Chapter 346: 4 million versus 60 million
The necessary explanations were basically finished, with the reporters free to write whatever they wanted now. Whether they felt pressure or were willing to show more goodwill in the articles that they would be writing would depend completely on their own judgments.
Tianyi’s PR team ended it while the mood was good as Apple left, and Cen Qishan left too.
The reporters began receiving the commemorations items and red packets (also known as carriage fees) from Tianyi. This practice had been going on within China ever since forever.
Tianyi’s emcee who had remained behind to preside over things cleared his throat, snapping himself out of that dizzying plot twist where he had pondered on the strength and background that Apple’s birth father possibly possessed. Tianyi had really struck gold this time.
“Friends from the media, please wait one moment. There is still one thing that we would like to announce.”
The reporters returned their attention to the front. Then, they saw someone who was virtually completely unknown to them taking a seat up on stage.
“Hello, everyone. My name is Huang Yaming.”
The thick-skinned Huang Yaming did not seem nervous or uncomfortable in the slightest. He was born to be a somebody in the first place.
That night, while Xu Tingsheng, Tan Yao and even the ‘official second gen’ Fang Yuqing had been nervous to the point of being unable to keep themselves from shivering, in that ‘first campaign’ of his, he had been utterly composed as he presided over the entire process, borrowing someone’s hand to set up a perfect ‘killing trap’ for Ding Sen…
Something of this scale wouldn’t be able to scare him…
Huang Yaming introduced himself with perfect composure, completely ignoring the befuddled looks on the faces of the reporters.
Xu Tingsheng had certainly not sent him to Shenghai to attend the press conference while pretending that he was Apple’s boyfriend or admirer. That would really be too much. Apple would probably be unable to stop herself from laughing, next coming to have it out with Xu Tingsheng.
Also, even if he were to claim to be her boyfriend out of the blue like this, there was probably no one who would believe it as it would lead to a whole series of future problems instead.
He had come here as another classmate of Apple’s from senior high, this being a completely authentic thing. He had originally been going to step in and ‘stir the waters turbid’ after Apple had been trapped by those questions, leaving the reporters and nosy people totally confused.
Scouring his mind and confirming that he did not know who Huang Yaming was, a reporter questioned, “And you are..?”
This ‘and you are’ was definitely not asking for Huang Yaming’s name or the like again.
Its meaning was really closer to: Who are you again? What hole did you crawl out of?
It was just that this reporter minded his manners and was not so blunt. After all, being able to sit at Tianyi’s press conference, the other party should probably not really be some mediocre dude.
After all, the reporters did not know that Huang Yaming who could not privately make use of the investment funds of his bar actually still owed Fu Cheng 3000 yuan which he did not seem to intend to return. Who asked Fu Cheng to have earned a great sum of royalties from ringtones previously?
“Apple’s classmate from senior high. To be exact, another classmate of Apple’s from senior high besides that rather famous dude named Xu Tingsheng,” Huang Yaming smiled, “I just happened to invest in a movie last year, having a bit of a partnership with Tianyi. So, making use of a press conference of my ex-classmate’s, I’m announcing this news at Tianyi’s scene.”
“A movie produced by Tianyi? This guy invested in it?...”
The reporters directed their attention back over, some starting to readjust their equipment again.
Huang Yaming put up a hand to stop them, saying, “No need for that. I’ll be brief. It’s like this. I heard that Tianle Media took out all their marriage money and funeral money and whatnot, this amounting to 60 million in total, to invest in a movie, which is scheduled to show in cinemas in early January next year. The movie I invested in was originally scheduled to be shown in June next year. Now, I’m adjusting it. As the New Year rolls in, we’ll play together.”
The meaning of these words could actually not be any clearer. This...other classmate of Apple’s from senior high, in succession of Xu Tingsheng’s support for her on Weibo, had also come out in support of his ex-classmate, having a beef with Tianle.
In truth, everyone might already be well aware that Apple had initially been unreasonably bullied and prevented from singing by Tianle Media, also knowing that there were definitely people from Tianle behind this matter, relentlessly going all out to drag down Apple’s image.
Still, even as Tianyi’s team had constantly been retaliating against Tianle who was stirring things up behind the scenes in this press conference, they had actually still retained a harmonious stance on the surface. At most, they had simply referred to them as: A certain company.
What about this ‘ex-classmate Huang’? Saying the name out loud and directly lunging over... This was virtually barbaric! Blunt enough, unreasonable enough...also arrogant enough, confident enough.
The reporters did not know of the relationship between Xu Tingsheng and Tianyi. The fields they knew Xu Tingsheng to be involved to be in were Education, IT and the chain supermarket that his family ran at most. It was just wholly unrelated to the entertainment scene however they looked at it.
