Novel Translation

Perfect Superstar – Chapter 250

Chapter 250 – Full of sincerity

Someone once said that taking a makeup photo is just like taking a wedding photo, it looks beautiful but is actually a painful thing.

It took Lu Chen and Chen Feier a full two days to finish taking their makeup photos.

However, neither of them thought it was painful, and Chen Feier was even enjoying it. In the end, she selected a batch of unretouched original photos and said she wanted to put them on her blog for publicity.

After they finished taking their makeup photos, Lu Chen and Chen Feier officially made their debut in the third episode of “Autumn in My Heart.”

What awaited them was a two-month-long filming period.

What Lu Chen didn’t expect was that on that afternoon, his sister Lu Xi would arrive in Jinling.

Accompanying her were Zhang De, the general manager of the Qian De Brothers Studio, and the program director of Haijin TV!

That evening, Lu Chen and Chen Feier hosted a banquet for their guests at the large hotel where they were staying.

Actually, strictly speaking, the real guest is only the representative from Haijin TV.

Because “Autumn in My Heart” is jointly invested in and produced by Qian De Brothers Studio, Chen Feier Studio, and Lu Chen Studio, the purpose of Haijin TV in sending delegates to negotiate is precisely for the premiere broadcast rights of this TV series!

In this regard, both Qian De Brothers Studio and Lu Chen Studio attach great importance to it. So, the two general managers came to Jinling to negotiate with Lu Chen and Chen Feier.

The general manager of Qian De Brothers Studio, Zhang De, is in his forties, short and stout, with a square face and thin eyebrows, he has a shrewd look on his face. His speech and mannerisms had a hint of a worldly-wise man, but he was courteous to both Chen Feier and Lu Chen.

When they met, Zhang De only shook hands lightly with Chen Feier, withdrawing his hand soon after.

But he shook hands firmly with Lu Chen and said with a hearty smile, “I’ve been hearing about Mr. Lu Chen’s great reputation for a long time. Today, meeting you for the first time, it’s indeed well-deserved. Thank you very much for allowing Qian De Brothers Studio to collaborate with you!”

Lu Chen smiled and said, “Mr. Zhang, you’re too polite!”

Zhang De said, “Politeness is a given. Let me introduce you to our guest, the director of the program department of Haijin TV…”

He introduced Haijin TV’s program department director, Zhong Yue.

Zhong Yue is in his thirties. He has a sturdy northern physique, a typical square face, distinct features with thick eyebrows and big eyes, and he also looks like a protagonist straight out of a TV drama.

To be in such a position in his thirties, Zhong Yue is undoubtedly an extraordinary individual.

He was equally polite and praised Lu Chen a few times.

While Lu Chen exchanged pleasantries with those two, Chen Feier started chatting with Lu Xi.

Chen Feier had been to Lu Chen’s studio before and had naturally met Lu Xi. Although they couldn’t be called sisters, they had common topics to discuss when they met.

However, this time when she met Lu Xi again, Chen Feier, who had always been easygoing, seemed a bit reserved. A faint blush appeared on her pretty face, and she spoke with greater caution.

After introductions were made, everyone sat down together and inevitably started discussing business.

There are around three to four thousand television stations of various sizes in China, but there are only a little over forty satellite TV stations, and Haijin TV is one of them. Its scale and strength are certainly not lacking.

However, among the more than forty satellite TV stations, Haijin TV has a very low level of visibility.

In other words, its average viewership is not high.

It is better to not compare it to hotshots like Xiangnan TV. Even when pitted against many inland provinces’ TV stations in the southwest and northwest, it doesn’t have much of an advantage, and it has never had any standout flagship programs.

As one of the four major municipal TV stations in China, Haijin TV is really struggling.

Some have analyzed that the main reason for this situation, aside from Haijin TV’s own issues, is its proximity to the capital city. With CCTV and Beijing TV being two big players in the area, talented individuals often would rather migrate there.

Leaving aside whether that analysis is correct, Haijin TV’s weak position is evident, with no high-rating variety shows and not even the opportunity to premiere hit TV dramas. They can only make do with leftovers.

Haijin TV, of course, is not willing to fall without doing anything. Last year, they launched a high-profile talent show, but the viewership declined steadily. In the end, it ended hastily, and the advertising revenue didn’t cover the costs.

Now, the director of Haijin TV’s program department has come personally to discuss the rights to air a TV drama. It’s surprising but not entirely unbelievable.

Currently, the big TV stations interested in the premiere rights of “Autumn in My Heart” include Beijing TV and Zhedong TV, but the conditions offered by both are not very impressive. At least they haven’t met the expectations of the investing three parties involved in this project.

This is normal. If it weren’t for the gold-star brand of Chen Feier as the selling point, even if Lu Chen and Qian De Brothers Studio actively approached them, the two TV stations might not necessarily pay much attention to them. Those willing to negotiate would demand very harsh contracts.

The number of TV series produced domestically every year is quite considerable, with most of them only being broadcast on small television stations in third or fourth-tier cities. The competition is much fiercer than ordinary people can imagine.

Large television stations that have access to high-quality resources naturally choose carefully and wait for the right opportunities. Unless it’s a hot work by a major celebrity, director, or popular intellectual property (IP), they rarely lower their guard to pursue it actively.

