Da Mao and Xiao Pang came back before dinner. As early as when Tao Mu first joined “The Legend of Heroes”, the two had treated the crafts service team of the crew to have a meal. In addition to hoping that they could take more care of Tao Mu, they also wanted to get Tao Mu’s filmimg schedule in the crew. The purpose was to ensure that the two of them could clean up the rental house before Tao Mu left work lest Tao Mu came back and nag at them.
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But today Tao Mu came back early. Da Mao and Xiao Pang couldn’t help but be a little surprised, and also a little guilty of being caught in being sloppy: “Why are you back so early today?”
Tao Mu was sitting at the table reading a book on the financial current affairs and regulations, especially in relation to futures. The time of his death in his last life was 2018. The financial market was inherently unpredictable. Ten years was enough time for the domestic and international financial markets and policy environment to undergo earth-shaking changes. The policies and regulations he knew don’t play any role at this moment. If he couldn’t get acquainted with the current rules of the game as soon as possible, and instead do things arbitrarily based on his future knowledge, then he would make big mistakes if he wasn’t careful.
So after Tao Mu was reborn, he began to consciously review these “old and rotten” knowledge and combined it with actual operations, slowly making up for his own shortcomings. On the one hand, it was to make money, and on the other hand it was also to ensure that when Li Xiaoheng consulted him again, Tao Mu’s suggestions would not turn into a joke full of errors and misinformation due to some untimely memories and thus reduce his weight in Li Xiaoheng’s mind.
In order to play the role of the assassin Wuming, Tao Mu spent a lot of time honing his fight scenes. As a result, his progress into looking at these information while not having stopped completely but the efficiency was still not very high. Now that he was dismissed from the crew of “The Legend of Heroes”, Tao Mu now had the time to study finance. He was going to take an exam for a relevant practice certificate and familiarize himself with the most basic policies and regulations. Other than this he also planned to continue to practice his skills in the private investment market.
And speaking off, Tao Mu was still thinking about his first start-up capital. He had found more than a dozen large scale gambling platforms with a good reputation on the Internet. He was just waiting for the opening of the Olympic Games to spend money to buy peripherals.
There were too many things to do and Tao Mu really had no time and energy to waste on being angry. The act of anger just now was the most extreme expression of his emotions.
“Director Zhao informed me that the role of Wuming is about to change. So starting today, I don’t have to go to the crew.”
“What?” Da Mao and Xiao Pang practically thought that they had heard wrong: “What did you say? The crew of “The Legend of Heroes” doesn’t need you anymore? Why, haven’t you already signed the contract? You have been in the crew for more than ten days, even the film still is already taken, right?”
They even reposted it on Weibo. The little girls with appearance complex and some face-judging book fans were all yelling in excitement under their Weibo.
“So they also gave me a lot of money in accordance with the terms of the contract.” Tao Mu turned around and looked at Da Mao and Xiao Pang: “Director Zhao specially asked finance to pay me six times the money owed for breaking the contract. 120,000, plus the 20,000 given when signing the contract, I made 140,000 in less than half a month, which is quite a lot.”
This was also the compensation plan that he finalized after discussing with director Zhao——originally there was only three times the contract money. But director Zhao couldn’t bear to scrap away Tao Mu’s stunning action scenes but was just too embarrassed to speak up. Tao Mu saw Zhao Xin’s conflicted emotions, and before leaving, offered to make a deal with Zhao Xin. He suggested that Zhao Xin pay three times the contract money to buy out his previous scenes, so that in the post-editing he could add the parts that didn’t show his face or height.
This suggestion was a direct call to Zhao Xin’s heart. The role of Wuming had been changed two times in a row, which had delayed the shooting schedule. And this time the new actor was practically a living ancestor who had no experience in filming and one that he couldn’t even scold at. Zhao Xin was so troubled that he wanted nothing more but to smoke two more boxes of cigarettes a day. Tao Mu’s suggestion would not only improve the shooting quality of “The Legend of Heroes” it would also help a lot with the shooting progress as well.
