Everyone wished to know why these few entertainment companies had joined hands and when it had started, but no matter how much people dug, they could not find any concrete information. It seemed as if these companies had come together all of a sudden.
A few entertainment reporters had gotten wind of Silver Wing's plans to film the new drama and even gone to the coastal city where Silver Wing had been constructing the set. In the end, when the information was released, they felt as if Silver Wing had made a fool out of them!
Watching various casts and crews releasing photos and information every day to tantalize people's appetites, all entertainment reporters could do was scratch their cheeks in frustration.
Renowned paparazzi from every continent were specifically targeted by netizens for abuse.
"What are the paparazzi kings from every continent even doing!"
"Nothing but a bunch of trash!"
"Stop fooling us with trivial matters from other drama series! What we really want to know are things concerning planet Wai. Whatever drama series, be it 'Beauties,' 'Mountain of Immortals,' 'Vampire Duke,' or 'Cinderella,' any of them is fine. Our expectations are not high, just a few shots of those celebrities every day will do!"
Entertainment reporters viewing these comments could only feel bitter.
This is called not having high expectations?! If I could snap such a photograph, would I still have to be here doing this?
Silver Wing and the other entertainment companies had a complete grasp of all information now. Unless they chose to release information, nobody would be able to dig anything up.
Was protecting themselves against these reporters the reason they had chosen to film on another planet?
Treacherous, how sinister!!
"We can't allow this to go on!" a middle-aged reporter cried out helplessly as he browsed the discussions online. All they could do was wait for information from planet Wai to reach them.
"What can we even do? It's not like we have a spacecraft to fly across the cosmos in," a young entertainment reporter said as he lay down on a chair.
"Maybe we can try sneaking on board a transport ship headed to planet Wai."
"Like a stowaway?"
"My *ss! Are you tired of living? And being a stowaway, do you think the guns being wielded by those soldiers are toys?"
"So your meaning is?"
"Scout out what other drama's production team is headed to planet Wai and infiltrate the crew. After that, follow the crew over to planet Wai."
"That is the only way."
Wang Tie, considered by many the paparazzi king of Yanzhou, groaned as he saw the online abuse calling him "trash." Very well, You people have gotten my blood racing!
Isn't it just planet Wai? He would always find a means of getting there.
He only feared Fang Zhao. Nobody else could make him afraid, and now that Fang Zhao was undergoing military service on planet Baiji, Wang Tie did not have to be worried about encountering him.
Each and every continent's paparazzi king was competing with the others. Now, using this matter as an excuse, they could prove who among them was the king among paparazzi kings!
Without having to worry about entertainment reporters on Earth, celebrities in Wai's film studio complex could film in peace. During their free time, they could even play to their heart's content without worrying about having their photograph taken.
Only celebrities without much reputation wished to stir up news. Most of the celebrities that had come over did not need to self-hype. As long as filming was completed, their respective companies would help them stir up their popularity. All they needed to do was go about their filming conscientiously.
After yet another scene was shot, the cast members had a short rest period.
Ji Polun sat aside summarizing his inadequacies. No wonder He Lisi was a first-rate Yanzhou superstar. With just an action of lowering his eyebrows, he could make other people feel anxious. Just now, Ji Polun's trembling had been a natural reaction, not him acting.
He still had to work hard; otherwise, he would only have the life of a supporting character. Moreover, he did not want to continue acting as a eunuch for future roles.
However, following beside a first-rate superstar still had its perks. He Lisi had divulged some information to him.
"Beauties" was a project their big boss had personally decided on, and their standards were high. Duan Qianji might seem rather mild normally, but that was on the basis that she was satisfied. If anyone displeased her, she would make sure that person did not have an easy time. Therefore, regardless of whether any celebrities had any conflicts or grievances normally, when it came to filming, all such things were set aside—otherwise they would be out of luck.
Everyone had assumed that "Beauties" was a project the big boss had planned for a long time and regarded as very important, but according to the information He Lisi had revealed to Ji Polun, this imperial palace drama was just testing the waters. If it was successful, there would be an even larger project to come. It would be a period piece as well, but on a larger scale and about a monarchy and a power struggle.
Whether Ji Polun could get into the cast for the next project would be up to his own ability. If he didn't act well this round, by the time the next project came along, he might have to pack his bags and leave.
Of course, Ji Polun did not want to leave. Taking part in the company's large film project here naturally brought about lots of benefits. Another reason was that, at this film studio complex, besides Yanzhou's Silver Wing, there were other film companies and production teams from other continents. Getting to know more people was always useful—who knows, it might help him achieve global popularity that much faster.
Thinking back to the stone tablet beside the palace gates, Ji Polun sighed in his heart. Fang Zhao was really remarkable. Nobody knew what role Fang Zhao had had in this matter; all they knew was that Fang Zhao had participated in the investment of this film studio complex and was part of the design team. Those from other continents seemed to have connections with Fang Zhao. Someone from the production team had said that when he had heard Tongzhou's Woo Tianhao and Leizhou's Senior Master Zaro talking, Fang Zhao had been mentioned.
