I’m Really A Superstar - Chapter 807
The list of A Bite of China's production team was published.
Executive Producer: Zhang Ye.
Executive Director: Zhang Ye.
Overall Planner: Zhang Ye.
Narrator: Zhang Ye.
Assistant Directors: Ha Qiqi, Zhang Zuo.
Videographers: Zhang Ye, Xu Han, Li Guo Tao, Zheng Xia, Huang Dandan.
Editor: Zhang Ye.
And so on.
It was just like before. Many of the netizens were already used to seeing a list like that. Every time Zhang Ye made a show, his name would be credited for the positions of executive producer, director, overall planner, editor, etc. In the industry, this was no longer something new and Zhang Ye had always been doing it this way. However, it was even more this time, as Zhang Ye even took on the position of a videographer! However, that was also understandable since the essence of a documentary depended on the way it was filmed. For such an important position, Zhang Ye couldn't be sloppy about it!
What was this called?
Some people would say that he was a showoff, but more people referred to it as him being amazing!
It seemed like this fellow was qualified for every damn position available in a show's production! He could take on all of the positions! If it were anyone else, who could do something like that? Even if they had the technical skills to do so, they wouldn't have the energy to do everything!
The commotion was still continuing on Weibo. A lot of people were still unable to accept this bombshell from yesterday. The main issue was that no one could understand what Zhang Ye's considerations were. Everything that Zhang Ye did up until now had left the people and the entire industry confused, with no one able to comprehend his motives.
"Why is that so?"
"Does he really intend to use a documentary to verse a variety show?"
"In the entire entertainment circle, no one is more daring than Zhang Ye!"
"It's pointless to argue over this now. Let's just wait for the outcome!"
"But do we even need to wait for the outcome to know what the results are?"
"Yeah, it's obvious that he won't win!"
"With Rise to the Dance already so popular, everyone else is trying to avoid it. Didn't you guys see how several of those satellite channels made changes to the broadcast time of some of their new blockbuster shows? Some were rescheduled from Friday to Saturday, while some of those which were still scheduled for Friday had their times changed from 8 PM to 9:30 PM. But what about Zhang Ye? Not only does he not avoid it, he's even walking into the direct line of fire?"
"That's why he's called Zhang Ye!"
"He definitely deserves the reputation of being a wonder of the entertainment circle!"
The news in the media were also reporting nonstop about this.
"Zhang Ye declares war on Central TV Department 1 again!"
"Deliberate or just a coincidence?"
"A clash of broadcast schedule for A Bite of China and Rise to the Dance!"
"The first documentary to be filmed in HD is coming soon!"
"Rise to the Dance's press conference: Rise to the Dance does not consider Zhang Ye and his documentary as competitors!"
"Broadcast schedule clash could just be a coincidence."
"A documentary does not use viewership ratings to determine if it is good or bad. Comparisons should only be made with past documentaries, not against the viewership ratings of a variety show!"
"Broadcast schedule might turn out to be a promotional strategy by Zhang Ye! "
"A 10 million RMB documentary: Is it really worth that price? "
In the past days, disregarding other promotional activities related to music, concerts, movies, etc, the television show mentioned the most was Rise to the Dance in the news headlines and discussions. There was basically an overwhelming coverage on it and one of the rare variety shows to be so heatedly discussed before it even started broadcasting. It was getting more attention than when The Voice had not broadcast yet, with little to no negative news about it. Of all the new shows on the satellite channels and old shows that had aired before in the entire country, none of them could be compared to this. But right now, with Zhang Ye's popularity and the heavy promotions of A Bite of China, their show had also started to hold down a place of its own on the news headlines. Although the coverage was much less than for Rise to the Dance, but when compared to other unloved and uncared for documentaries, A Bite of China's buildup was already considered to be very good.
Central TV Department 14.
Inside a work area, Zhang Ye was doing an audio recording.
"The geography of China is very diverse, so people living in different areas enjoy different staple foods. Staple foods not only provide calories, but also affect people's feelings towards the seasons, enabling them to lead a rich, healthy, and interesting life."
