Chapter 158: The Extraterrestrial Her (2 of 2)
Translated by me, edited by drpetro.
Thank you Michael for the sponsoring this chapter.
There is a saying that goes like this: the more successful a person was, the more packed their schedule.
Ye Qing was like this, and Xu Ninggong was also like this.
She had just finished filming the first episode of [The Great Escape] in Zhongyun last night, and now she must attend the opening filming ceremony for her new film.
The director, Ding Yin, was famous within the country for just how daring he was.
He was the first one to ever adopt Hollywood special effects within the nation, and even succeed in directing the first ever blockbuster tier domestic movie.
He was also the first director to use CG effects for a ghost theme movie.
At the same time, he was well known for being part of a husband and wife pair. Ever since the first film he had directed, his wife had always followed the cast and been a part of the editing team.
To be honest, if it was any other famous director in the country looking for Xue Ninggong to star in the movie, then she would’ve rejected the offer on the spot.
Purely because of the name of this brand new movie; «The Extraterrestrial Her»!
Just this name alone was enough to scare away a big crowd of viewers.
The content of this film was even more bizarre. It was about a pretty extraterrestrial girl, who after inheriting her dead grandfather’s possessions, found the deeds to a green colored planet.
After having searched through many records, she found that this planet was a reward to her grandfather for his actions during a war, but because he wasn’t able to purchase a propulsion powered spaceship, her grandfather wasn’t able to reach the planet in his lifetime.
Coincidentally, this girl had the heart of an explorer, and it was fate that gave her a planet to inherit.
The naturally adventurous her, immediately sold all of her possession and properties, bought a second hand spaceship and a bunch of other stuff, and headed off towards the green planet unlicensed.
This green planet had a suitable for living meaning behind it. Obviously, without question, this planet was Earth.
For this kind of work, there was only Ding Yin who had to guts to film within the entire country, and there was only him who was able to film it properly, because he was the most proclaimed CG director within the entire country.
Xue Ninggong took on the role of playing the female lead Chen Xi.
Moreover due to the lack of funding for this film, she personally invested 80 million for filming purposes. One reason was that she believed in Ding Yin’s skills, while on the other reason was that she really liked the plot and the characters in it.
Ding Yin was an international student in his early years, and having been in Hollywood for a bit, he was naturally affected by the culture. His ceremony never had stuff like cutting a pig’s head or burning incense, rather it was the unveiling of cameras hidden underneath crimson silk satins and the smashing champagne bottles.
Having wasted an entire morning on the ceremony, the entire film crew and cast all hurriedly left the Sheraton Hotel and headed for the township of Sicheng.
Within the township of Sicheng was a circular lake. Of course, this lake had dried up a long time ago, which was why it was covered in sweet potato plants.
The entire plot of sweet potatoes was completely bought out by Ding Yin a month early. Additionally, he even spent close to 10 million just to set up the film props.
This was to become one of the most important locations for the entire movie, as this was where Chen Xi was going to land her ship, and it was also where close to a third of the film was to be filmed.
Ding Yin could really be called resourceful. He knew just how lacking the domestic special effects were, as they wouldn’t be able to bring out the true feelings of the protagonist’s outer space homeworld. Which was why as soon as the movie started, it was the scene of where the spaceship was entering the atmosphere and landing down here.
One, the protagonist wasn’t licensed, and two, she only had a secondhand spaceship, so naturally after landing the propulsion engine was completely busted leaving her with no way to get home.
In the afternoon, after everyone had arrived, they immediately began to film the first scene.
The entire film had many scenes that involved the spaceship, but because it didn’t exist, the camera needed to be held up high and be able to nimbly change angles, such that a wide, expansive view could be achieved for the viewers.
Hence, Ding Yin specifically ordered two 80 meter long, custom designed film arms from a domestically famous manufacturer a month earlier.
The longest film arms on the market were only 20 meters, and the regularly used film arms for wedding photography were only several meters long.
This customer order, although it was extremely big, the manufacturer believed that there was no real technical challenge, which was why they were ready 20 days after payment.
After every team was ready, the filming of the first scene began.
This was one of the most important scenes of the entire film. The camera from high up, circled around the location of the non existent spaceship, and then dove down like a bird. This kind of scene that needed tons of special effects to complete must be finished first and handed over to the special effects companies to complete.
All teams had confirmed their readiness, yet the film crew remained silent.
The nervousness of the cameramen immediately attracted the attention of Ding Yin, who after finding out, went over already pissed.
Directors have always been known for their bad attitudes. If any team screwed up, then it delayed the completion of the film. These screw ups all cost money, so how could they have a good attitude?
The cameramen were responsible for the specially made, 80 meter long, electrically powered, rotatable film arm.
At the very forefront of this film arm was a film camera. The arm itself was supported by six steel cables, and the base needed to be anchored into the ground. But right now the cameramen were still unwilling to connect the pictures to the director’s monitoring system.
“Why haven’t you connected the feeds?” Ding Yin asked in full seriousness.
“Director……” The cameraman anxiously explained: “The picture is visibly shaking hard, I…… I don’t dare to.”
“Shaking hard?” Ding Yin’s face immediately turned black. What they were filming here was a major blockbuster urban fantasy movie, intended to compete for film awards.
They weren’t streaming this on Douyu at all. So if any of the pictures were shaking, then they must start all over again.
“Yes, yes, this film arm was fine during manufacturing testing, but after arriving here, who knows why it’s shaking?”
“I reckon it’s high winds, but there was no forecast of high winds today here at all.”
Although the film arms were custom orders, the experienced Ding Yin immediately understood why the camera was shaking.
Shaking prevention had always been a difficult task for the film industry, however, with the advances in technology, cameras came with shake prevention and three axis driven stabilizers, so the shaking problem had been pretty much solved.
But this shake prevention had a limit, which was surpassed on the 80 meter long film arm under today’s wind.
This was an unsolvable situation. Even if firetrucks were used here, it would still be affected by the wind. The longer the size, the more dramatic the effect.
Additionally, no matter if it was the fire trucks or other lifters, there would be visible traces of mechanical lag in the film, which obviously wasn’t able to produce film that met Ding Yin’s standards.
The more specialized the profession, the more demanding the profession, the more serious the categorization of its equipment.
If you wanted to film a perfectly stable scene, then the film arm that was the most stable while moving must be used. As for using other equipment, that was just like putting sugar into mapo tofu.
It was the first time they use this 80 meter long film arm, and it was also the first time it was ever made.
Even if wind speeds were accounted for during manufacturing, there was still no way to fix the problem in such a short time. Hence, the only solution was to wait for the wind to slow down.
Ding Yin ordered steel faced: “Change, change the scene. We’ll film the scene where Chen Xi is escaping from the spaceship.”
This scene was pretty easy to film. All that was needed was to place a green screen construct where the exit of the spaceship was, and film it with a camera on wheels.
Xue Ninggong, after changing into a model fantasy like spacesuit and touching up, finished filming the scene in an hour.
Ding Yin then had people tie a piece of cloth strip onto the two film arms, and waited with everyone else for the wind to die down.
They waited left and right for two hours, during which two other scenes were completed, yet the wind still hadn’t died down.
“Director, I’ve just looked at the weather report. There’s no problem with the wind today whatsoever. As a wild guess, might this have something to do with the geography here?” A cameraman finally manned up and speculated.