“Thank you, goodbye.”

He left with a small box of bagels.
He wished he could bring that person out of his workplace and treat him to a good meal, but since that person wouldn ’t budge once he started working, he had to buy bagels to bring him instead.
It was rather fortunate that that person liked all types of bread.

Sinsa-dong, Seoul.
This place had changed a lot since the last time he visited here.
The old-style coffee shop where LP music could be heard had been replaced by a franchise café, and the bar that used to be the top dog of this place was now surrounded by metal beams.
It seemed that it was going to be torn down, and a new building was going to be built.

Junmin drove along the stream and stopped in front of a small café.
After he parked the car, he climbed to the second floor using the staircase next to the building.

‘Studio M’.
He looked at the gold-colored plate on the door before opening it.
Black soundproofing materials covered every wall inside.
Junmin stopped in front of the door that said ‘Mixing Room’.
When he peeked inside through the small window on the door, he saw a man working in front of the mixer.

Junmin pressed down on the rather stiff door handle.
Despite the door opening sound, the man sitting on the white chair was staring at the monitor without budging.
He probably didn’t hear the door being opened at all.
Looking at the black headphones that the man was wearing, he went inside.

‘His vision still becomes narrow when he concentrates.’

He tapped on the man’s shoulder.
The man turned around to see him before nodding with a smile.

Junmin quietly pulled a chair over and sat behind him.
On the wide white table was various equipment for mixing purposes.
On one side, there was a microphone, and it was probably to be used for recording in the recording booth next door.

The large, human-sized speakers on each end of the room kept their silence.
The man, who was spinning some dials to do his work, eventually took off his headphones.

“Our dear sound supervisor.”

“What are you planning to have me do now?”

“There you go again, thinking weirdly.”

The man laughed.

“But what brings you here?”

“I’m here to cheer you on,” Junmin said as he waved the box of bagels in the air.

The man, Moon Gyungtaek, raised his hand and gestured for Jumin to wait for a moment.
After he pressed a few buttons, the speakers that had been silent until now started producing sound.

The sound made Jumin feel like he was standing in the middle of a downpour without an umbrella.
A handcart passed by him.
Trod, trod.
The sound of powerless footsteps could be heard as well.

“I really like the ambiance I got this time.
Thanks to that, I have a plentiful library.”

“So this is the sound of rain after coming back from dumping the corpse?”

“Yes, that’s it.
You’re quite good.”

“Of course.
I put a lot of money and effort into this.”

He opened the box of bagels and handed it over.

“Your work on this part is almost finished, right?”

“I just have to go to Namyangju and do the final mixing.
Please give us some money once we finish so that I can take my team out to a meal.
Our team worked really hard this time, you know?”

“Of course I know.
That’s why I’m here.”

“Oh, no.
You must be here to see if we’re working or not.”

“Geez, there you go again.
Here, I should shut your mouth with this.”

As Gyungtaek had finished his first bagel in a flash, he handed him a cheese-topped one this time.

“For this movie, we only took three hours for the ADR[1].
Everyone’s a veteran so the process is so easy.”

“It’s the elder’s comeback piece after all.
We should only be using veterans.”

“But even if we break even with this movie, I don’t think we’ll profit much off this.”

“You never know what will happen.
Who could’ve guessed that ‘The Way Home’ would receive more than 4 million views? People are bound to be attracted to good movies.”

“How can you compare a human drama that warms your heart with a movie where an elder goes around killing his own kids with a hammer? I heard that you had to edit the poster three times because it didn’t pass the restrictions.”

“Although it’s become a lot more liberal, this country is still not that accepting of sex and violence.”

Gyungtaek chewed on the bagel while nodding his head.

“Ah, right, hyung-nim.”


“I went to the Namyangju poly studio, and the new guy seemed really talented.
You should watch over him for a while and give him some money under the table so you can hire him for your next work.
He seems to be learning under engineer Nam, but from how I see it, he’ll surpass engineer Nam.”

“There you go again, what’s with ‘under the table’?”

Even while saying those words, Junmin committed Gyungtaek’s words to memory.
Getting to know good engineers were just as important as getting to know good actors.
This was especially the case with sound engineers and designers since individual talent mattered a lot in those fields.
Putting in a request through someone else and putting in a request directly definitely had differences.

“The scenes looked good.
I think the mise en scène that Joonggeun-hyung is so obsessed over can be seen as well.”

“I had a look at the edited video as well, and I could see that.”

Junmin smiled.
The depressing ash-colored streets and the vain insanity of Sir Yoon Moonjoong blended well in the scenes.

“When’s the preview?” Gyungtaek asked.

“In two days.”

“Whoa, it’s that time already?”

“It is.”

“So if the final mixing goes as planned, it should be released around November?”


“I suddenly lost the will to work now.”

Junmin stuffed Gyungtaek’s mouth with one more bagel.
After chewing on it for a while, Gyungtake turned around and started typing on the keyboard.

“There was a kid that followed me when I got the ambiance, yeah?”

“A kid?”

“His name was Han Maru, and I can still remember that kid since his acting was so savage.
I even gave him my business card.”

“Haha, really?”

“You know him?”

“I do, I know him well.”

“Have you heard his audio?”

“No, I haven’t watched the whole video yet.
I also skimmed through the soundtrack too.
I’m quite busy, you know?”

“You’re supposed to be supervising the overall production, though.
Aren’t you being too negligent here?”

