After having his directing skills “discussed” by Tao Mu in a manner of concealing needles in silk (TN: idiom for hidden barbs), Cheng Baodong lost any desire to continue talking. He waved his hand to signal Tao Mu to return to the set to continue shooting.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
Shen Yu and the others sat silently and obediently behind Cheng Baodong, watching Tao Mu filming his scenes. At noon, they also stayed to have lunch with the crew. After confirming again and again that Tao Mu would not go with them to sing karaoke or clubbing with them, Shen Yu and the others left disappointed.
After finishing work in the evening, Tao Mu returned to the rental house with his two childhood friends. For dinner, they just ordered a few dishes at sister Ping’s small restaurant. Halfway through the meal, Da Mao’s phone rang——it was a call from the girls they had met on Weibo.
“What, you have already arrived in H Town?” Da Mao put down his chopsticks, feeling a little surprised: “Why are you here so late?”
Don’t know what was said on the other end of the phone, but Da Mao replied helplessly: “Fine. You guys first take a taxi to the entrance of the Studio City. I’ll be there to pick you guys up.”
After putting down the phone, Da Mao explained to Tao Mu: “Didn’t we recently begin to post some entertainment gossip and H Studio City’s news on Tieba and Weibo. Many netizens got curious, and some people want to come and experience it during the summer vacation. The phone call I just received was from our fans. They are a couple of girls who had also just graduated from high school. They wanted to visit H Town before the beginning of school, and also visit the film sets of their idols. But, the plane was delayed and when they arrived at H Town it was already dark. The girls are a little scared and want me to pick them up.”
Xiao Pang added proudly: “We are more or less celebrities in the circle now. Everyone believes in us~”
Tao Mu nodded: “Then you go ahead. I’ll be upstairs resting first.”
“En!” Da Mao and Xiao Pang stood up and smiled ingratiatingly at Tao Mu: “You have a good rest, we’ll bring back some late night snacks.”
“Then come back with two pounds of spicy crawfish.” Tao Mu did not bother being courteous and ordered the dish. After the two had left, he went upstairs.
Though he said it was to rest, what he really did was actually lying on the bed after taking a shower, watching the Olympics while betting on the periphery and paying attention to the international oil futures market. In addition, he would also read some informational books related to financial regulations from time to time. After a while of multitasking, sleepiness hit Tao Mu and he fell asleep on the bed like that.
When Da Mao and Xiao Pang came back, what they saw was Tao Mu in bed with books and laptop surrounding him.
The two knew that Tao Mu had been very tired recently, so they didn’t want to wake him up. On tiptoes, they turned off the computer, put away the books, and put the freshly cooked spicy crawfish into the fridge. They didn’t even dare to take a bath and just took off their clothes and turned off the lights before going to sleep.
When Tao Mu woke up it was already the next morning. He hadn’t expected that he could sleep so soundly this time. For fear of the noise outside waking Tao Mu, Da Mao and Xiao Pang had closed the window tightly. There was only one electric fan and it was currently blowing slowly at the foot of Tao Mu’s bed so Tao Mu didn’t feel the heat either. In contrast, Da Mao and Xiao Pang had broken out into a sweat while sleeping and had awakened in the middle of the night from the heat.
“You’re awake!” Hearing Tao Mu’s movement, Da Mao and Xiao Pang, who were lying on their beds turned their heads and smiled, “What do you want to eat for breakfast, I will ask brother Feng to bring it up.”
“Soy milk fritters!” Tao Mu said. After seeing a cold bowl of mochi in the kitchen, he asked casually: “What time did you come back yesterday? Why didn’t you wake me up?”
“Why wake you. You finally fell into a deep sleep.” Da Mao disagreed. “By the way, we are going to take a few sisters to apply for acting licenses today. Let’s have a meal together tonight?”
Xiao Pang also winked at Tao Mu: “The three girls are all very pretty.”
Tao Mu frowned: “I don’t want to go.”
“Don’t!” Da Mao was anxious: “We already boasted to those girls, saying that our brother is handsome enough to break the skies. They are all waiting to see you!”
