Woo Tianhao wanted to raise the stakes. After analyzing, Fang Zhao felt that it was feasible. Here they could build something just like the celebrated film complexes of the Old Era. Furthermore, with current technology, construction would not be troublesome at all. All they needed to do was to put in effort in the planning phase.
Historic places and sites across all continents had been destroyed during the Period of Destruction. Due to the innovation of technology in the New Era, people did not wish to spend money rebuilding those types of structures. Even if they had been built, in the 500 years that had followed, many had been torn down to make way for housing buildings due to the exploding population.
In the movie and television industry, all that was required to churn out a film was film, a room in a high-rise building, and a special effects team. Regardless of whether it was historical, modern, fantasy, or sci-fi, everything could be settled with special effects.
But for film projects with high standards and requirements, real sets were still favored. Zaro's company borrowing equipment and manpower from the military was one such example.
However, as there were no historical sites preserved, there were very few historical films. In the industry, the historic genre was the least common, and even those that were done with special effects had to reference films preserved from the Old Era.
Relying on just Fang Zhao and Woo Tianhao to build up a film studio complex in a short time was an arduous task. Not just due to construction—publicity and popularity were also two other important matters.
What was most important was to rope in more people.
"Fang Zhao, on your side, who can you rope in?" Woo Tianhao asked. After musing, he added, "You definitely have to rope in Zaro."
"I have already left Zaro a message. As for how many I can pull in, I can only try. After all, in the film and television circles, my connections are limited," Fang Zhao replied.
Woo Tianhao remembered that Fang Zhao was not an actor, so he could not pin too much hope on Fang Zhao .
"Can you still remain here for a few more days?" Woo Tianhao asked.
"Two to three days." As he was still undergoing military service, there was no way that Fang Zhao could have an extended stay here.
"You could talk to Huo Yi? He would surely let you stay for some time."
Fang Zhao shook his head. "After matters here are settled, when I have returned to planet Baiji to continue with my military service, I will continue to pay attention to things here in my spare time."
"All right, let's do our utmost and handle things separately." Woo Tianhao did not have much hope for Fang Zhao pulling in many people. As long as Fang Zhao could rope in Zaro, that would be enough. Woo Tianhao would rope in the others!
As it was getting late, everyone packed up their things and prepared to return. The tiger-eared monkey was also returned to the park district by the breeder.
After the party returned back to base, Fang Zhao and Woo Tianhao went to look for Huo Yi.
"Film studio complex?!"
When Huo Yi heard this news, he was startled and nearly dropped his canteen before shooting up from his chair.
He had only thought that Fang Zhao and Woo Tianhao wanted to purchase a plot of land and build a manor to have some fun. Never had he expected that they would make such a big play. However... he liked it!
Fang Zhao briefly shared the outlines of their plan. "If development goes smoothly, in the future, we can submit an application for a cultural film base or something similar."
"Cul-cultural film.... base?!"
Calling it a "cultural film base" succeeded in exciting Huo Yi. Having had no expectations, this sudden surprise jolted Huo Yi and made him feel giddy with excitement.
If this "cultural film base" was reported to the higher-ups and approved, did that mean that there would be monetary support? Or perhaps other political benefits?
The answer was definitely yes.
However, Huo Yi calmed down very quickly. He was still the commanding officer of a base and would not lose rationality over Fang Zhao's words. Sitting down again, he studied Fang Zhao and Woo Tianhao with a deep gaze. There was no longer any trace of excitement on his face. Instead, he had a serious expression. "You wish to construct a cultural film base with just the two of you?"
"There are others too," Woo Tianhao replied.
There was a little flash in Huo Yi's eyes as he stifled the excitement in his heart. "Who else?"
"It has not been confirmed yet. We are still contacting people."
A smile broke out on Huo Yi's face. He understood the two's intentions. "So your purpose for finding me is to request extended free communications for you two?"
"That's right. Of course, we still have to discuss the price of land," Woo Tianhao responded.
This time, Huo Yi was more expressive, waving his arms as he exclaimed, "The more land you want, the better the deal I will give you! It's up to you guys how much land you want."
Huo Yi did not have the final say. If the base was to sell a large plot of land, it still had to be reported to the top. But when it came to the cost, Huo Yi could influence the pricing to some extent.
After Fang Zhao and Woo Tianhao left, Huo Yi transferred over the selected land on the map and opened the file. His eyes were shining as he stared at the 3D view. That area was flat ground surrounded by a ring of mountains, and it seemed like the hull of a very large ship.
Whether this "large ship" could assume the mantle of a cultural film base and actually set sail, this depended on whether Fang Zhao and Woo Tianhao could rope in enough investors!
Recently, Zaro had been feeling very pleased. He had gotten addicted to live broadcasting. Every day, he exceeded the allocated live broadcast duration.
Kevin Lin had spoken about this to him before. Exceeding by a little bit was fine, as an expense report could be submitted, but exceeding that much every day was not right. If it was exceeded by too much, the column would not pay for the communications expenses.
But who was Zaro? He only wished to enjoy himself to his heart's content. So what if he had to pay for the costs of exceeding the allocated time. So be it. Does your daddy care about these little communications expenses? I'll pay for it myself!
Zaro's agent: D*mn, the money hasn't come in yet and there is still an overdraft.
Actually, Kevin Lin was not particularly bothered by the added expenses of exceeding the allocated time. He also knew that Zaro would not haggle over this. What he was worried about was Zaro's live broadcasts.
Recently, channel S5's comments section had become a little darker.