"Shanxi, Chen Village, in an old village…"
"The women are the best at making bread and pasta. After grain has been ground into powder, it is known as flour…"
In the soundproofed studio, Zhang Ye instinctively did the narration line by line for the already edited video with meticulous attention. His speaking tone was also very steady and mature, and one could easily hear that he had purposely lowered his tone while speaking to bring out the depth of his voice to match the imagery on screen.
Those who knew Zhang Ye would know that his hosting style in the past was not like that. Comparatively, Zhang Ye used to present in a much lighter style with his language and voice, not forgetting his humor and crazy reciting speed. Even during the recording of an educational program like Lecture Room, he did not show this steady style of presenting with his voice. The reason was simple. Because one should always use different styles for different types of shows. This was the most basic lesson and technique that Zhang Ye learned when he was still at Media College.
A variety show? You'd have to be humorous!
A talent show? You'd have to be enthusiastic!
An interview? You'd have to be on point for the subject!
Naturally, documentaries also had their own style. As different documentaries required different styles in handling too, Zhang Ye adopted this voice and tone to deliver the narration in its original form from his previous world's version of A Bite of China. Being a professional broadcast host, Zhang Ye also felt that this style was the overall most suitable way to bring out the essence of a show like A Bite of China. If he were to stick to using his most adept, humorous style for the narrative work, it could still be done, but that would totally steal the show away and was not what the documentary was about!
He finished recording the voiceover for three episodes in one session.
Finally, after some editing, the three episodes were more or less completed. Looking at the time, it was about time for lunch. Zhang Ye came out from the soundproofed studio and went back to his own office.
Everyone was busy with their work and none of them went for an early lunch.
Ha Qiqi immediately reported, "Director Zhang, we have already gone ahead with the schedule for the promotions and started on our advertising campaign as well."
"How are the effects?" Zhang Ye asked.
Ha Qiqi nodded. "It's doing alright. For our promotions on Weibo, the popularity of the post has already passed 10,000, with over 2000 forwards which is still increasing by the moment."
Zhang Ye asked, "What about the online video hosting sites?"
Ha Qiqi replied, "We've already scheduled for our ads to run on their platforms."
"Very good." Zhang Ye said, "Just keep up the intensity of the promotions."
"I understand. But the problem is that our production budget is getting low, so the advertising campaign might not be able to cover all our identified platforms," Ha Qiqi hesitated.
After they returned to Beijing, there wasn't much left of the 10 million RMB that Director Yan had allocated to them. The spending for the first day of promotions practically emptied everything they had left, but there was no limit to how much they could spend when it came to such promotions.
Zhang Ye acknowledged, "I've already spoken to Director Yan about this. Regarding the production budget, the department will disburse to us another sum of money which should be enough for us to continue our promotions into December. Since we're doing a documentary, we won't have to advertise all over the place like how they do for a variety show, and there's no need to do that either. It'll be good enough if we just do it according to the intensity that I planned."
But suddenly, Yan Tianfei's secretary hastily walked into their office with a terrible look.
"Director Zhang!" the secretary cried.
Zhang Ye was taken aback and had an ominous feeling. "What's the matter?"
The secretary said with a darkened expression, "Director Yan wants me to let you know that the promotional budget he had wanted to set aside for you has gone up in smoke!"
"Gone up in smoke?" Zhang Ye did not understand why that had happened.
The other staff of A Bite of China's program team all looked over.
"Why is that so?"
"Didn't Director Yan ask us to spend all of the 10 million earlier? That's why we don't have any budget left. If the publicity goes up in smoke, how are we going to promote our show? How are we going to be able to broadcast our show?"
Everyone knew the importance of promotional activities!
That was why when everyone heard this, they started panicking!
The secretary said, "It's not that Director Yan doesn't want to allocate the funds to you all, but our department only has enough money left to keep it running normally, so there's no excess money that can be used! It was just a while ago when Director Yan was called over to meet the station head. After that, without Director Yan's consent, they channeled all of our department's money away to Central TV Department 1 on the guise that this money is loaned to them. They're doing this because Rise to the Dance's promotional budget has run out!"
Zhang Zuo banged his hand on the table and stood up. "Even if they don't have enough money, what right do they have to take our money away?"