Xiao Pang flipped his hair and made a pose on the side: “Mu Mu gege, give us some face, let’s go~ Muah~~”
Tao Mu was disgusted enough: “Don’t use the ugly trap with me (TN: like honey trap, but instead of using beauty to get what you want you try to disgust others enough to get your way hence ‘ugly trap’ XD)! I won’t go!” He would rather stay in the rental house to watch the Olympics when he had that time.
“You have to. Let me tell you, these little sisters are truly really cute.” Xiao Pang sat directly on Tao Mu with all of his heavy weight and patiently persuaded: “I think you should also get in touch with people your own age. Mingling with that crowd of old fritters from the crew everyday, aren’t you feeling suffocated.”
“Go! Go! It’s just one meal. Then we’ll go home. If you want to watch the Olympics, you can watch the Olympics, and if you want to watch oil futures, you can watch oil futures. We’ll help you wash your feet and give you a massage. Okay?” Da Mao wheedled: “Anyway, you have to eat dinner, don’t you? It’s still eating no matter the location? And with pretty sisters to accompany you the food will be even tastier~”
Tao Mu was nagged by Da Mao and Xiao Pang so much he had no choice but to agree.
With excitement, Da Mao and Xiao Pang ran downstairs and borrowed the electric tricycle used by sister Ping to buy ingredients for the restaurant. After breakfast, they carried Tao Mu to the entrance of the Studio City.
Tao Mu knew that the two were trying to make up for yesterday’s mistakes, and couldn’t help but smile.
When Tao Mu arrived at the crew, he happened to see Wang Boyuan also stepping out of his nanny van. This inevitably caused Tao Mu to feel a little strange. Because according to today’s filming schedule, Wang Boyuan’s first scene was at ten o’clock in the morning but it was not even seven o’clock yet. Wang Boyuan seemed to have arrived a little too early.
Tao Mu nodded at Wang Boyuan and said hello: “Senior brother, morning.”
“Good morning.” Wang Boyuan looked at Tao Mu thoughtfully.
Honestly speaking, he didn’t sleep well last night. Wang Boyuan developed a vague impulse deep in his heart after hearing Da Mao and Xiao Pang’s words yesterday, and wanted to ask Tao Mu to help him.
In fact, he wanted to follow Da Mao and Xiao Pang’s topic and speak some more about it yesterday, but Tao Mu changed the topic before he could. The chance was fleeting, and he was too embarrassed to ask Tao Mu to help him in stocks afterwards. After all, the two of them hadn’t reached that point of friendship yet, and it might make it difficult for Tao Mu if he made such a request as it was a matter of money.
Besides, he also understood Tao Mu’s concerns. Indeed, if this kind of thing led to profits, then everyone would naturally be happy. But if money was lost, Wang Boyuan couldn’t guarantee that he would not take his anger out on Tao Mu. After all, in the past six months, Wang Boyuan had already lost a lot in the stock market, and he couldn’t afford to mess around anymore.
——Fortunately, Tao Mu steered them away from the topic in time.
Thinking of this, Wang Boyuan couldn’t help but look at Tao Mu again and started thinking about another thing. He wondered whether or not Tao Mu’s talent in the stock market was the real deal.
It was necessary to say that Wang Boyuan didn’t have much skills in financial stock trading, so he naturally relied on stockbrokers to do it for him. Every time he bought in and sold out, the most important thing was naturally to take the advice of stock brokers. Of course, sometimes there would even be a little bit of “inside news”. But it’s a pity that the domestic market had been extremely chaotic in the past six months, and the stockbrokers were also not sure about the situation, ending up losing Wang Boyuan’s savings over these many years.
Because of this Wang Boyuan couldn’t help but fantasize. If he had replaced his stockbrokers with Tao Mu as his investment advisor, he would not only not lose the tens of millions in the stock market, but he might even earn back seven or eight times more…..
At that time, don’t even mention introducing a few roles for Tao Mu or take care of him in the entertainment circle. He would even be willing to give Tao Mu a big red envelope!
As Wang Boyuan’s thoughts wondered, he suddenly came back to himself. Immediately he smiled bitterly, he had really gone crazy from losing money. He didn’t know Tao Mu at all a few months ago. No matter how talented Tao Mu was in stocks, what did it have to do with him!
