Chapter 434: Silver tongue
The advertising costs for <Crazy Stone> had actually been in place since mid October.
The earning power of Happy Farm was actually not bad. It was just that saddled with Weibo which was constantly burning money, it could only sustain and not strengthen the cashflow of Xingchen Technologies in the short term.
Xu Tingsheng virtually had to forcibly dig out the 5 million advertising costs from non-existing coffers.
This was 1 million more than the cost of the movie itself. Xu Tingsheng’s thoughts were very simple. Even if the wine is fragrant, one must fear that the alley is deep. In the business era, advertising and creating hype was really an absolutely necessary thing.
Be it in terms of actors, director or artistic value, <Crazy Stone> was a movie that would contribute greatly to China’s domestic movie industry. It rightly deserved a better box office, greater praise and recognition.
There were not that many movies that would be coming in early 2006 during the New Year. Tianle’s all-out 60 million production, <Endless>, could already be considered the biggest local production. Comparatively speaking, <Crazy Stone> which had cost 4 million was still somewhat inconspicuous.
What was good was that there was hype, that there was conversation.
The shots fired between the producers of the two movies, Huang Yaming and Jin Datang, had never ceased. The media had even joked that this ‘Huang-Jin(gold) combination’ was working together merrily, tearing into each other to raise hype for their movies.
Jin Datang had realised this too. Still, stopping it was not an option. After all, advertising fees were not needed whatsoever in a verbal dispute between them.
It was just that sometimes, when he thought about how his 60 million production was being talked about alongside the 4 million <Crazy Stone>, it just felt kind of beneath him. It was equivalent to promoting the movie for his opponent for free too…
A despondent Jin Datang did not understand just how he had fallen into Huang Yaming’s trap. Still, there was nothing he could do about it.
The hype continued as the shots fired grew increasingly frequent nearing the end of November. With only a month left before they went onto the big screen, the most crucial period had arrived.
The verbal contention with Huang Yaming aside, Tianle was going the usual route of promoting movies, which was stirring up rumours. There were several good-looking actors and actresses in the movie, and they went through this list. As long as there was conversation, even if those rumours were negative ones, it was all good.
Whether or not the passion of the fans and bystanders had been stimulated, they all knew that such a movie would soon be released at the very least.
Huang Yaming would have liked to do so too. Yet, he looked at the cast of his movie...and gave up...rather than stirring up rumours about them, it would really be more practical to stir-fry some food…
At this time, the popularity of <Endless> had already been achieved. There was already no need for Jin Datang to continue conversing with Huang Yaming to stir up the hype.
Yet, how could Huang Yaming be denied as easily as that? He sent Jin Datang a pair of shoes via parcel. It was Jin Datang himself who had said it back then. As long as <Endless> lost to <Crazy Stone> in the box office for any one week, he would help Huang Yaming to polish his shoes.
Rather tragically, the most discussed topic by the reporters during the press conference for the movie’s release was thus set.
“Boss Jin, have you received the shoes sent over by Mister Huang Yaming?”
“Are the shoes dirty?”
“Are they leather shoes? Sports shoes? They wouldn’t be army shoes, right? ...Don’t tell me they’re high-heeled shoes?”
The person in charge of the press conference was forced to say, “Please do not ask any questions unrelated to the movie, such as...those shoes…”
A reporter immediately raised his hand, “In that case, Boss Jin, can I ask if your wager is still valid? Some say that you are actually the ‘Gold Duo’, merrily working together to raise hype for your movies. What do you say to that?”
Jin Datang’s face turned dark.
“Mister Huang is new to the industry. I don’t know him very well, actually, and don’t like the way he does things. Of course, if you must mention that wager, having been the one to say it back then, I can tell you that it is still valid. That will be all. Please, let’s have no more questions of this sort.”
The reporters ignored that last part, of course. As they saw it, this was even more riveting than the contents of the movie itself.
Another reporter stood up and asked, “But, Boss Jin, have you ever thought about it? If this 60 million blockbuster of yours truly loses to a movie that only cost 4 million in terms of reputation and box office, what would you do then?”
“What would I do? Jump off the building, you mean?” Jin Datang had no way of answering this question, for having gambled all they had on this movie, Tianle would fall if the box office failed.
“This possibility does not exist.”
Having been ignored for a very long time, the bigwig director of the movie who was surnamed Chen was finally able to stand it no longer. He slammed the table and stood up, exclaiming furiously, “Be more respectful! Discussing this topic is disrespectful to an epic production.”
He was venting after having been stewing in silence for a very long time.
The movie’s investment sum had been constantly diminishing, and he had tolerated it. Still, however much it fell, how could his production be challenged by a mere 4 million movie? It really was intolerable!
Also, as a famous director, along with a bunch of celebrities...he was being overshadowed by a pair of shoes, not even having the opportunity to say anything at all...how could he stand for it?
“This is an epic production, you know? You lot are being disrespectful to a movie of historical worth. This is one of the most visually perfect movies in the history of local productions, you know?” The director continued to holler.
“Some minor director who crawled out of some corner, a bunch of actors from who knows where-have they ever made a movie before? A movie is a real art form and not something ordinary people can understand. It’s not something that they can randomly mess around in doing, get it? People cannot be shameless to this extent.”
Meanwhile, the press conference for the upcoming release of <Crazy Stone> was quite empty in comparison with not many reporters present.
As the director and actors were yet to become famous, it was Huang Yaming who ‘carried’.
A reporter asked, “Boss Huang, over at the press conference for <Endless>, Director Chen looks quite emotional right now. He thinks that putting these two movies side by side and discussing them is disrespectful towards him and an epic production. What is your opinion regarding this?”.
“Makes sense! It's an epic production. Actually, I'd like to film an epic production too. Sadly, I haven't the money,” Huang Yaming replied earnestly.
“It's not like you're a director! The heck you'd film one,” A reporter he was acquainted with joked.
“Why did you ask me this then? The heck I know,” Huang Yaming said nonchalantly.
“He even said that art like movies isn't something ordinary people can possibly understand. It's not something you should mess about in randomly doing...we feel that this is a bit discriminatory. What's your take on this?” Another reporter inquired.
“It's true that we aren't so high-end. We're ordinary people ourselves, and our movie is also meant for ordinary people to watch,” Huang Yaming replied.
“Director Chen also said that people shouldn't be shameless to this extent,” Some reporter smiled, asking, “Who do you think he was talking about, Boss Huang?”
“Well, definitely not me,” Huang Yaming said, “Still, I feel that his words make a lot of sense. I myself hope that they will stop leveraging on us to create hype for their movie. Bullying a small production, discarding it after making use of it and then even stomping on it for good measure... truly, people shouldn't be shameless to this extent.”
In a war of words, the silver-tongued Huang Yaming feared no one.
A few days later, <Endless> released its first promotional video. The visuals were beautiful as promised.
At around the same time, on the Weibo pages of Apple and Tianyi's other artistes simultaneously appeared a random animated clip: One scruffy, long-haired guy was sprinting frantically while munching on a long stick of French bread. Behind him, someone who looked like a chef was chasing him and hitting him non-stop on a motorcycle…
With the span of just one day, this animated clip was shared countless times with others.
“Oh my god, I nearly died laughing…”
“Who is this?”
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