Little Wang cried out, "F*k that!"
Tong Fu was also very angry. "Is-isn't that as good as bullying us?"
The secretary took a deep breath and said sternly, "Two months ago, the station head spoke to Director Yan regarding this matter, but Director Yan did not agree to it. Instead, he transferred 85% of our department's budget, which was that 10 million RMB, to your program team, because Director Yan did not want to lend that money to Central TV Department 1. However, he thought that after spending the 10 million, the station would just give up on the idea, but who could have expected that they would still channel it away like they did a while ago? The only money that we had left was around 1 million RMB, but even that is gone now. The station head said that Central TV Department 1 will return the money to us in some days, but we all know that's not going to happen! The money that the station acted as guarantor for Central TV Department 1 two years ago has not even been returned yet!"
Huang Dandan was already trembling. "The station heads are treating them so well….It's so unfair!"
Wu Yi said furiously, "This is no longer just about playing favorites!"
Everyone's hearts turned cold!
At that same office.
It was still that same deputy station head.
"Old Yan, what's with this attitude?"
"Does the station think that we're easy to push around!?"
"You're all sister channels. What's wrong with loaning some money to them? It's not as though they won't be returning it to you. With me as their guarantor, what are you scared of? When the copyrights of Rise to the Dance get sold, the money will come trickling back in. At that time, I will make sure that the money that Central TV Department 1 loaned from you two years ago is returned as well. It's only around a million RMB, so please think of the bigger picture!"
"Even if their show needs to carry out promotions, what about ours? A Bite of China is starting its broadcast soon. We also need that money to do our promotions! But now, you aren't even leaving 100,000 RMB for us??"
"Don't talk to me about that, Old Yan. Do you think I don't know what you were thinking when you allocated that 10 million to Zhang Ye's program team? A documentary that costs 10 million to produce, tell me, are you crazy or what? Zhang Ye's a crazy man. Are you going to follow along and be crazy as well? You still dare to talk about promotional activities? You can just do the advertising on your own channel to introduce the show, no? Do you have to advertise with external parties and waste that money? Does a documentary need all that? With 10 million RMB, we could have done dozens of documentaries with that amount of money! But it was all wasted by you on one documentary? Can you even recoup the cost of it? How are you going to make up for this loss of 10 million RMB?"
"The money belongs to our department. Do you mean to say that I don't have any rights to authorize the usage of it?"
"There's still no one who would waste that money like how you did! How much money can a documentary earn? By spending 10 million RMB on it, you won't even be able to make back 100,000! The money that you lose is still the station's money in the end! You're already a veteran here! Why do you keep making such mistakes! Rise to the Dance is our blockbuster show of the year;it has to do with the station's strategic plans for the future, so we can't afford to mess it up. Now that they have a shortage of funds, you guys should be supporting them instead. The 10 million RMB that you wasted on a worthless documentary will be overlooked by the station for now!"
"Whose decision was this?"
"It was my decision, and also the station's decision!"
Yan Tianfei bristled with rage at that!
Central TV Department 1.
In the program team office of Rise to the Dance.
Jiang Yuan had come to look for Xu Yipeng and Chen Ye. "We've managed to secure the additional funds for you two. But it's not much, just around a million, so make do with it for now."
Xu Yipeng said, "That's already enough. Thank you, Director Jiang."
Chen Ye sighed. "If the stage didn't get destroyed back then, we wouldn't have needed this amount of money."
Jiang Yuan laughed, "It's alright. Accidents happen, but as long as the results are good, everything will be fine. We'll only look at how the show does, same for the station. This 1 million RMB was borrowed from Department 14. I heard that the station emptied their accounts and budget which was initially planned to be used on A Bite of China's promotions. You guys should know how much support our department and station are giving to you. We're sparing no effort, so don't disappoint us."
Xu Yipeng laughed, "Don't worry. It'll definitely be perfect!"
Chen Ye also said confidently, "We're planning to surpass the viewership ratings of The Voice."
"That's great then!" Jiang Yuan was very satisfied to hear that and also looking forward to it.
With that, a hubbub spread throughout the station!