When Zaro had taken over the live broadcasts, viewership had increased, but the majority had just been here to join in on the action. Kevin Lin was worried that channel S5's older audiences would stop watching. Kevin Lin's worries were spot on. Indeed, a number of original viewers canceled their viewership, and others lambasted the channel.
Kevin Lin was really worried, and he discussed with his superiors about suitable countermeasures they could take. Zaro was a person that easily provoked others. Could they think of any ideas to help change the situation? However, people from the column did not bother about this. Provoking viewers was not a big deal—all that mattered was revenue.
With the increase in viewership of channel S5, naturally, there was more revenue from internet traffic and advertisements. It was only natural that the column would not switch Zaro out.
Kevin Lin was at a loss. He even sent a message to Fang Zhao saying that Fang Zhao had not been able to foresee that Zaro could not retain the channel's original audience. However, in the few days that followed, Kevin Lin received a face smacking.
Some audiences that had originally canceled their viewership had returned!
Zaro had one other nickname—netizens had given him the name "Deceptive Little Expert."
Because when Zaro was broadcasting live, many times, he roasted his father's tyrannical actions back when Zaro had still been undergoing his military service.
"No food for you if you don't complete your tasks. You get a beating if you make any mistakes. My body was beaten by such a thick rod, and I was beaten till my mother could not even recognize me. It ached so badly that I was unable to sleep at night. In the middle of the night, I was still called out to assemble. It was totally brutal!"
Zaro's dad's reputation for being ruthless to his own son quickly spread.
It was rumored that Zaro's dad was so teeming with rage that he wanted to personally come to planet Baiji and beat someone up.
Other than this, Zaro revealed some political information that had not been released. Online audiences realized that the roasting of his own dad was not a big deal compared to the information he leaked.
No one could find out which family member Zaro had gotten this information from, but if he spoke about it, the reliability of the information was high. Although Zaro loved to show off, he wouldn't go so far as to make up stories.
Yesterday, Zaro's loose lips had revealed that some people from certain financial firms would be out of luck. This morning, there had been an announcement that the bosses of certain financial institutions had been arrested.
It was said that Leizhou authorities had not meant to investigate so quickly, but Zaro had given it away too early, so action had been taken immediately. It was also rumored that, because of this incident, the Renault family and people close to Zaro had been called in for questioning and Leizhou's governor had thrown a fit.
Thus, many entertainment media outlets reported Zaro's matter—"Shocking! Leizhou's Famous Youth Reveals Fraudulent Activity during Live Broadcast."
Netizens watched the broadcasts with glee. Now, not only could they watch planet Baiji's developments, there was also humor. Perhaps they might even catch Zaro letting slip some political news that had not yet been announced.
Many viewers left a note on their own notification settings for channel S5 so that the notification that sounded every time live broadcasts were about to start was changed to: "The deceptive little expert that you follow is about to come online."
Fang Zhao also knew about all this, but he reckoned that reality was not quite how netizens described it. Even Woo Tianhao sneered at this when he found out.
Would the Renault family really let Zaro in on matters that were really supposed to be kept secret? Was the governor such a person? Did he not know what Zaro was like?
The entire household was putting on a play. They were just acting in tandem—and they were using Zaro's live broadcasts to go about it. It was just to ease the tension and let people have some mental preparation for any decrees that would be put into effect.
Even Zaro himself knew clearly which information he could announce to the public. If Zaro was really the sort that was unable to differentiate good from bad, there was no way he could have been showered with such favoritism by the Leizhou governor.
Of course, netizens did not know this. Even if there were people who analyzed and pointed it out, nobody really cared. Most people were just watching the live broadcasts for entertainment. Other than that, people did not really bother about the truth and had no intention of getting to the bottom of these matters.
The following day, Zaro was broadcasting in a wheat field.
This was an extended field on planet Baiji.
"Ahh, what fine weather. The air is crisp and refreshing. Today, I will be talking about steam buns. How are steam buns made? For that, we would have to begin with flour. And how is flour made? We would have to start from wheat..."
Zaro spoke as though he was a person who had obtained exclusive cheat codes for a game.
In the New Era, there were very few people that made steam buns and other pastries in their own homes. There was very little consumption for these as well. Even if people ate steam buns, shopping online for quick-freeze or compressed food was very convenient and saved time and effort. Thus, when Zaro mentioned this topic, there were still a lot of people that were interested.
And many older audiences just loved watching Zaro's manner as he talked about such things with vigor and an uncomparable swagger.
Zaro walked through the wheat field as he recounted the stories he had heard from other people, then gazed at the expansive field full of wheat in front of him and lamented, "Planet Baiji's wheat field is really big, even bigger than the largest wheat field I ever saw in Muzhou! We also have wheat fields in Leizhou, close to the Scarlet Crescent port. However, soon, the Scarlet port will have constru... Oh, I can't talk about this. Let's go back to talking about how to make steam buns..."
Online audiences: No, don't! Finish what you wanted to say about construction at Scarlet Crescent Harbor! Don't you know that people that stop a story midway will be beaten?!
Zaro did not care how others judged him, nor did he care how audiences living near Scarlet Crescent Port would be scratching their cheeks in frustration. Immediately after the live broadcast ended, Zaro rushed to check the message Fang Zhao had sent him.
"Purchase land? Film studio complex? This sounds fun!"
Further viewing the comprehensive map of the area, Zaro's eyes glowed as he pondered a little. There, he could build anything he wanted to. That was totally a heaven for pretentious beings like himself!
The more he looked at it, the more he was tempted. Zaro pointed at a few of the tallest mountains in the map. "This one, this one, this one, and the land here, I will take it all!"
Zaro's agent: "..." Are you an idiot?