei Shaoyan, [The 20th floor, room 2001. I am here. Once you come, I’ll open the door for you.]
So after the younger brother and Cheng Xia’s strange communication on the same channel, Cheng Xia appeared in front of Pei Shaoze’s room on the 20th floor.
The author has something to say:
Pei Shaoyan’s channel: My brother and Cheng Xia are in love.
Cheng Xia’s channel: I’m in love with President Pei.
Pei Shaoze’s channel: ….? I am clearly raising a cub?
Bonus ko-fi chapter