TM Chapter 48

Chapter 48: When I woke up, the world was… (4)

TL: emptycube


 

{Some title changes: Department head -> Director, there may be more changes as I attempt to consolidate the titles of various figures. However, a director in a company setting (ex. Director Park from the future) and a director of a program (ex. Director Shin Taekyun) are different.

Changes have been made to previous chapters.}

 

“Haa…”

The team 3 leader sighed with a grave expression.

“How about from Cat Guardian Ghost’s side? Did they know ahead of time?”

“No.”

It was me who replied this time.

“I called them a while ago, and they said they had no clue.”

I had called CEO Kim Pansuk and Director Shin Taekyun earlier.

Although we only talked for a bit, they were the same as me. They were surprised by how quickly the controversy was spreading, but they weren’t worried about Lee Songha’s acting skills, which was the center of the controversy, in the slightest.

Instead, they were more concerned with Lee Songha’s mental state.

“They really didn’t know?”

“Yes. Pan Production was hectic because of this. They said there was a lot of talk going around in TVL and that we should talk after both sides organized the situation in internal meetings.”

The team 3 leader nodded and changed the conversation.

“What are Lee Songha’s ‘charges’ so far? Is there anything else besides getting the role as an ‘add-on’?”

“Just people getting offended.”

Kim Hyunjo ruffled his hair and let out a sigh.

“There are a lot of people who think she went into the drama industry in an attempt to get popular through her looks since she isn’t as good at singing. The fans of other actors who debuted as idols are creating more of a fuss, saying that she’ll tarnish their reputation they worked hard to build up.”

“We need to end this sort of controversy early on…”

The team 3 leader suddenly took out his phone in mid-sentence. After checking the screen, he immediately answered the phone.

“Director. Ah, you’ve arrived? Then we’ll go up right now.”

He gestured to Team Leader Park and Kim Hyunjo as he talked.

Then, he suddenly looked at me.

“Yes, he’s here. Just a moment.”

“Pardon?”

“The director is asking for you. Answer the phone, quickly.”

Before I knew it, I answered the phone,

“This is Jung Sunwoo.”

-Okay, there is something I want to ask you.

…. Uh.

I thought I would definitely hear the director’s easygoing voice, but it was a bit different.

Lower and smoother.

Just when I thought that I had definitely heard it before, I remembered.

It was CEO Baek Hansung’s voice.

A few things crossed my mind in this short moment. Sung Dowon’s face, my first car still waiting to be delivered…

-I heard you’re in charge of Lee Songha.

“Ah, yes. That’s correct.”

-What do you think of her acting?

It was good. So good that there wasn’t anything more to say.

I chose my words carefully to make it sound believable, but then, I heard the voice again.

-What I’m concerned about is this. Can Lee Songha put this controversy to rest with her acting skills or not?

“Ah.”

-The way the company reacts may depend on that.

I swallowed my saliva and replied,

“The new acting teacher said he had nothing to teach Lee Songha. That if she really has only learned acting for a few months, then she has a latent talent for it. He said he was worried he might push her in the wrong direction by teaching her, so he doesn’t give a lot of advice these days. Also, from Cat Guardian Ghost’s side…”

-No.

CEO Baek Hansung suddenly laughed in a low voice.

-I’m asking about your thoughts. Like before.

My thoughts?

What are my thoughts?

“I believe that she definitely…”

-Definitely?

“If it’s Songha’s acting, I believe that she can definitely put this controversy to rest.”

My voice was filled with certainty that it even surprised me.

When I looked in front of me as I licked my dry lips, I saw everyone giving me a strange look.

-Okay, got it.

“Ah, yes.”

-Tell the others to come to 6th floor first and obtain the audition tape from the director of Cat Guardian Ghost. They did a camera test during the audition, right?

“Yes, they did.”

-Get the tape and come up.

He hung up afterwards.

*

The meeting room of TVL’s Drama Department.

