What is the Entertainment Business like? 4 Stories I Witnessed during Film/Drama Making [CC]
Hi, you're watching AvenueX Where a junkie on good story telling, Shares her thoughts, knowledge, an occasional, weird ideas on stories and how they're told for my long time viewers. You know There was a time that I worked in drama and filmmaking in china, although I haven't really worked in this industry for years. I can only presume that the things i've seen while I was working there is either still being carried out in a pretty similar fashion.
Or it has taken up more of a cyber punk quality as everyone living today cannot deny how much internet social media has changed our lives. As i've promised in my previous weekly video, when I talked about the Kris Wu thing that has recently happened, this is that video to give you an idea about what is the entertainment business like what it is like working there? What are the rather ridiculous levels of scandal and gossip and weird conduct and behaviors people have in this industry, it is not my intention to make everybody believe that we should all stay super cynical towards everything and everyone. In this world. It is also not my intention to suggest that If you hold very idealized visions of this industry and people involved in it, then somehow you are at fault. I think whatever problems we come across and we observe in this world, the first important step is to recognize what is the fact.
And then we can decide what we should feel about them. And i'm providing a couple of stories i've experienced. And I swear on my life that they are all true. Obviously, I won't tell you who they are, the people involved in the story or give you any way of figuring out who those people are.
So let's first get into those stories, and then i'll offer my take on them. The first story is called The Hand Double This is a drama/film, not gonna tell you which one production that i've worked on. I was an assistant to one of the department's head of a production and usually for a production.
The main leads, supporting leads are all knocked down before they start go into shooting, but the extras are often contacted on the day by a specific director who is in charge of that. Just because shooting schedules can change all the time, and often you do not know when you need a particular extra until you're very close to shooting time. So on the day, they need to shoot a scene with one of the female roles in this production, cooking.
It needs to be a hand close-up, but this actress has a big insurance contract on her. She cannot risk any of her body parts, so she cannot be the person who goes and chop things with knives, although she can do it, they have to hire a body double, unfortunately, for all the girls who happen to be on set that day none of our hands look in any way similar to the actress' hands. and fortunately, I happen to know a person who would perfectly fit this position, because her hands are very similar also. She can cook and she happens to be my classmate.
So I texted her. Do you have time to come in for just 1 hour or two for a close up shot? She replied immediately, Cool! I've never been on a production set i'd be more than willing to come and just to see a couple of the actors and actress who will be on site who are all actually very big stars. So my friend came in the afternoon and they did the close-up shot and she got paid. We had a few words, but because I was also working at other things, I didn't have time to have extensive conversation with her. Then she left.
So that was before sunset at night we are still shooting. I got a text message from her, the production photographer on your crew has just sent me messages, basically ask me whether i'm willing to have sex with him. and I was like, what the F? I know this production photographer is married, has a wife, has a kid in a different city for this production. He's basically outside of his hometown doing a business trip. What I could tell is because I got in contact with her I did let the assistant kind of director who are in charge of arranging extras. They do know her number.
I don't know who leaked the number to the production photographer or he just got that like laying somewhere. I have no idea. So somehow he got hold of her number, this production photographer. I see him every day I have daily sort of Normal conversation with him everyday He knows this is my classmate. It just appears to him like something that is so normal that he doesn't even need to think twice about his actions. And it got me really confusedso.
I was like, is it like in this business, everybody is just so loose? And when they go out and shooting at a different city or so far away, they know their wife and whatever girlfriends are impossible to follow them Therefore, they can just do whatever they like. Obviously, my friend refused didn't result in anything significant. It is just one small story that happens to every production crew.
All the time. My friend. afterwards told me, well! that's my first encounter with entertainment business and that would definitely be my last the second story i'll call it The Boyfriend Also this is during a production i've taken part one day we are scheduled to shoot a scene as they were setting up cameras. I saw the camera person and director chatting about what they can do for a certain shot.
