Chapter 36: The Moment Your Talent Buds (3)
Kim Hyunjo frowned before saying,
“The problem isn’t her writing style. Unless they film everything beforehand, it’s certain that they’ll film later episodes during the project’s release, and the problem is whether she’ll be able to endure it or not. They say even writers who have written a few projects start to lose it when they don’t have enough time and start writing 1 or 2-page screenplays.”
I quickly threw in some additional information.
“Even if the writer is new, someone like Producer Shin Taekyun has the capability to lead them through it. I looked into it and apparently, TVL looked at the screenplay for a few episodes before green-lighting the project right away. Since the viewership ratings for TVL’s dramas, which had cast top stars, flopped, and many ended early, they probably planned this out carefully. Since they saw the potential, they greenlit this project and assigned Producer Shin Taekyun, who has proven directing abilities and a box office track record, to this project.”
To find any information that would be of use in persuading them, I had used my spare time, which I didn’t have much of, to research. I even acted as a potential sponsor and asked TVL’s advertising department and the production producer at Pan Production a few questions. It felt like I was filming a spy movie.
I hope this would help even a little bit.
I felt my heart thumping as I waited for their reaction when Kim Hyunjo asked,
“Did you receive something from them?”
“No, it’s not they asked for a different actor, there’s no way they’d give you something to get Songha. Why are you pushing this project so desperately?”
The team 3 leader scratched his angled chin.
“He must have come to really like it while he was researching about it. You know, there are occasionally times like that.”
“That’s true, but he’s suspicious…”
I flinched and let out a fake cough while turning away.
This time, the team 3 leader turned to look at Lee Songha.
“How about you, Songha? Do you like this project?”
“Yes. I like it.”
Whew, I lived.
I let out a sigh of relief. There was a huge difference in weight between me and Songha, who would be the one taking the audition, pushing this project.
While there were managers who would ignore their actor’s opinions and bully them into doing whatever the company told them to do, that wasn’t Kim Hyunjo or the team 3 leader’s style.
“Really? The synopsis should be pretty good then. Then let’s read it once.”
“Cat Guardian Ghost? The title is like a comic.”
The two flipped through each page of the synopsis.
Looking at them, I thought… it felt very similar to that day I showed my mom a flunked test and was waiting for her punishment.
The team 3 leader and Kim Hyunjo’s expressions turned gloomier as time passed.
Of course, I understood why. How many people would read that synopsis and think that that it would be a success? If there was someone else besides me who was certain that it would be a success, I would definitely be suspicious that he possessed a foresight ability as well.
I mean it was a synopsis, the draft of your project, would it kill you to package it better? I even began to resent Pan Production’s CEO, Kim Pansuk, and Writer Hong Jumi.
They flipped the last page. Kim Hyunjo covered the synopsis and sighed. Then, a suffocating silence hung in the air for a few moments.
Kim Hyunjo broke the silence and asked,
“Hyung, what do you think?”
“What do you mean what do I think. What about you?”
“Your thoughts are the same as mine.”
Kim Hyunjo stared at both Lee Songha and myself.
“I’m asking because I’m really curious, but why do you like this? Did you pick a project that you thought you would have a higher chance at getting cast in because you won’t be cast for other projects? If not, I don’t really understand? Songha, what do you like about this synopsis?”
Lee Songha stared vacantly at Kim Hyunjo and said,
Kim Hyunjo sighed once more.
“… What I’m saying is, why, how is this fun?”
“I like the role of Jung Haewon. I’m also curious what will happen next.”
“If you’re curious, you can just watch it later.”
You can’t be persuaded like that!
“Still… I want to try it. If I’m going to audition, I like this role, oppa. I like this, team leader.”
Fortunately, it seemed Lee Songha was determined. She clearly expressed her opinion while looking at the team leader.
I fully prepared a reply as well. Damn, my heart felt like a rollercoaster for some time now.
“Luck Thrower, how about…”
Kim Hyunjo was about to ask before he narrowed his eyes.
“You. Don’t say anything if you’re going to bring up your senses.”
When the team 3 leader felt something was odd, Kim Hyunjo gestured at me with his chin.
“Hyung, he rejected Sung Dowon because of bad vibes. I can’t trust his senses anymore.”
“I was going to bring that up once we were done talking about Songha… bad vibes? You get stranger the more I see you.”
Should I have not said anything about my senses?
They talked between each other with me as their topic and soon, Kim Hyunjo asked me again,
“Yeah, why are you so stubborn about this project?”
“Because I think this is a good project. And that’s why I showed it to Songha. I watched all the director’s previous works, and he is very good at directing. Although the synopsis is a bit bland, I felt that it was well-written.”
Though I heard this from the future.
When I recalled how the PR team’s employee said that ‘the script was everything,’ and ‘the drama was the writer’s playground’, I assumed it was okay to believe that the fact that the script was good was a fact. Also, TVL’s drama department employees wouldn’t have greenlit a low-quality screenplay from a new writer.
Even I would have hesitated about putting Lee Songha in this project if the drama succeeded due to the actors or another complicated reason.
Since I may change the future by putting Lee Songha in there.
However, if it was a drama that became a hit because of its screenplay, I judged that the drama wouldn’t fail because one of its supporting actors was switched out. Unless that actor was so terrible at acting that the quality of the drama fell.
“Then let’s see the screenplay.”
