At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Shen Yanda’s studio.
Shen Yanda’s assistant invited Ji Li and the others into the reception room. “The three of you, please wait a moment. Teacher Shen has just awoken from his nap over lunch break and will come down immediately.”
Yu Fuya nodded and asked politely, “Is Sister Mei here?”
The Sister Mei she mentioned was Shen Yanda’s wife, Song Fangmei, who was a well-educated woman. In the past, they met at social banquets and chatted very happily together.
The assistant’s face froze for a moment and she explained in a low voice, “Ms. Yu, Teacher Shen and Sister Mei divorced a few years ago. Please don’t mention this matter in front of Teacher Shen.”
Yu Fuya was stunned. She obviously hadn’t expected such a situation and controlled her expression. “Yes, thank you for the reminder.”
The assistant closed the door and left.
Ji Li remembered the luxurious layout of the studio along the way, and there was deep meaning in his eyes. He approached Baozi and whispered a few words, “Do as I say…”
Baozi nodded heavily after hearing his explanation.
Yu Fuya naturally noticed the little actions between the two of them. She was just about to ask questions when the door of the waiting room opened.
Shen Yanda was wearing luxurious, brand name clothing and had an apologetic expression on his face. “Sorry, I stayed up late last night to revise the script and was a bit tired. I couldn’t wake up in time for my lunch break.”
Ji Li took the initiative to speak. “Teacher Shen, we are the ones who are visiting temporarily and have disturbed you from your rest.”
Shen Yanda smiled and invited them to sit down opposite him. The assistant brought tea at the right time and stood silently behind her boss.
“You guys came here to sign the contract for the drama? The producer’s legal officer is on his way, but you can take a look at the official version of the contract first.”
As Shen Yanda spoke, he gestured for his assistant to retrieve the formal contract that had been prepared a long time ago.
“Don’t bother for the time being,” Yu Fuya interrupted.
She looked at Shen Yanda and showed a smile that didn’t reach the bottom of her eyes. “Brother Da, we’ve come here today because we have some questions that we want to ask you.”
Shen Yanda heard the polite refusal in these words and his expression changed slightly. “What is it? Do you think the salary is too low?”
“It is about the plot of the script.” Ji Li looked over and said tactfully, “Teacher Shen, we found that the content of the script is somewhat familiar.”
He paused before casually citing an example of one of the plots in the script, emphasizing, “…Even the content of the dialogue hasn’t been deleted or modified.”
“Teacher Shen, this novel was published by another author six years ago.”
The time it was published was much earlier than Shen Yanda’s original script.
Shen Yanda’s assistant showed a trace of obvious panic, as if someone had exposed a big secret.
She looked at Shen Yanda with worry.
Shen Yanda’s expression sank and he asked directly, “Ji Li, what do you mean by that? Are you implying that the script is plagiarized from messy little novels on the Internet?”
He suddenly threw the teacup in his hand onto the coffee table and sneered. “Ridiculous!”
“I took a fancy to you out of all the other young actors and personally went to Chaoying to ask you to appear in my script.”
“As a result, you delayed things. Not only do you not want to sign a contract after so long, but now you are indiscriminately pouring dirty water on me?”
Shen Yanda scolded for a while, but in Yu Fuya’s eyes, he was someone who was angry due to a guilty conscience.
In addition, the performance of his assistant provided them with a conclusive answer.
She took a deep breath, and her tone lost the politeness from before. “Brother Da, we are just talking about things. Don’t be angry.”
“Our Ji Li found problems after studying the script, so he wanted to ask you about them.”
She gave Baozi a look.
The latter understood and quickly took out a thin piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to Shen Yanda. “Teacher Shen, please take a look.”
Shen Yanda glanced at it before tearing the piece of paper to pieces.
“Just this? There are only a few things to write about when it comes to the imperial court. It is normal to occasionally encounter the same plot.”
They discovered just one or two plots, and he would have his writers help revise them.
What was the big deal?
“There are so many TV shows like this in the market. Why don’t you accuse them of plagiarism?”
“I can see it. You don’t want to accept this drama, and you are trying to turn it down in a roundabout way?”
This was venomous slander.
“If you want to use plagiarism to destroy my golden signboard, you simply have bad intentions!”
Shen Yanda looked at Ji Li contemptuously. “An actor like you still wants to rise?”
“Teacher Shen, in your heart you should already be clear about who is right and wrong.”
Ji Li already understood the final result of the negotiation. He suppressed the regret in his heart and spoke bluntly.
“Originally, I still had a small illusion and hoped that you would correct your mistakes, changing these similar contents and improving the storyline.”
“Now it seems that different methods don’t work together.”
“I know that the control of plagiarism in the market is very loose right now. You have the prestigious title of a gold medal screenwriter, and people won’t care at all as long as your work is a big hit.”
Ji Li seriously expressed his opinion. “However, I can’t accept such a script.”
“You don’t cherish it, but I do.”
Ji Li hoped that his fans would always be upright and proud when he produced a movie or television work.
Ji Li stood up first and apologized politely. “I’m sorry but I can’t accept this script.”
Yu Fuya and Baozi also stood up and the former opened her mouth to give a reminder, “We haven’t signed a formal filming contract, and there is no breach of contract.”
