S4 saw a rise in viewership, but S5 remained pretty much the same. Viewership did not drop by much as there were still many interesting events occurring on planet Baiji and a lot of news.
Every time Fang Zhao followed people from the outpost team to assist with construction, some thrilling or exciting scene was captured—the weird creatures and plants of planet Baiji that could be both dangerous and violent.
Also, sometimes Fang Zhao followed the outpost team and completed more dangerous tasks that were not convenient for Kevin Lin to follow. Thus, in these cases, Kevin Lin headed to the military district and did some interviews to help the masses understand the thoughts of the pioneer immigrants. This aroused the curiosity of the many viewers as well.
The pioneer immigrants did not have as easy a time as others imagined. When they arrived here, they needed to adapt to all sorts of things. Physical acclimatization was still considered light—the main issue was psychological acclimatization. Fortunately, there were professional psychologists in the military district.
The masses learned about all these through Kevin Lin's live broadcasts and video interviews.
Kevin Lin also interviewed Great-Grandfather and Great-Grandmother Fang. Probably due to them having similar experiences before, the two elders had not had many problems adapting after arriving at the military district. The people here were warm, friendly, and treated them well. As they loved the environment, the two elders would wait till Fang Zhao was discharged from the military next year before leaving together with him.
Shanta allowed Kevin Lin to have more interviews with the two Fang elders. This was good publicity for planet Baiji's immigration plan and told people that, among immigrants that came over, while there were some that did not adapt well, there were also others that adapted superbly.
Now, network fees were slowly dropping as the communications network structure was upgraded more and more. People who had been unable to adapt at the start no longer had such intense reactions.
Entertainment allowed people to divert their attention elsewhere. "Beauties" had already started airing with two episodes per day. Technological advancements had greatly shortened the time required for postproduction. As long as filming was smooth, each episode could be churned out quickly. There were special effects, but they were all supplementary, unlike those older period dramas in which, besides the cast, everything else was made from special effects. Some companies did not even have physical casts and used virtual idols instead.
The drama series that Zaro had reckoned would be awful quickly became the hottest show on all the large internet video websites after it started airing. A large majority of viewers were females. Many people from the military district here also loved watching it, and immigrants gathered together to watch it and save on network expenses.
After "Beauties," other drama series, including "Vampire Duke," Mountain of Immortals," and "Cinderella," began rolling out.
Although Zaro might normally have seemed unreliable, this time, he had been triggered, and his acting had improved a lot. Leizhou's audiences were all discussing what had caused such a big change in Zaro.
Zaro's agent felt gratified when he saw the amount of clicks on the internet. Bringing Zaro to watch Woo Tianhao film had had its upsides and had provoked Zaro into being slightly more serious when it came to acting. Why was it that Zaro's performance this time seemed especially good?
Because he had few lines!
If Zaro wanted to portray nobility, he could really do so. After all, he had been born into the Renault family and knew what it was like to be an aristocrat. If he was serious, he could really scare people—the only prerequisite was that he not speak. When this b*stard opened his mouth, people would just feel like hitting him.
During a discussion with the script writer, to obtain even better results, Zaro's agent had insisted that Zaro's original lines be cut by 70%!
"Vampire Duke" was popular among many youngsters. Ornamental silver crosses like the one that appeared in the series were best sellers. Even garlic saw a rise in price. In addition, household items that appeared in the series with special characteristics, along with that especially pretentious black cape, were selling like hotcakes.
Taking into account advertising fees, copyright fees, endorsements, and other sources of revenue, these drama series profited quite a lot. The money spent on purchasing land and constructing the castle was all recouped.
The other drama series all had similar circumstances, and all the companies involved were very satisfied.
Now, among very popular drama series, nine out of 10 series were shot at the Wai film studio complex. There were fairy-tale romances, action thrillers, medieval fighting movies, movies about court power struggles, supernatural horror flicks set in ancient times, and slapstick comedies. There were films that adults loved to watch and films suitable for children. Having watched lots of interstellar conflicts, superheroes vs. monsters, and explosive flicks, watching these films and dramas set in ancient times was a novelty for everyone.
The popularity of these few drama series gave rise to a new wave of historical fads. Filming outdoors on planet Wai was also convenient. If it were to switch to planet Baiji, if a group headed into the forests without a military squad for protection, nobody could say for certain whether anyone would return alive.
Presently, Silver Wing was also filming another drama on Wai, "Warring States," which was set in ancient times and was about a power struggle. Many new constructions were added for the filming of this next series.
Some Yanzhou celebrities that had opened their owned studies made connections with Silver Wing and came over to planet Wai for filming. Earnings were secondary; these people came with other motives. First, they wished to know what the Wai film studio complex was like, and second, with so many production teams here, there were actors, directors, and investment firms from continents across the entire world. Getting to know more people could help pave a few more roads in future.