Tao Mu looked at Wang Boyuan’s face that seemed like a color palette, expression shifting like the colors of the rainbow. It did not seem like he was thinking over a character’s emotions.
“Senior brother?” Tao Mu interrupted Wang Boyuan’s fantasies and pointed to the direction of the public dressing room: “If there isn’t anything, then I’m going to get my makeup applied.”
“Ah? Oh!” Wang Boyuan came back to his senses with a sad smile: “Go ahead.”
Tao Mu: “…..”
——Although Tao Mu was one of the first to arrive at the crew every day, his scenes were not connected. Often he would have a few scenes in the morning and then a few in the middle of the night. The rest of the time was spent in the long waiting process. Because the best time slots must be reserved for the bigwigs and old veteran actors.
This was still the case today.
After filming the first scene in the morning, Tao Mu waited on the set with makeup, silently observing the scene with Wang Boyuan and Guo Yaning. The cameraman in charge of the second lens suddenly felt pain in his abdomen.
He looked around, but he didn’t find his assistant. He finally turned his attention to Tao Mu who was observing the set seriously, and whispered, “Tao Mu? Tao Mu?”
“Huh?” Tao Mu turned his head and raised his eyebrows at the cameraman.
“Do you know how to use this?” The camera guy asked quietly while carrying the camera. Probably because Tao Mu showed professional proficiency in various functions of various departments during his time in the crew, and every time he was able to help on point. Even if Tao Mu had never shown his photography skills, the cameraman still had a blind trust in Tao Mu.
“My stomach hurts and I can’t hold it anymore. Can you help me hold up for a while?”
While the actors on the set were NG-ed again, the cameraman clutched his stomach and begged Tao Mu: “Five minutes, help me hold up for five minutes. I will definitely come back.”
The camera guy was also out of solutions. The crew originally had a dozen videographers, most of whom performed their own duties, and a small part of them acted as assistants to help on rotation. But incidentally, he just couldn’t find any of them right now. Besides, diarrhea didn’t wait for people——as a grown man it was not like he could do the number 2 in his pants. As a result, he could only temporarily catch an idler and hope for the best.
Tao Mu glanced at the camera guy whose stomach hurt so much that he was sweating profusely, and smiled lightly: “All right. Five minutes.”
“Thank you! Thank you so much!” The cameraman handed the camera to Tao Mu, reached for a roll of paper, and hurriedly ran towards the bathroom.
Tao Mu aimed the camera at the heroine, and only waited for the clapper-loader to call “Action”, before zooming the camera slowly in.
Cheng Baodong, who was sitting in front of the monitor, let out a “Huh” and couldn’t help but straighten up.
In the screen of the monitor, a beam of sunlight struck down diagonally from above, and it happened to fall on the head of the heroine Guo Yaning. Guo Yaning, who was dressed up in ancient costume, stood in front of the camera with the bright sunshine pouring down her silhouette, making her silhouette softer and more delicate. Even the hair accessories on her head appeared cuter.
The tall Wang Boyuan stood beside Guo Yaning in a green robe, bowing his head slightly as he said lines. In order to cater to Wang Boyuan’s actions, Guo Yaning also looked over with a smile on her face.
Bright sunshine poured down over the two people, and encircled the two in the same frame under a halo of light. The lens suddenly seemed to have been applied with a filter effect. Not only did it set off the beauty of the two of them, but also emphasized the strong affection from the man and the shy and gentleness from the woman. One appeared romantic and suave, while the other was gentle and charming. The scene was so beautiful it could be used as a publicity poster.
This was not Lao Er’s photography style!
Cheng Baodong subconsciously looked in the direction of the second camera, and at a glance he saw Tao Mu, who was holding the long lens alone.
“Why are you?” Cheng Baodong was surprised and curious: “You actually know photography?”
Wang Boyuan and Guo Yaning looked at each other and walked to the monitor to watch the playback.
After seeing it, Guo Yaning’s eyes lit up immediately: “Tao Mu, not bad, you can actually make me look so beautiful. What can’t you not do?”
Tao Mu smiled humbly: “Sister Ning is very beautiful so naturally you will look good no matter how the camera is shot.”
