“We’ll shoot the part where you walk all the way here and sit down.”
The shoot began with Ando holding the camera and coming towards them.
Hyungseok thought that the choice of location was incredibly good.
It was 9 p.m.
They managed to arrive at this apartment complex about two hours earlier than they originally planned.
There was a six-lane road next to the apartment complex lined up along the Gapyeong river, but there wasn’t a single car on it.
There were only families who came out to camp out to stave off the heat, as well as a group of people riding bicycles or using inline skates.
According to Sora, cars were forbidden from passing through until the apartment complex on the other side of the river was completed; meaning, this was the perfect place to shoot.
“I ate so much pork belly, but I think I’ve digested it all.
Maybe it’s because I was moving around busily.”
I also thought I ate quite a lot, but when I got out of the car, I couldn’t even remember what I had for dinner.”
“Don’t you have any snacks with you?”
I’m going to buy some after I finish this scene.
I saw a convenience store on that road.”
While they chatted, they walked past the two actors who were walking in front of them.
Hyungseok looked at Sora’s face as he left the sight of the camera.
This thorough director did not allow for a single mistake and expressed it immediately whenever she found something that wasn’t to her liking.
From how she wasn’t saying a single word with her eyes fixed on the laptop that was connected to the camera, this cut seemed to be to her liking.
Aram, who was walking with him, held up her palm.
After giving her a high five, he waited for the cut to end.
We’ll continue the conversation scene after you sit on the bench here.
Bangjoo-oppa, please turn on the generator.
We need to set up the fill light.”
The shadow cast on the actors’ faces was controlled by the lighting.
The two actors stood dead still like wax dolls as they accepted the light that was pouring on them from above and in front.
“I think that should do.
Ando-oppa, put them in the frame.
Let me have a look.”
Hyungseok checked the laptop screen from the back as well.
It was much easier to make out the features on the actors’ faces than when the streetlight was the only source of light.
When the camera settings were changed a little, the faces of the actors on screen became a little paler.
“I think the color temperature is okay like this.
We’ll shoot like this once and shoot it again with a warmer tone.”
Hyungseok asked Sora if there was anything he had to do.
We only need the two of them for now.”
“Then I’ll go to the convenience store over there for a bit.
I think everyone’s getting hungry.”
“Oh, then I should give you my credit card.”
I can buy snacks.”
“I can’t have you do that when you came here to help.
I’m already sorry that I can’t pay you any wages.”
“I earned plenty.
So don’t worry.”
“Then I’ll take you up on your offer.
Actually, I was a little thirsty too.”
“I’ll take a special order for you then, director.
Would you like coffee?”
And a coffee for our camera director too.
He likes the one with caramel in it,” Sora said as she looked at Ando who was sitting in front of the bench.
From his observations today, these two weren’t dating, but they were clearly not in a normal relationship either.
Though, the problem seemed to be that they weren’t making any progress since the girl was on the active side while the man was passive.
“We’ll take a ten-minute break,” Sora said.
Hyungseok picked up his wallet and went to the convenience store.
On the way, he suddenly heard someone running and turned around to see who it was, only to see Aram running towards him at a fast speed.
Her running posture looked like a professional sprinter.
“Wait for me!”
They entered the convenience store and selected an assortment of bread and drinks.
They also got some triangular rice balls and put them on the counter.
“You said you were preparing to become an actor too, didn’t you?” Aram asked as they left the convenience store.
I’m only in my first year though.”
“Are you close to Maru-seonbae?”
“Well, I at least think so, but I don’t know what Maru thinks about me.
But we’ve been living together for two years, so I guess you can call us close?”
“You were colleagues in the military?”
“Maru was one month senior.”
“Having him as a senior must have been tough.
Maru-seonbae looks out for people a lot, but he also places a lot of importance on rules and order.
Though, he does ignore them wholeheartedly when it is necessary.”
“In the beginning, it was tough for sure.
He did everything perfectly like he had been to the military already, so he was practically an enemy to me and my colleagues.
We always got chewed out for not doing as well as him, when he only came ahead of us by a month.”
“I can already picture that.
Maru-seonbae doesn’t really show a weak side for sure.”
“It’s quite a mystery if I think about it.
He never got scolded by the seniors for the entirety of two years.
Forget weak, he looked like he was holding the answer sheet already.
Every single one of his actions was the correct answer, so the seniors didn’t touch him.
In fact, he got good treatment before he spent enough time.”
“Enough time, huh.
It might be because I heard a lot about the military from my friends, but perhaps I should have gone to the military as well, as a female soldier.
I think I’d do pretty well.”
“It’s kinda funny for me to say this when it’s our first time meeting today, but I think you’d do well too.
You said you’re a teacher at a dojo, right?”
“I’m a teacher in name only.
I’m more of a chauffeur.
No wait, I guess I’m closer to a caretaker at a nursery?”
Aram took out a popsicle from the plastic bag and ripped the plastic packaging.
The tip of the popsicle was covered in chocolate.
“I’m currently doing some background investigation right now.
Aram pointed at a bench in the distance with her finger.
She was pointing at Maru and Sooil who were sitting down.
“Which one of those two?”
“Maru-seonbae, of course.
What good would I get from investigating Sooil-oppa?”
“I just became a little curious about something.
Asking the person in question didn’t give me an answer, so I can only try going at it from the side.
Of course, if it’s something you can’t answer, you don’t have to tell me.
