The next morning, after Tao Mu finished the filming of “Purple Cloud” he immediately moved to the set of “The Legend of Heroes” next door.
Zhao Xin asked the Craft Service workers for a schedule of Tao Mu’s filming in “Purple Cloud” to schedule Tao Mu’s scenes with his crew according to the time, ensuring that the two crews did not conflict.
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Although this treatment was not special for the leading actors and actresses and important supporting actors on the crew of “The Legend of Heroes”, but it was still a first among the small actors. As a result, many small supporting actors felt a little discontented, whispering about the matter in private. But in front of Tao Mu, they all put on a completely different, friendlier attitude.
Tao Mu had seen many such people in his previous life so he didn’t feel bothered. The only thing that he did mind was that when taking the film still, the makeup artist specially darkened his skin tone with black powder. The cameraman in charge of taking the still also deliberately maneuvered the lens in an unflattering angle. Tao Mu was obsessed with photography for a while in his previous life and played around with SLR cameras. He knew very well what angles would be able to take good shots. According to this cameraman’s shooting method, after the photo came out, Wuming’s film still would definitely appear much shorter than reality and his face would also appear much bigger.
The photographer and the makeup artist would certainly not do this for no reason. Looking at it from another perspective, those who could instruct the photographer and makeup artist to do so in private must have an important role in the crew. After considering the conflict of interests and then using the deductive method, Tao Mu could come up with only one person who had the motivation and the ability to target him.
Tao Mu sneered in his heart and then casually struck a pose with the green python pliable jian in his hand, turning sideways slightly while staring sharply at the camera. The camera clicked and the cameraman and the post-production supervisor looked at the computer screen at the same time——
In front of a dark background, Tao Mu stood sideways, most of his body melting into the darkness and only the side of his face with disfigured makeup was facing the camera. His eyes were deep and face expressionless, one hand gently stroking the green python pliable jian wrapped around the other arm. Because of the angle of the light and the lens, the Tao Mu in the photo looked a little short and his outline also seemed slightly blurred——
But these were not the most captivating details. The most captivating thing was Tao Mu’s eyes which stared into the camera, appearing as pitch-dark as bottomless pools of icy waters that had been still and frozen for a thousand years. Additionally, because of his position standing sideways his body was arched into an arc. The cameraman hadn’t noticed anything at first when taking the photo but after looking at the photo at this moment, he seemed to see a poisonous snake lurking in the dark waiting for an opportunity to strike. From the shoulders to the elbows and down to the waist, every curve was imitating the position a python made when ready to strike at its prey during hunting. The icy cold it invoked was suffocating, both soft and flexible but at the same time full of strength. From head to toe the whole body was conveying a vicious decisiveness that could kill with one blow.
The cameraman and the post-production supervisor in front of the computer, as well as the melon eaters standing in the studio originally planning to watch a good show all let out shudders at the same time. There was no sound that could be heard in the studio that originally had at least some noise——everyone was stunned by the cold-blooded and intimidating aura that erupted from Tao Mu.
Especially those who had met Tao Mu’s eyes. They were instantly struck with the illusion that they were being stared at by a real python, and they, as the prey, was about to be swallowed whole, their life in imminent peril.
The group of people rubbed the goose bumps on their arms at the same time. They all felt a cold current spreading from their tailbone to spread over the whole body, even the fine hairs on their skin stood up from the fear.
Some celebrities and idols could be discredited by makeup, lighting and camera angles. But for a professional actor who had reached the level of a film emperor, even if the pictures were only of his hand or foot, he would still be able to give you a commanding performance, his screen presence obvious to all who saw it.
Faced with the unspoken but tacitly understood difficulties some certain colleagues liked to give to their rivals, Tao Mu was too lazy to care or make a fuss. Instead, he directly fought back head on in the most effective and irrefutable manner. This was his confidence in his award winning level acting skills.