The team 3 leader nodded his head and said,
“Hyunjo, you go get the screenplay. If the screenplay’s good, let’s look into getting an audition. No matter how much you like it, it’s better to audition for a role you would be good at. It will increase your chance at getting cast, and it will be easier to understand the character if you do get cast.”
“Well… okay. Still, you never know, so Songha, you read other synopses as well.”
Kim Hyunjo nodded his head then clicked his tongue.
“But, that CEO of Pan Production is quite frustrating.”
“You said this is his first project after becoming independent from TVL. Then he must be using all his connections for this, but why would he take the risk with a new writer? It would be safer if he used an experienced one.”
Now that I thought about it, I was curious as well.
I knew that Writer Hong Jumi was skilled so I wasn’t worried about it flopping, but with what confidence did CEO Kim Pansuk decide to use a new writer for their first project that would decide the future of their production?
“People are probably saying I’m insane, right?”
He was the CEO of Pan Production. Kim Pansuk mumbled with his large figure squeezed into a small metal chair. The production producer, Park Sookyung, who was sitting in front of him and looking at his laptop screen, fixed his glasses and glanced at him.
CEO Kim Pansuk’s eyes were shaking uneasily.
“No, still, just wait until the first episode is released. When they see it, I know they’ll be like, ‘Ah, so that’s why Kim Pansuk brought a new writer in for this critical time’. I’m not uneasy in the slightest. There’s no reason to be. Since I believe in Writer Hong Jumi’s skills.”
“CEO, if you’re not uneasy, then please stop shaking your leg. My laptop is shaking.”
When CEO Kim Pansuk, who possessed a threatening figure, widened his eyes and stared at him. Park Sookyung stealthily avoided his gaze.
CEO Kim Pansuk groaned as he said.
“If this fails, I’m screwed. I used all my personal connections on this project. If this fails, I don’t have a second chance. It’ll be good, right? The screenplay is good, and even though Shin Taekyun, that bastard, looks a little flimsy, his skills are certain. Right? It’ll be good, right?”
“Why are you asking me…”
“For someone who’s the production producer, you don’t have confidence in your project? Worrying is something I, who pays the salaries, do, and you should be working with the certainty that it’ll be good!”
“Yes. This project will be really good. It will be a hit.”
“A hit? We can’t even cast our leading roles!”
That moment, they heard a knock, and two people came in.
Writer Hong Jumi, who looked to be about half the size of CEO Kim Pansuk, and Director Shin Taekyun, a man with messy hair like a bird’s nest who looked to be in his thirties.
“CEO… we’re here.”
“Ah, Director Shin. Writer Hong. Welcome.”
CEO Kim Pansuk quickly crossed his legs and said calmly. After saying hello to Park Sookyung, Writer Hong Jumi sat down and wriggled her fingers.
“Umm… I heard some loud noises from outside, is there a problem?”
“What? The screenplay is great; what problems would we have? Writer Hong, you don’t need to worry at all, just trust me and follow along. Just write good screenplays from now on. Screenplays. Is the next episode done?”
“Yes. The first draft is done, and I was revising it together with the director.”
“While the screenplays are fine; the problem is the cast.”
Director Shin scratched his head.
“They are creating a fuss up there, telling me to quickly cast people. If we keep pushing casting back, we might lose the green light.”
At his words, the expressions of the people gathered in the meeting room grew dark.
Park Sookyung let out a sigh and said.
“All because Lim Joowon fell through…”
“Haa, what can we do when he’s hurt? We were rejected by Kim Yeonsung and Park Hyemin. There are so many actors in Korea, but are there none who will be our lead? We need to quickly find a lead so we can cast our supporting roles as well… Should we lower our standards a little?”
Director Shin shook his head at CEO Kim Pansuk’s words.
“The project from GTBN that’s running at the same time as us, they apparently got Kim Yeonsung.”
“What? That Big Bear Production or something?!”
“Yes. Because of that, the guys up there are telling us to cast someone at Kim Yeonsung’s level. Even if they leave the projects from the three public TV networks out of the discussion, they said they didn’t want to fall behind GTBN, their competitor.”
“Kim Yeonsung, that guy, said he wouldn’t do cable dramas, but he went there? How did Big Bear get him?”
“40 million won per episode. They said they’d pay in advance once he signed the contract.”
“40 million per episode and it’s a 20-episode project… that’s 800 million won. They spent that right away? They have that much money?”
“They probably calculated overseas selling rights and other stuff and thought that giving him 800 million in advance was still worth it since he quite well received in China.”
Kim Pansuk was about to grab his forehead when he became conscious of Writer Hong Jumi and simply coughed.
“It’s okay. Our screenplay is good!”
“They say the other side’s screenplay is good as well.”
Park Sookyung mumbled.
While the atmosphere of the meeting room had turned suffocating and heavy, the door opened, accompanied by a knock.
The youngest producer of Pan Production’s production department hesitated before coming in.
“We received a call.”
“We’re in the middle of a meeting… Haa, where is it from?”
CEO Kim Pansuk paused.
“The one with CEO Baek Hansung? That W&U with Sung Dowon, Park Sohyun, and Son Chaeyoung?”
“Uhh, yes. I think that is the one.”
CEO Kim Pansuk kicked his chair as he abruptly stood up.
 I read this in a Korean news article, but apparent some larger productions divide producers into planning, organization, production and direction roles, which is probably why Producer Shin Taekyun is the drama’s director.
 I try to use English alternatives when I can. I don’t know if you prefer ‘sunbae’ or ‘senior’.
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