Author: 公子于歌 / Gong Zi Yu Ge
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 43: Advertisement Shoot
Mrs. Yan, who always paid attention to Shen Jintai, saw the video of the drop-off. Seeing the chaotic scene made her heart get stuck in her throat. The underwear company was too unreliable and so ill-considered. She underestimated the popularity of her Xiao Jin.
She thought about it carefully and remembered that Shen Jintai seemed to always work alone and never signed with any brokerage company. She wasn’t involved with the entertainment industry, but she did have a son who was.
Sunshine Media was definitely the strongest when it came to domestic brokerage companies. Added to this, the film and television dramas they had produced in the past few years had achieved great success and won many awards. Now that Shen Jintai had gained popularity, she also wanted him to win an award.
She forwarded the news to Yan Qiuchi and said, “He can’t do this alone. He needs a company to help him.”
Yan Qiuchi only replied with a “Nn”, and didn’t say anything else.
When he came back from work in the evening, Mrs. Yan asked, “What do you mean, ‘Nn’. You are so perfunctory to your mother.”
“I don’t take care of everything. The signing of artists is the responsibility of the people in the agency department. If they think it’s appropriate, they will contact him.”
“They dare not listen to your orders?” Mrs. Yan said. “Or do you still think that Xiao Jin is still chasing you? If so, I can tell you that he doesn’t like you anymore.” The last sentence was spoken very subtly.
Mrs. Yan: “I know what the brokerage companies are like. I’ll worry if he signs with another company. I’m afraid he’ll be bullied. What if those big bosses use the contract to blackmail him to accompany them for drinks or something? Oh, my heart hurts to death when I have these thoughts.”
Yan Qiuchi said blankly, “Mom, you really think too much. How could this happen to him?”
Mrs. Yan: “It used to be impossible, but it’s not necessarily the case now. The Shen family is bankrupt, and the whole family depends on him for support. He used to like you so much and he never liked acting, but now he’s changed, doing the complete opposite. What else could be impossible?!”
Yan Qiuchi wasn’t sure whether he had listened to her or because he didn’t want to listen to her nagging anymore, so he said, “I’ll look into it and have someone get in touch with him.”
He did want to sign Shen Jintai, but Shen Jintai may not be willing.
Mrs. Yan took out her phone and showed it to him. “Look how dangerous it is.”
The video shown was the drop-off video that went viral. The crowd was frantically screaming as Shen Jintai was grabbed by airport security and rushed off. One of the arms of the doll he was holding had fallen off. It looked very dangerous.
Li Meilan was still too green as an agent.
Yan Qiuchi went upstairs and called Gao Qiao. “Contact Li Meilan and see if they are willing to sign with a brokerage company.”
Gao Qiao was momentarily stunned and hurriedly asked, “President Yan, you don’t want to sign Shen Jintai, do you?”
Yan Qiuchi said, “Let Zhang Yuan figure out whether to sign him or not. Tell him, the decision to sign shouldn’t involve me. Business and private matters are to be kept separate.”
Gao Qiao gave a “Nn” and said, “Okay.” When he hung up the phone, Gao Qiao couldn’t help but worry. Shen Jintai had changed a lot recently. He became popular as soon as the drama started airing. He would become even more popular next year. Signing him now would not be a loss for Sunshine Media.
Privately, though, he didn’t really want Shen Jintai to sign with their company. Putting it bluntly, President Yan and Shen Jintai’s previous relationship was too unpleasant. A short-term change couldn’t eliminate the lingering shadow. The company’s situation was enjoyable now. If Shen Jintai joined their company and interacted with President Yan every day, his love might be rekindled.
It was perplexing. He had never understood why Shen Jintai suddenly stopped liking President Yan. He thought about it and couldn’t find a convincing reason. If a reason couldn’t be found, one must suspect that everything was illusory. After all, President Yan was a leader among men with no shortcomings, and Shen Jintai had a lovesick brain.
The most important thing was that he felt Shen Jintai may be popular now and would continue to be popular in the future, but there is an upper limit. It was his sexual orientation, and this wasn’t considering that he played a gay role in a drama.
Gay people in the industry dared not reveal their sexual orientation as they were worried about whether the public could accept this matter. He knew that in the past few years, society had gradually become more enlightened and tolerant and that same-sex dramas could appear on prime-time television, so sexual orientation wasn’t such a big issue anymore. The main problem was that once the public knew you were gay, especially for someone like Shen Jintai, whose orientation was well-known, they could only play half of the roles.
