AM: Chapter 88
After receiving Zhou Yan’s reply, the crew of Nine Princes felt like they had been hit by a pie from the sky. Director Lin was so happy that he stayed up all night. They sent an invitation to Zhou Yan just with the idea of ‘trying it.’ After all, Cheng Xia was a hot new star recently. Many crews were rushing to find Cheng Xia and Cheng Xia might not necessarily look at them. As a result, not only did Cheng Xia decide to accept the drama but President Pei also said he would make an additional investment?
President Pei’s investment! Director Lin felt like all types of awards were beckoning to him at the end of the year! The other advertisers heard the news and rushed to invest. Everyone wanted to grab onto President Pei. Perhaps the profit could be increased again…
Thus, Nine Princes that originally didn’t have much investment actually exceeded a final investment of 200 million yuan. This was Pei Shaoze’s terrifying appeal.
Director Lin was so happy that he was about to faint. On the day when the contract was signed, he personally flew to Rong City to invite Pei Shaoze for a meal.
Cheng Xia was also there and the main creators talked about the drama’s plans. Pei Shaoze said, “It’s a good thing to have sufficient funds. For costume dramas, you can focus on polishing the script and the costuming. Director Lin, you can invite a few senior consultants to avoid any loopholes in the props. Costume designers and stylists should also be invited to design clothes that match the personality characteristics of the princes.
Director Lin nodded vigorously. “Yes President Pei, I was already planning to redo the costumes.”
Pei Shaoze added, “The protagonists should have 20 sets of costumes and the other princes and harem women should have no less than 10. We are finally a power struggle drama. The princes are noble and it’s normal to change clothes every day. In addition, the scenery and props should be refined as much as possible. If there is no suitable building in the studio, we will design and build it ourselves.”
Director Lin clenched his fists excitedly. “That’s great. We must make this drama a benchmark for ancient costume dramas!”
A producer like Pei Shaoze was indeed reassuring for the entire crew.
Director Lin asked the screenwriter to polish the script again, carefully scrutinizing all lines. He also invited the strongest costume design team in the circle to redesign a large number of costumes according to the figures of the actors. In addition, he found a professional designer to build the scenes used for filming…
The supervisor looked at the design drawings and felt emotional. “Our drama is about to become an ancient fashion show.”
Director Lin laughed. “If I was the audience, I could feel the crew’s intentions just by looking at these beautiful clothes… it’s cool to have money!”
The main characters had more than 20 sets of clothing. If other crews heard about this treatment then they would probably die from envy!
The ancient costume drama ‘Nine Princes’ had 50 episodes and was adapted from a very popular novel. There was no ABO setting in this drama. All princes could inherit the throne and the confrontations between various forces on the surface and behind the scenes were very exciting.
This drama was a double protagonist one. The third emperor was upright. He might’ve failed to win the throne but he got the love of his life. He faked his death and headed far away, spending the second half of his life peacefully and happily. The youngest prince was the villain and he finally ascended to the throne. It was just that due to his distorted personality, he could only live a lonely life on the high throne.
It wasn’t certain who the ultimate winner was.
The original novel was very popular so the TV drama had a high degree of popularity before filming. The major forums were discussing who would play the princes, especially the villain, the youngest prince who was 18 years old. This young man was pale and thin. He swallowed down his anger when bullied and looked like a humble loser but in fact, the youngest prince had a deep mind. His personality was gloomy and even a bit abnormal.
All the people who bullied him were recorded in his little book and he retaliated against them one by one.
The audience was tired of seeing the Virgin Mary type main character. This type of cruel and perverted villain was really unique and made netizens look forward to it. It was just that it was hard for first-tier actors with strong acting skills to perform the youngest prince’s weak and youthful feeling. Meanwhile, the acting skills of the young actors weren’t good enough. This made the choices for the youngest prince quite controversial online.
It wasn’t until the end of April that the actors were finally announced. The princes who had more important roles in the drama were all stars with good acting skills. The actor for the upright protagonist, the third prince was suitable for the role and there was nothing to complain about. Then the moment the actor for the villain was announced, there was an uproar on the Internet.
Netizens were stunned. [No, it’s Cheng Xia?]
[In fact, I had a guess it would be him. Cheng Xia is last year’s best newcomer and his acting is okay. The crew asking him is reasonable.]
[Cheng Xia is playing this gloomy character, the youngest prince? I am looking forward to Cheng Xia acting as an abnormal person!]
[From the sunny boy in the school drama to the hot-blooded policeman in a criminal investigation drama to the abnormal prince of a costume drama. This span is too big!]
Cheng Xia’s works had indeed spanned a wide variety since his debut. This was hard to see among newcomers. Many newcomers would first act in a few youth dramas before trying other genres.
Cheng Xia was a ‘changeable newcomer.’ He was in three dramas and they all had completely different styles.
