Lu Wen pressed his lips. His facial muscles were tightened and he bent over to pick up his school bag.
The first act was not over yet but Ren Shu called to a halt: “Start from the door and do it again.”
Doing it again meant that his acting didn’t pass.
Lu Wen returned to the door to take a second shot, and was called to stop again as he walked to the seat, which made him a bit nervous.
Ren Shu asked: “Xiao Lu, what are you doing with such a big stride?”
Lu Wen replied, “They were laughing at me so I want to get back to my seat quickly.”
“It’s okay trying to understand the script, but it’s not the case when it comes to shooting.” Ren Shu said, “With your long legs and imposing manner, I thought the school’s big boss came in, not Ye Shan.”
Lu Wen returned to take the third shot. He restrained his pace and walked cautiously. Unexpectedly, before reaching the seat, Ren Shu’s loud voice called a stop again.
Ren Shu said: “Don’t look at your feet. You need to look up. Where are your expressions? You need to look at the camera and give me Ye Shan’s embarrassed expression.”
In front of a group of actors and supporting roles, Lu Wen swallowed awkwardly and returned to the door to take the fourth shot.
In the collective laughter, Ye Shan embarrassedly walked to his seat to pick up the schoolbag. He wiped the chair and quietly organized the books. When he reached for his new textbook, Ye Shan stared at the cover which was filled with the word “stinky”, and the inner pages were also covered with footprints.
Lu Wen squeezed the book tightly while clenching his teeth.
The boy in the front seat gloated: “What’s wrong?”
Lu Wen said in a low voice, “This is my new book.”
The first act ended and a curse-like “stop” sounded at the back door. Ren Shu shouted: “Xiao Lu, you have a hoarse and low pitch voice. It sounds really gloomy. Are you going to beat him up in the next second? Use a softer and lighter tone, understand? “
Lu Wen said quickly:” I got it director.”
In the last retaken shot, Lu Wen softened his tone and read the lines. The ending sound had not yet landed when Ren Shu interrupted: “Stop, stop, the mood is not right!”
Fuck, what’s wrong.
Lu Wen faintly collapsed.
Ren Shu asked: “You tell me Xiao Lu, that newly purchased book was destroyed, what is Ye Shan’s current mood?”
Lu Wen replied, “Angry?”
Ren Shu asked again: “Your 8 million dollar sports car was smashed. What’s your mood besides anger?”
Lu Wen said: “Distressed.”
“For Ye Shan, this book is equivalent to a sports car for you.”
Ren Shu said, “Ye Shan is a frugal person. He hasn’t even got the chance to use the new book yet and it was destroyed. You have to show his distress.”
The sixth take, act 1, the log keeper hit the clapboard.
Ren Shu was tired from shouting so much. He pressed his fist on his philtrum and stared at the monitor silently. After Lu Wen finished speaking, he gestured and ordered the camera to continue shooting.
Without calling to stop, the shooting proceeded to the second act. Lu Wen breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that this time he performed very well.
Ye Shan’s shoulder was grabbed and the boy sitting at the back table came over to snatched the book: “Who is so wicked ah. You can’t just write the word “stinky” on other people’s new books, although it’s the truth.”
There was a lot of laughter around him. Lu Wen turned around, trying to grab the book and said, “Give it back.”
The other party avoided Ye Shan’s hand: “You are going to suffocate me to death with the smell. Look at yourself, the cuffs are all wet. Can’t you change your clothes after selling those stinky rotten fish?”
Other people also chimed in, “Someone relied on that refreshing smell to get first place on the exam.”
Lu Wen immediately lowered his head and repeated helplessly: “Return the book to me.”
The boy at the back table threw the book away furiously: “A broken book makes you feel bad? Sitting behind you, I smell the fishy odor every day and my lungs are really uncomfortable. Why don’t you apologize to me first?”
“And me, I sit next to you and have to bear with this stinky smell every day.”
“Hurry up and apologize!”
“If you don’t want to apologize, that’s fine. You can compensate us with money.”
The words came like tidal waves. Ye Shan got up amid the scolding around him, he went to the podium to pick up the book. When he returned to his seat, he was blocked by other people and was stopped in the middle of the walking path.
Lu Wen shrank his shoulders: “Let me go back.”
Then the teacher appeared at the door and everyone stopped harassing him. Ye Shan finally returned to his seat.
The second act ended.
Ren Shu finally let out a sound. He did not speak but sighed heavily.
The atmosphere was heavy and everyone didn’t dare to come out. Lu Wen’s heart immediately tightened, he stood up and waited for the director’s verdict with everyone watching.
With a bang, Ren Shu stood up from the chair and asked, “Xiao Lu, how do you feel about your acting?”
Lu Wen tentatively said, “Not very good.”
“Why?” Ren Shu asked.
Lu Wen didn’t know how to answer. In fact he felt that his performance was not bad.
Ren Shu took out a cigarette and said, “Let me tell you then. You can’t really understand Ye Shan. Ye Shan’s embarrassment, forbearance, and helplessness, you are unable to show it. From a glance I could tell that you’re just acting.”
“Your thinking is like this. Ye Shan suffered from injustice so you acted that way. How do you act? You bow your head, you shrink your shoulder and compose your handsome face. And how do I feel about it? This handsome guy is acting too seriously. To me you are still a handsome young lad not Ye Shan.”
“The expressions and emotions should be deep and unnoticeable. As Ye Shan, that kind of emotion should be from the bottom of the heart rather than pretending to have it. Do you understand?”
“Only when you successfully enter the role, can you act it out. If you can’t enter the role, it would look dull and lifeless. It’s equivalent to getting married for the sake of it and treating your partner with courtesy!”
Ren Shu was not only an impetuous director but also a gatekeeper. If there was something wrong, he wouldn’t let it pass easily. In a room full of supporting actors and staff members, his criticism was clear and precise, giving Lu Wen a heavy blow.
Lu Wen lowered his burning face. Rather than embarrassed he was more at a loss. What should he do next, take another shot? How should he act?
In the quiet interval, someone coughed slightly, it was Qu Yanting.
In contrast to Ren Shu’s temper, Qu Yanting watched the entire shoot with cold eyes. His mood was very stable, and he never said a word from beginning to end.
Lu Wen looked at him, a little confused, and a little bit dazed. It was probably the first time he was scolded in public like this.
Qu Yanting broke the deadlock: “Let’s take a break.”
Ren Shu let everyone rest for 15 minutes and said, “Xiao Lu did so well during the audition. Seeing his performance today I lost my temper a bit.”
Qu Yanting said something else: “The last group shot also needs to be adjusted.”
Ren Shu lit his cigarette and exhaled a puff of smoke: “Don’t worry, I won’t be careless. Besides, in front of you, if the scene is not satisfactory, no one will be able to rest.”
Qu Yanting waved away the second-hand smoke: “No need to rush, just take it easy.”
“I’ll adjust the shot first.” Ren Shu took the storyboard and went to find the photography team leader.
The classroom was messy, Qu Yanting swept his gaze around and saw that Lu Wen was still in the same place, as if he had made a mistake and was waiting to be punished.
He stared at the six shots from the start to finish without making any comments. But in his heart he knew the reason why Lu Wen couldn’t understand Ye Shan’s character.
It was the director’s responsibility to guide the actors so Qu Yanting put down the script and shouted: “Lu Wen.”
Lu Wen, like a police dog, looked up with alertness and defensiveness: “…What?”
Qu Yanting said, “Come out with me.”