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    Chapter 52: A Bittersweet Visit to the Set

    At the Jiangzhou Film Base, on the set of "Psychic Surge," Li Xiuyun had only two more scenes to reshoot.

    In the first scene, Li Xiuyun breaks free from Su Yang's subconscious depths. Her residual consciousness awakens, and in her final moments, she leaves behind a smile of contentment on her face.

    All that she desired was fulfilled within Su Yang's subconscious. Her remaining regrets would accompany her into her next life.

    Goodbye, Brother Su.

    Li Xiuyun's gaze shifts from blissful fulfillment to regretful farewell, slowly moving towards the door as if looking at Su Yang's shadow.

    In post-production, an illusionary figure of Su Yang will be added entering from outside the door.

    Her eyes gradually lose focus, and her heavy lids slowly close. Unlike a normal person, her limp body doesn't relax suddenly; instead, she appears to be sleeping peacefully, as she usually would.

    The lingering smile on her lips and the emptiness in her eyes convey to the audience that Li Xiuyun has completed her journey in life.

    In this scene, Tang Fei's performance goes beyond emotional intensity with refined eye acting skills. The gradual fading of her eyes is portrayed with meticulous detail. When her eyes finally close, it's as if Li Xiuyun's life has been extinguished, like a candle in the room being blown out, leaving behind a trail of smoke.

    The intricacy of Li Xiuyun's life and death, compounded by her paralysis, relied entirely on the expressions on her face, making it one of the challenging scenes to portray in her character's arc.

    Tang Fei's portrayal was exceptionally accomplished. When Xu Jianguo was sketching out the storyboard, he wondered if any young female actor could effectively deliver in this particular scene.

    He prepared himself for multiple takes and hands-on guidance, but to his surprise, Tang Fei needed only one explanation, and she nailed it in one shot.

    In this sequence, Tang Fei's sorrow and joy were like paintings, her every frown and smile akin to poetry. The visuals were enchanting, and the emotions conveyed were spot on.

    Beauty lies not just in the flesh or bones but also in the spirit, in those indescribable nuances.

    Tang Fei possessed both outer beauty and inner strength, already marking her as someone chosen by fate. Now, with her divine aura gradually maturing and her acting skills continuously improving, she was ascending to new heights.

    Xu Jianguo believed that the other actresses of Tang Fei's generation were in for a tough time, having to compete with such a prodigy in their midst.

    Within the short span of ten shooting days, she seemed to ascend a step each day, consistently delivering surprises with her evident progress.

    Perhaps, this was what it meant to be a genius – a previously hidden talent now ready to shine brightly in her own right.

    Xu Jianguo turned to see the behind-the-scenes team behind him. He nodded at the camera and said, "See that person lying there? They're destined for greatness in the future."

    "The director, can you share more?" The behind-the-scenes cameraman seized the opportunity to draw out more from Xu Jianguo.

    "Tell us more. Tang Fei's progress is incredible. When directing her, you can tell she's eager to learn, absorbs knowledge quickly, and applies it creatively. She's willing to endure hardships and accept praise gracefully. It's truly commendable. Actors like her are rare. If she keeps this up, she'll definitely achieve great success."

    Xu Jianguo continued chatting seriously with the behind-the-scenes team without calling 'cut'. The crew around them, however, understood that the scene was finished and began packing up the equipment, adjusting lighting, and repositioning the cameras.

    "Anything else, Director Xu? That was nice to hear, I'd love to hear more." The cameraman playfully jiggled the camera.

    "No, no, if I keep going, I'll offend someone. You'll have to wait five years and see," Xu Jianguo changed the topic, now engrossed in conversation.

    Tang Fei tilted her head and closed her eyes, waiting patiently for over ten minutes. Her breaths were so light that one could barely notice her chest rising and falling. Still, no 'cut' from the director, but the sounds of the crew packing up grew louder.

    Peeking through a narrow slit with her eyes, she saw the staff communicating with hand signals and moving cautiously around her. The director and the behind-the-scenes team were engrossed in their discussion, almost as if they had conspired to leave her hanging.

    "Director... How much longer do I have to stay dead?"

    The moment Tang Fei spoke, everyone around her burst into laughter. "Hahaha!"

    "Dull Xiuyun."

    "I thought Teacher Tang had fallen asleep, and you didn't have the heart to wake her up."

    "Hahaha, you're even more hilarious!"

    They had been holding back their laughter for a while, and they finally burst out laughing. Guan Liu was preparing for his next scene with Tang Fei, and the makeup artist was touching up his makeup. He couldn't hold it in and started shaking.

    "Mr. Guan, please don't move, your eyebrow is going crooked," the makeup artist said, her own hands trembling from laughter.

    "I'm sorry, I couldn't help it." Guan Liu pinched himself and noticed the makeup artist's hand quivering like an ECG. "Teacher, please steady yourself, don't draw me a wavy eyebrow that looks like waves."

    ...

    Xu Jianguo pretended to have finally noticed Tang Fei's shout. He laughed and called out "cut," then took a large red envelope from his assistant and walked over to Tang Fei. "Little Tang, in the next scene, you'll have to lie in a coffin. Are you scared?"