Zhao Xin didn’t expect Tao Mu to be so kind and was excited for a while, forgetting to politely hide his ecstatic emotions as he slapped Tao Mu’s shoulders fiercely in excitememt. He even exclaimed that Tao Mu was truly a thoughtful child.
But he didn’t know that Tao Mu’s thinking was simply to maximize his benefits to as much as possible——he just felt that since he had withdrawn from the crew of “The Legend of Heroes”, the scenes he had taken have become a bunch of useless scraps. Instead of it falling into some dark corner to collect dust, it was better to leave it to director Zhao to make use of the trash. After the drama was aired, these shots of him as a stunt double could still play a promotional role for him.
Of course, before that, the issue of remuneration must be discussed clearly.
Having been an orphan since he was a child, Tao Mu had long understood the truth that he could not be willful in the face of the pressure of survival——at least before returning to the Shen family in his previous life, Tao Mu did not have the confidence to act petulant.
As for this life, although Tao Mu now had golden fingers, unfortunately certain habits had already been deeply developed. This kind of bad habit of making the most use of people or things could no longer be changed.
When all was said and done, Tao Mu had never been the kind of person who would make a scene when he was wronged, causing others to not feel good even at the cost of destroying himself. Rather than wasting emotions on meaningless venting, he would rather look for opportunities for his own benefit in an extremely bad situation.
This kind of manner of living might seem to outsiders to be “cowardly” and too profiteering, lacking any backbone or pride. So when he first returned to the Shen family in his previous life, the Shen family picked at his character in every possible way. Shen Yan even used Zhuang Zhou’s “Phoenix and Rotten Rat” allusion to mock him. As if those belonging to the Shen family should be naturally noble and lofty, even if they fell into the dirt they should still not compromise and lower their heads. They must be like Shen Yu who was like a lotus that remained unstained even in the mud, and not like him who only recognized interests.
They completely forgot that it was Tao Mu who was struggling in the mud all day long, and not the cuckoo in the phoenix nest who had occupied his spot since they were born.
“Is it a matter of money? Do we lack that bit of money?” Hearing Tao Mu’s narration, Da Mao was nearly jumping with anger: “Aren’t they playing people? They have already signed a contract with you so how can they change people so easily? Then isn’t our ten days of hard work in vain? Isn’t this too much?”
“It’s not in vain. Didn’t I get the money.” Tao Mu smiled: “Furthermore, director Zhao also said that many shots are still usable.” After all, the 140,000 he got included the contract money and the buyouts of the martial arts scenes he had filmed. Tao Mu believed that Zhao Xin would definitely make the best use of it especially as he had already threw in the money.
“F**k@%$!$%!” Da Mao let loose a string of swears: “They are simply bullying people. It cannot be like this. No, we have to go and find him and talk about this.”
“Alright!” Tao Mu touched Da Mao’s head and interrupted his childhood friend’s outrage: “What is there to find him for. Even uncle Wang when doing business, met cases where he signed a contract with someone only for the other to break the contract. Everyone is working in accordance with the contract——”
“That’s not the same.” Xiao Pang also voiced his outrage for Tao Mu: “How can they be like this! This is too unfair.”
“There is nothing fair or unfair. I can only say that my value is not high enough for the crew to reject capital.” To the extent that they didn’t even have to think about it. “Furthermore, I didn’t suffer. Why do you look like I’m being bullied?”
Da Mao and Xiao Pang gave Tao Mu an eyeroll.
“What value not being high enough to make people reject capital? To put it bluntly, they just have some stinkin’ money!” Da Mao harrumphed: “The way I see it, we should just let my dad pay and invest ourselves with you as the number one male lead. At that time let’s see who dares to go through the back door and snatch your role!”
Tao Mu lowered his head and smiled: “Okay. Let’s not talk about this anymore. I can be considered to have made a small fortune today. What do you guys want to eat tonight, it’s my treat.”