Many people seemed to soar in Yanzhou, but when put on the global stage, they were nothing more than infants learning to talk. Yanzhou alone was too small. Any actor or actress with ambition aimed to develop themselves on the global stage, and Wai film studio complex gave them such an opportunity.
As Wai film studio complex was more or less fully developed and was being hyped up in the news, Wai base's commanding officer, Huo Yi, submitted an application for a film entertainment cultural base.
At the start, Huo Yi had been rather apprehensive. After all, previous applications to be a major research base had been rejected multiple times. Now that he was applying to be a film entertainment cultural base, he had expectations, but he also made mental preparations for rejection.
However, when he received the results and saw the words "application approved," Huo Yi's hands trembled and he wanted to scream, but he restrained himself from doing so. Suppressing the billowing ecstacy in his heart, Huo Yi sat in his own office the whole afternoon and carefully considered many things. However, when he returned to his senses, he realized he had not come up with anything.
On the same day, Huo Yi, informed every investor that the Wai film studio complex had officially been named "Wai Film Entertainment Cultural Base"!
When a few companies and superstars posted new statuses on their social platforms, the tagged location had already changed to "Wai Film Entertainment Cultural Base."
Film studio complex and film entertainment cultural base. It was obvious from the names which of the two was of a higher level. Since approval had already been obtained, the original film studio complex would surely continue to expand, and development and would not be limited to the extent it was now.
Planet Wai could not be like planet Baiji and bank on having high-grade power ore to develop the planet. Wai had to take its own special path, so Huo Yi decided to build up the major research base and film entertainment cultural base. There was no need to compete with planet Baiji—all that was needed was to compete with other planets that were of similar levels.
The film entertainment cultural base being approved let a lot more people know about planet Wai. In the past, even though there had been the influence of Project Starlight, not many people had understood planet Wai. Now, with the rebuilding of those ancient historical structures, a lot more people were learning of planet Wai.
When investors that had adopted a wait-and-see approach saw this piece of news, a portion of them immediately made their choice, but the remainder continued to hesitate till Wai base had yet another announcement. Wai Major Research Base had been approved.
After the film entertainment cultural base had been approved, Huo Yi had clenched his teeth once more and submitted the application for a major research base. From an economics point of view, there were many examples. For example, during the filming for the film Silver Wing had invested in, "Beauties," many of the plants within the palace had been transplanted from the experimental plots. Furthermore, with the extreme popularity of this series, a few of the bonsai plants featured inside had become highly sought after.
Through these means, plants from the experimental plot had publicized their existence. This was something that had been discussed between Silver Wing and the relevant researchers.
A few large wholesale vendors of the flowers and plants market had contacted planet Wai to place an order for a batch of these goods.
With popularity and economic value, the probability of it being approved had been much higher, but even so, when Huo Yi had received the results, he had not been able to control himself as tears flooded his eyes.
A dual-function base!
When the extent of the film entertainment cultural base and major research base got even bigger, Wai base would surely be expanded. Wai base would still be a far cry from Baiji military district when it came to power, benefits, and development rate, but it would still be much stronger than before!
After the major research base was approved, the "Ark plan" experiment was going to continue, and crops with high economic value were going to be resurrected from the stored seeds. As long as there was interest to provide the impetus, there would be sufficient plants for this research.
In the past, whenever investors had heard about the plan to head for planet Wai, the first thought that had come to their minds was this: Cough. Don't even think about tricking me into investing there!
Now, although planet Wai was continuing to seek out investors, the rates were no longer as favorable as before. The prices of land here had increased many times over, and there were restrictions from other ends as well.
For people paying attention to Project Starlight, they could not help but think about this. Among the five channels, first it was S5 that had triggered a planetary reform of sorts. Next the planet S4 had been become a dual-function base. Viewers couldn't help but wonder whether the remaining three channels could come up with any more big news.
The people that had proposed Project Starlight were now beaming with pride. Hasn't it already changed the fates of two planets?
On Planet Baiji. Fang Zhao read through yet another weekly financial report. In the past few weeks, both revenue and expenses had been rising, but on the whole, the financial situation was good.
Now, more and more people were heading to Wai's film entertainment cultural base for filming. Some only rented small sets—for example, a tavern and two shops.
Kevin Lin browsed through the news and lamented, "Now everyone knows the two must-sees on planet Wai. The first is the film entertainment cultural base, to admire every continent's ancient structures and styles and have a time-transcending experience, and the other is the major research base's peach garden. I heard that the best time for admiring the peach blossoms is over. Next year, when the garden is flowering, I shall head over for a look."
As he looked at planet Wai's sceneries and remembered the conditions on planet Baiji, Kevin Lin felt that if planet Baiji had not discovered high-grade power ore, its position on the development sequence would have continued to slide down as time passed by, not because its landscape was no good but because Baiji was just too dangerous.