General Manager Song, who has been assigned as the Chief Producer of Cat Guardian Ghost, crumpled an empty paper cup.

“Those cheap bastards. They shit on others so that they can live well? I should go over to Knet and flip a table or something…”

General Manager Song, who was mumbling gloomily, looked at Director Shin Taekyun, who was on the other side. Uncertain whether he was sleepy or thinking, he was sitting there with an uninterested expression.

“Taekyun. Director Shin. Lee Songha’s acting is really good, right? We can’t just drop her since we might lose Seo Jijoon as well… What do we do if we uncover the veil, and her acting’s terrible? Then, not only is there a problem with the quality of the drama, but we’ll be disgracing our name as well.”

“…”

“You did cast her after auditioning her properly, right? Don’t tell me you just included her when Seo Jijoon came over…”

“If you’re going to keep saying this, I’m leaving.”

Director Shin Taekyun stood up. As if dumbfounded, the general manager smacked the table.

“Hey, how can you be so uninterested in these matters? Aren’t you worried at all?”

“I’m not worried. So, you should stop calling me over for pointless things.”

“Pointless things?! Do you go around with your ears plugged? There’s a mess because of this!”

“I don’t care. What are we doing when we haven’t even started to film…”

“Hey! The director is worried!”

Director Shin Taekyun halted in the middle of zipping up his jumper. Then he scratched his crow’s nest of hair, making it even shaggier, and let out a small sigh.

“Did you ever see me film people who aren’t good at acting? If you can’t believe me, there’s a tape of the camera testing taken on the day of the audition. Take a look at it. I’m going now.”

After speaking calmly, he left the meeting room.

But, before he could further than a few steps, an assistant director approached him this time.

“Um, senior.”

“What is it now? Let me have a smoke before we…”

“What do we do? The marketing team is constantly asking for an interview.”

Director Shin Taekyun frowned.

“An interview?”

“No, I told them that senior has never done a separate interview and that you don’t really like those things so you only speak a few words during the production presentation, but they keep contacting me… In the marketing team’s perspective, they look at it as an opportunity to promote the drama without paying a dime.”

Director Shin Taekyun opened his mouth, but his phone rang.

He checked the caller and answered the phone.

“Mr. Sunwoo?”

After listening to what the other person had to say for a while, Director Shin Taekyun hung up. Then he ordered the assistant director,

“The video of Lee Songha’s camera test. Send that to W&U.”

“Pardon? Okay.”

“And as for the interview…”

He paused. Reading his expression, the assistant direction spoke first,

“Should I tell them that it’ll never happen?”

“No, that… Hmm. Tell them to wait for now.”

The assistant director widened his eyes at his unexpected words.

 

At the same time, the office of Knet’s Next K-Star’s production team.

The producers and writers chattered amongst themselves with excited faces, and Producer Go Joontae walked in. With a greasy hair pressed down with a hat and a scratchy beard on his chin, he looked like he had slept on the streets for a few days, but his eyes glittered with excitement.

As gazes gathered on him, Producer Go Joontae handed over the paper he was holding to an assistant director.

“Although everyone should know by now, read it officially.”

“Yes. November 20, Next K-Star viewership rating. 2.4% in the capital regions, and 2.5% nationwide.”

Everyone clapped their hands or thumped on the desks in cheers.

Afterwards, Producer Go Joontae handed the assistant director another stack of papers.

“This as well.”

“Yes. This is the minute-by-minute ratings! The highest rating is… Huh?”

The assistant director, who turned the page over to check the ratings, widened his eyes when he saw the highlighted one.

“Why? What is it?”

The assistant director gulped down his saliva and said,

“The highest rating by minute is 3.1%.”

That moment, incredible cheers erupted throughout the room.

Even if cable programs have been gaining popularity, only the minority could reach the viewership ratings of public broadcast programs. In reality, the majority of them hovered at around 1%.

In that situation, to hit 3.1% during the first broadcast of a newly launched program, anyone would be cheering.