“Teacher Shen, we will take our leave first.”
The three of them had just reached the door when they heard Shen Yanda coldly call out to them, “Stop.”
Ji Li turned sideways and met his already cold eyes. Shen Yanda said, “Before giving you the script, we signed a confidentiality agreement.”
“Unless the episode airs, you can’t say a word about the script to the outside world.”
Yu Fuya understood the deep meaning in these words and a fire suddenly rose in her heart.
It turned out that they were stuck here.
Being unable to mention anything about the script meant that Ji Li had no right to discuss sensitive words such as ‘plagiarism’ on the Internet.
Otherwise, Shen Yanda’s team and the producer had the right to demand high compensation from them.
Ji Li’s eyes changed and he left without saying a word.
Shen Yanda saw the other person leave and obvious anger filled his eyes. “What a stupid person. He let go of this important opportunity to explode in popularity.”
Some actors knew that the script or IP were plagiarized but were still rushing to act in it.
The more controversial a drama, the higher the popularity after broadcast. Black and red were still red. (TL: Reminder that red also means popularity.)
After gaining popularity, the actor would have fans who would help whitewash them with words like, ‘We are just responsible for acting. The problem with the script lies with the screenwriter.’
There was nothing wrong with it.
Meanwhile, Ji Li was the exception. He not only saw through it, but he directly spoke in front of Shen Yanda, a gold medal screenwriter, that he wouldn’t act?
The script that he, Shen Yanda, wrote was criticized by a little star who had only debuted for a year? To put it bluntly, he felt ashamed.
“Teacher Shen, what are you going to do next? Will Ji Li’s team expose the script’s problems?” Shen Yanda’s assistant was worried.
She and the other writers of the studio were very clear about how watery the contents of the script were.
“What are you afraid of? If they dare to break the news, we can sue them back.” Shen Yanda didn’t panic at all.
In any case, the drama hadn’t been filmed yet. If Ji Li’s team randomly revealed the problems of the script, he could change these ‘problems’ cleanly and conversely say that Ji Li’s team was pouring dirty water on them.
Yu Fuya was a smart person who knew how to weigh the pros and cons. She knew what to do.
In this case, she had to endure it even if she didn’t want to.
Shen Yanda’s eyes were full of schemes and calculations as he thought this. The grace of a scholar and gentleman couldn’t be seen at all.
Ji Li actually dared to challenge his authority?
Using his status and connections in the TV circle, he would let the other person suffer some pain as a warning.
Baozi forcefully closed the door and gritted his teeth. “I really didn’t expect Shen Yanda to be this type of person. He committed the dirtiest deed, yet dared to put on a high posture? Sister Yu, Brother Ji, what should we do now?”
“What is there to do?” Ji Li put on his seat belt and smiled casually. “Let’s hold still and put aside this matter for now.”
Yu Fuya looked at him from the front seat and nodded helplessly. “It can only be like this for now. We will be more passive than them before the drama is aired.”
“It’s okay. It is good that we stopped the loss in time.” Ji Li’s voice was calm, but a dark light flashed in his eyes.
Just because he didn’t settle accounts now didn’t mean he wouldn’t settle them later.
“Take advantage of this free time and rest at home.” Yu Fuya calmed down and solemnly promised, “Don’t worry, your Sister Yu will definitely find a better script for you.”
Ji Li smiled. “Okay.”
The moment he finished speaking, Yu Fuya received a notification from the work group.
She glanced at it and immediately raised an eyebrow. “The shortlist for the China Television Awards are out!”
“Ji Li relied on the role of Xie Yan to be shortlisted for the Best Newcomer Award, Best Supporting Actor Award, and the vote for Popular Actor.”
Baozi heard this and almost jumped up from his position. “Really? Are you sure?”
The China Television Awards was one of the three most authoritative awards in the TV drama industry in China, and it was arranged to be held in mid-August every year.
For the excellent TV series that appeared in the previous year, the organizing committee would screen and score them before finally determining the winner of the awards.
Schemes of the Great Zong Dynasty Youth had received high ratings in the first half of the year and was nominated for seven awards at the China Television Awards.
Even if the final list of nominations hadn’t come out, the crew that had been silent for a long time was once again lively.
Yao Chuan, who had been busy with the movie finale banquet just yesterday, arranged for a celebration banquet for the drama under the urging of Xu Miaomiao, Zhou Qingming, and the other starring actors.
“Just wait. I will contact the company’s styling team later. There is still half a month to go and our family’s Ji Li can’t be left behind!”
Yu Fuya spoke with a sense of anticipation.
This was the first awards ceremony since the young man entered the circle. If he could win an award, then it would be regarded as a small achievement.
This was absolutely beneficial.
Baozi quickly took out his phone and logged into his entertainment side account. “I will directly use this account to vote for Brother Ji.”
He couldn’t decide the other awards, but he could still play a leading role in this Popular Actor Award.
Ji Li saw their excited expressions, and his originally calm mood rose.
In the year after his debut, he had played so many roles non-stop. Perhaps it was time to reap the rewards.
Everyone was happily preparing for the China Television Awards while a wave of public opinion quietly appeared on the Internet.
TL: Advance chapters are available over on my Patreon. You can go check out the details on my Patreon page.