The crew members who originally wanted to watch a good show all fell silent. Every one of them looked at each other and exchanged looks and gestures. The cameraman and the lighting technician who had already accepted the benefits and promised to carry out their end of the deal were now the ones in a difficult dilemma. While privately praising Tao Mu’s film still, they were also feeling worried. That Tao Mu could still have his film still come out this impressively despite the makeup artist, cameraman, and lighting technician deliberately making things difficult was enough to see just how talented he was.
Under normal circumstances, they would not be willing to offend an actor with such a handsome face and impressive acting skills, even if he was just a fledgling rookie. The entertainment industry was always changing. It was hard to say whether or not that little actor that you stepped on would become popular overnight. At that time, those who had the capital and means to get in his good graces once again could naturally do so, but for insignificant little cannon fodders like them, if the other really had intentions for revenge, then the consequences would truly be dismal.
It was precisely for this reason that the cameraman and lighting technician as well as the post-production supervisor were unwilling to offend Tao Mu completely.
In any case, they already did what they promised to do. It was Tao Mu himself who had the ability to break out of the siege. Thinking about it this way, the cameraman in charge of taking the stills immediately laughed and said: “Perfect! This film still truly has the right feel. Tao Mu, have you ever been a model before? You are very good at finding the best lighting and angles.”
Tao Mu curved up a corner of his mouth and said with a half smile, “I used to take promotional photos for people to make some pocket money. I’m a newcomer, and some famous photographers won’t bother with unknowns like us, so there’s no choice but to find food myself.”
The words “find food” that Tao Mu used was jargon for those in the industry, meaning that during shooting when the camera was not attentive enough then one must find a beneficial pose or angle for oneself. By saying this, Tao Mu was also pointing out that he was fully aware of their intentions and manipulations when taking the still, but he didn’t want to bother about it.
The cameraman also didn’t expect Tao Mu to be so seasoned despite his young age. Suddenly he felt a little bit ashamed. He smiled sheepishly and said: “I think this film still was taken very well. Do you think we should keep it like this? Don’t you still have a scene later? Then we should not waste time.”
The implications on his words were: I am just following the orders of others. Since you are able to get out of the situation with your own strength, then I will not continue to make it difficult for you. But I also can’t take the pictures over again, as I won’t be able to explain to the other side.
There was a hint of goodwill in this remark. Tao Mu was still a new face so although he didn’t like these people, he didn’t want to get into conflict over such a trivial matter either. It was not in line with Tao Mu’s style to take his anger out on cannon fodders and toadies when he couldn’t do anything about the actual instigator. Of course, he was not the kind of weakling that would eagerly accept the goodwill of others just with a few words. So in a bland tone he replied: “You are the professional, naturally you have the final say.”
The cameraman pretended not to hear Tao Mu’s ridicule and just turned a deaf ear. Turning his head he commanded: “Alright, let’s call it a day.”
In order to keep up with the progress, the general crew was divided into two groups, A and B, during filming. Tao Mu took the film still in group B, while Zhao Xin and the leading actors and actresses shot their major scenes in group A.
When Tao Mu rushed to group A after finishing with the still, he happened to make it in time to see Ning Yuan, the actor who played the leading male, and Yu Ze, who played the second male role. Sitting in front of the monitor, Zhao Xin glanced back at Tao Mu: “I heard that your film still turned out really good?”
Tao Mu smiled slightly: “The cameraman said it was okay.” There was no mention of the little discord during the shooting.
Zhao Xin let out a sneer, saying: “Work hard. No matter where or what situation, you having ability is the most important thing.” Once you had the ability and status, once you built a big reputation in the entertainment circle, this kind of thing would definitely not happen again.
On the other hand, it was precisely because a certain someone did not have enough ability therefore he was always fearing this and that and constantly making small maneuverings behind people’s backs. However, this kind of small scheming could only work on those little unknowns who lacked ability. Those who were truly talented and had the skills like Tao Mu would always stand out from the crowd.
Tao Mu also believed deeply in this remark as well. Instantly, he nodded in agreement: “I will work hard.”
