A monitor reflected the world.
A whole new world existed inside of that small and rectangular frame.
Even ordinary life without anything special would become a film if a certain part of it was sliced out in a rectangular fashion.
Slicing.
Direction was the act of creating a world unto itself by slicing from another world to create a story.

“Uhm….”

Sora became silent and looked at the monitor.
The close up of the camera was taking in the full view of Hochul’s uneasy face.
The droplets of sweat on his face reflected the light off the ceiling lights, and the dry lips uttered an even dryer voice.
The hand he raised with difficulty lost its trajectory and returned to its original place as the expression turned darker by the moment.
As the expression turned darker and darker and was about to disappear completely, Sora barely shouted ‘cut’, while holding back the urge to shout hooray.

“Good!”

There was nothing else she could say other than that.
Adding any adverbs would undervalue the ‘goodness’ of it.
It was simply good.
That was enough.

Despite the ‘cut’ sound, Hochul’s expression did not loosen.
Just like how it was impossible to stop suddenly after a full sprint due to momentum, his expression, which was approaching full nervousness, was maintained as though his face was waxed.

“Good job.”

It was Maru’s voice that broke that wax.
Hochul shut his eyes and sighed with complex emotions.
The backrest of the chair supported him and stopped him from falling over.
Hochul became limp and chuckled.

“That was really hard.”

“Thanks to that, the director was able to shout cut with pleasure.
Well done.”

Maru patted Hochul on the shoulder after saying that.
Sora immediately called Ando over and played back the video.

“What do you think, seonbae?”

“Let’s go with this.
Honestly, I don’t have the confidence to take something better than this.”

“Right?”

Sora bit her lower lip and quickly saved the footage.
She copied the file and created a file specifically for editing before moving it to the editing folder.
As soon as she saw the copied file, it finally felt real that they were past the 90% mark.
There was still a lot of work to do considering that they had to cut, prune, join, and even tamper with the sound, but she could sigh in relief from the perspective that she had finally gathered all the ingredients.

“But running really was effective, huh,” Sora said while looking at Maru.

When Maru took Hochul to the school field, Sora was honestly half-doubtful.
Wasn’t expression acting something that came out from inside a person? Yet Maru was exhausting the body instead.
The cut take they took immediately after returning from the run was utterly terrible.
Despite wiping off the sweat, Hochul was still drenched with sweat.
Furthermore, his shoulders were heaving heavily, his breath was unnatural, and his lines were stretching out.
She thought that it was actually better before the run.
Just before they started the shoot again, Maru approached Hochul and told him a few things.
After that, Hochul blocked his mouth and nose with his hand and held his breath.
Maru did say before running.
He said that Hochul would find out what desperation is if he raised his heartbeat and held his breath.
Sora thought that he was joking, but it was actually happening.
Hochul held his breath for a while before frowning and letting go.
He panted heavily to the point that it made her wonder if something went wrong.

The cut take they took after that was what she was looking at right now.
It was surprisingly close to the picture she wanted.
It did look a little hurried, but it was much more satisfying than the previous ones, which lacked character.

“It was sort of a last resort, and I guess it worked.
You don’t have any dissatisfaction with that, right?”

“I don’t.
Would you like to have a look? Hochul, you should come too.”

The other staff members, who helped out with the production, also gathered in front of the monitor.
Sora turned up the volume and pressed the play button.
Hochul’s line could be heard alongside the noise that the microphone captured.
Then, his face was zoomed in on.
His eyes exuded unease, which made everyone exclaim.

“Can I watch that again?” Hochul asked.

Sora quickly moved the progress bar to the front and played it again.
She smiled proudly no matter how many times she watched it.

“Remember that feeling, so that you can use it later.
If you can’t, then I guess running like we did just now is not a bad idea either,” Maru said.

“It really is different huh.
I can tell after looking at the video,” Hochul said.

“Would you like to compare it side by side?”