Many people questioned his acting skills but his crying scene and explosive power in Disappearing Traces were seen by everyone. Many directors in the circle who saw Cheng Xia’s acting skills gave him a high evaluation. The always strict Director Zhu even publicly said in an interview, “It’s very pleasant to work with Cheng Xia. He is the most talented and hardest working newcomer I have ever met.”
Last year’s Best Newcomer Award was the biggest recognition of Cheng Xia and the online doubts about Cheng Xia’s acting skills decreased. Netizens said one after another that Cheng Xia’s abnormal prince was worth looking forward to!
The thing that made everyone happy was that Pei Shaoze was a producer again this time.
After seeing the list announced by the crew, the book fans were so excited that they ran around everyone. [The producer is President Pei. It’s great!]
[Both of the dramas he produced last year were super high quality and this one shouldn’t drop the ball either, right?]
[It’s said that the final investment is over 200 million yuan. It will definitely become a high-quality drama!]
The rich and willful crew officially started in early May. Cheng Xia flew to the Ya’an Movies and Television Studio with the crew.
This was the second time he had come to the studio. Last time, the suspense drama was filled in Area C of the studio. This time, it was a costume drama so it was changed to Area A. This area was full of antique pavilions and majestic palaces. It was extremely spectacular from a distance, giving Cheng Xia the illusion that he had traveled to ancient times.
Pei Shaoze also took the time to attend the start-up ceremony.
Cheng Xia put on his costume and a long wig. His facial features were full of youthfulness and he wore an exquisite changshan. This was combined with the makeup artist’s deliberately ‘weak’ makeup, giving him reddened eyes, white skin, and slightly pale lips. There was shyness and timidity when he looked at people and this blended perfectly into the image of the ‘bullied’ youngest prince in the drama.
Director Lin excitedly patted his thigh when taking the makeup photo. “Awesome! Cheng Xia’s plasticity is the strongest I have ever seen. This pitiful look makes people can’t help but want to bully him!”
Pei Shaoze sat next to the photographer and observed the pitiful youngest prince in the camera. He thought that Cheng Xia’s role this time was very interesting.
Today there were two sets of clothing. One was the thin and pale prince in the early stages. His clothes were mainly light-colored and he looked pitiful, making people want to bully him but also protect him. The second one was the prince in the later stages who was psychologically distorted after blackening. He was dressed in black, his lips curved in a slight smile but his eyes were cold and fierce.
Cheng Xia could actually use his eyes to switch freely between the two personalities. It was so emotional.
After taking the makeup photos, Cheng Xia headed back to the dressing room to change clothes but Pei Shaoze stopped him. “Don’t change first. This version is good, delicate, and fragile. No wonder why people want to bully you.”
In the drama, the youngest prince was bullied by his older brothers due to his excessively beautiful face. Combined with his miserable life experience of his concubine mother dying early and his indifferent father, this appearance did make people feel the urge to bully him.
Cheng Xia spoke earnestly, “All those who bullied me in this drama were killed by him. I accept the bullying on the surface but I actually hold grudges!”
He was so serious when defending himself that it was cute to watch. Pei Shaoze suddenly reached out, pulled Cheng Xia into his arms, and kissed Cheng Xia’s lips hard. This ‘bullying’ method made Cheng Xia’s ears redden instantly and he soon softened in Pei Shaoze’s arms. “Um… B-Brother Pei… we will be seen by others… um…”
They naturally wouldn’t be seen. Pei Shaoze had already locked the door and Zhou Yan was standing guard outside.
Cheng Xia’s elegant temperament in the ancient costume made Pei Shaoze feel unbearable. He held the ‘youngest prince’ and kissed him for a long time. It wasn’t until Cheng Xia trembled and begged for mercy that Pei Shaoze let go.
Cheng Xia complained with a red face, “You should control yourself a bit in the crew.”
Pei Shaoze touched Cheng Xia’s hot cheeks. “Don’t worry, no one will come in. I will return to Rong City tomorrow to deal with matters regarding Tianxuan Movies. I won’t see you for a while…”
Cheng Xia was silent for a moment as he thought about how they would be separated again. Then he took the initiative to hug Pei Shaoze, standing on tiptoe to kiss the alpha. He was dressed up as a prince and took the initiative to offer a kiss…
This visual impact made Pei Shaoze’s heart beat faster. He couldn’t help holding this young man in his arms and kissing deeply. The two men stayed in the dressing room for a long time.
Cheng Xia eventually blushed and pushed him away. “Once you’re free, can you come to visit the crew? I’ll miss you.”
“Of course, I’ll come see you whenever I’m free.” Pei Shaoze spoke against Cheng Xia’s lips, his voice gentle to the extreme. “I will miss you too.”
Cheng Xia’s fans screamed with joy after the makeup photos were released. The announcement this time was just the first version of the styling. The black version was hidden by Director Lin to give the audience a surprise.
The appearance of the first version of the weak prince made Cheng Xia’s fans excited. They left crazy messages on Weibo. [Protect our little prince!]
[This cute little prince, who has the heart to bully him?]
[Looking at his red and pitiful eyes, I really want to hug him!]