"The Wai Film Entertainment Culture Base has so many celebrities. Perhaps one might even run into a few superstars when having a meal there. I really wish to go for a visit. Special dispatched reporters should have clearance, right? We aren't entertainment reporters, after all." Kevin Lin searched the web but did not find any definite regulations. All he found out was that there had been an increase in spaceflights to planet Wai. Besides transport ships, there were also other spacecrafts, but anyone heading there was required to go through a thorough inspection, and the number of troops garrisoned on planet Wai had been increased.
"If your company helps you apply for it, the probability will be even higher. If you apply as an individual, that side might not necessarily permit you on board," Fang Zhao replied.
Kevin Lin muttered a few lines to himself. Then, as if remembering something, he suddenly asked, "Hey, Fang Zhao, you will surely head over often after your military service, right? Moreover, your company has a leading piece of land over at the film entertainment cultural base? You also invested in it as well. Perhaps you can even have a small role in a certain drama just for fun. Nowadays, celebrities with some reputation are invited to cameo in films, just like that shooting champion from Mazhou, Ma Xier. He had also starred as a sniper hitman in a film. Having these sorts of small roles can raise your popularity."
For what Kevin Lin saw, Fang Zhao getting a cameo or two, showing his face, and satisfying some cravings was good enough, There was no way he could have any important supporting roles, let alone play a lead character.
Fang Zhao laughed but did not say anything more. His communications device was ringing.
Fang Zhao was astonished when he answered. "Denzel?"
"Fang Zhao, have you returned to the outpost?"
Denzel looked skinnier than the last time they had talked and did not seem to be in good shape, as if he had not slept in a long time.
"I'm back already, what's up?" Fang Zhao asked.
"Could you help me contact planet Wai? I wish to rent a body of water at the pole of planet Wai. All the paperwork and cultivation qualifications are all complete. If not for the fact that the bodies of water at the poles of Earth are not permitted for private leasing, I would have already successfully cultivated here."
Denzel had heard from the researchers on planet Wai about Fang Zhao visiting planet Wai. Although he might have already left the Academy of Science, he still had contacts and could find out this information rather easily.
The bodies of water at the polar regions were no longer available for lease. Denzel had prepared all the required documents and resources only to be told that they were no longer available. Denzel was awfully anxious right now and had contacted many people for help, and he had found out from a few ex-classmates at the Academy of Science that the bodies of water of the polar regions on planet Wai were close to those of Earth's. But now, planet Wai's checks were really stringent, and they could not help him. But they mentioned that perhaps Fang Zhao could have a word with Huo Yi.
Now, Huo Yi was full of confidence and could put on airs. Planet Wai was no longer short of research projects, and the major research base had already been approved, so there was no need to let other research projects in. For these sorts of applications that requested claiming a body of water, Huo Yi just browsed through and deleted them.
Many people were watching planet Wai, and Huo Yi was not willing to make any mistakes, so he would rather not accept any new incoming research projects. Now that a major research base was being developed, it would all get smoother in future. He could not afford to damage their bright future.
There was no need him to personally vet through the applications anymore, as he had a professional team in charge of reviewing potential investors. All Huo Yi needed was to just have a brief understanding.
Therefore, Denzel had contacted Fan Lin and received word on the timing of Fang Zhao's duties in the outpost. After Fang Zhao had completed his duties for the day and returned to his room, Denzel had contacted him right away.
"If it is successful, I can give you a 30% discount for feed purchased from me. No, 50%! As long as you are willing to help, 50% off for feed, is this all right with you? That hybrid sea slug eats a lot, I can't give the feed to you for free, but 50% off is already the best price." Denzel continued on, "I don't require anything much, just so long as you just mention a word to Huo Yi."
Fang Zhao did not give a reply straightaway but instead asked, "Are you just cultivating krill? Let me take a look at the electronic file."
Denzel sent Fang Zhao a large file right away. The required files had long been prepared. If not for the fact that Earth's bodies of water were not for lease, he would not have needed to come running to Fang Zhao.
Denzel was also feeling sullen. Originally, when he had found out about Fang Zhao's dog that was worth 100 million, he had decided to sell the feed to Fang Zhao at a premium. Unfortunately, before he had even been able to put the plan into action, he'd had to come looking for Fang Zhao again. Not only could he not sell it at a high price, he needed to give a discount.
Fang Zhao briefly browsed through the file and nodded. "I will ask first and inform you immediately if there is news."
After ending the call, Fang Zhao went through the electronic file carefully. Denzel had already filed for patents for the technological procedures mentioned in the file and so was not afraid of it being stolen. Otherwise, Denzel would also not having been willing to hand over the file just like that.
After reading through it, Fang Zhao brought up a map of planet Wai that Huo Yi had given him. The map was not complete, but it displayed the areas that could be purchased.
After viewing the polar region's bodies of water, Fang Zhao spun the map around before suddenly stopping. He had spotted a place on the edges of a desert. He looked at the climate data displayed for that area. There, the relative humidity was low and there was little life. It was one of the few areas on planet Wai that seemed to have an aura of death.