Therefore, they saw Huang Yaming as an independent entity, one who had the capabilities to enter a partnership with Tianyi as he invested in a movie.
“Wow, how inhuman are Apple’s classmates from senior high? As if an inhuman Xu Tingsheng providing support isn’t enough, another one has appeared now...Counterattack of the inhuman ex-classmates, all banded together?!”
“Well, isn’t Apple herself very special too, though? At 22 years old, she has already experienced hardship and made a comeback. Also, this time, everyone knows that...her road to stardom has already been opened.”
The reporters all grew excited.
“This...Mr Huang, I believe that we are all interpreting your meaning correctly. Since it is to vent for Miss Apple, I wonder what your relationship is?”
The reporters had not remembered Huang Yaming’s name from earlier.
“Classmates from senior high!” Huang Yaming replied matter-of-factly with a blank look on his face.
“Aren’t there any...feelings of admiration, intention to pursue her? The reporter smiled, asking.
“Hey, you can’t run off your pens with this, alright? Please, I already have a girlfriend, someone I like,” Huang Yaming feigned solemnity, “We really are just ex-classmates and friends. Maybe we who come from a poor place are a bit more united. Also, I just happen to have a little ability now. I naturally can’t just watch my friend being bullied for no reason.”
While there was actually no longer a need for the mission of ‘stirring the waters turbid’, Huang Yaming’s words did still feel somewhat random and nonsensical.
The reporters could not be bothered for him to explain this clearly as they continued, “Right, when clashing against a 60 million production of Tianle’s, how much did you invest in your movie, Mr Huang Yaming?”
This reporter at least remembered Huang Yaming’s name.
“4 million,” Huang Yaming said with a composed expression on his face.
Several reporters immediately covered their mouths with their hands, trying to stifle their smiles, “A 4 million movie that’s totally a small production, willingly adjusting their broadcasting date in colliding with Tianle’s 60 million production that they took out all their money to fund...is this a joke?”
A reporter calmed himself before saying, “Mr Huang, although you are very confident, well…”
“There’s a gap, right? Rest assured...I will invite my famous ex-classmate to help sing the theme song for the movie.”
Huang Yaming spoke in a very serious tone. Still, the reporters were rendered speechless once more. This made no sense! However popular Apple currently was, how much could singing the movie’s theme song affect things?”
“But, it’s like...that might not be enough?”
The reporters already didn’t know how to speak with Huang Yaming now.
Huang Yaming stared at this reporter, saying, “Look, how about I make a bet with you? During the fourth and fifth weeks that the movies are in cinemas, compare their stats twice. If my movie can win theirs once in the box office and in terms of ratings too, give me a free advertisement on the front page of the newspaper that you work in.”
“On the contrary, if I don’t win once in these two weeks, I’ll buy three front pages of yours, doing public service advertisements. What do you think?”
This guy being stared at was taken aback. The fourth and fifth weeks-the other party was clearly very confident in this smallish production of his, in terms of its ratings and persisting popularity in the box office...still, this was a collision of 4 million against 60 million. The total investment sum would probably not be enough to hire even a single one of the main leads of the other production, and much less had to be said about the production process itself.
For 4 million to win once, it was still possible in terms of ratings, but that and box office too? This was much too difficult, virtually impossible...such a bet was definitely advantageous to him, vastly advantageous in fact. Moreover, the stakes were also one to three in his favour.
“Are you serious, Mr Huang?” The reporter asked.
“Of course,” Huang Yaming replied.
“I’ll give my higher-ups a call then,” The reporter took out his phone, seeming afraid of Huang Yaming going back on his word as he called his boss on the spot, soon hanging up and telling Huang Yaming, “They’ve agreed.”
“It’s a deal then,” Huang Yaming smiled, “What about the other reporters? Anyone interested in this bet too? Quick, if you are, hurry up and give your higher-ups a call. I’ll be waiting right here.”
Huang Yaming acted just like when he had been ‘subtly enticing’ his schoolmates to play cards with him in the dormitory back in the past.
Whatever the case, there were really quite a few reporters who whipped out their phones then.
In the end, Huang Yaming accepted bets with a grand total of twelve media companies.
“It’s settled then, gentleman’s agreement. With so many witnesses here today, both of us cannot afford to be the side who went back on their word and reneged, right?” Huang Yaming smiled and got up, concluding, “That’s all for today then. Thanks for everything, and see you then.”
Huang Yaming prepared to take his leave.
Still, the reporters were nearly ‘falling head over heels’ for this straightforward, interesting, rash, muddled and loyal dude who had randomly sprung out from nowhere all of a sudden.
People like this were destined to be adored by the media, because they were full of topics which could be written about.