Sora put up the two videos and played them simultaneously.
Even though it was acted out by the same person, there was a clear difference.
The Hochul on the left was clearly ‘trying’ to express the desperation.
There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with his acting method, but Sora couldn’t help but feel that it was lacking.
Meanwhile, the right side exuded desperation.
There was even a sense of pressure that made the viewers stop breathing for a brief moment.
It was not that different in an overall sense, but the atmosphere created by the minute differences completely changed the character in the video.

“You can’t bring out something you entirely don’t know.
That’s why many people say that the most important thing to complete your acting skills is acting experience.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can experience everything, so you have to experience something similar and leave the rest to your imagination to bring out your emotions.
Exhausting your body is only a temporary measure.
In the future, you’ll have to use your head to do it.”

Those were Maru’s words to Hochul.
Sora perked up her ears and remembered those words.
She had gained footage that she really liked, but it wasn’t thanks to her own ability.
In the end, it was something directed by a veteran actor.
This made her embarrassed as a director.
That was why she had to learn.
A director who could only look at the bigger picture would never be full-fledged.
Looking after actors who were lost – this was also one of the qualities of a director.

“Thank you for your work everyone.
But we aren’t done yet, so please work hard for just a little more.
We have to shoot the transfer student’s last moment, and the main character’s changed ‘going to school’ scene.”

“You’re going to do it right now?”

“We have to strike the iron while it’s still hot.
Well then, we’ll keep going without taking a break! Take the equipment and move outside!”

Sora shouted in a loud voice.

* * *

“First, I’ll ask the graduate seonbae while editing.
I did learn a bit, but I’m not entirely sure about the sound part yet.”

“Alright, work hard.
I can’t help out with editing even if I wanted to.”

“I know.
Then we ’ll be going first.
You’re going to come by after visiting the acting club, right? Don’t say that you aren’t coming.”

“I’ll be there soon.
You’re going to the restaurant in front of Lucky Mart, right?”

“Yes.
I’m treating everyone today, so you have to come, okay? I got a credit card from dad.
Anyway, we’re off first.”

At that moment, Hochul and the rest of the juniors from the acting club stepped out from the group.

“Should we also visit the acting club?”

“Nah.
I’ll be fine by myself.
You guys all worked hard so go ahead and start eating.
I’m sure you must be hungry,” Maru said as he looked at his watch.

It was just before 9 at night.

“Then we’ll be going.”

“Please come soon!”

He stared at the group before returning to the school.
When he went up to the 5th floor, he heard some loud noises.
Now that he thought about it, Miso was here today.
He slightly opened the door and looked inside.
He saw his juniors voicing out a low pitched-tone with all their might.
Behind them, Miso was watching them with scary eyes.

It seemed that Miso was out for blood.
Maru greeted Miso with a nod before going inside.
The moment some of the juniors tried to greet him, Miso shouted.

“I’ll kill you for real if I hear you roll your eyes one more time.
Focus on the sound.
There are only two months left until the competition! I’m fine with you doing things half-assedly if you want your voice to be shit on the stage, but I will not let someone like that on stage.
Don’t think about doing things moderately just because you’ve been picked as the members to stand on stage in the summer competition.
You weren’t picked because you were better than the others.
You can be switched out at any time.
The moment you forget the fact that there are more than thirty people who are just as good as you, you’ll have to step down from the stage and repeat basic training over and over again.
Understood?”

“Yes!”

She was as harsh as ever.
Maru smiled awkwardly before standing next to Miso.

“You’re quite savage.”

The faces of the 1st year juniors he saw from where Miso stood were quite a spectacle.
Maru thought that they might make such faces on the edge of a cliff.
From how they were sweating heavily, it seemed that they started the vocal exercises right after intense physical training.

“This is normal.”

“Don’t you usually start rehearsing at this point?”

“These little shits are mumbling their lines.
I could clearly see that they were only practicing the basics in the practice room, so I scrapped the rehearsals and started polishing their basics.
Hey, Kim Inho! Don’t squeeze your neck to make the voice; push it up from your stomach!”

“You can hear that from here?”

“I can.”

“You’re a total machine.”

“What, you wanna join them?”

“I already shout on the local mountain every single day whether it’s raining or snowing, because I’m afraid of losing them.”

“Yes, you should be afraid.
If actors just dig into emotions, then they’ll become trash.
Basics are something you have to practice your entire life.”