Ning Yuan, who was on the set, also learned from his assistant about Tao Mu’s photo shoot. Seeing Tao Mu at this moment, he couldn’t help feeling a little irritable and as a result ended up NG-ing.
“Cut!” Zhao Xin glanced at Ning Yuan and Yu Ze, and said, “Ten minutes to rest. The next scene will be with Tao Mu and Ning Yuan.”
Affected by the cost of shooting and the shooting location, the crew could never dream of filming the scenes in plot order. All the scene schedules must succumb to space and the film set. For this reason, Tao Mu’s first scene was not his first appearance in the drama. Instead it was the scene after Wuming and the hero fought in which the hero gave a dialogue regarding his appreciation for the other.
Location: Outside Jinling City
Ning Yuan, as the hero, held a folded fan in one hand as he stood tall and elegantly: “Your martial arts has reached great heights and you should not be an unnamed person. Why have I never heard of your reputation in jianghu?”
Tao Mu had no expression on his face: “I am an assassin.”
“Oh?” Ning Yuan raised an eyebrow in great interest: “What do you mean by that?”
Tao Mu continued to be expressionless: “The assassin Wuming——”
“Cut!” Zhao Xin glanced at Ning Yuan, who had dropped the prop fan to the ground.
Ning Yuan apologized to everyone with an apologetic look: “I’m sorry, my hand accidentally slipped.”
Zhao Xin didn’t say anything, the clapper-loader walked to the camera with the clapper board, and knocked the board again——
Ning Yuan continued to stand elegantly and also threw in a fancy move with the fan. He smiled confidently, saying: “Your martial arts has reached great heights and you should not be an unnamed person. Why have I never heard of your reputation in jianghu.”
Tao Mu had no expression on his face: “I am an assassin.”
“Oh?” Ning Yuan suddenly moved forward and meandered behind Tao Mu where he leaned familiarly towards Tao Mu’s ear—— only for Tao Mu to dodge away.
“Cut!” Zhao Xin shouted at Tao Mu, “What are you dodging for?”
Tao Mu frowned: “He is too close to me. According to the personality of Wuming he would never allow a person who he meets for the first time to walk around behind him and get in so close.”
Ning Yuan spread out his hands with an innocent look: “I am also trying to portray Mu Qingyang’s character. Mu Qingyang is an unrestrained and suave character. After meeting such an interesting person he would naturally want to tease him a bit.”
What the two said was very reasonable, but Ning Yuan was the leading actor as well as a new idol favored by the investor Summer Star Entertainment. Zhao Xin couldn’t criticize Ning Yuan, so he gave Tao Mu a look: “Act your parts and don’t add extra things outside the script casually.”
Tao Mu did not comment.
So the scene was shot for the third time.
But the result was that Ning Yuan had another problem. This time, he deliberately blocked Tao Mu’s figure from the camera while moving, only for Tao Mu to take back the camera with a light turn of his body. On the other hand, Ning Yuan accidentally lost his footing when he followed Tao Mu’s turn and ended up appearing much shorter than the other in the camera——this scene was naturally useless.
And then they shot a fourth and fifth time……Ning Yuan tried all of his tricks, having originally thought that Tao Mu, a young newcomer who had no experience filming with the camera, would not have a stable performance in front of the camera. He wanted to disrupt Tao Mu’s filming rhythm, thereby suppressing Tao Mu’s screen presence.
But he did not expect Tao Mu to perform consistently. On the contrary, after being NG-ed repeatedly, he himself was disrupted and now he couldn’t find the feeling anymore.
The very simple scene was filmed all morning, and even the crew’s lunch was delivered yet they were still not finished. Zhao Xin glanced at Ning Yuan, who had tried to gain an advantage only to end up worse off and then at Tao Mu, who had remained expressionless the whole time, perfectly conforming to his character’s role. He grabbed the big loudspeaker and shouted: “Cut!”
“It’s lunch break. Everyone rest for an hour.”
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Even before the last words were spoken, Ning Yuan directly threw the prop fan to the ground and head directly towards his personal recreational van with a dark expression on his face.
Not even wanting to eat lunch.
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