“Woah, hold up!” A smiling reporter called out, “Boss Huang, to be honest, I rather hope that you will do well in this industry, because we would probably have more chances to interview you that way. It would be interesting for sure…”
Someone agreed, “Yeah, Boss Huang. Your courage in earnestly hitting a stone with an egg is seriously something, man. How about this? Tell us the name of your movie. We will help you to advertise it more early…”
“You guys, just wait till you give me your entire front pages...what egg, this old man’s the stone. The movie’s name is <Crazy Stone>.”
With that, Huang Yaming waved and took his leave, next avoiding Tianyi’s employees as he hurried over to a corner and called Xu Tingsheng, telling him how the press conference had gone.
Then, he said, “Bro, it was you who told me that that movie’s freaking crazy great...4 million challenging 60 million...hey, if we lose this, you take care of it yourself.”
“...” Xu Tingsheng forced a smile, asking, “Who asked you to make that bet? ...Well, forget it, this could prove to be a very interesting bet. When the time comes, I’ll just really spend some money on a series of public service advertisements at most. Take it as if we’re...accumulating merit and good karma.”
“Fine. Anyway, as long as we can push the box office higher with that bit of speculation, what does losing a bit of face matter...moreover, it wouldn’t really be embarrassing. In a clash of 4 million against 60 million, losing is only natural in the first place. If we even just cause their 60 million to falter, Tianle would have become a joke, in fact,” Huang Yaming said.
Xu Tingsheng smiled, saying, “This is exactly what I meant. However bad the results are, we can give Jin Datang who’s pulled out all his money a bit of obstruction at least. Fighting their king with our pawn, we won’t be losing out no matter what.”
“We might even really have a chance to cause a major upset.”
Xu Tingsheng did not say this out loud to Huang Yaming as he just thought it inwardly.
Xu Tingsheng knew that that movie of Tianle’s had terrible ratings in his previous life, also having made a loss in the box office. From his impressions, it should not have been solely produced by Tianle as the investment funds should also have been far less than 60 million…
“Could it be that I somehow wrecked their real estate investment, evoking a chain reaction with this movie becoming solely funded by Tianle in this life in an all out attempt to recoup their loss? The investment sum has shrunk to a fifth as even the release date has changed...this wouldn’t cause it to turn good instead, right?”
“It shouldn’t be the case. The script was the same, the director was the same, the investment sum has decreased with the number of competent actors probably being lower. The special effects and the set would also have less funds...first without a plot and now without this, it should only get even worse.”
In contrast, <Crazy Stone> had an investment sum of 3.5 million in his previous life, with its box office earnings having been around 25 million with excellent ratings too. It had also spurred the director and quite a number of exemplary actors to prominence.
While box office results like this had already been viewed as excellent back then, Xu Tingsheng remembered that many years later, many people had still felt emotional at this. They felt that if this movie had been advertised a little more powerfully initially, the box office earnings should have been higher, and if it had appeared another ten years later, it might have been a result comparable to another <Lost in Thailand>.
Speaking of advertising and creating good ratings and awareness on it, there currently were close to 50 million registered users on Weibo. This was not against anyone in particular...
Adding on Tianyi’s strength, position and capabilities, in terms of advertising, operations and screenings in cinemas, the situation should really be much better than in his previous life.
Therefore, they had a real shot at it.
Actually, Xu Tingsheng had also considered increasing the investment sum for ‘Stone’ a little before. Still, after some hesitation, he had decided not to interrupt the production process of the movie in the end, not making any unnecessary interventions.
The extra half a million had been used by him to give red packets to the director and the actors following the completion of filming.
That was a director and ‘film kings’ who would guarantee the box office earnings over the next ten years. What better time than now to improve the relationship between them, when their break to fame had still yet to come for real?
Also, right. The filming had already been completed swiftly and efficiently, just like in his previous life in which it had only taken four months to finish the production of ‘Stone’.
Xu Tingsheng had already looked through the movie beforehand. While there were unavoidably some changes in the minor details as compared to his previous life, they were very minor as the overall feel of the movie was not affected in the least. In a few aspects, Xu Tingsheng even felt it to be a bit better.
Under such circumstances, the ratings were already guaranteed. Next, the box office earnings in this life should also be guaranteed to surpass the previous. Everything considered, perhaps…
The 4 million ‘Stone’ might really be able to cause a major upset against Tianle’s 60 million.
With that in mind, Xu Tingsheng gave the ‘producer’, Huang Yaming, some words of encouragement before asking, “What about Apple? How is she doing right now?”
“I’m not sure,” Huang Yaming said, “I think she returned to the restroom. Then, that father of hers...went in too. How about I go in and take a look now?”
Xu Tingsheng hesitated for a moment before replying, “You should probably wait outside. Let Apple come to a decision on her own.”
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