Treat, my ass! Da Mao was full of resentment, but he couldn’t vent it in front of Tao Mu, so he could only snort unhappily, “Then let’s go eat hot pot. Anyway, it’s so hot this day, and this thing is also fanning the flames, it’s good to eat hot pot to fight poison with poison. “
“Okay, let’s eat hot pot.” Tao Mu closed the book, got up and smiled: “After eating hot pot, I can also treat you to go clubbing. Am I a good buddy or what.”
Da Mao and Xiao Pang both had on a mournful and resentful face, but they could only answer with forced joy: “Yeah!”
“I heard that your role in “The Legend of Heroes” was snatched?”
Tao Mu didn’t expect that when he brought Da Mao and Xiao Pang to the hot pot restaurant, he would actually meet Gou Rixin and his martial arts buddies again.
As one of the most popular leaders of the extras in H Studio City, Gou Rixin’s news was very well-informed. Tao Mu only left the crew of “The Legend of Heroes” in the late afternoon, and Gou Rixin almost immediately knew about it that evening. When they were all just chatting about this and feeling regret for Tao Mu, unexpectedly Tao Mu also came to eat hot pot as well.
“Come, come, the so-called chance meeting better than a deliberate appointment. Since everyone came to the same restaurant for hot pot, it must be fate.” Probably out of admiration for the cultured, Gou Rixin, who didn’t even graduate from junior high school, would always speak in a stuffy, bookish way whenever he encountered a college student like Tao Mu, afraid of being laughed at if any word was said wrong.
“I say, you guys don’t wait for your seats. It’s the peak of the rush hour now so you would have to wait for at least half an hour. If you don’t mind us, then just sit down and eat together.”
After finishing speaking, before Tao Mu and company could speak, Gou Rixin had already called to the waiter: “Give us a new pot, two dozen more beers, and three sets of tableware.”
With Gou Rixin being so enthusiastic, the three of them could not refuse, so they found a seat to sit down. Da Mao glanced at the table full of male compatriots, and asked politely, “Why isn’t sister-in-law here as well.”
“Your sister-in-law has an outside scene and has left with her crew. It will take two or three days to come back.” When Gou Rixin mentioned this his expression was a bit bad, looking as if he didn’t want to say anymore. He poured a glass of cold beer for Tao Mu and changed the subject: “Your sister-in-law is still talking about you with me. Saying that you would definitely become successful. She also told me to make good friends with you, and even have me invite you to come over for dinner another day. Your sister-in-law will personally cook herself.”
As soon as these words were spoken, several martial arts buddies who had a good relationship with Gou Rixin frowned. Tao Mu also saw this and his heart was very clear as well.
Gou Rixin himself was ignorant, and he warmly invited Tao Mu: “Your sister-in-law will be back the day after tomorrow so are you coming to eat over?”
Tao Mu thanked him, but declined politely. He didn’t have a good impression of Yu Mei, but he didn’t show any of his thoughts in front of Gou Rixin. Everyone was just a nodding acquaintance. Enough to eat, drink, and gossip together. So there was no need to talk about more private matters.
Everyone began to eat and drink at the table. After eating for a while, Gou Rixin looked at Tao Mu, looking as if he wanted to say something.
Tao Mu touched his beer to Gou Rixin and asked with a smile, “What’s the matter, just say it directly.”
Gou Rixin hesitated: “I have a gig, don’t know if you want to do it or not.”
With some topics, so long as the first words were said, the following would be easy to handle. Before Tao Mu could speak, Gou Rixin said in a straightforward manner: “The crew that we just entered, it is a martial arts movie, “Faraway Jianghu”, do you know of it? The male lead is not satisfied with the current body double and wants to find one with beautiful martial arts. He is about the same size as you, and he is willing to pay 100,000 yuan. If you are interested, I can go back and ask for you?”
