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At the filming location for Tomorrow is Beautiful…
“Alright, this scene is done. Good job, everyone! Take a break. We’ll start filming the advertisements in a while.”
Just after Director Zhu Xiaoce finished speaking, everyone present started clapping and cheering. Many people looked extremely relieved.
At this point, most scenes for the movie had been filmed.
Although they had met with problems at the beginning of filming, Boss Pei’s guidance and all the employees’ hard work had led them to overcome the problems quickly.
Lu Zhiyao and the other actors had especially developed more chemistry. Their scenes became much more interesting. In the beginning, they had to retake multiple scenes again and again, but toward the end, they only needed two or three takes.
What’s more, all of those takes would have been so exciting that Zhu Xiaoce had had difficulty picking his favorite take.
He had postponed many of those decisions to be made during editing.
Thus, filming was officially completed today.
Many employees could finally heave a huge sigh of relief. After all, they would only have to film the advertisements now.
Those advertisements would only form the backdrop of the entire film. Most of the actors even felt that there was no need to put in as much effort as they had put into filming the actual movie scenes. They intended to only shoot a few casual scenes.
However, Zhu Xiaoce obviously thought differently.
He had a thick plan for the advertisements in his hands and was currently explaining his plan to the actors who were supposed to be involved.
The group of people who were to star in the advertisements had been freshly selected.
At first, Zhu Xiaoce was not sure about the plan for the advertisements. He had even thought about allowing the huge brands’ placement advertisements and getting them to produce their own videos.
However, Boss Pei had turned that suggestion down and given him a whole other direction: they were to shoot the advertisements on their own and not include any real companies, logos, or products.
Once that had been decided, Zhu Xiaoce sent people all around the city, looking for new actors.
Thus, the advertisements were meant to serve as a backdrop as they were played in the cinema. That meant that the main actors in the film could not star in the advertisements.
Many actors in the film had played poor people in the background. They, too, had been disqualified from starring in the advertisements.
Only the judge played by Zhang Zuting and the male lead—that had become popularplayed by Li Zhiyao could star in a few commercials.
The young girl who appeared right at the end, and whom the judge had pushed up to replace the male lead, could also star in a few commercials.
Apart from them, a whole new cast had been selected to star in the commercials. They had to be new faces that did not star in the film at all.
Director Zhu Xiaoce had put in a lot of effort into planning for the advertisements. That explained the thick playbook.
“First, I have to emphasize to everyone that although we are only filming advertisements that would form the backdrop for our film, you cannot afford to relax. The advertisements would be just as important as the film itself. In fact, on some level, they would be more important!
“The advertisements would act as a related hint to the audience.
“The cinema would play the advertisements in a certain order to form a portion of the background story.
“For example, before the male and female leads take part in the talent show, the male lead would often see advertisements that the judge stars in on the television. The advertisements would also give the audience a peek at the judge’s character. That would hint to them how wealthy, influential, and successful he is.
“Once the male lead becomes popular, we will also feature one of the advertisements filmed by the male lead. They could be for various different products as well. That would show how popular he became overnight. “After the male lead falls from glory-as he’s lying in bed, the television would show an advertisement filmed by the lady who replaced him. That would hint at how the judge immediately replaced him after scheming against him. The vicious cycle continues with that new replacement.
“Apart from that, the advertisements can be used to reflect problems that concern modern society such as big data and privacy.
“We will film advertisements for many products, but all of these products would be directly related to the male lead’s experience.
“For example, after the male lead drinks a can of beer, the television would feature advertisements for fried chicken or red wine.
“After the male lead loses a huge sum of money from watching television programs, the advertisements would be about money-lending services.
“After the male lead strikes it rich, the advertisements would be about financial instruments, insurance, luxury goods, and the like.
“We’ll spread these advertisements out throughout the film. As the male lead’s life changes, the advertisements that he sees would change as well.
“On one hand, that would add to the mood of the various scenes. On the other hand, it would be a metaphor and a satire of big data and privacy problems.
“Lastly, the advertisements can make use of strong, sci-fi elements. They would form our guess of what the world, culture, and life would look like in the future.
“Just as Boss Pei said before, we must make the advertisements form a stream of consciousness and look impressive at the same time. We must include futuristic elements to confuse the audience. Only then can we continuously show the audience that the film is set in the future.
“These advertisements would have the unique effect of making the audience feel like they’re in the future. That would help them to become immersed in the film.”
Zhu Xiaoce looked around at everyone and then faced one actor in particular.
“Alright, it looks like everyone has understood. The advertisement we’ll be filming first is for take-out. The advertisement will be very simple: A drone carries take-out and flies across the city.
“However, the drone is on fire. Just like a fireball, it flies across the night sky. You open the door, reach out, and receive the delivery. When you open the beautiful lunchbox, you find a delicious steak that looks like it has just been barbecued. It’s even emitting smoke…
“The next advertisement would be for a cell phone and take-out combined.