Everyone knew that Central TV Department 1 had run out of money for some time now. They hadn't produced too many good shows in recent years, and even those shows which fared well did not earn much. They only survived for so long because of the production budget assigned to them. Only The Voice did rather well this year, but under all that glory and achievement, it did not earn the them much money. A 100 million RMB in title sponsorship fee? It was all invested back into the show by Zhang Ye. The fees from the remaining second-tier advertisements, exclusive broadcast copyright, etc, were the only net income for them. As for the overseas copyright? And all other copyrights? Those were all held by Zhang Ye. The reason that they were summoned to court for a lawsuit was also due to the issues involving the copyright dispute, thus leaving Central TV Department 1 almost without any profits. That was also the reason they fell out with Zhang Ye—they tried to take the copyright away from him!
Now, the invested amount into Rise to the Dance was even greater than they had put into The Voice. Together with the incident where the stage was destroyed, it left them with an even greater deficit!
However, no one could have expected that at such a time, the station would still help Central TV Department 1 and ask for money from Central TV Department 14. Although the documentary channel's viewership ratings were very poor and ranked last among all the departments of Central TV, but similarly, the funding allocated to them was also the least. Moreover, A Bite of China was already done with the production phase, so it needed the money to do their promotional activities, yet the station forcefully channeled their funds away? To allocate it to Central TV Department 1?
A lot of people in the station were bitterly disappointed at this.
"The station's behavior in recent years is getting weirder and weirder!"
"Yeah, what is this?"
"I don't like Zhang Ye's temperament either, but the station is really too much of a bully, aren't they?"
"Yeah, Zhang Ye might be quite the bastard, but he'd still contributed a lot to Central TV Department 1 before. The contract was already discussed and agreed on, but not only did Central TV Department 1 go back on their words and try to snatch Zhang Ye's copyrights away, they even tried to freeze him. They have never been reasonable the entire time, but even putting him in cold storage was not enough. They're even taking away his promotional budget after Zhang Ye went through so much to shoot a documentary? They really aren't giving him a chance, are they? They're even dragging Central TV Department 14 into this as well? Who has Department 14 offended? This matter really wasn't handled well and was carried out too ruthlessly! It leaves a bitter feeling in people's hearts!"
"It must be Central TV Department 1 who went to seek help from the station heads!"
"Hai, that's what you get to enjoy when you're like Rise to the Dance, getting popular before even being broadcast!"
"Yeah, compared to a show that is obviously going to get really popular, what is a documentary from Department 14 worth? Of course it would have to step aside and let Rise to the Dance get what they need!"
"I heard that Director Yan had a shouting match with the deputy station head!"
"Director Yan's temper has always been like this;everyone knows that. He's a veteran of the station, so no matter what he does, the station won't do anything to him. We can only wait and see what the other person will do now. There's another person in Department 14 who has a bigger temper than Director Yan, so would Zhang Ye just take this lying down? His show will be premiering soon in less than 2 weeks. Where are they going to find the money now? If they don't manage to find it, how would they carry out their promotions?"
"Actually, even promotions are of no use for them. Do you guys think that he can stir up the industry with a documentary? Even if he's a legend in the entertainment industry, he couldn't do that!"
At Central TV Department 14.
A Bite of China's program team was cursing and swearing!
The others from Section 1 and 2 also came over to the Section 3 office space when they heard about the news. All of them were cursing at all 18 generations of ancestors of Central TV Department 1 and Rise to the Dance. A few bolder ones even scolded the station heads softly. They were all trembling with anger!
Weren't they stabbing Yan Tianfei and Zhang Ye in the back like this!?
This demonstrated their attitudes to all of them at Department 14!
Furthermore, it wasn't the first time that Central TV was doing something like that. They had done something similar in the past, except they didn't do it in such an extreme manner like this time!
"I'm so angry that it's driving me nuts!"
"How can they do this!"
"Central TV Department 1 are people, are we not people!?"
"Director Zhang, what should we do?"
"Yes, we're just waiting for your word!"
"Director Zhang, tell us what should we do? I've really had enough!"
Everyone's feelings ran high!
But Zhang Ye looked relatively calm and did not say a word. He even had the slightest of smiles on his face that the others wondered if they had seen it wrong.
