Chapter 789.
Sequence 6

“Drive very slowly when you come in.”

Maru stepped on the pedal slowly.
He drove the car right up to where Ando was and turned the wheel to the right.
As he listened to the sound of gravel being ground up, he stepped on the brakes and switched the gear to neutral.

“Is it okay now?”

He poked his head out the window.
Sora was watching the footage that Ando just shot.
From the way she was tapping on her chin with her index finger, she seemed dissatisfied.
Thinking that he had to do it again, he rested his head on the headrest and got ready to back out.
This was the third time or something.
She, who gave the okay sign without a problem when he was acting, did not say a single word during the driving scene as though her mouth was locked up with two padlocks.
Seonbae, is that all you can do? – her eyes requesting a re-shoot looked scary.

Putting an arm over the window, Sora spoke,

“We’ll go with this one.”

“It’s done now?”

“Yes.
I felt this while we shot, but you don’t suit cars.
You looked so cool when you were acting in the middle of the street, but you strangely look like a middle-aged man when I put you in a car.
You look awkward even if you try to look cool.”

“Spare me since it’s not an important scene.”

“That was the plan.
I’m going to use this as a jump cut, so if it doesn’t feel right, I can just cut off the beginning and end.
We’ll go back to our lodging for now.
Sooil-oppa must have fixed his make-up, so let’s bring him out.”

When they went back, he saw Sooil talking with Daemyung.
Having wiped off the pale corpse-like makeup, he had returned to his celebrity self.

“Maru, come here for a sec.”

Daemyung waved at him.

“The lines here.
I think we should change them a little.”

“Wait a sec.”

He opened his script and picked up a pen.
This was the scene where he talked to Sooil, his friend in the film, over a drink.
A trivial misunderstanding combined with the alcohol in their systems leads to a big fight and ultimately leads to murder.
The main character ended up having to carry a sleeping bag.

“It’s this part.
The part when you two talk after having a drink.”

“Yeah, what about it?”

“Sooil said he wants to ad-lib it.
I heard what he said and indeed I think that would sound more natural.”

“Ad-lib it?”

Sooil pointed to a part of the script.

“I was wondering if we could try it according to the script first and then try ad-libbing.
When else would we be able to improvise like this? I think it should be fine since this part through this part doesn’t have any relation to the general plot of the story.”

“If the writer of the script is fine with it, then sure.
Director Kang, we have something to talk to you about.”

Maru called out to Sora.
When he pointed out to her the range of the script that they were going to improvise, she said that it sounded fun and even ordered them to do it properly if they were going to.

“This part is a relaxed part, so you can play with it however you want.
We should just shoot for about 30 minutes and extract about 30 seconds.”

After saying those words, Sora went over to Jiyoon, who was on her knees.
It seemed she was going to check up on the clothes.

“We’re going to just do it without even deciding on a topic?” he said to Sooil.

It wasn’t a one-liner ad-lib.
They were going to ad-lib the whole scene.
If they started recklessly, they might look like two mutes.

“Don’t you think we should just talk about what we usually talk about? We can talk about the dog at your house or talk about girls.
I think bringing up the money problem mentioned in the script slightly isn’t a bad idea either.”

“To do that, though, we need some booze.”

“Should we do it over a drink?”

“Sounds good.”

Sooil’s eyes headed to the fridge.
There was a bunch of soju and beer that they bought for the afterparty.
He took out a bottle of soju from the fridge.
Sora looked towards them, asking what they were up to.

“We are taking props necessary for acting.”

“If you want empty bottles, we got them over there.”

“Empty ones are no good.”

“Don’t tell me you’re going to do it while drinking?”

“Don’t you think it’ll look better that way?”

“How are you going to act when you’re drunk?”

“He and I aren’t going to get drunk with just one bottle.
We’re just setting up the mood.
It’ll be even better if our cheeks get flushed red or something.”

“You’re not trying to have a drinking party with that as an excuse, are you?”

“I’m not that much of an alcoholic.”

While they set up the drinking table in the room, Maru heard that the shoot was ready outside.
Bangjoo, Aram, and Jiyoon were sitting on benches outside the mountain cabin.
There was a baeksuk that had an impressively big chicken, as well as some sliced watermelon pieces.
The owner of the cabin, who was bringing out a lot of food on some food tray, spoke to Sora,

“Tell me if you need anything else.
I’ll try to get them for you.”

“We’re grateful to you already.
But we aren’t bothering you, are we?”

“It’s fine.
It’s not like I have any reservations today.
It was my dream to become a film person when I was young, so I couldn’t hold back from helping you young ones out.
If you need any empty rooms on the first floor, just tell me.
I’ll open them for you.”

“You’re the best, owner.
After we shoot the film, we’ll stamp a large logo of the mountain cabin here since you helped us so much.”

The owner of the cabin, who had his white hair parted 2:8, said that there was no need but still pointed at the sign of the mountain cabin.
He looked like he wanted that sign to be in the film.
Seeing the owner’s half-serious, half-joking reaction, Maru smiled.

“Then do your best.”

The owner put down the food before going back to the managerial office with his hands locked behind his back.

“Everyone, I was originally going to do this more leisurely, but I don’t think we can.
We need to shoot as much as possible and then do an additional shoot.
For now, the four of you on the bench can talk amongst yourselves.
I told you the setup, right? You are two couples who coincidentally met while you were traveling.”

Daemyung, who was checking the script next to Sora, sat down on the bench as well.

“So who and who are couples?” Aram asked as she raised her hand.

“Of course, it’s the Daemyung-Jiyoon couple and the Aram-Bangjoo couple.
Those two are a real couple, so they can probably do fine.
As for you two, just bring out the long friendship between you.”

