Tang Feng quickly realized Lu Tian Chen and Charles had worked together to trap him. In this case, he would not be able to last until the end of filming if he were to follow the other two’s rate of consumption.
Yes, he liked to make money and was equally happy to spend it, but that didn’t mean he liked being bankrupt or watching others squander away his hard-earned money. But this was Tang Feng’s idea at the start, he couldn’t just go back on his word like that.
However, he wasn’t someone who would just sit and wait to be shot to death. Since those two wanted to plot against him, then don’t blame him for not being polite.
Whoever pays is the boss. Tang Feng started communications with the hotel at the fastest speed. He not only cancelled the luxury suite, but also directly downgraded the room to a double room. The excess room fees could be used to offset the upgrading fees.
Additional services such as private spa massages, etc.? Cancelled!
Overly extravagant food delivery service? All cancelled!
After doing all this, Tang Feng went to work. As for how Charles and Lu Tian Chen would react when faced with what he did when they came back, that would have nothing to do with him.
Today, he and Gino were going to shoot a scene at a European ball. Strictly speaking, they were not exactly dancing a duet at the ball in the open, but rather, they were two runaway monks following the vaguely audible music in the garden, swaying in a dance that belonged only to them.
After that, there was a full-length, large-scale, fiery, and passionate scene. The whole scene was expected to take more than a week to finish.
In an old building in Los Angeles, the staff was busy preparing for the final scene. As early as a week ago, the production company had already invited a professional team to arrange the shooting location.
The film would take place in 19th-century Europe where the two monks came to the not so distant Britain. The British of this time had just experienced the baptism of the industrial revolution – although people still had religious beliefs, most of them trusted science more. This generation was full of confidence and hope for the future.
And this was exactly where Chris had traveled to over the past three years, and had decided that it was a good place to settle down.
The development of various techniques revolutionized the Victorian era, enriching the building architecture, and introducing new building materials. Most of the furniture here exhibited beautiful curves, protruding decorations, and complex carved frames.
The decorations inside the ballroom followed the gorgeous and intricate details of the Victorian era. The central ceiling had gypsum roses and the circular walls were covered with floral wallpaper. The lower edges of the wallpaper were covered with Greek cornices that hid the joint between the wall and the floor. To create a more satisfactory composition, the floor was inlaid with decorative colored tiles in various geometric patterns.
Tang Feng and Gino couldn’t help but marvel at the director’s attention to details when they arrived at the site. As they stepped into the ballroom, it really seemed as though they had returned to the 19th-century Britain.
These near-perfect decorations not only added color to the film, but also allowed the actors to shift into their characters faster.
Chris and Tang ran all the way to Britain where they discarded their black monk robes. Chris took Tang to a tailor’s shop to get his body measurements and ordered a set of clothes for him. In the last few years, he had managed to set aside some savings, so he should spend the money on Tang who was worth spending on.
At this moment, Tang Feng and Gino were in the dressing room putting on the costumes and makeup. The Victorian era clothes caused Gino, who normally comes off as a playboy, to turn into a proud aristocrat in the blink of an eye. After this rascal wore the costume properly, he even paraded a few rounds in front of Tang Feng, as if to say, ‘Look at how handsome I am!’.
But Gino meekly shut his mouth after Tang Feng was dressed accordingly.
“I think you’re the most handsome Oriental man in formal Victorian attire.” Gino didn’t hold back his words of admiration for the other man.
If Gino looked like a 19th century aristocrat who walked out of an oil painting, then Tang Feng was the classic Chinese beauty. After wearing the Western formal clothing, not only did the image not feel inappropriate, but there was more of a mysterious suppression of oneself, which was precisely the feeling that Director Li Wei wanted to bring to the audience.
The first time Tang Feng met Director Li Wei, he had already danced the tango with Lu Tian Chen, and he had further improved during the True Star training sessions. Now, he had no issues dancing the tango or any other society dances, but he encountered a problem not long after the start of the filming session.
The tango between Tang Feng and Gino didn’t manage to express the feelings that Director Li Wei wanted. This was another instance of the actors’ performance failing to rise to the occasion, adding to the time when the Director had continuously called ‘cut’ when it came to the couple’s intimate scenes.
There was a common situation appearing in movies where the two leads were obviously reputed, with the handsome male and the beautifully glamorous female, but every time they interact, it would only cause people to feel uninterested. This was the so-called no connection, no chemistry, which was the problem Tang Feng and Gino were facing.
This was not a small matter that can be simply resolved by the two practicing their dance.
As such, the Director prepared to modify the lines to deepen the communication and interactions between the two leads in the movie, as well as to increase the chemistry between the two, thereby resonating with the audience.