“Yeah, right.” Guo Yaning smiled and gave Tao Mu an eyeroll: “You only know to say nice words to make me feel good. I have been filming for so many years, and there were only a handful of photographers who could make me appear so beautiful with their cameras.”
And the most important thing was that Guo Yaning had a kind of unique charm that couldn’t be found elsewhere except in Tao Mu’s lens. Passionate and affectionate, charming and gentle, every move spoke of her joy or anger. The most important thing was that Guo Yaning, who was nearly 30 years old, looked like she was in her twenties in the camera. A twenty year old who was in her prime and with magnificent beauty.
Guo Yaning admired her own beauty again, and reached out to elbow Cheng Baodong: “Give me a copy of this video, I want to keep it for collection.”
After finishing speaking, she looked at Tao Mu and praised with admiration: “Yesterday you managed to leave director Cheng speechless when discussing his directorial skills, and today you showed us impressive photography skills. I think you are very interested in directing films? Why did you sign up for the acting program in the first place?”
Tao Mu smiled humbly: “Because I was born too handsome.”
“That’s true.” Guo Yaning nodded, and echoed with sincere feeling: “You are this handsome, it would be a shame not to show your face in front of the camera.”
Cheng Baodong grunted in an unconvinced manner. But there was no way for him to refute it.
When the cameraman came out of the bathroom, he saw that the large group of people were not filming their scenes but gathered around the monitor. Tao Mu, who was supposed to be in charge of the camera instead of him, was also surrounded in the middle, and was currently being asked questions by the crowd.
The camera guy’s heart jumped and he ran over quickly: “What’s wrong? What’s wrong? I just couldn’t stand the stomachache, so I asked Tao Mu to help me for a while. Don’t blame Tao Mu, director Cheng, it’s all my fault——I truly couldn’t hold back anymore.”
Cheng Baodong sneered: “Don’t tell me! If it wasn’t for your stomachache, we still wouldn’t know that someone had such a side to them. I think you should move over as the second camera. Guo Yaning even said that Tao Mu’s shots are much better than yours.”
“This is a fact, alright!” Guo Yaning gave Cheng Baodong an eyeroll, completely unintimidated by the other: “Tao Mu photographed me very beautifully. It just happens that I will be releasing an album in the second half of the year, and I plan to have Xiao Mu help me shoot a beautiful MV. “
Cheng Baodong chuckled contemptuously: “You mean that album that you use your face to sing?”
“You don’t have to point it out!” Guo Yaning glared at Cheng Baodong viciously. She just happened to be tone deaf. Who said that an actor who was tone deaf couldn’t make an album? Was it against the law?
Cheng Baodong continued to hehe, but he didn’t dare to stroke the tiger’s beard anymore.
Because of Tao Mu’s inadvertent reveal of his photography skills, he instantly conquered the biggest bigwig on the set, the heroine of the crew. Guo Yaning now often came up next to Tao Mu when she was not busy, and asked Tao Mu tips on how to take her pictures so beautifully.
——In fact, it was not only Guo Yaning, but most of the crew members were also very curious about this matter. Tao Mu didn’t hide his knowledge. He revealed everything from lighting, composition, proportions to physics. But in the end, this kind of skill still relied on talent——even though it was just taking pictures and videos in the same way as other cameramen and photographers, Tao Mu had the ability to capture the most beautiful and emotion filled shots of the actors. People who did not have the talent would naturally be lacking in comparison.
“We can only say that Xiao Mu, you were born to eat this bowl of rice!”
At the end of the consultation, the group of bigwig cameramen and photographers could not help but feel impressed. Fortunately, with Tao Mu’s good looks, he would never grab this bowl of rice from them. Although these professional cameramen and photographers were envious, they were not jealous.
After getting off work at night, Da Mao and Xiao Pang drove the electric tricycle of sister Ping’s to guard outside the Studio City.
Tao Mu couldn’t stand these two guys’ attentiveness: “Isn’t it just a meal. I already agreed. You don’t have to come and pick me up?”
“Brother Mu, you have it so rough from filming, how can we bear to let you walk all the way back. It’s better to sit. Just feel the breeze blow, look at the scenery and we will be there in five minutes.” Da Mao and Xiao Pang said, specially patting the wooden chair taken from sister Ping’s restaurant that was now placed on the electric tricycle: “Brother Mu, sit!”