For example, idol dramas about falling in love were basically insulated from him. These roles were important for an actor’s career path. However, the main emotional core of these genres was heterosexually focused*.
*Clarity: What Gao Qiao is worried about is called typecasting. Since Shen Jintai’s orientation is known, he most likely will only be cast for roles that reflect his orientation. Basically, he can’t play straight guys in romance media.
Their company also already had Bai Qingquan, who was similar in age to Shen Jintai. He had a good image and temperament. His acting skills had been improving as well. His upper limit was very high and could make him first-line material in the future.
He immediately contacted Zhang Yuan from the artist agency department. Zhang Yuan said, “Doesn’t President Yan hate him? If we sign him, President Yan wouldn’t approve it, right?”
Gao Qiao: “President Yan said it should be business as usual.”
Those who worked in management, especially the middle and upper echelons like Zhang Yuan, were good at reading between the lines. He carefully pondered the words “business as usual” and felt that Yan Qiuchi meant to sign him.
They all knew about Shen Jintai’s and Yan Qiuchi’s relationship. If President Yan hadn’t said those words, they definitely wouldn’t have been convinced. Seeing that he said it like that, it made it clear what he was voicing. “You don’t need to worry about my feelings. If you want to sign him, sign him.”
Zhang Yuan couldn’t help but admire President Yan. Despite his young age, Yan Qiuchi had done an outstanding job as their CEO. Even more admirably, he was able to make a clear distinction between public and private feelings.
Zhang Yuan planned to discuss with others in the agency department about Shen Jintai.
Little stars relied on holding, big stars relied on fate1. Shen Jintai was obviously born to be a star. When he debuted, he was like the Purple Star2 from the sky. He fell off the cliff and hit rock bottom after his scandalous behavior, but as soon as he made his comeback, he instantly became popular again.
1Clarity: This is saying, minor stars who are popular needs to maintain topicality to hold their popularity. To become a big star, it would require luck more than anything.
2(紫微帝星) Regarded as the “Emperor Star” and the ruler of the constellations. The actual star itself is Polaris. || In this context, it’s saying when Shen Jintai debuted, he was a major star (top even) as he was comparable to that of Polaris (the “Emperor Star”).
Shen Jintai becoming popular was the happiest thing for Aishang. Aishang Underwear was a domestic brand that had gained popularity in recent years by relying on celebrity endorsements. They had been searching for a new spokesperson for a while, looking at third and fourth-tier artists, when suddenly Shen Jintai came into their vision.
As experts in the industry, they certainly knew what peerless ass was when looking at it! A man’s ass must not only be upright but also be tall and firm. Usually for men, this part was often ignored. When people think of ass, it was usually associated with women, which meant that a masculine ass didn’t attract the attention of the public visually.
This was where Shen Jintai’s ass shined. With both a masculine look and feminine attractiveness, coupled with his well-known sexual orientation, Aishang believed that this deal would be very cost-effective.
As soon as Shen Jintai signed the contract, he immediately went viral. God was surely looking out for them.
“It stands to reason that men’s underwear mainly targets the male market, especially the straight male market, right? Is it really appropriate for them to choose me as the spokesperson? The endorsement fee is so high.” Shen Jintai said.
Li Meilan said, “You think they’re stupid and make unprofitable decisions? They asked you to make an endorsement for the sake of topicality and popularity. Popularity measures up. All that’s left is a masculine man. You checked all the boxes.”
“Well, since you put it like that, I can’t argue with it,” Shen Jintai said.
He glanced at the advertisement script given to him by the company:
[I love Shang* (Part 1). How about you?]
*Clarity: This is a play on words. The character Ai (爱) in Aishang (爱尚) means love. If you’re a little familiar with some Chinese, you might have heard the phrase, “wo ai nin” (我爱您) which means “I love you”. This sentence is saying “wo ai Shang (尚)” translated is “I love (Ai)Shang”. It’s supposed to be witty by using the Ai (爱) character.
Shit, this advertising slogan. Shen Jintai wanted to laugh but held back.
“Should I use socks?” Shen Jintai asked suddenly.
Li Meilan glanced up at him. “What?”
Shen Jintai tugged at his trouser waistband. “Socks. I searched yesterday, and it seems that some advertisements for underwear will stuff socks… which can make it look very big. Hahahaha.”
Li Meilan became embarrassed. She slightly chuckled and said, “That… I don’t know.” She glanced at Shen Jintai. “Do you need to stuff socks?”
Since it was an underwear commercial, Li Meilan and Xiao Tang monitored the whole process. They looked domineering and confident. Li Meilan stood beside the director with her arms crossed looking very capable and strong.