“The drone collects the take-out, but its screen shows that the distance is too great and that it has insufficient charge to make the delivery. At that moment, we will do a quick zoom in on a map to show that the drone is to travel across the desert and sea to arrive at another city.
“Then, the boss of the take-out business whips out his phone and connects it to the drone with a wire, in order to charge the drone. After that, the drone takes off.
“The drone then flies across the desert and sea. Along the way, it goes through a sandstorm, a tempest, and various other extreme weathers.
“Finally, you open the door again. Now, the drone begins its return trip. When it returns, the boss of the take-out business takes back his cell phone and realizes there is still thirty percent of its battery left…”
Zhu Xiaoce explained the contents of the advertisements to the various actors.
He had racked his brains and killed several brain cells thinking about those advertisements.
A portion of the advertisements, that were supposed to form streams of consciousness, had been easy to come up with. After all, he only needed the actors to dress up in futuristic clothing and strike a few poses. Then, he could throw in a couple of strange scenes and add special effects. By then, he would be done.
However, it would not be sufficient to just have advertisements that formed streams of consciousness.
No matter how much things developed in the future, advertisements would still have to contain a certain level of variety.
Thus, Zhu Xiaoce had to think of different types of advertisements for balance. Zhu Xiaoce had also had a hard time thinking about what kind of products to advertise. That was because he minimally needed logos and lines for the advertisements.
If he was not careful enough with the logos, the audience could easily diss his efforts. Then, it would defeat the purpose of him coming up with those advertisements, right?
Thus, the logos had to be done well. They had to look like real companies.
Yet, there were so many advertisements to come up with… and only one Zhu Xiaoce. He would have died trying to think of everything on his own!
If he started from ground zero for all the logos, it would have been too difficult.
Thus, after discussing this with Huang Sibo, Zhu Xiaoce had decided to ask the other related companies for help! Fish-Catching Take-Out had been tasked to create a logo for the take-out company by modifying its own logo. Otto Technologies had been tasked with providing a logo that was not being used for the cell phone company. That would work as long as the audience did not think the logos looked familiar.
All in all, with the help of the other departments, the logos looked legitimate.
Although the brand names had all been modified, Zhu Xiaoce had also warned the various departments to claim their modified brand names and register them in advance.
He was not hoping that the film would generate any publicity for those brands, but he was afraid that someone would register the brand names after watching the film and try to demand compensation for copyright.
If they registered the names in advance, they could avoid such problems altogether.
Although there were many advertisements, most of them were very short. Thus, Zhu Xiaoce expected filming to only take about two weeks.
Only then could he say that he had truly poured his soul in creating this movie.
At Tengda Games…
Ruan Guangjian heaved a long sigh. “Alright, the concept art and animations for the first batch of heroes are done.”
Li Yada clapped her hands and said, “Thank you, Boss!”
During this period, Ruan Guangjian had been working on various concept arts and animations for GOG’s heroes. He had made several trips between Jingzhou and Shanghai.
However, research and development of the game could be conducted in parallel with concept art design. Neither one process would hinder the other.
Ruan Guangjian’s job was to modify the character IPs that Tengda Games had bought over or create unique, original characters on his own. The Guardian of Justice, Modest, was one example of the latter.
All in all, this was not an overwhelming task. After all, he did not have to create all the heroes from scratch. Most of the work only involved modification based on an existing drawing.
As long as he understood the character’s special characteristics, he could make the necessary modifications to the original images. That was much easier than starting from scratch.
Thus, designing concept art and animations was much faster than researching and developing the game itself. The game was still a long way from official release or public testing. However, the concept art and animations were more or less done.
Li Yada asked, “Boss, what do you plan to do after this? Do you want to inform Boss Pei that you’re done with the animations so that you can celebrate?”
Ruan Guangjian quickly shook his head. “No, no, no! There’s no need. Boss Pei is extremely busy. Let’s not bother him with such a small matter.
“Moreover, I’ve already been to Jingzhou’s amusement park once. There’s no other exciting activity here.
“I’m planning to rest over the next few days and tour around Jingzhou. Perhaps I would be able to find something else to do.”
Li Yada pondered for a moment and said, “That’s right, Tengda has another games company called Shang Yang Games. It’s the creator of Bloody Battle Song. Have you heard of them?”
Ruan Guangjian nodded. “I have, but I’m not particularly interested in Bloody Battle Song’s style of art.” Li Yada answered, “That’s why we need you to upgrade that company’s art standard, Boss! Don’t worry, we all work under Boss Pei. You will be adequately remunerated.”
Ruan Guangjian hesitated for a moment. “I might be distracted if I take on two projects at once…”
Li Yada waved her hand. “Don’t worry. They have a lot of art resources already. Boss, you just need to go and take a look and give some suggestions. Your primary job would be to offer guidance; you won’t have to do anything yourself.”
After some consideration, Ruan Guangjian nodded. “Alright, I’ll take a look and offer some suggestions, then.”
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