“That’s true.
But hey, aren’t you going to give me a wedding invitation?”

“A student doesn’t need an invitation.
You should just come.”

“I don’t need to pay congratulatory money?”

“Who do you take me for? The acting club should just visit and eat all they want.”

“How generous.
But hey, you look good.
Is it because you’re a bride of May?”

“Would you like to try my training after all this time?”

“I’ll keep my mouth shut.”

Miso twitched her nose before walking around and adjusting the voicing of some of the juniors.
When she placed her hand on their stomach and below the waist and said a few words to them, the ring of their voices would become a lot better.
Teaching wasn’t done by just anyone after all.

After giving out instructions, Miso looked at the juniors with serious eyes.
Was there someone she didn’t like? Just as he was thinking about such things, Miso turned her head to look at Maru.

“It dries my blood.”

“What?”

“It dries my blood.
Was it always this annoying? Now that I finished preparing, I’m starting to get nervous instead.
I think about all sorts of things.”

“Are you talking about your marriage?”

“Why? Should I stop?”

“No, I didn’t mean that.”

Miso was on edge.
She widened her eyes in a glaring fashion before sighing and turning around.
It seemed that she didn’t want to show her weak side to everyone else.
Maru looked at his juniors.
They were absorbed in their vocal exercise, so no one took notice.

“You’re nervous now that your wedding is finally approaching?”

“Me? Haha? Me, nervous?”

Miso laughed as though it was absurd and spoke after a while.

“Am I the problem?”

“It’s always like that.
No matter how much you like a person, living together is a different problem after all.
Don’t think about it too seriously.
If you get stressed out already, you’ll probably start planning to escape before you even get to throw the bouquet, you know?”

“You’re quite knowledgeable.
I’m thinking about running away now too.”

“You aren’t actually going to do that, are you?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Don’t feel too much pressure.
Once the wedding begins, time will flash by with you greeting everyone.
Once you get yourself together, you’ll probably find yourself on the plane.”

“You sound like you’ve experienced it yourself?”

“I heard about it from someone I know.
She told me that the wedding isn’t all laughs and smiles.
You’ll have a lot of worries and think about trivial stuff.”

“Taesik-oppa will probably laugh at me if he finds out I’m like this, right? He’ll say that it doesn’t suit me.”

“Tell him about it.
What good is having a husband? He’s there to listen to you at times like this.”

“Is that how it is?”

“Actually, I was thinking that teacher Taesik might be even more nervous than you.
If anyone asks how he met his wife with all of his family members around, whew.
Just thinking about it makes me shiver.”

“It’s not a crime for a teacher to get married to his student.”

“Did I say that? I’m just saying that many people will feel jealous.”

“What am I even doing with you….”

“Cracking light jokes is the best when you have a headache.”

Miso chuckled.

“If you’re so uneasy, just declare that you aren’t going to hold the wedding.”

“Are you crazy? I’ve already handed out all the invitations.”

“Then you know that you’re past the point of no return.
Just bear with it.”

Maru put his thumbs up.

“If you need someone to sing a nuptial song, then just tell me.
I’m quite good at singing, you know?”

“Lee Jinmo’s coming, you know?”

“You mean the singer? Wow, you’re in a different class alright.”

“Hey, rather than that, you should just get going.
I feel pathetic talking to you.
Why are you here in the first place?”

“I’m here to see everyone else, and to see if they’re doing well or not.”

“You? Of all people? Looks like the sun will rise from the west tomorrow.
You never showed up on days you didn’t have to.”

“I decided to passionately give more love to my juniors now.”

“So you’re trying to screw with them, huh?”

“I wonder why everyone’s taking my intentions the wrong way when I say them.”

“Like hell they are.
If you don’t have anything to do, just get going.
Don’t bully them.”

“Hey, I never….”

He just shrugged towards Miso, who glared at him, before turning around.
He waved his hand at Daemyung, who was practicing with the others on one side before leaving the hall.
He could hear Miso’s shout through the closing door.
Who’s bullying who? Maru chuckled before climbing down the stairs.

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