In the future, I have to stop by the virtual projects department more often , Ji Polun thought to himself.
Woo Tianhao watched the image captured by the camera. He was wearing a flowing snow-white chang pao and clutching a jade-handled fan. Elegant and graceful, the image portrayed a confident and handsome youth!
"Handsome!" Woo Tianhao exclaimed as he stroke the long wig he was wearing, hinting to special dispatched reporter Tucker to begin.
When the indicator lights of the live broadcast turned on, Woo Tianhao chose the angle he had meticulously picked out and put on an expression he thought made him look coolest. At the moment the live broadcast started, he made a half turn and opened the fan with a swish. With a graceful smile, he faced the camera. "Woo Tianhao, Mountain of Immortals."
Tucker's cheeks twitched as he operated the camera. So freaking pretentious!
However, Woo Tianhao's fans were lapping it all up, as S4's comments section had gone into a frantic whirlwind of discussion.
Who cared about how excited Woo Tianhao's fans were? People who had other purposes for viewing this channel had their attention on something else.
"Does that mean he is acting in 'Mountain of Immortals'?"
"Is he starting to publicize it?"
"I just want to see what's going on at planet Wai and why they are so secretive about it."
Woo Tianhao simply did not care about what others were thinking. He just wanted to show off first at the start of the live broadcast. After showing off, he continued, "I know that everyone wishes to ask about the happenings on planet Wai and wishes to see the surroundings. However, I'm sorry to say that, for the time being, I won't be able to answer all your queries. The best I can do is to show you around my dojo."
Any news regarding the filming of "Beauties," which had already started, could only be released by Silver Wing. This was something Duan Qianji had specifically discussed with him.
He was not from Yanzhou and did not have to give Duan Qianji face. However, he needed to comply to the development agreement of the film studio complex. Not just Silver Wing, all other parties had the same opinion. Any information was to be released by the party themselves, not from any other sources. If anyone wished to release information through the live broadcast, they would naturally look for Woo Tianhao and discuss a collaboration. If not, Woo Tianhao would keep his lips tight. He also had to pay special attention to what the camera was filming so as to not accidentally reveal stuff.
Anyone who broke the agreement would be kicked out of the film studio complex. This had been clearly stated even before the agreement had been signed.
Even his own uncle's constructions had not been shown. The real sets of "Mountain of Immortals," with temples with red pillars, green tiles, and eaves, was still under construction. His uncle had said that they still needed an air of secrecy, so Woo Tianhao had not filmed anything.
Viewers were slightly disappointed, but even if they could not see other areas, they could still get to see the "dojo" Woo Tianhao was talking about. All the viewers of channel S4 were still very curious about this.
"Oh, he built a dojo on planet Wai?"
"Is it that sort of place where people in the Old Era gathered to practice martial arts?"
"Is it also for filming?"
"Hurry, hurry, hurry, let us see what Tianhao's dojo looks like!"
Following that, as all the viewers were eagerly anticipating what was to come, Woo Tianhao showed them the foundations of a building.
The audience: "..."
On the contrary, Woo Tianhao was in high spirits. "Here is where the first dojo will be. Construction starts today. Following this, every day, we will get to see the changes and watch as the dojo comes to life!" Woo Tianhao brought the audience around to admire the foundations of the dojo before saying, "I know that many people are disappointed, but I have a surprise for everyone today."
Viewers that were preparing to change channels widened their eyes momentarily and stared at the screen without blinking as they waited for the surprise Woo Tianhao had mentioned. Could it be a special appearance by a celebrity, or perhaps it was some other special construction?
As they thought about it, the viewers' anticipation gradually built up once more.
At the moment of unbearable tension, a ghastly white face with sharp fangs dripping with fresh blood and dark circles around its bloodshot eyes suddenly appeared and covered the entire screen. "Arrghhh!"
Online audience: "..."
"I was having my meal, and now all my food is on the floor!"
"F*ck! This! Sh*t! Your daddy was lying in bed watching the live broadcast. I was startled by it and knocked my head when I jumped out of bed!"
"It is late over here where we are at. Now I'm totally awake."
"Who is this idiot!"
"Speaking of idiots, I just remembered a person."
In the live broadcast, that face that covered the entire screen backed away with a weird cackling laughter. As he wiped away the "blood" from his mouth, he said, "Greetings, everyone, it is I, the vampire duke Zaro. Are you surprised, are you glad? Hahahaha! What you just saw was my berserk mode—I bet you were all frightened!"
Online audiences: "..."
"Indeed, it is him. The moment I heard that Wireless media was investing there, I just knew he would go over."
"I watched this sort of rubbish on channel S5, so I switched to S4. Why do I still see him?"
Although viewers had been startled by Zaro's frightful disguise, they were still very curious. Zaro even brought them to take a look at his first castle and show off a great deal.
In the days that followed, every day, channel S4's live broadcast revealed some photographs and videos that each film company wanted to release.
On a certain day, all the casts and crews that had arrived on planet Wai gathered for a group photo. The location tagged in the photograph was "Wai Film Studio Complex."