Shen Jintai was wrapped in a bathrobe, standing still as the makeup artist applied his makeup. The light technician moved the light board closer as several staff members surrounded him, secretly watching.
Xiao Tang thought it was really bad to be a celebrity. Most people couldn’t take off their pants and still be able to perform naturally in front of the camera.
“Are you ready?” The director asked.
Shen Jintai nodded and took off his bathrobe.
Instantly, the director was stunned. Chen Ming was a small-reluctant director. He had great ambition, but he was only able to shoot commercials.
He had filmed many underwear ads as Aishang’s head director for commercial advertising. The professional knowledge he had learned and his familiarity with the human body was so good that when Shen Jintai took off his bathrobe, he was immediately floored.
This waist, this ass, those two venus dimples!
Compared with the director’s professionalism, the first thing other staff noticed was the fairness. His skin was fair enough that it made everything else more vivid.
When compared with the previous spokesperson, Shen Jintai, didn’t match up when you looked at the pecs or abs. His figure obviously looked like the type that didn’t exercise frequently. It was just because he was young and had low body fat; even with the lack of exercise, his chest and abs still had thin contours.
Xiao Ling was the director’s assistant. She was exceedingly thrilled today because Shen Jintai was the person they were shooting for the advertisement. She wasn’t much of a star chaser and didn’t really know who Shen Jintai was until she watched the recent hit <The East Palace is Coming>. It made her interested in the actor who played Li Xu, so she started researching information on Shen Jintai. Seeing his past photos, she thought he looked young and hot.
Li Xu was so outstandingly beautiful that she couldn’t help but look at Shen Jintai through this kind of lens. Who wouldn’t be curious about that kind of body!
When Shen Jintai took off his robe, she pursed her lips, pretended to be calm, glanced at the person next to her, and said, “Pink.”
The person looked at her and they felt that the gossip would be palpable. Xiao Ling felt that her expression was quite wretched. But she couldn’t help it. The rotten woman inside her was about to explode. Ordinary people really had no way to completely separate the actors from their characters. Because of this, no matter what kind of misgiving an actor had, if he played a character with a good heart, it would be impossible to hate him. Likewise, if the role was too annoying, it would be hard to become a fan*.
*Clarity: She’s saying people tend to not separate the actor from the roles they play. Despite Shen Jintai having a bad past full of black material, it could be overlooked and forgiven because she loves Li Xu’s character so much. Likewise, if Shen Jintai plays a dislikeable character, even if he has a good past, it’s hard to become his fan.
Who was Li Xu? The most famous beauty of the year! Even when she looked at Shen Jintai out of character, she felt that he deserved this reputation. OoOoOoOoOoO.
Underwear advertising was similar. They must show the underwear at a full 360 degrees, and it had it be enticing. It was a cross between selling the product and the model.
The first step was the promotional photos. They were all prescribed actions and relatively simple to execute. The model just needed to pose in various forms, like standing, sitting, or lying down.
After the photoshoot, Shen Jintai put his clothes back on. Unfortunately, they would be shortly removed again.
The second step was to shoot the commercial.
“Take off your clothes slowly, especially when unbuttoning, as if that… that feeling is about to come out.” The director said.
Everyone knew which feeling he was referring to. As long as it was considered a performance, it wouldn’t be difficult for Shen Jintai.
He slowly unbuttoned each button one by one. The white shirt he wore was taken off and thrown aside, revealing a well-proportioned upper body. He kicked off his shoes and ripped off his socks. Finally, the pants were removed, and only Aishang’s underwear was left, clinging tightly to his body.
Shen Jintai was very dedicated and cooperative with the director’s instructions, but he felt the camera always seemed to be focused on his ass.
He hadn’t put enough exercise into his ass yet, so he felt a bit… afflicted. But he was a good actor, and a good actor needed to break through the limitations of one’s body and be able to fully express their body language within the limits of the body they had.
While his body suffered, his soul remained strong. As the two blended together, Shen Jintai’s personal characteristics gradually took shape. An alluring man without a faint of femininity. He was pure and gallant, without any traces of arrogance.
Facing the camera, he sat on a toilet with only his underwear on, holding a pack of cigarettes in his hand. His fingers were slender. His joints were defined. His eyes were clear and natural.
In the last shot, he woke up from the bed, walked to the window, and opened the curtains, allowing the sun to come through. The scene was then blurred into a ball and transitioned into his figure basking in the sunlight. From the thick black hair to his smooth shoulders, to his slender waist, then to his long legs, the camera slowly shot it all going from head to toe. The image was perfect. Sexy.