It can be said that until now, Tang Feng basically relied on his facial and eye expressions, and the voice-over narration to express his character’s emotions, but in the latter half of the movie, he would need to use lines to deepen his character’s image. An actor’s excellent line foundation can engage the audience even more. Conversely, if an actor’s lines were too disastrous, it could cause the audience to leave in a blink of an eye.
Actually, Gino’s line foundations weren’t bad, but now that they were suddenly pitted against Tang Feng’s line foundations, they suddenly weakened.
When both people were concurrently acting under the director’s guidance, Director Li Wei discovered why there used to be, what could still be considered, a harmonious air, yet they suddenly couldn’t match properly now. Basically, the reason is that in the past, Tang Feng essentially had no lines other than the short one or two words, but now, Tang Feng had to exchange lengthy conversations with Gino. When compared under the same lens, as Tang Feng starts speaking, the whole atmosphere of friendship becomes richer, but once Gino follows up with the reply, the rich atmosphere of the movie becomes rather bland immediately.
Due to Tang Feng’s performance during the final act of True Star’s training class being kept a secret, Director Li Wei only knew that Tang Feng’s English was very good. He completely didn’t expect this man’s grasp of language and line foundations to reach the level of integrating with the movie. This kind of deep foundation, which had always taken an actor 5 to even 10 years of specializing in movies to hone their craft, had actually shown up in a first-year newbie actor, completely out of Director Li Wei’s expectations.
“Director, is it still a no-go? It’s so strange. Tang Feng and I have always been compatible before, why did the chemistry suddenly disappear? What if we try kissing to increase the chemistry?” Gino still didn’t know the Director’s thoughts and didn’t know where the problem was, so he continued to crack jokes like before in order to ease the tense atmosphere.
On the other hand, Tang Feng has already discovered what Director Li Wei just realized. In the end, he is an experienced veteran actor. Although Gino’s line foundations weren’t considered bad among his peers, Gino normally only acted in commercialized, mainstream movies. Mainstream movie directors usually don’t have very strict requirements, the film also doesn’t require the actor to be able to express deep emotions one moment and sorrow the next.
Some characters’ feelings were expressed through their lines, and what Gino lacked was the character’s emotions.
Currently, the set and supporting actors were already in place. Director Li Wei decided first to let the Executive Director and Deputy Director film the scene with the supporting actors, while he called Tang Feng and Gino into the waiting room in private, to tell Gino the truth without any of the others present.
“My line foundation isn’t good enough?” Gino was very surprised by this sudden problem. What he was surprised with wasn’t this, but that Tang Feng – an Asian whose first language wasn’t English – had stronger line foundations than him.
“Tang Feng, you go out first. I need to talk with Gino.” The Director sent Tang Feng out of the room, then turned around and closed the door.
Tang Feng waited outside the door for about half an hour before Gino came out. He was a little worried about this big star, but Gino didn’t look as though anything was wrong. He waved when he saw Tang Feng, and then he ran over.
“I already discussed with the Director. My lines won’t be recorded on scene but will be recorded on a later date.” Gino smiled while explaining, as though he had easily accepted Director Li Wei’s proposal.
“A sound decision.”
Gino squinted at Tang Feng, smiling with hidden intentions, “I didn’t expect your line foundations to be so good. I even got suppressed by you. No wonder. I, Gino, surely have a great eye for people. Other than agreeing with the request of the director, I also asked his opinion.”
“Opinion on what?”
“So long as I have time, I will go find you and let you, the line expert, give me some instruction. As compensation, I’ll treat you to a meal or something occasionally. Or, if you want my body as payment, it’s fine as well.” This Gino said with a non-serious appearance.
But this actually gave Tang Feng peace of mind. He was afraid the big star’s self-esteem would be hurt and hence, ruin their friendship, but now it looked like Gino did indeed have what is needed to be a big star – a positive mentality and a heart geared for continuous learning.
Sure enough, Director Li Wei soon called for Tang Feng to go over, saying a bunch of flowery words that just meant that he wanted Tang Feng to help his partner practice more, and that Gino was not a bad person. Li Wei hoped that Tang Feng could cultivate a good relationship with Gino through this movie, becoming the first step on his road to Hollywood.
Good people were oftentimes right.
Not caring about the fact that they would have to spend more time together, but based solely on the fact that Gino was his movie partner, Tang Feng agreed to Li Wei’s request.
It was just that, on that day, after arranging with Gino to meet at the hotel in the morning, Tang Feng suddenly remembered that he was currently staying in a standard room, and there were two other people staying in it.
By the time he called Gino again, the other had already turned off his phone.
Proofreaders: Charlotte Grey, Lyrick