If you feel like you shouldn’t answer my question, then don’t talk about it.
It’s simply a curiosity of mine after all.”
“Don’t you think there’s no need to dig into it if he doesn’t answer it himself?”
“No, Maru-seonbae is someone who draws clear lines.
He’s someone who’ll clearly tell me to stop if he doesn’t want me to do it.
The lukewarm reaction he’s showing me right now indicates that it’s not something that he’s that displeased about.
Anyway, did Maru-seonbae mention anything about having a girlfriend when he was in the military?”
“Or maybe about someone he was getting along with? You know you talk about stuff like that in the military, don’t you?”
“Maru didn’t have a girlfriend.
And as far as I know, there wasn’t a girl he was getting along with either.
He didn’t have any interest in relationships.
Once, I matched my vacation with him, and I told him that we should go play with some girls I got acquainted with while doing business, but he didn’t even pretend to listen to me.
He’s a decent guy, so when he became a sergeant, both his seniors and juniors probed him to see if he wanted to be introduced to a girl, but he declined them all.
That was why he even ended up joking that he might be gay….”
While saying those words, Hyungseok recalled Maru rejoicing after receiving Han Gaeul’s autograph.
Though, his description of it, ‘the best and the worst’, was kinda confusing.
“What is it?”
“I just remembered that Maru has a celebrity he likes.
If that’s the kind of girl he likes, I guess he has high standards.
Maybe that’s why he declined all of our offers.”
I saw her from up close when I went to work a part-time job, and she was definitely pretty alright.
Looks like not anyone can become a celebrity.
She’s down to Earth too.
Maybe that’s the kind of girl Maru wants to meet.”
“Maru-seonbae said something like that? That he likes Han Gaeul?”
“He never actually said out loud but looking at the expression he made back then, I’m pretty confident that he likes her.
I got an autograph from her for him.
When Maru received that, he….”
Saying that Maru introduced him to producer Yoo Jayeon wouldn’t result in anything good.
Hyungseok smiled it off and continued speaking,
“He really liked it.”
“When I got the autograph from her, I told her that Maru is an actor in a theater.
When I did, Han Gaeul even kindly wrote a comment on the autograph: Mr.
Han Maru, I hope I see you on the same stage in the near future.
She definitely knows how to make people pleased.”
“Aha, the same stage? That’s what Gaeul-unni said, huh?”
“She didn’t say it.
She wrote it down.
But hey, did you say Gaeul-unni? That makes it seem like you know her.”
“Something like that.
Maru-seonbae, I knew it was like this.
“What is it?”
“I’m sorry, but it’s a secret for now.”
“You made me spit out everything.”
“I’ll tell you about it when I interrogate Maru-seonbae later and have him admit to his crimes.
Maru-seonbae, he’s a total romanticist.”
Aram thanked him and slapped him on the back before walking away.
Hyungseok cringed and straightened out his shoulders to move his back muscles.
Her slap was way too spicy.
Hyungseok looked at Maru sitting on the bench underneath the street lamp.
Maru? A romanticist? Where did she get that idea?
* * *
Maru sighed softly.
Aram was just grinning in satisfaction right next to him without even telling him the reason.
“Just what the heck is it?”
I just like your acting so much.
How can you look so good in a school uniform? I almost mistook you for an actual high school student.
You’re good at acting, and you look pretty young too.
You have a pretty blessed life.”
“This is the first time that someone told me I look young.”
“I heard that being in love makes people younger.”
Aram hopped away, saying that she had to clean up the props.
Maru stroked his chin.
What was that suspicious smile about?
“It’s only 1 a.m.
We finished much earlier than I originally expected.
We even got to shoot some of tomorrow’s portion as well.
We should return to the cabin, rest till morning, and finish up once we wake up.”
“Can I get changed now?”
Thanks for your work.”
Maru took off the school uniform.
As the film started with a murder scene and ended with the two friends sharing a friendship in the past when they were students, a school uniform was a must.
He liked the plot of starting from rock bottom and ending with reminiscing about the past.
The message that the film had was nothing that amazing.
It just expressed that murder could happen just as spontaneously as two people becoming friends, both violently and indifferently.
Although he’d have to see the final product to be sure, Sora said that she wanted the whole film to last about 15 minutes.
Since it wasn’t that long, the nuance of the whole film would change according to how she decided to do the edits.
“Thanks for your work.”
Maru handed Sooil a drink.
It was one that Hyungseok bought from the convenience store.
It was fun to act without holding back after a long time.”
“Aren’t you tired? I think that was a pretty hard schedule.”
“I once started at 3 a.m.
and finished up at 3 a.m.
the next day.
Of course, back then, I wasn’t dragged around without a single moment to rest like I was today.”
“I’m sorry that we can’t give you good treatment when you’re an expensive actor.”
“If I wanted good treatment, I wouldn’t have come in the first place.
It’s good: the people here, the atmosphere of the shoot, and even other things.
“Those guys are now going to call you up from time to time and ask you to meet them, so don’t pick up their call if you find them a bother.”
“People as good as them are always welcome.
Heck, I should tell them my address and have them come over.
I like them a lot.”
Maru emptied the drink in one go and stood up from the bench.
“Let’s clean up if you’re done drinking.”
“I thought you felt sorry that you couldn’t give me good treatment?”
“It’s just a figure of expression.
Let’s carry the lights for now.”
Sooil laughed and stood up.
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