After a pause, Gou Rixin also said: “Speaking of, the director and the actor of this crew actually have some affinity with you. They both graduated from Beijing Film. Cheng Baodong and Wang Boyuan, you know?”
Tao Mu’s heart jumped. Of course he knew these two people, the famous big director and film emperor in the Beijing circle in later generations. The film that Tao Mu was eyeing was invested by Beijing Film, whose chief director was Cheng Baodong. And Cheng Baodong also brought in his male leading actor Wang Boyuan to guest star.
This was truly a case of having a pillow delivered just when one was feeling drowsy.
Tao Mu immediately swallowed down his original refusal, and said with a smile: “Then I must trouble brother Gou to please help me ask.”
After speaking, he had another cup with Gou Rixin.
Gou Rixin waved his hand and gulped down the beer: “No trouble, no trouble. Besides, all I can do is help you ask. I won’t be able to make the final decision.”
As he said, he hooked Tao Mu’s shoulder and began to console him sincerely: “……Don’t worry about what happened today. In fact, if you have more experiences, you will know that there are so many f**ked up things like this. So don’t think it’s unfair. Think about it, those investors are showering real money to invest in a crew. Wanting to put a few of their own people in it, it’s normal, right? Just like with normal people going to work, they could also come across workers who are relatives of the boss. These people who came in through the back door, all they do is just take the salary and don’t work, sometimes even messing things up for you. The same is true for some incapable crews as well. You can’t stop the boss from putting his people in the company, and for the same reason you can’t prevent investors from putting their people in the crew. The only thing you can do is to work hard. When you become famous in the future, you will be the one picking and choosing the crew. And they will have to accompany you with a smiling face and flattery.”
“I think you will definitely be famous. So don’t be discouraged, when you enter the next crew don’t just pass your days idly, just do whatever you should do. When you make it, they will naturally know that it’s their loss for not using you.”
Gou Rixin was worried that Tao Mu would bring his anger into his next job. At that time, it would also implicate him as the one who introduced Tao Mu to the crew, so he kept consoling Tao Mu.
This kind of sincere enthusiasm was rare.
“Don’t worry, brother Gou, if I can enter “Faraway Jianghu”, I will definitely do my part well and I won’t embarrass you.” Tao Mu said, privately thinking that of course he couldn’t embarrass him or himself. He also wanted to take this opportunity to make a good impression on Cheng Baodong and Wang Boyuan. Of course he would not do anything to leave a bad impression on them.
At least he should leave behind the image of a hardworking martial arts body double with a solid foundation, right?
Gou Rixin smiled, looking particularly honest: “I’m not worried. It’s just that you young people are unable to swallow down such things. It would not be good to join the crew with such emotions.”
Tao Mu’s heart moved, and suddenly he remembered some rumors about Gou Rixin’s filming incident he had heard in his previous life: “Brother Gou, generally those like us who are martial arts body doubles, the crew will buy us insurance, right?”
Gou Rixin responded: “Some crews does, and some crews don’t. Our profession belongs to a high-risk industry and insurance companies don’t like dealing with us. The conscientious crew can at most cover a few accident insurances. If the crew has no conscience, then who would care whether you are in danger or not. After all, the job has many people wanting to do it, if some people aren’t willing then they could always find others who are.”
As soon as the topic started, the group of martial arts buddies sitting at the table also joined in: “Don’t mention insurance. Even if something really does go wrong, it would be very hard to even get compensation from the crew.”
“We do all the hard work, but we don’t earn as much as a celebrity.”
“Then why don’t you buy insurance yourselves?” Da Mao and Xiao Pang who had been listening did not understand the thoughts of these people: “This thing is not much money for a year. Let’s talk about accident insurance, even if you want to insure one million, it would only cost a few ten thousands a year. If it is group insurance it might be even less——”
Da Mao’s family owned a coal mine and he was familiar with these things. It was a pity that before he could finish he was interrupted by the group of martial arts actors: “Who has the tens of thousands to spend on nothing? Besides, with our experience, basically nothing will happen.”