“I gathered the best of the best precisely to care less about everything.
I didn’t gather the best of the best just so I could be more than just the person that gives them money.
I hired them so that everything will go well even without me.”

“Fine then.
Since you’re here, though.
You should try listening to it.
It’s quite short, but it has a lot of impact.
To think that an actor that can transfer so much emotion just through audio is that young – He’ll definitely become big.”

Gyungtaek smiled as he clicked on the mouse a few times.
A brief moment later, the voices of the actors could be heard through the speakers.
It wasn’t the sound that would be used in the final movie, but the raw voices of the actors that were captured using the microphone during the actual shoot.

The boy’s voice that could be heard along with some noises made Junmin smile.
The moment he heard the boy’s words, he felt displeased.
He felt humiliated and angry.
That was what made him smile.

“How is it? Pretty good, eh?”

“It’s decent.”

“If you hear that while watching the video, you might end up swearing subconsciously.
Such an ungrateful bastard, or something like that,” Gyungtaek said as he leaned back in his chair.

* * *

“Doctor, the patient disappeared.”

“What? The patient disappeared?”

Ganghwan panicked exaggeratedly and stood up from his chair and waved his shaky hands left and right.
Next to him was Hanna, who was holding a diagnosis chart.

“Ah, there he is.”

Hanna approached Sooil, who was sitting down.
Sooil shook his hand in the air in awkwardness, but due to Hanna’s passionate gestures, he was forced to sit in the chair next to Ganghwan.


“Eh, yes?”

“You can’t run away like that.
If you run, who would pay the hospital fees? Our hospital is not in a good situation financially.
Your wallet is the only way to save our hosp-”


Hanna flinched and approached Ganghwan before hitting him on the head with the chart.
It seemed pretty painful.
Maru was reminded of Hanna ’s evil laugh before they started practice as she put a stack of paper in the plastic file.
Maru remembered that evil smile and sighed in a small voice.

“That hurts!” Ganghwan shouted as he rubbed his head.

That was an ad-lib that wasn’t in the script.
No, perhaps he was really crying out in pain instead of ad-libbing.
But who was Hanna? She pressed Ganghwan down in the chair as though nothing happened and continued the skit.

“Well then, Mr.
Please tell us what happened today.”


“You know, things like what you had for lunch, why you’re here, as well as how much money you have in your wallet.”

“Doctor, can you please stop talking about money?”

Hanna poked Ganghwan’s shoulders with her elbow.
The two really got along well.
They might be a great comedy duo.

Sooil started talking about what was planned.
He came to Daehak-ro with his girlfriend and planned to go to the famous pork cutlet restaurant.

Like that, they conversed for a while until Ganhgwan suddenly grabbed his chest and fell to the ground.
Hanna flurried about before talking to Sooil, who was sitting down.

“He needs CPR!”


“Quickly! Hurry!”

Sooil made a rather difficult expression as he looked forward.
Maru, who was supposed to be the audience, clapped and cheered for Sooil.
Eventually, Sooil got into the position to do CPR.

“I think this skit looks good like this.”

Ganghwan, who was lying down, sat up.
Sooil also stopped acting awkwardly and sat down on the ground.

“I think dragging the audience like this to the stage is pretty good.
There’s no pressure, and we are telling them what they need to do.”

Hearing Sooil’s words, Maru nodded in agreement.

“The problem is talking about serious stuff, but that’s up to the heavens so it’s not like our efforts will do anything much.
I want to listen to the honest stories that people harbor in their hearts, but if that doesn’t work, continuing things in a comedic format like what we just did now doesn’t seem to be too bad.”

Ganghwan took a sip before sighing.

“But what are you going to do if someone talks about something really heavy?” Maru asked as he received the water bottle from Ganghwan.

Ganghwan said that what he wanted was for the people participating in the play to share their sadness.
He planned to use the stage as a place for the audience to release their sadness.
Maru didn’t know how much participation there would be, but if there were a lot of participants, and one person talked about something brutal that they couldn’t do anything but try to console them, would they still be able to continue the act?

“At that time, I will also use the power of the audience.
You know? I don’t care if this project doesn’t influence how people think of plays at all.
I would be satisfied as long as the individuals that participate in the play release their unspoken worries and sadness in the form of a play even if it’s just a little.
The main point of this play is that sadness is halved when you share it with others.”

“It’s the higher-ups’ fault for letting this guy be in charge of the project.
They should’ve looked more into him.”

“That’s right.
It’s always a problem with the higher-ups.”

Hanna mercilessly poked the smiling Ganghwan’s waist.
Ignoring him, who writhed on the floor, Hanna spoke,

“We’re going to do a guerilla performance tomorrow.
It’s going to get cold soon, so we need to pull forward the schedule a little.
If we get some decent reactions tomorrow, we’re going to start immediately.”

“Why do you get to tell them that? That was supposed to be my part.”

When Hanna raised her hand in the air, Ganghwan shut his mouth.

Maru and Sooil both laughed when they saw that.

“Looks like I should pray that there will be a lot of people tomorrow if I don’t want to sit in a daze in Marronnier Park with no one in it,” Maru said as he looked at the calendar.

Sunday, October 17th.

“7 is a lucky number so, it will go well,” said Ganghwan with a confident expression.

[1] Presumably ‘Automated dialogue replacement’. Wikipedia for more details.

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