Although the names of the nine actors displayed on the large screen were not shown, those that were more familiar with the entertainment circles had already started to "decipher" who they were in succession. However, when they came to the seventh person, they were stumped.
"I can recognize the first six, but what about the seventh?" whispered a member of the Committee of 100 to his old friend occupying the seat beside him.
The other person was also puzzled. "Is that Dasmi?"
"No, Dasmi is number 9."
"Not him either. Nion is number 2."
"That's strange. Is it because of the makeup? I can't recognize him."
At first, those in muted discussions had been those from the showbiz circles and people who were more familiar with the industry.
At the area where the Committee of 100 sat, there were a few members clad in military uniforms in the third row. Although they did not share a family name or come from the same military district, they all knew each other. Normally, they were incredibly busy and did not have time to pay attention to the entertainment circles, but as the quintessence of the descendants of the great generals, they still had voting rights when it came to selecting the parties that would play those important roles.
When the "Founding Era" project had first been established, they had been informed that it would be broadcast across every military district as a compulsory series. Since it was a compulsory series and they had voting rights, they definitely had to represent their respective military districts by picking actors that were most pleasing to the eye.
Actors that had criticized military districts were not required!
Those that had immoral characters were not required!
Personality traits that did not pass muster were not required!
In short, whoever they voted for had to be pleasing to the eye and satisfy their criteria.
If the actor wasn't good, when the time came for the military district to broadcast it, how different would it be from compelling the viewers to eat sh*t?
Therefore, all of them had come with a duty.
At this moment, when those seated in the third row heard the discussions of those surrounding them, they were immediately delighted.
"Nine actors, yet that bunch can't even recognize them all. Generally, we don't even pay attention to the entertainment circles; we will surely find it even more difficult to recognize them."
"I can see nine different people, but who is who, I can't tell. I don't recognize celebrities."
"I can still recognize the faces of some female celebrities, but I can't remember any male ones. They don't give me a profound impression."
"I just heard people talking about number 7. I can't help but feel that this number 7 seems a little familiar."
"I think so too, but recently, I was on vacation at home and watched a few web serials with my wife. I see a few here that look familiar. Number 7... also seems a little familiar. Surely he acted in some recent series, but this makeup is disguising him, as are those scars on his face."
As for those that were chummy with Roman, when they saw the nine actors displayed on the screen and then heard the sound of discussion, an ominous premonition appeared in their hearts.
"I can't help but feel there is something wrong."
"Can you all recognize who that number 7 is?"
"I have already determined eight of them already. I'm just missing number 7. He seems familiar, but I can't put a name to him."
"Do you think that... Roman is trying to stir something up again?"
"No way! You are kidding, right? This is the 'Founding Era' project! When I spoke to him yesterday, I even specifically warned him to follow the rules!"
"Hard to say."
"He might not necessarily be trying to stir up something big. Perhaps it is just the makeup that has resulted in everyone being unable to recognize number 7 at the moment. After all, with a costume and makeup, it is easy to deceive the visuals. Later, when the audition videos are out, we will be able to recognize him."
"Oh, right, when the audition videos play, we will know who it is."
The large screen's display changed. The first scene of candidate number 1's audition video started to play.
Candidate number 1 was a very famous actor. When his face, adorned with makeup and scars, appeared on the screen, a few of those close to this actor laughed. When it came to voting, they would certainly not be entirely impartial. If the following candidates were not up to scratch, they would surely vote for someone they were close to or, perhaps, someone that they had promised to assist.
On the screen, a segment of the audition video played.
A tattered map with all sorts of markings hung on a mottled gray wall. On the archaic but sturdy table to the side lay a bunch of stationary for taking notes.
It was a sight to behold and had a distinguishing Period of Destruction feel to it, as if all the items there seemed to carry dirt and blood.
There were a few blurry shadows in the room. These were virtual images; when it came to the actual filming, these shadows would be other actors.