The camera moved, capturing the dorsal groove as it wound down to the venus dimples.
Chen Ming stood behind the monitor on edge. He had taken many underwear advertisements, and this was the best version to date. With Shen Jintai becoming popular again, perhaps his commercial would become a big hit. He gave it 100% this time around, and the two-minute ad was finished in two days.
Shen Jintai felt the commercial was more tiring than actual filming. Before coming to City A, he had filmed scenes for a day and two nights consecutively. Fortunately, he was young and was able to endure.
In later stages of the commercial shoot, his complexion started to look a bit haggard. He still remained radiant after having applied makeup. His eyes remained bright, and he looked energetic. When off-camera, he would yawn exhaustedly, but as soon as the camera turned on, he was full of energy again. He always felt naturally excited whenever he was filming.
After the shoot, Shen Jintai and Li Meilan went through all the filming materials again. After confirming that the content was good, they rushed back to Nancheng overnight. He had taken two days off, so his schedule was very tight.
“This director is quite capable*,” Shen Jintai commented.
*Two brushes (两把刷子) Idiom describing someone’s ability to do things in a capable or intelligent manner.
“Erotic but not lustful. It’s high-end sexy. After all, it’s not a pheasant brand,” Li Meilan said. “Aishang said that after the commercial is finished, they will send it to us as soon as possible. The final version will be released with our consent.”
Shen Jintai yawned and nodded.
Li Meilan distressingly said, “I thought you could take a break while filming an advertisement, but I didn’t expect this director to be so demanding. You, sleep for a bit.”
Shen Jintai was really exhausted. He slept the entire trip back. When he returned to Nancheng, it was already late at night. He felt uncomfortable after waking up and thought it was because he wasn’t used to sleeping like this.
“This time the trip was kept secret. No one was told,” Xiao Tang said.
When they came out of the airport, they didn’t see any fans. It was already late at night. It had just rained in Nancheng, and the ground was wet. The coolness signified that autumn had arrived.
The temperature was very different from City A. City A was a seaside city. It was too humid to wear a coat. Nancheng had become colder now that a coat was required to stay warm.
Shen Jintai was sitting in the car, leaning on his seat. When the car stopped at an intersection in the most prosperous commercial area in Nancheng, he suddenly saw the trailer for <The East Palace is Coming> scrolling on the big screen. It displayed a picture of him with flushed eyes, opposing Bai Qingquan.
His fatigue was swept away as he sat up abruptly, suddenly feeling as if he was acting in a movie. The big screen was the battlefield he was most familiar with. It was the dream of all actors. When their faces appeared on the big screen, every micro-expression was infinitely magnified, and every single second of their performance wouldn’t be ignored. For a charismatic actor, his abundant emotions would pour out onto the big screen like a leaking galaxy.
“What are you looking at?” Li Meilan asked.
“Our show was broadcast on the big screen just now,” Shen Jintai said.
The car had already driven past the square, and Li Meilan didn’t see anything. She only saw a tired expression on Shen Jintai’s face.
Li Meilan: “Since the filming started, you haven’t rested much. The role of Li Xu is mentally consuming. Don’t do anything after you go back. Go to bed quickly. There will be an announcement from you early tomorrow morning.”
Shen Jintai responded with a “Nn” and closed his eyes again.
After staying in the seaside city for two days, he wasn’t accustomed to the weather in Nanchang and felt chilly.
He recalled the dream he had last night where he appeared on the big screen. He had appeared in cinema pictures before, but this dream was different. He dreamt that he was a famous superstar and had made a blockbuster movie. The crowds were shouting his name and went crazy for him as he was at the airport.
The next day, Xiao Tang woke him up. Shen Jintai got up in a daze and asked, “What time is it?”
“It’s half past eight. The crew has been urging,” Xiao Tang said.
When Shen Jintai heard this, he hurriedly got out of bed. Before his feet could even touch the ground, he suddenly fell forward. Fortunately, Xiao Tang had fast reflexes and caught him by the arms. Xiao Tang put his hand on his forehead and was surprised.
Shen Jintai was sick.
The author has something to say:
Give you all my warmth and take off only the windbreaker.
It’s getting cold. It’s time for someone to take off his jacket.
Don’t know what world this novel is set in, but personally, women and gay men definitely pay attention to a man’s ass. Even sometimes straight men too. Just saying…
Li Meilan with the critical hit: “Do you need to stuff socks?” … Shen Jintai found dead.