While they were noisy, Producer Go Joontae called over another producer.

“We have a few good scenes of Neptune that we cut out due to time constraints, right? Hand that over to the marketing team so they can turn them into clips to post on our official site and social media.”

“Yes.”

“Make another preview. Showing a huge close-up of Lee Songha’s face…”

Just then, someone knocked on the glass door of the office.

It was a middle-aged man whose well-kept hair and luxurious muffler caught people’s attention. He was General Manager Choi, the chief producer of Next K-Star. Producer Go Joontae left a few more orders before he came out of the office.

“Hyung, did you see the rating?”

“Of course, I did. You did well. The director is happy as well. And we’re getting constant inquiries about commercials and product placements.”

“The next episode will probably have higher ratings.”

Producer Go Joontae curled his lips upwards.

General Manager Choi nodded his head while revealing an uneasy expression.

“The ratings are good, but the problem is how to manage it from now on. Looking at the public’s opinion, if that girl, Lee Songha, sucks at acting, then it won’t just be a problem for her, but even TVL might be bashed as well.”

“What do we care? We only need to get good ratings. When we asked TVL to get an actor to appear as a guest, did they? No. Also, we already got sworn at by W&U’s PR team this morning. That woman’s temper is no joke. In the end, we promoted Neptune, yet they are pissy about one of the four is getting criticized… A company needs to look at the big picture.”

Producer Go Joontae clicked his tongue and said in a low voice,

“Still, I have something ask hyung for because of that problem.”

“What?”

“Can’t hyung talk with the director and eat with the CEO of W&U once? Smooth things out a little. Looking at the reactions, it looks like there will be a lot to gain from Neptune, and we need to calm them down so they appear until the final episode.”

Producer Go Joontae lightly poked General Manager Choi’s sides. General Manager Choi frowned.

“You throw the bomb, and you want me to clean it up?”

“We got good ratings. Doesn’t the director only need to get good ratings?”

When he said this while shrugging his shoulders, General Manager Choi eventually sighed.

“You’re bullying me with ratings. Haa, Baek Hansung, if that guy is unsatisfied, it’s hard to manage him…”

“Why? When I saw him last time, he looked like he was gentle and had a good personality?”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

General Manager Choi smirked and said,

“Do you think someone with only a good personality can build a massive agency starting from a single person agency in 10 years? He’s not normal, that man.”

*

I raised my head as I turned my tense shoulders.

Everyone, including CEO Baek Hansung, was observing the laptop on top of the table. Even though the video had long since ended, and the screen was dyed black.

The mood in the CEO’s office was similar to that day.

The day Lee Songha had her audition in Pan Production’s small meeting room. Like then, a strange silence hung in the air. When the video was playing, there some exclamations, but it was so quiet now that you could hear a pin drop.

It looked like everyone had a lot to say, but they were holding it in because of CEO Baek Hansung.

CEO Baek Hansung was thinking with his legs crossed for a while now. With an expression I couldn’t read.

What is his reaction?

Don’t tell me he isn’t happy with Lee Songha’s acting?

There was no way. Like everyone else, his eyes shined as he watched the video.

CEO Baek Hansung tapped his long finger on the sofa’s armrest. The consistent thumping continued for a while longer before it stopped.

That moment, he opened his mouth.

“I think… it’s best if we raise the stakes.”

 

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Comments 9

  1. |  THANKS FOR THE CHAPTER!!!
    | ̄””‘、
    |ω` |
    ⊂  ;゙  
    |   / Hope the Knet will be bashed for this sigh~
    |U”” maybe they will show the clip of her acting to prove she’s good?

    1. That would only help knet ratings.
      The best would be to use this for forcing knet to only be kind to Neptune from now on,no more criticizing…and also use that for pushing Neptune popularity and the drama rating,a kind of free publicity.

  2. by raising the stakes,did he mean using the opportunity to promote the drama? Or négociate the participation in next k-star?

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