At the moment, all these shadows were gathered standing around the table. The entire scene was very quiet, matching the furnishings of the room and giving off a somber vibe.
This was an ad hoc indoor meeting.
A hand full of calluses and scars unrolled a map and laid it out on the table.
That scarred face and that grave expression did not seem sinister. Instead, his every gesture seemed to be naturally imposing, intimidating others.
In the video, Fang Zhao appeared to lean slightly to his side, as if he was listening to something attentively. At the same time, his gaze swept the map before he extended a finger and pointed out a certain point on the map. Like a flash of lightning, he scanned through the side of the table, and everyone appeared to pause momentarily, as if their scalps had tightened.
"A month is too long. We don't have enough time. Within half a month... we have to seize this area!"
What followed was a rather lengthy battle strategy. It integrated the day's weather, how to lay an ambush, the most suitable weapons and equipment, troop movements, and potential threats and factors.
An overcast tune could be heard, modulating, quick at some parts but slow at others. Other emotions could not be heard, as if feelings were being hidden, letting viewers somehow feel like they were unable to grasp the situation. The atmosphere was grave and heavy.
This was a tune that Roman had specifically selected. When it came to the actual filming, the camera would definitely be following Fang Zhao's eyes for this scene. However, these were just for preparing for the role.
Below the stage, there were already people starting to evaluate this scene's performance.
"His dialogue basics are really impressive. For such a long segment, the logic and accents are spot-on," said an old man who had long retired.
Someone else nodded his head as he watched the large screen. "An actor at this sort of grade would rarely make a mistake here. Brilliant tempo control, and his ability to adjust his dialogue to fit the mood is really skillful."
"There aren't any big problems right now. Let's continue watching.
In the video, the character continued speaking.
For this portion of dialogue, the closer it got to the end, the more the words were laced with killing intent. The severity of every single word seemed to grow at an exponential rate right up to the last sentence. Fang Zhao stared at the region marked out on the map as if his gaze was a sharp sword.
An old man in a military uniform sitting in the second row laughed. "Whoa, what a striking demeanor!"
A few military personnel on the third row also concurred. "Seems good enough?"
"The demeanor is all that is important. It looks rather impressive."
Only an old man dressed in leisurely yet refined attire frowned slightly. "It seems a little excessive."
This was a professor that had recently retired from Huangzhou Art and Drama College. He had nurtured countless outstanding actors in his entire teaching career.
When it came to analyzing from a professional aspect, people like them would surely be different from industry outsiders. Thus, when he watched the segment, he was able to see a few minor problems, and he gave voice to them.
However, there were also objections from those of the same industry.
"Where is it excessive? I feel that it is just right! The Fang Zhao of this time was already Yanzhou's leader. Regarding those battles during the Period of Destruction, whether it was theoretical knowledge or actual battle strength, he was very strong in both. He ought to have the valiant demeanor of a person occupying the top position!" someone else refuted.
What sort of person was this historical Fang Zhao?
Perhaps when it came to battle techniques, he might not necessarily be the best, but he had been able to endure the 100 years of the Period of Destruction and become a prominent leader. His resourcefulness, ability, and physical prowess were things that others could not compare to.
An old man with grizzled white hair defended his own student. "The start of 'Founding Era' will be when Fang Zhao was at his peak. He should not be as weak as he was later. Therefore, he needs to have an imposing manner! There is nothing wrong with this segment's performance!" Candidate number 1 was his student, and they had always kept in touch. For this round's vote, he would surely allocate it to this student of his.
The old man in refined attire shook his head when he heard this. This was not what he meant, but he would not say more. His eyebrows continued to be knitted up, indicating that he maintained his own opinion.
"Hahaha, this has only just begun. There are still more to follow. We can compare all of them. This isn't all that we will be deciding today."
"Right, right, right. Let's continue watching. There is still a fight scene later on."
"There will definitely be no problems with the fight scene. This student of mine has filmed many such scenes before. This time, for the role of Fang Zhao, he even went for special training."