"Wai Film Studio Complex?"
"Planet Wai actually built a film studio complex?"
"This sounds really impressive. A film studio complex, eh? The few companies from Yanzhou, Tongzhou, Leizhou, Lazhou are all filming there, so the quality there must be really high!"
Teams from the companies involved had also made arrangements to jointly hype it up and publicize the Wai Film Studio Complex. Through the joint publicity campaigns, netizens had started to feel that, unless filming was done on planet Wai, it would not be considered a large investment.
The Wai Film Studio Complex had made its mark. Especially in the film and television circles, it could be considered to be known by everyone.
In photos released from the film studio complex, ancient constructs that had only appeared in history books had reappeared at full scale on planet Wai!
It was not just one building or one street. Instead, it was extensive, and there were buildings from many different periods in time. Unique ancient architecture from every single continent, covering a wide range of different styles, communities, and methods had appeared before the people of the New Era!
Flavors of civilization, culture, and history!
Not just those actors, even the masses wished to go over and see it for themselves. Many historical researchers also decided that they would make plans for a trip to planet Wai.
This also became a criteria for fans when it came to considering a movie.
Shooting a period drama and not heading to the Wai Film Studio Complex for filming? In that case, was the finished product watchable? Surely the quality would be about the same as those low-cost productions of the past!
Too large an investment? No way! Could a heavily invested firm not head to the Wai Film Studio Complex?
Upon knowing the thoughts of the fans, many entertainment companies also started having their own ideas.
Ones that wished to invest in planet Wai started inquiring through contacts about purchasing land from the Wai base and participating in the film studio complex project.
Those wanting to invest in planet Wai were largely film entertainment companies or hotel and restaurant chains.
Naturally, Huo Yi had given very preferential rates to the first batch of investors, but for those that came after, he was no longer so kind. Since the reputation had already been built up and the planet's popularity was being stirred up, parties wishing to invest here would still enjoy some preferential treatment, but it would not be on the same level as what the first batch had received, and the land would be more expensive.
In the future, as planet Wai's popularity rose even more, those wishing to invest in planet Wai would receive poorer rates the later they came. This was something everyone understood.
Entertainment companies that had abundant resources contacted Wai base straightaway to purchase land and start their own constructions!
But entertainment companies that had various reasons for not purchasing land—such as the high investment risk, long construction periods, or troublesome planning phase—felt that it would be more convenient to rent those sets.
Now that period dramas that touched on ancient history were all the rage, they also decided to ride the winds and engage in their own small-scale period dramas. When it came to filming, they would head to the film studio complex and rent a few suitable sets for filming. Over at the film studio complex, regardless of the location, rent would be calculated daily. Although the rent was not low, it had a much lower risk compared to investing.
Some smaller companies and private teams felt that filming between 10 days to half a month was all right. The main motive was to borrow the hype of the Wai Film Studio Complex. On a whole, it seemed rather cost effective.
There were parties who said they would be heading over for filming, but in fact, they were just visiting the place. No sets would be rented and they would just spent a few nights at the hotel and take a few photos to stir up news about themselves. After all, fans would not know whether they were really renting any sets for filming.
Actually, lots of parties had the funds to rent sets in the film studio complex, but they just could not get a spot!
How many entertainment companies across the twelve continents had the same idea of renting sets? There was a limit to area in the film studio complex. Even just renting a tavern required taking a queue.
At Planet Baiji.
Fang Zhao finished reading the latest financial reports sent over from planet Wai and continued to make amendments to the design plans.
Construction of the palace was a collective effort by the design team. Such a large palace was not just an exact replica on the outside. The palace court, inner rooms, surroundings, roof sculptures, materials, and many other details, right down to a pot of bonsai, had gone through meticulous planning.
Every single brick was being made with technology from the New Era. Although it might seem very similar to those from the Old Era, they were much more durable. After all, the materials used for construction could not be exactly the same. For people of the New Era, those Old Era constructions were way too weak. The bosses did not wish for the constructions they had so painstakingly strived to build getting ruined after only a few series were filmed either.
Now, Fang Zhao was in the midst of drawing up the plans of the street and official residence. Displayed on a screen beside him were all sort of materials and resources. These resources assisted him as he tried to recall the images buried deep in the recesses of his memory.
Fang Zhao was different from other historians of the New Era because his views and angles on these matters were different from those of others. He could view things from the angle of a person from the Old Era, while historians in the New Era would miss certain things.
"Construction on planet Wai hasn't been completed yet?" Kevin Lin asked as he dropped by.
They had already moved into their new single rooms, which were much more comfortable. Kevin Lin had gotten excited from browsing through the news and did not feel like sleeping, so he had come over to chat with Fang Zhao about the progress of the Wai Film Studio Complex.
"Soon. There is still one more street; after that is done, everything will be complete." Fang Zhao put down his pen and looked at Kevin Lin. "What news did you receive this time?"
"Heh, internal news. I heard that planet Wai has submitted an application for a film entertainment cultural base, but I have no idea whether it will be approved. However, if it is approved, those constructions that you people have invested in will no doubt appreciate in value."