    "Director, can I ask for more if I'm scared?" Tang Fei smiled, showing eight pearly whites as she accepted the envelope.

    "Nope," Xu Jianguo shook his head.

    "No way, then there's nothing to be afraid of." Tang Fei tucked away the red envelope. "It's broad daylight with so many people around."

    "Great, as long as you're brave. Get ready then. Let's wrap up early and I'll host a small farewell feast for you." As Xu Jianguo finished speaking, the crew members around them paused their work.

    "Woah, the director is splurging!" The chorus of encouragement rose and fell, instantly heating up the atmosphere on set like a boiling pot.

    "Take the night off, drink to your heart's content!" Xu Jianguo waved his hand grandly. He held Tang Fei in high regard and was boosting her status in the industry. Talents like Tang Fei were the foundation for the entertainment circle to keep improving from generation to generation.

    "Long live the director!"

    Everyone worked with renewed vigor, eager to finish shooting and enjoy their break.

    When Zhou Weichuan and Zheng Haisheng arrived with the costume team, they found a bustling scene in the midst of winter.

    Zheng Haisheng sent two people to fetch the cake from the car and helped arrange accommodations for the costume team, leaving Zhou Weichuan alone to observe Tang Fei's shoot.

    It was a wrap, and the boss had come to visit. Why was it the boss who seemed nervous?

    In the freezing temperature of minus two degrees Celsius, Zhou Weichuan clutched a bottle of Master Ma's 37 herb remedy for falls and injuries, his palms sweating despite the cold.

    In his mind, he pondered, he had bought the bottle, but how should he give it to her? Should he ask her after the shoot: "Tang Fei, did you bump yourself? I happen to have a medicinal wine that promotes blood circulation and relieves bruises. Would you like to use it?" Or should he just hand it over straightforwardly: "Here, use it."

    Both options seemed rather silly.

    Then again, he could inquire: "Where do you have a bruise? Let me take a look?"

    That would sound rather inappropriate.

    With these peculiar thoughts swirling in his head, he walked into the studio and stood behind Xu Jianguo, watching Tang Fei on the monitor as the scene was being filmed.

    This scene was a continuation of yesterday's shoot, where Su Yang returned home and found Li Xiuyun with a smile forever etched on her face, her eyes closed.

    He approached her step by step, expressing his grief in every word, eventually uttering, "What if we're separated by different generations in the future?"

    In the scene, Su Yang held Li Xiuyun's hand, tears welling up in his eyes and gradually cascading down his cheeks. With a grip on Li Xiuyun's hand, Su Yang's emotions shifted from repressed sorrow to an uncontrollable outpour. He threw himself in front of Li Xiuyun, his entire body trembling.

    Silent, with no close-ups of faces, yet the grief conveyed through their backsides touched everyone present.

    Many emotionally sensitive souls felt the urge to cry, some already dabbing at their eyes.

    Yet, Zhou Weichuan experienced a strange sensation. He wasn't affected by Guan Liu's performance; his gaze was entirely captured by the monitor where Guan Liu was seen holding Tang Fei's hand.

    She was an actress; what was so significant about a handshake during filming? It was just work, nothing more. There was no need to dwell on it; it was all fake. If he let it bother him, she might as well quit acting altogether.

    Zhou Weichuan took a deep breath, mentally fortifying himself.

    On screen, Su Yang's emotions gradually calmed from their intensity. He leaned down to kiss the corners of Li Xiuyun's smiling lips.

    ...

    Suddenly, Zhou Weichuan stepped forward, his hands gripping Xu Jianguo's shoulders, causing a sudden halt to the ongoing shoot. Xu Jianguo yelped in surprise.

    Xu Jianguo turned to look at Zhou Weichuan, who, through the monitor, now understood that Tang Fei and Guan Liu had used a clever camera angle - Guan Liu had actually kissed the back of her own hand.

    With a sigh of relief, Zhou Weichuan felt as if he had just been on a thrilling roller coaster ride, with his heart nearly bursting from the ups and downs.

    Xu Jianguo looked at Zhou Weichuan meaningfully, his smile filled with the warmth of an uncle-like affection.

    "Ah Weichuan, you have good taste."

    "Uncle Xu," Zhou Weichuan pushed aside the people around him and whispered, "Don't start until it's time, so as not to affect others."

    Xu Jianguo shook his head. Young people, they often thought things hadn't started when they actually had long begun.

    He pretended to cough and said, "Guan Liu, Tang Fei, be natural when you do the fake kiss. If you've never kissed before and can't get into character, practice a few times to find the right feeling."

    A surge of bitterness rose in Zhou Weichuan's chest, spreading through his entire body like a bitter mist.

    "Uncle Xu."

    "Ai!" Xu Jianguo laughed heartily. "For the sake of the quality of the drama, you understand, right?"

    Zhou Weichuan's expression was blank, unable to force a gentle smile. He gritted his teeth and squeezed out two words, "Understood!"

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