“Me and her?”

Bangjoo said that he’d rather enter a sleeping bag and get thrown into the water.
Seeing him freak out, Aram chuckled before speaking in a gentle tone,

“Don’t say that, my boyfriend~.”

“You picking up a fight?”

“Don’t say that to your girlfriend~.”

“Director, no, Sora.
I don’t think I can do this.”

Bangjoo was stubborn, but Sora just told him to do it.

“Bangjoo, an actor can’t reject a role out of personal feelings,” Maru said a word to him as well.

Bangjoo nodded with an expression that looked like he had swallowed a piece of hard persimmon.
As those two had a friendship beyond the opposite sex, it was quite normal to see Bangjoo freak out when he saw Aram acting cute.
Maru patted Bangjoo’s shoulders and wished him luck.

“Seonbae, that goes for me too.
Right?”

“Of course.
I wish you luck.”

Sora said that they should start the rehearsal and gathered everyone’s attention with a clap.

“Hyungseok-oppa.
You go over to the bench while holding this and catch a glimpse of the two people getting off the car here.
The camera will shoot over your shoulder.”

“I should just do it naturally, right?”

“Yes.
There’s nothing difficult, so just do it naturally.
You told me you learned acting, so I’ll trust you for now.”

Maru walked to the car with Sooil, who came down from the 2nd floor.
He heard Sora’s voice from where the bench was.
Her voice was like a sharp needle.
Even though they were so far apart, he could hear her voice clearly.

“I feel like Sora is more suited to be on a construction site,” Sooil said as he opened the door to the passenger seat.

“Try saying that in front of her.
I’m sure you will get to have a long talk with her.”

Maru got in the driver’s seat and waited for the director’s signal.

* * *

Hyungseok rubbed his hands together before picking up the tray.
Although the temperature was reaching 30 degrees celsius, his hands strangely felt cold.
His back and his butt were drenched with sweat, so he couldn’t believe what he was feeling.

“You ready? We need to shoot before the sun sets.
Well then, standby! 6 dash one dash 2.”

Sora clapped the slate herself and shouted action.
Hyungseok tried his best not to be conscious of the camera behind him.
He took a step with the tray in his hands.
He had to show the natural-looking steps of a part-timer at the mountain cabin giving food to the four people on the bench.
He counted his steps as he stepped on the gravel.
He stopped right next to the gravel he marked beforehand during the rehearsal and looked at the car that was parked.
Maru and Sooil were opening the door and getting off.

“Cut.”

He didn’t know how to react to the cut sound, so he stayed still.
He did the same when he was doing a part-time job as a background actor.
Stay still no matter what the director says – such were the leader’s orders.

“Hyungseok-oppa.”

“Yeah?”

He was startled when a hand suddenly entered his view over his shoulder and turned around to her.
Sora was looking at him with a corner of her lips down.
It was a stereotypical expression of dissatisfaction.

“Was it strange?”

“It wasn’t that strange, but it’s way too precise that it’s vexing.
You know that feeling right? Where you try to show off too much while trying to make it not look like acting, and it makes it look more like acting.
Just relax.
You’ve forcefully decreased your stepping distance since you tried to match what I told you, so you look like you’re ill or something.
Try walking with confidence, and just stop right here, next to this stone so that we can catch you on camera.
You have to be careful with walking anyway since you have food in your hands.
Try bringing that out more.”

Sora even used examples to explain.
He instantly understood what he had been doing wrong.
The way she walked back after saying what she needed made her look like the assistant director he had seen while he was working.
It was clear that she wasn’t the director because of picking lots.

“Also, you people on the bench! I can tell that you look clumsy! Watch yourselves.
Try thinking about what you do when we talk amongst ourselves.
Especially Aram-unni and Daemyung-oppa! You’re too eye-catching since you’re bringing your habits from doing plays, so tone it down a little.”

She finished her directions without hesitation and picked up the slate again.
Hyungseok also returned to his starting position with the tray in hand.
He exercised his legs a little and recalled the advice he was just given while also remembering his acting instructor’s words: fools can never become actors.

He blew the camera out of his consciousness and focused on the four guests in front of him.
The movement line was important, but for now, getting into the scene was an even more urgent matter.
He had to carry the food carefully before it cooled down.

“Action!”

The gravel, which got on his nerves more than the food on the tray, was pushed out of his eyes.
He fixed his eyes on the food before lifting his head to look at the bench.
There was no time to think about the car that had just parked.
When he looked down after taking a few steps, he saw a faint outline of his cheeks as well as the gravel.
It was too late to stop, so he took another step.
He did it as naturally as possible.

He looked at the two people getting out of the car before starting to walk again.
Until this part, it was just according to the rehearsal.
Even he thought that he did pretty decently.
Although all he did was walk with a tray, the change in the distribution of his consciousness made his movements a lot smoother, and it showed in his acting as well.
The camera should have captured him as just an ‘ordinary part-timer’ as well.

Just as he was waiting for the cut sound with a satisfied smile, he heard a not-so-welcome sound.

“What the heck, why is a helicopter here?”

Chak-a-chak-a-chak-a – a helicopter was flying towards the mountain stream.
It seemed to be a helicopter from a TV station that had come out to shoot people enjoying themselves in the mountain streams.
Hyungseok put down the tray and went over to Sora.

“Wasn’t it good just now?”

“Yes, it was, but.”

“But?”

“I think we need to do that again because we picked up unnecessary noise.
I’ll have to ask you to do it again.”

Hyungseok frowned and glared at the helicopter passing by.
That was a really good act just now too.

“We’ll do that once more!” Sora shouted.

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