It only took ten minutes to walk!
Tao Mu sighed helplessly, and stepped onto it with his long legs.
Guo Yaning, who was sitting in her nanny car and was about to return to the hotel, asked the driver to stop the car. She pulled down the window and smiled, “What is this for?”
Tao Mu explained with a smile: “My classmates are here to pick me up.”
When Da Mao and Xiao Pang saw Guo Yaning, they couldn’t help recalling their shameful and brainless behavior bragging about Tao Mu yesterday. They blushed and shouted, “Hello, sister Ning.”
“You guys really know to have fun.” Guo Yaning smiled and commented: “Get in the car, I will send you back.”
“No, no. We live very close, and it only takes five minutes.” Da Mao and Xiao Pang quickly refused: “Moreover, there are a lot of paparazzi in H Studio. It would be bad if we were photographed.”
“You think quite a lot.” Guo Yaning chuckled: “Okay. I’ll invite you to dinner another day.”
The last remark was for Tao Mu. It seemed that Tao Mu’s photography skills really impressed Guo Yaning.
After the nanny car left, Da Mao and Xiao Pang asked suspiciously: “Brother Mu, what did you do today? Why do I feel that Guo Yaning’s attitude toward you has changed drastically?”
Yesterday, when they were visiting the set, her attitude was just lukewarm at best. How come now she was acting like an old friend today?
“I helped the camera guy who had diarrhea to shoot some scenes for a while.” Tao Mu replied lightly.
Da Mao and Xiao Pang oh-ed in sudden realization——they knew about Tao Mu’s photography skills. When working in a photography studio, many young girls were charmed by Tao Mu because of this. It’s a pity that their brother Mu was a late bloomer and was not interested in the girls who tried to hit on him.
“If you knew this trick worked so well, you should show this hand earlier, brother Mu. I guarantee those female stars will be charmed by you.”
Tao Mu chuckled lightly. The crew was strictly hierarchical and some things could not be easily touched. For example, neither the director’s chair nor the camera could be moved casually by others. Besides, Tao Mu didn’t think that he would be able to hold the golden thigh just by taking two photos for someone. Instead of holding someone’s golding thigh, he was more interested in becoming the golden thigh.
“Didn’t you plan to meet the girls for dinner? Coming to pick me up at this time, is it okay?”
Da Mao and Xiao Pang didn’t realize that Tao Mu was deliberately changing the subject, and said with smiles: “We’ve already taken them over. They are waiting at sister Ping’s small restaurant.”
While talking, the electric tricycle had already arrived at the door of the restaurant. Da Mao locked the vehicle, and the three of them pushed open the door of the small restaurant. At a glance, Tao Mu saw three girls sitting at a round table by the window, and sister Ping was holding the menu and chatting with them.
“So you’re Tao Mu?” Seeing the three people enter, the girls immediately stood up, their eyes stuck to Tao Mu’s face subconsciously. One of the girls had on a white T-shirt, blue denim shorts and hair done in ponytails. She looked at Tao Mu in delighted surprise, holding her face in her hands and screaming quietly, “So handsome!”
The other two girls were also speechless by Tao Mu’s handsome appearance. Standing together, they elbowed and tugged at each other, faces flushed like three little quails in the beginnings of love.
Tao Mu had been handsome as a child and only got better looking as he grew older so he was long accustomed to the reaction of girls of his age. Da Mao and Xiao Pang looked at each other sadly: “Let’s have some introductions. This is our brother Tao Mu. Tao Mu, this is Yun Duo, Wu Xiaoxuan, and Zhang Hanya. They are all from Beijing No. 4 Middle School, and they have also just graduated from high school.”
The girls greeted Tao Mu with bright eyes and waved their hands to say hello.
Tao Mu smiled and said, “You’ve been waiting for a long time. Let’s sit down and eat first.”
Everyone was of the same age, so naturally they had much to talk about. Besides, Tao Mu was so handsome, even if there was no conversation, the girls would keep looking for topics.
Tao Mu did not have the habit of acting cold at gatherings. He patiently informed them of some of the unspoken rules that must be paid attention to while hanging out in H Studio City, especially as group extras.