“Autumn in My Heart” is currently a hot topic on the Wave Blog. Besides Lu Chen’s dedicated promotion efforts, the most important factor is that it is Chen Feier’s first TV series where she is the leading actress.

Massive promotions have not yet started, so Haijin TV has approached them, as they might be looking for opportunities to strike a deal.

The ordered dishes and drinks quickly arrived, and everyone chatted while eating, creating a very harmonious atmosphere.

In Chinese culture, it’s common to discuss business at the dining table. After a few drinks, strangers can become friends, and many difficult conversations can be opened up under the influence of alcohol. It’s a unique aspect of business culture.

Amidst the clinking of glasses and laughter, Lu Chen learned about the initial offer made by Haijin TV.

Haijin TV, represented by Zhong Yue, made an offer for exclusive premiere rights for “Autumn in My Heart” at a buyout price of 300,000 yuan per episode.

The total for all 20 episodes would be 6 million yuan.

As an exclusive buyout, this price is undoubtedly not high, and it might even be a considered bit low.

Leaving aside other matters, let’s just talk about Chen Feier’s individual appearance fee, which is in the millions. When you add in Lu Chen and the other actors, 6 million barely covers the cost of paying the actors.

Of course, these exclusive premiere rights are only limited to television. The online exclusive rights can be sold separately.

Furthermore, if the premiere is successful, then the rights for reruns can be sold at a higher price.

Many TV dramas rely on selling rerun rights to make a profit.

However, in terms of the offer, there is no advantage in accepting that, compared to the offer of Beijing TV and Zhedong TV.

But since Zhong Yue came in person, he must have come with sincerity.

In addition to a buyout price of 300,000 per episode from Haijin TV, they also offered a condition that neither Beijing TV nor Zhedong TV could match.

That would be a pricing agreement based on viewership ratings.

With the national average viewership rating of 0.25% as the base point, for every 0.10% increase, there will be an additional 100,000 yuan for the buyout payment for one episode!

So, if “Autumn in My Heart” premieres on Haijin TV, and if the national average viewership rating for the 20 episodes is below 0.25%, then Haijin TV will pay 300,000 yuan per episode.

But if it reaches 0.35%, it will be 400,000 per episode, with no cap!

Furthermore, regardless of the viewership ratings, Haijin TV offers a guaranteed buyout price of 6 million.

It is precisely because Haijin TV has put forward such sincere conditions that the general manager of Qian De Brothers Studio, Zhang De, and Lu Xi, accompanied by Zhong Yue, rushed to Jingling.

Because, such a price increase contract, will not be offered by Beijing TV, or Zhedong TV.

Perhaps that may seem a bit difficult to understand for outsiders, but this kind of performance-based incentive agreement is clearly a win-win agreement; the higher the viewership, the stronger the advertising sales. Why wouldn’t Beijing TV and Zhedong TV agree with that kind of proposition?

The reason is simple. Neither Qian De Brothers Studio, Lu Chen, nor even Chen Fei’er are qualified to propose such conditions.

Rules cannot be broken.

As for Haijin TV, they are not high-profile within the industry, so naturally, they are willing to put their pride aside.

A guaranteed buyout price of 6 million is already very sincere, and the performance-based incentive agreement is a gamble they are willing to take!

For a weekend drama, achieving a nationwide average viewership rating of 0.25% is really not easy. A 0.1% increase is considered a significant improvement, and its impact on the promotion of advertising is very clear.

After understanding the preliminary offer from Haijin TV, Lu Chen and Chen Feier exchanged glances.

Chen Feier conveyed with her eyes to Lu Chen – the price is entirely negotiable!

Lu Chen also held the same view. However, even though he was very satisfied inside, he remained composed on the surface, raised his glass to program director Zhong Yue, and said, “Director Zhong, I toast to you, thanking you for your strong support for our TV series!”

“But I am still very young and don’t quite understand these matters. How about we watch a sample tomorrow before discussing further?”

Business negotiations were not Lu Chen’s strong suit. Professional matters should be handled by professionals. If he revealed too much, it could complicate the negotiations and put his side at a disadvantage.

Both the minimum guarantee and the performance-based incentive agreement were open for discussion.

That was Zhang De and Lu Xi’s responsibility.

Zhong Yue’s eyes twinkled. He clinked glasses with Lu Chen and said with a smile, “Mr. Lu, you’re too polite. That’s absolutely fine!”

He showed no sign of displeasure. In fact, he silently admired the young generation.

Not only Zhong Yue but even Zhang De had a newfound respect for Lu Chen. Just a moment ago, they were worried that Lu Chen, being young and impulsive, might be overwhelmed by the conditions presented by the other party and agree to them on the spot, putting them in a passive position.

It now seems that Lu Chen is much more experienced than he imagined.

Lu Chen smiled and said, “In addition, Feier and I will be recording the theme song tomorrow, and Director Zhong is welcome to provide valuable guidance and suggestions on the spot!”

Zhong Yue was moved and said, “Then I must definitely come and listen. That kind of opportunity is too rare.’

In addition to negotiations, he had to personally learn about the filming situation in Jinling, which happened to coincide with all this.

Everyone laughed, and the atmosphere at the banquet became even more warm and harmonious.

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