And I realized they initially plan to do a close-up, but now they can only do very faraway shots full body shots reason being the actress who is supposed to be on camera. One of her eye is all red, blood red on the whites of the eye. And that definitely wouldn't work for a close up shot. Later I found out what happened to her was the day before her boyfriend who is from a different city flew in to, the city where we're filming this production because the entire crew lives in one hotel so that it's easy to arrange logistics, transportation, everybody get out onto the site to shoot every day at the same time that type of thing. So everyone, director, obviously me and most of the other people all live in this hotel.
So this guy came into this hotel to see the girlfriend, actress. And then he found out that she has kissing shots and scene with other male actor, and he resolved to violence, slapped her, across her face so hard that it broke the veins in her eyes. It took a couple of days for it to go away. And during the time, she couldn't take a close up shot. WTF?! Clearly there's no criminal charge that came after that Probably the actress didn't really file it. Anyway, it just happened and went away.
And if you think she's a tiny actress who probably has very little say in this business, actually not she is one of the actresses who have a very good background in this industry. I'm not gonna tell you who she is. If I tell you, I can guarantee you everybody who's watching this video knows who she is she is very famous in china. That was baffling. I will never be able to understand why like it is, okay for this type of thing.
To happen. Story number three, i'll call it The Midnight Taxi While I was on crew for a production, I live with another girl who is also a crew member. We belong to different department, but we shared the same twin bed hotel room one night close to midnight. I was already asleep. I heard the sound of her clothing and she got up from her bed. And very vaguely, I wasn't really looking at her, but I was woken by her noises.
I knew she grabbed something and very quietly got out of the room about half an hour, 40 minutes later. She came back. And I asked her, I was like, where did you go? Middle of the night And she's like, I got a call from my department head, and the head required her to bring something to a location.
So she went out taking that thing with her, which this department has given her earlier that day and then took a taxi to a ktv karaoke, deliver that thing and then came back. And I was like, what ?middle of the night in the ktv? what do they need? And why are you doing this? She's like, I don't know. That person just gave it to her to keep for the day and then ask her to bring it to them. And later I found out basically it is the the equipment for you to smoking pot. And I know in Canada it is legal now, but it has never been legal in china and it will never be in that ktv they rented a big room for that production.
The director, couple of lead actors and a couple of different departments of the production's head were all there and they were having a drug party. I heard the names of the people who are there and I was very, very shocked again, involve some big names that I assure you if you care at all about asian entertainment business, you know all of them, they're still famous today. The real number of stars, whether they are actors, directors, producers, powerful people in this industry will be much bigger than what has been exposed. It probably is not even the iceberg thing, tip of iceberg, 90% under the water. I say 95% probably is under water or even 98%.
I don't know the couple of people who got unlucky who got caught either happened totally by accident or literally because they've ruffled some feathers in the industry so much that people went out to destroy them. And the thing is within this industry doing drugs is so normal. If you look at western society, that's even more also because in a lot of countries it is not illegal if you smoke certain things, whereas in china pretty much everything is illegal. So the fact is in china, if all the entertainment business people, all of them who has ever done drugs illegally all got found out. We probably wouldn't have an entertainment business anymore once you've done it and you see other people do it and you kind of have each other's tail in your hand like the nuclear war heads situation is Situation is as long as we both have it, we don't use them.
But it's important that we have them that helps you to understand what is the extent of illegal dealings in this industry. Now we come to the 4th and last story of this video. I'll call it The Lead Actress Even till today I feel what i've seen is more dramatic than the drama itself.
and I'm pretty sure it happens too often in this business, this production that I worked on there is a main female character. The production initially decided this role will go to a particular actress. This actress was super happy about it. It's highly potentially a career defining role that any actress can have.
She went as far as reciting every word of the script before she even got on set that took a lot of dedication and effort, then the shooting started. And it was a couple of days already into filming. And she had quite a few scenes already done in the camera one night.