When all was said and done, they couldn’t bear parting with the money. After all, doing their job depended on opportunities. If one was lucky, one could earn tens of thousands of yuan a month. If not and one couldn’t find a gig, then it was a normal occurtence to go hungry. From a certain perspective, this group of martial arts actors had it just as hard as farmers and migrant workers, and some didn’t even have guarantees as good as that of migrant workers.
So when they had money it was fine to spend it on food or save it in the bank, but just not willing to use it to buy insurance.
But for those who often walk by the river, how was it not possible to get their shoes wet. Da Mao and Xiao Pang looked at each other and then looked at Tao Mu: “How about we don’t do this thing anymore?”
Tao Mu waved his hand and looked at Gou Rixin: “If I can really join the “Faraway Jianghu” I am going to buy some accident insurance. Brother Gou, do you want to do it together. To put it bluntly, it’s better to be prepared than not.”
Gou Rixin hesitated.
Tao Mu calmly persuaded: “Based on the current market situation for brother Gou, you will surely earn at least 200,000 yuan in a year. Spend a few thousand yuan to buy an accident insurance and if something happens, with one million in your hands, then you won’t need to panic at that time.”
Gou Rixin hesitated: “You see, I haven’t been insured for so many years, but I’m still fine. What if something goes wrong right after I buy insurance, won’t it be a bit unlucky?”
Tao Mu: “……” What kind of brain circuit was this?
Seeing that Gou Rixin truly rejected the idea of insurance, Tao Mu didn’t persuade him further. He just made up his mind privately, he could take some money and help insure Gou Rixin for a million afterwards. Count it as his sincere thanks towards the other.
After all, the incident of Gou Rixin’s wire accident had really happened in his previous life. It was just that Tao Mu was unfamiliar with Gou Rixin in his previous life and had never cared about this matter. So he didn’t know when was the specific time and place of Gou Rixin’s accident.
Tao Mu believed that since there was no way for him to help the other avoid the accident, he should at least be fully prepared for the aftermath. It could be regarded as thanks for Gou Rixin’s kind intentions to help him be introduced to the crew.
Gou Rixin certainly didn’t know Tao Mu’s “tit for tat” mentality of doing things. While still in the hot pot restaurant, he called the leading actor of “Faraway Jianghu”. Wang Boyuan had also heard of Tao Mu’s fame among the martial arts actors. In fact, after Wang Boyuan expressed his thoughts about finding a body double, someone recommended Tao Mu to him. It was just that Tao Mu had just entered the crew of “The Legend of Heroes” at the time, and it was even a supporting role with a name and lines, so they could not contact Tao Mu anymore.
Now that Tao Mu found his way to their crew himself, Wang Boyuan was quite happy. He booked an audition time on the phone for tomorrow.
At 8 o’clock the next morning, Tao Mu arrived to the shooting location for “Faraway Jianghu”——coincidentally, the filming location of “Faraway Jianghu” at H Studio City was also in the scenic spot of Qingming Shanghe Tu, only a few walls away from “The Legend of Heroes”. So naturally, Tao Mu came across familiar acquaintances on the way to the audition for “Faraway Jianghu”.
Someone asked Tao Mu what he was coming for, and Tao Mu did not hide it. Knowing that Tao Mu was going to audition for the leading actor’s body double next door, all these people showed a stunned look and wished Tao Mu a success in the audition with varying expressions and tones.
Even the “big nephew” who replaced Tao Mu also ran out with half of his face with makeup, and yelled: “Since it is both being body doubles, why can’t you be one for me? Isn’t it just money? How much does “Faraway Jianghu” give you, I will double it for you!”
Tao Mu didn’t bother to pay attention to this stupid “big nephew” with too much money, and pushed him back to the crew: “Don’t make trouble, go back and act your role, don’t make trouble for me.”