Someone reminded them. [Don’t forget, the youngest prince is the late BOSS.]
[I’m looking forward to the blackened version. The blackened Xia Xia must be very interesting!]
Cheng Xia’s role had two personalities but the challenge of such a role was really enjoyable. He had red eyes one minute like he was about to cry and the next second, he had cold eyes and a bad smile on his face as he silently remembered the death dates of these people in his ledger.
This type of abnormal emotional change of the protagonist must be handled carefully. If acted incorrectly then it would look very exaggerated.
Director Lin had strict requirements. After starting up, he didn’t rush to film scenes. Instead, he got the actors together and spent a day reading through the script. The screenwriters’ group was with them in order to modify the script at any time if necessary. Once most of the script was finalized, Director Lin started shooting from a simple scene.
This time, there were a few famous actors invited. The alpha who played the third prince was a popular celebrity in the circle and it was understandable to put his name first. Strictly speaking, the youngest prince played a lesser role among the ‘two protagonists.’ After all, this character was distorted and mentally abnormal. if such a person was the main character then it couldn’t pass the review.
Since there was Pei Shaoze behind Cheng Xia, everyone knew Cheng Xia was a newcomer from Tianxuan and was very polite to him.
The filming of Nine Princes went well. Pei Shaoze sent his younger brother over to be the deputy producer while he went to work on Tianxuan Movies. Pei Shaoyan had the experience of being a producer on Disappearing Traces and this time he learned a lot of new knowledge from the costume drama.
Of course, every time Cheng Xia changed his style, Pei Shaoyan would act as a ‘front-line paparazzi’ and actively take photos to send to his brother. He even changed his WeChat ID to: ‘Younger Brother Wants a Salary Increase.’
Pei Shaoze couldn’t help smiling every time he saw the photos sent by ‘Younger Brother Wants a Salary Increase.’
Under Pei Shaoze’s teachings, this stupid brother gradually embarked on the right path. He received a monthly salary of 5,000 yuan and could save 4,000. In any case, he followed the crew and received all meals and accommodation for free while learning to cherish his hard-earned salary. Pei Shaoze told him, [I have talked with the main creators. Your name will also be added as a producer of this drama. It might be at the end but you will officially be on the credits.]
Pei Shaoyan was stunned. [You mean that on the TV drama page, the producer’s column will also have my name?]
Pei Shaoze, [Yes, once the drama is finished, I will pay you according to the standard salary for a supervisor’s assistant.]
Pei Shaoyan was so excited that he almost jumped up and down. [That’s great!]
Pei Shaoze added, [Also, I can’t work on Tianxuan Movies alone. After two years and once you’ve learned how to manage the company, you will come to serve as the Vice President of Tianxuan, learning to screen and invest in projects. Study hard and don’t waste this opportunity I am giving you.]
Pei Shaoyan was silent for a long time before replying, [I know. Thank you, Brother.]
If it wasn’t for his older brother pushing him to learn at night, he might still be drinking and singing with those sly friends. Thinking about it carefully, the previous days were quite boring. Now that he saw a wider world, he just felt that his group of friends were extremely small.
His older brother was so good. As the youngest son of the Pei family, how could he embarrass his older brother?
Pei Shaoze might be busy but he would take a few days every other week to visit the studio. He would buy some fruit snacks for the crew and ask about the progress of the shooting. Of course, the most important thing was to look at Cheng Xia.
Cheng Xia had integrated into the crew. He got along with the other actors happily and his understanding of the role of the youngest prince gradually improved.
Pei Shaoze saw a few scenes he acted in and the abnormal, distorted eyes were really amazing!
In fact, the later parts of the novel Accidental Mark had Cheng Xia blackened and he personally killed the original Pei Shaoze.
There was a type of resilience deep in Cheng Xia’s bones. He could endure hardships and had a clear sense of gratitude and resentment. He would double the rewards for those who were good to him. If someone bullied him then he would pay them back ten times. This hidden trait was actually very similar to the youngest prince.
This was the key to Pei Shaoze’s decision to let Cheng Xia play the role after he finished reading the outline.
The youngest prince was a difficult character to control. His experience was too heartbreaking to call him a villain. However, he wasn’t a decent person either. After all, he was too vicious after blackening in the later period and he killed countless people.
If Cheng Xia could play a role that was both good and evil then there would be a qualitative leap in the improvement of his acting skills.
Pei Shaoze intended to have Cheng Xia compete for Best Supporting Actor in this year’s TV drama awards. He had contacted two TV stations, CNTV and SNTV, and would broadcast it simultaneously. The major platforms gave Pei Shaoze face and the schedule had already been determined.
It was a network-wide synchronization and television synchronization. The ratings would be considerable and it would gradually increase Cheng Xia’s popularity. This drama would be a springboard for Cheng Xia to transition from ‘young newcomer’ to ‘powerful actor.’
To Pei Shaoze’s relief, Cheng Xia acted out such a difficult role well. Pei Shaoze believed that his Cheng Xia would definitely shine in the future.