This was shielding one's own interests. By saying that number 1 was his student, he was telling others to vote for his student on his account.
Inwardly, there were also some that sneered. It would have been fine if you hadn't said anything. Now that I know candidate 1 is your student, I won't vote for him!
When the Committee of 100 chose actors, the struggles were also intense.
The video continued to broadcast, and the audience once more paid attention and examined it carefully.
Candidate 1's fight scene was indeed decent. Whether it was real or not, at least the result turned out very well.
After a candidate's audition videos concluded, there were some below the stage who wrote down some evaluations in their own small books. After watching all the videos, they would select the one they felt was the best and vote for him.
Immediately after, candidate 2's audition videos played, followed by 3... 4... 5... Five candidates' audition videos were played in quick succession.
The discussions among the audience were even more intense. One might reckon his own student's performance was the best, while another might feel that his own senior or junior was the most outstanding.
Some people chose to gloss things over and not offend any parties. "All of them are really decent. They are all very capable actors."
Without the means and without contacts, these people would not have been able to get the script or a chance to audition. Therefore, anyone that had arrived at this final selection stage was not a simple person. There were some people at the venue who would refrain from voting when the time came so as to avoid offending anyone.
In the third row, those from various military districts appeared slightly distracted. Hearing the discussions all around, their faces seemed detached and indifferent.
"All of them seem fine."
"The acting is quite good."
But that was all.
Even if the people in question were first-rate or top-rate actors, the military personnel here wouldn't recognize them. The military personnel here were garrisoned on foreign planets most of the time and had very little contact with the entertainment circles, especially at places with arduous conditions, just like planet Baiji before power ore had been discovered there. Even the internet bandwidth was limited, and the only news they received to relieve their boredom was official political and educational news. They wouldn't receive any entertainment gossip or any popular films or drama series.
Of course, the most important point was that these bunch did not have much real interest in the entertainment circles.
How troublesome. Why was this voting assignment taken up?
At first, they had still found this rather meaningful. However, at this point, they were starting to find it a little troublesome. It would have been better if these actors had been brought to the mines or to out explore the cosmos. They could conveniently have "friendly" interactions with the native creatures on some foreign planets.
Seriously speaking, on their sides, there were actually many people with exquisite acting skills. On normal days, they all put on masks and acted. The military personnel here had naturally also honed a set of piercing eyes. If these sorts of people were to act, just based solely on acting skills, they would not necessarily lose out to these professional actors.
In their eyes, actors were just that. Actors were not that wonderful, but the military personnel here had no right to criticize.
These people did not chase stars, nor did they pay attention to the entertainment circles, but sitting here, they would still show the respect that these actors ought to receive. Even if these people felt impatient, they would still sit quietly and watch the entire thing before completing their own assignments.
"There are four more to go. After watching these, the role will be settled," a major general of a certain military said while glancing at the time.
"That is only the first role for today. There are still two more roles that require selecting. Each role will follow the same process."
"Sitting here listening to this bunch ramble on and on seems even more tiring than training."
"What else can we do? Let's continue watching. It's number 6 now."
After candidate 6's audition videos concluded, the professionals in the area started discussing once again.
This bunch of professionals had seemed rather upright at the start, but now, when almost all the candidates had been viewed, the competition was more intense, and arguments were laid out in the open. There was even an old fellow who said he was going to campaign for votes.
The audience in the third row continued to be detached.
"Three more left."
"Hey, it's number 7's turn! It's the candidate that these bunch can't recognize."
Hearing that it was candidate 7's turn, some people who were distracted became more alert!
They had to properly see whether they could recognize who this person was from his three audition videos. Candidate 7 was an actor. Who exactly was he?
"I also want to take a look. Perhaps I might recognize who it is before this bunch."
"You don't even watch dramas. How many actors can you recognize?"
"Perhaps not the others, but number 7 gives me the impression that I have seen him somewhere before." 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far