The “big nephew” followed behind Tao Mu stubbornly. Tao Mu was afraid of this “big nephew” disrupting the situation, so he patiently coaxed him: “Don’t you want to appear impressive in front of the camera? How can using a body double be as impressive as doing it yourself. Wait until I have time to teach you two tricks, it won’t be difficult at all, enough for you to look cool in front of the camera.”
The eyes of “big nephew” lit up, and he immediately stretched out his paws: “It’s a deal, no lying.”
Tao Mu slapped palms with him perfunctorily and then pushed him back to the crew.
When he arrived at the crew of “Faraway Jianghu”, it happened that Cheng Baodong and Wang Boyuan were both present. One was directing the overall situation in front of the monitor, and the other was putting on makeup in the dressing room.
The assistant led him to Cheng Baodong, and director Cheng glanced at him carelessly and pointed to the corner: “The crew is busy. You wait a moment.”
Tao Mu waited for more than an hour. Everyone in the crew was going about doing their own thing, no one cared about him and no one asked about him. Tao Mu was not in a hurry, relying on the various experiences he had gained in being part of many crews in his previous life, he helped this one carry props and the other one adjust the lights. His manner was neither obvious nor awkward, causing many staff members to directly regarded Tao Mu as a newcomer assistant.
Cheng Baodong and Wang Boyuan watched with cool eyes and kept observing for more than an hour before telling an assistant to lead him to change and try on the costume.
Wang Boyuan looked at Tao Mu’s back and smiled as he gossiped with Cheng Baodong: “He looks very steady. I thought he would at least ask questions if not throw a temper tantrum after being so ignored.”
Cheng Baodong snorted coldly: “If he was someone who would lose his temper, he would have in front of surnamed Zhao’s face and not wait until now.”
Speaking of, the two first knew Tao Mu through Chen Yiqian’s mouth. Director Chen saw Tao Mu’s potential and also intended to give the newcomer a hand. Whenever he had the chance he was always willing to mention Tao Mu to his old friends.
Before when Wang Boyuan wanted to find Tao Mu as a body double, it was all due to Chen Yiqian’s comments about Tao Mu. Especially after knowing that Tao Mu had also applied for Beijing Film, Wang Boyuan had a natural affection for this junior brother who had not yet enrolled in the school. Knowing that Tao Mu had taken the role of Wuming in “The Legend of Heroes”, he also felt that Tao Mu was very lucky.
It was a pity that Tao Mu was kicked out of the crew before this feeling took root. And Tao Mu’s actions afterwards had Wang Boyuan looking at this junior brother in a different light.
If nothing else, his emotional intelligence was very high. Generally, young people his age could not do what he did.
It was Cheng Baodong who felt that it was not a good thing that he had such a scheming mindset at such a young age. But there was no denying that with Tao Mu’s appearance and his emotional intelligence, if nothing bad happened, he would definitely have a place in the entertainment circle in the future. Maybe he might even be another dark horse in their Beijing circle.
Therefore, today’s show of power was also a test from Cheng Baodong and Wang Boyuan towards this younger generation and newcomer.
After the test, it was still the same. Wang Boyuan admired the high emotional intelligence and superior physical looks of his junior brother, and also admired Tao Mu’s ease and insight when he was in the crew. He had met a lot of newcomers, in order to create a very approachable personality, also tried to help out with the crew when there was no scenes to film. But it was really rare for a newcomer like Tao Mu who could help people out at key moments every time. It could be seen that Tao Mu was very familiar with all departments of the crew, and it could be seen from this that this kid’s ambition was definitely not small. For example, in the future, he might expand from acting in films to directing or producing films.
In contrast, Cheng Baodong rejected Tao Mu’s maturity and deep sophistication. He felt that there was not the slightest vigor that young people should have in him.
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However, the two people also reached an agreement: that was, with Tao Mu’s temperament and conditions he could definitely make a splash in the entertainment industry.
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