In the production office, the person who's in charge of printing out the page notice for next day's shooting schedule. So this is called tong gao dan (通告单） It is this type of thing that will have all the information that all the departments of this production needs. When do you start shooting? What are the scenes we're doing? Who are the actors need to be there? So the person who is in charge of printing that she has already printed out what's needed. For the next day, she just hasn't handed them out yet. Then the producer came into this office and told her go and make another shooting notice where the scenes that we're gonna shoot tomorrow on this notice will be different. From what you've just printed basically would not involve this particular actress, so she wouldn't need to come tomorrow.
And then the producer said, print this many numbers out now, so this person went and printed it and she took those notice, went on the shooting site, handed that out to everybody who is on set and told them them this is what we're gonna shoot tomorrow. And obviously this actress also got that. and she's like ok, so tomorrow there isn't scene where I would be there. I can go home now after she left the shooting site, because usually actors leave first, and then everybody is still trying to clean up the set, get ready for tomorrow. And usually the camera crew, the lighting gaffer they're still trying to put everything back in order once she left, the producer told everybody stop.
So she brought out the initial printed out notice, And then said this is what we're shooting tomorrow for real. Basically she acted in front of the main actress gave her a fake notice so that she wouldn't come the next day and the real one came out. It does involve scenes that will have this actress' role She said tomorrow we're bringing in another actress who is going to play this role. and the reason being they are considering swapping out the leading actress with a different actress, because the new coming in actress comes with money and investment and the producer needed money, but the producers still wanted to make sure that this new actress is able to take this role on.
So they are doing a type of screen test that really happens already on the shooting site They have two actresses playing the same role, but they kept it from the original actress. And this went on for 3 to 4 days. So we had double notice printed every day and everyone who's working on this crew knew the secret, but we were all told you were not allowed to tell the (original) actress.
So she is the only person who didn't know what is going on and she still comes in with the notice to play her role. And then she gets a notice for the next day that she doesn't need to come in. And then the other actress comes in the next day.
It went on for 3/4 days and I was like this is so disgusting after a couple of days testing, they decided they're gonna go with the new actress. And obviously after that the main original actress found out it's one of a kind sort of career opportunity and she already freaking recited the entire freaking script. What I heard right from . . . Other people working on his crew is she was so devastated that she refused to eat. She kind of had a psychological breakdown try to commit suicide, and then her parents stopped her and the parents ran to our shooting site, ran into the studio.
kneeled in front of the director and cried so much is like my daughter had given so much for this role and she's going crazy at home. The result of that is security guards came in and dragged the parents out. I don't know what happened to the actress, I never found out and she never had any new work coming out ever again. She kind of her name disappeared in this industry. I hope she's still doing well somewhere even if she's no longer an actress.
Yeah, it's one of more epic dramatic stories i've seen during the years. If I tell you again who is the new actress You will all know. That concludes the story part of this video, the four stories. Now, couple of things My take on it. I have been wanting to make this video for a long time, but this is a perfect timimg to do it.
I look at the demographics of who are my audiences, and I do know this from 25 to, let's say, 40. This is the major chunk of people's age who are watching my videos. So my demographic is not actually the perfect target that I hope this video can reach out to, which is much younger demographics, probably from teenager year up to 20s. Once you get old enough, you probably have a better idea of these type of things. And then you wouldn't have so much of a fantastical idealized vision of the glamorous business in this world. But I think still this is worth talking about.
It is not worth it. At all, for anybody to idealize a public figure, whether they're in politics, or in the entertainment business, whether they are singing, dancing, idol or big film star, whatever gender, age, if it's a person that you do not know personally and you will never be able to know personally. I suggest always hold that power in your own hands. They enjoy the money, the fame, the privilege that comes with their fandoms or comes with their popularity, all because there are general public who like their works. It does not make sense for the customer to serve the restaurant.
It should be the restaurant that serves the customers. I'm not saying if you're a fan of anybody is anything wrong, no, it is not. You can enjoy that as much as you like, as long as it's your own, earned money and you wanna spend it on supporting whoever and you enjoying whatever they do. That's all fine. I mean I'm a YouTuber.
if nobody supports me. I'm dead. This channel is dead, but do not idealize these people.