“…..Generally, group extras are recruited in the place opposite the Qianhao Hotel and the service department. Some crews will also conduct interviews in the hotel. However, you are all girls, and you should try to avoid these kinds of messy venues. If you are truly interested in experiencing life as group extras, you can get up at four o’clock in the morning and stand downstairs. It’s easier to find scenes for female group extras. Especially as you are all such beautiful and lovely girls.”
The three beautiful and lovely girls were struck dizzy by Tao Mu’s praise. They nodded their heads like little chicks pecking grain. At the end of the dinner, they exchanged contact information with Tao Mu.
Tao Mu did not refuse, thinking that he would only stay in H Town for at most one week and when he returned to Beijing he would change his number.
After sending the three girls back to the hotel, Da Mao and Xiao Pang, who had been ignored by the girls the whole meal and instead served as important props for the human flesh background, both looked at Tao Mu with melancholy looks.
Tao Mu also replied with an innocent look: “I said I didn’t want to come——”
Da Mao and Xiao Pang let out sarcastic chuckles in unison. However, after returning to the rental house, they still kept their promise and helped Tao Mu wash his feet and gave Tao Mu a full body massage. It was just that they used extra strength when massaging, causing Tao Mu to feel both pain and comfort.
By their last week in H Town, Tao Mu was like a fish in the water in the crew of “Faraway Jianghu”.
On the one hand it was because both his acting skills and people skills were exemplary as well as the fact that the big celebrities and old veteran actors were happy to support newcomers; on the other hand it was because his photography skills and PS skills were impressive enough. Many female actresses especially appreciated Tao Mu——that’s right, after showing off his superb photography skills, Tao Mu also took the opportunity to show off his same superb photoshop skills and immediately conquered the female actresses in the crew.
In addition, Wang Boyuan had also kept thinking about Tao Mu’s stock trading skills. During the filming, he could not help but observe Tao Mu and talk with Tao Mu, trying to understand Tao Mu’s personality through conversation and other methods——not as a potential newcomer worthy of support, but as a cooperator of equal status when it came to money exchanges.——To put it bluntly, he was looking for an investment consultant.
Because of this intention, Wang Boyuan’s attitude naturally changed when he talked with Tao Mu.
What kind of person was Tao Mu? Growing up in an orphanage from a young age, he was used to observing words and feelings to figure out people’s hearts. He originally had intentions to make friends with Cheng Baodong and Wang Boyuan. Now that Wang Boyuan voluntarily approached by himself, he would certainly seize the opportunity.
——Although there was no mention of the sensitive topic of whether to serve as an investment consultant, Tao Mu still subtly inserted his analysis and views on the domestic stock market while chatting with Wang Boyuan.
Due to the deep waters in the domestic stock market, Tao Mu actually did not recommend that Wang Boyuan continue to play in the stock market at this juncture——he himself also prepared to withdraw all his funds from the stock market before the end of the Olympic Games. In segments, he planned to invest the money in peripheral platforms, and after earning his first start-up capital, he would then switch to international futures.
However, after putting his view out there, Tao Mu also recommended a few stocks to Wang Boyuan, allowing Wang Boyuan to enjoy the pleasure and satisfaction of watching his stocks rise while the overall market plummeted. Of the tens of millions that were lost only one million was returned. Although he was still in a state of monetary loss, Wang Boyuan still felt strangely satisfied.
The other old veteran actors in the crew who had been secretly paying attention to Tao Mu also rode on Tao Mu’s coattails and managed to get themselves bonuses, making some pocket money that was without worries.
It was also for this reason that Tao Mu, who had become more and more valued and welcomed by everyone, received the treatment of a solo banquet and a farewell banquet on the day of his last scene. This wave of feedback was enough for Tao Mu to understand——these contacts and connections that he had been scheming for were estimated to be solid.
Sure enough, at the farewell banquet, the bigwigs and old veteran actors took the initiative to exchange contact information while drinking. While coaxing people with sweet words, Tao Mu’s fingers flew as he added phone numbers.
Just when he was so busy he could barely spare any extra energy, a text message came in with a ding.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
The sender was an unknown number. The information was only one word——
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