Everyone was dumbfounded.
It didn't seem right!
What's wrong with Director Zhang?
Based on Director Zhang's temper in the past, he would have already rolled up his sleeves and gone to Central TV Department 1 to pick a fight by now! Why was he still able to smile in this situation? He's even so calm?
Ha Qiqi said, "Director Zhang?"
Zhang Zuo also asked, "Are-aren't you angry?"
Zhang Ye laughed and declared to everyone, "When I just debuted, everyone felt that I could not be a radio broadcast host. The radio station did appreciate me and the leaders tried to suppress me, but in the end, I still received the Silver Microphone Award. After that, I joined the TV station, but it was still the same. No one felt that I could make it and they found trouble with me at every corner, framing me whenever they could, yet my program still became famous everywhere. Later on, I was even banned—not the kind of ban that Central TV Department 1 has implemented on me now, but a ban by the SARFT. I was the first blacklisted artist on the list and a lot of people kicked me while I was down. Everyone was turning me away because they all thought that my career was over, but as you guys can see now, I'm still doing very well. In fact, I'm even doing better than all of them."
When everyone heard this, they fell silent.
Zhang Ye said with a smile, "Even 10 books aren't enough to write about the things that I've been through. The difficulties and desperation that I've faced are possibly even more than everyone's here combined. I've not only been arrested twice, I've also been through a very stringent ban, met with a hijacking incident, and even flown a plane…"
After hearing Zhang Ye speak about his experiences, everyone admired him endlessly. The things Director Zhang had been through could really be called legendary. No one could compare to him in this area!
Yan Tianfei's secretary was also listening to it seriously.
After he said that, Zhang Ye chuckled. "After that, I realized that there's no difficulty we can't overcome. No matter what problems we encounter, as long as we try to push ahead, then we will definitely get past them. It's the same thing now too!" Pausing, he looked at everyone before continuing, "If there's no money, so be it. We will pump in however much we have, but if there's nothing left, then we will just not do anything."
Little Wang said anxiously, "But—"
"No buts." Zhang Ye said with a grin. "Even if we do not promote the documentary, so what?"
Huang Dandan wiped her sweat away and said, "If we don't promote it, then there'll be no exposure. If there's no exposure, then there'll be no viewership!"
But Zhang Ye shook his head at that. "I won't believe that. Let's just not promote the show anymore. This time, I will show them that even without any promotions nobody can stop me!"
Ha Qiqi was taken aback. "What do you mean?"
Zhang Zuo expression changed as well. "Director Zhang, what do you intend to do?"
Yan Tianfei's secretary was also extremely surprised!
They understood from the tone of Zhang Ye's voice. Everyone's hearts were beating furiously because of that!
They were really going to match up and compete with Central TV Department 1! Furthermore, it was a situation where they wouldn't be doing any promotions for their show!?
How, how could that be possible?
Even if they were to carry out mass promotions for their documentary, the chances of them competing with Rise to the Dance was as good as nil, much less without any promotions? What would they compete with?
Ten minutes later.
Yan Tianfei returned to Department 14 and went back into his own office. He immediately called his secretary in. "Inform Little Zhang that there won't be any more funding!"
The secretary said, "I told Director Zhang about it just now."
Yan Tianfei picked up his glass of water and downed it in large gulps, unable to calm his mind. He was clearly still very furious. "Go and tell Little Zhang that even if I have to pour in my own money, I would definitely get him the money to do the promotions!"
The secretary said, "Director Zhang said…that it's not necessary!"
Yan Tianfei was stunned. "Not necessary?"
"He's prepared to not do any promotional activities anymore!" The secretary proceeded to repeat almost word for word what Zhang Ye had said in the office earlier.
When Yan Tianfei heard everything, he was stunned again. "Did Little Zhang really say that?"
The secretary forced a bitter smile. "Yes, those were Director Zhang's own words. But the way I see it, Director Zhang's definitely mad at them!"
Yan Tianfei took a deep breath, and his anger from a moment ago subsided as he suddenly started laughing. "Alright, I understand!"
Uh, what on earth did you understand?
The secretary was confused by this but was too embarrassed to ask.