And if they do something that you think is questionable and if they disappoint you you have all the right to say Da Ye Wo Bu Gao Xing Le (大爷我不高兴了） this big customer is not satisfied anymore. So good bye. Don't go out fight wars for those people who will never thank you think about it for the people who are actually in your life could be your spouse, could be your siblings, could be colleagues, could be friends you've known for years. There are always still parts of them that you will never find out. And there have been many cases where the spouse of a person turned out to be a psycho killer and they never found it out. It is pretty impossible to understand another human being fully.
Therefore, for somebody who comes out with the public image that is totally made up. And just because they appeared to be so perfect the halo effect, right? I know it happens to everybody, but why do you think it's logical for somebody You can never touch for real Never have a meaningful conversation, never would really get to know what they look like in real life. Why would you trust them to be the perfect image You make them out to be? And then you put all that emotional energy, time, money, investing all that to love them, to make up stories about them, to make them perfect in your head. Inevitably, you will be disappointed. And most likely for people who have managed to climb to a very visible position in entertainment business, not just in China everywhere else.
They would have done something that will definitely make your draw drop in their climb to fame. This industry's nature is like that. And there's so many power players in this game. It's basically impossible to stay clean. By a very normal, never worked in this industry's moral standard for your own psychological health and mental peace. Please do not invest that much emotional energy on your end to idealize them, the invention of social media really escalated the situation everywhere in the eastern Asian countries, such as South Korea, Japan, China has the worst version of it.
Fandom, idol data troops, the young girls, mostly who are willingly sitting in front of their computer or their phone and just doing data for their stars and idols. Nonstop hours and hours, repost, comment, put money in, put them on to the Top of the chart. Whenever there's a bad word said about this person, they rush out like a crazy zombie army.
Every year it gets crazier, it gets more serious. It turns more and more like cults and pyramid schemes and it brain washes the young people mostly that just is painful to look at for older people. Here. I know most of the people watching my videos are not this age group, but if this video ever gets to the target demographic groups, I highly suggest you think through this and take the power back in your hands and realize the so called stars, most of the glamorous and the beautiful, either physical appearances or the dazzling skills.
A lot of that comes from an unimaginable number of big team group working behind them to make sure they appear to be the perfect public image. And the reason for doing that is there's money to be made to create the symbol that can go out and harvest the love and passion therefore, turning into cash flow to all the investment capitals behind those empty shells of idols I'm not saying there aren't really skillful and really cool person in the entertainment business. There always are, but the more idol side of the industry recent years in China, for example, really not worth your time and energy. And even for the stars established stars, even the ones who are probably your father, or grandfather age people, even though they have the, perfect track record never had any reputation problems in their career.
I suggest. Only keep your attention on their work. If they do good work, you can say everything good about it. You can support that in whatever way you want, but it does not translate to because they've done a good work.
Therefore they're a good person. Therefore they're morally impeccable. Therefore they must be idealized. A lot of those older actors and actresses, the only reason and they don't have scandals with them is because it all happened pre social media age. And there was no way of you knowing it. But I can guarantee you, as long as you're in this industry, everyone has a couple of stories that are pretty wild.
Hopefully this video hasn't completely destroyed your trust and love and passion and idealism. In this industry, while this type of thing are really going on all the time, we should all try to do our best for a better future of both the industry and also our relationship, the general public's accepted normal standard of how we should relate to those kind of far away. Stardom people.
It is my sincere wish that Kris Wu's thing would be the beginning, the start of events that will lead to the better future, more regulated, the more reasonable future of this entertainment business, make the soil the environment better. So that better things can grow out of it. Better works, the more responsible, more talented people who actually have real content and good stuff to share with the world can come forward to the stage to provide high quality cultural content for us to enjoy. So that would be the end of this video. Thank you for watching AvenueX I'll see you in my next video. Meanwhile live long and happy.