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The Greatest Showman – Chapter 101

Chapter 101 – Crude film set

In the scorching July sun of Barcelona, the sultry heat permeated the air, causing sweat to trickle even when standing still. However, this did not deter the passionate Spaniards from indulging in the madness, freedom, and romance of midsummer. Women in hot pants, men shirtless or bare-chested, and children dancing joyfully filled the streets, with the laughter and cheers embodying the unique charm exclusive to Spain.

Matthew looked at the chaotic warehouse before him. To his right, a large amount of timber was stacked, all covered with waterproof canvas. The quiet sawing machine on the side had accumulated a thick layer of dust. To his left lay a vast empty space, scattered with tools such as hand carts, shovels, and drills, along with four or five piles of yellow sand, haphazardly scattered without any order, resembling an abandoned warehouse long forgotten.

Passing through the warehouse’s iron gate, the scorching summer’s oppressive heat disappeared instantly. The chilling air inside sent shivers down one’s spine, causing goosebumps to rise on the arms. It felt like stepping into a freezer, the immediate chilling effect intensifying the feeling of dread and apprehension.

“Were you purposely looking for a haunted place?” Matthew’s words made Rodrigo burst into laughter, but Renly added, “He’s not joking.” Rodrigo’s smile instantly stiffened, and he stumbled back a few steps involuntarily.

Renly and Matthew, the two instigators, however, had no extra reactions, leisurely surveying the warehouse. That made Rodrigo confused and he couldn’t figure out whether they were serious or joking. After a moment’s thought, he explained seriously, “Our budget is limited, and it would be difficult to rent a temporary studio. This warehouse has been abandoned for three years. The cost of shooting here is only a quarter of that of a studio, and the space it offers is sufficient.”

As he spoke, Rodrigo’s footsteps had already stopped, and he spread his hands to gesture, “You see, this is our main shooting location.”

In front of them was a small pile of coarse yellow sand, a rectangular wooden box lay open on the sand, larger than imagined. A dark brown cloth bag was casually thrown inside the box. Next to it were several boxes of different sizes, one of which looked particularly conspicuous. Its length was the same, but its height was about half that of a person, making it difficult to discern its dimensions.

That’s all there was there.

These things within sight were all there was to it, even middle school science experiments looked much more complicated than what was right in front of them.

Matthew looked puzzled, as did Renly. Rodrigo also seemed a bit flustered, “Hey, guys.” He once again displayed the equipment in front of them, “You see, different-sized boxes are used to shoot different types of shots, we have close-ups, medium shots, and wide shots. In addition, the angles need to be constantly changing, so that is why we prepared so many boxes…”

As Rodrigo explained further, even he began to lose confidence, with his voice gradually fading.

Seeing Rodrigo’s embarrassed expression, Renly flashed a big smile, “We were just joking.” Rodrigo looked bewildered, unsure of what to do, “Such simple props, yet we can shoot an outstanding piece of work, that’s the most magical thing about movies, isn’t it?”

At this point, Rodrigo finally came to his senses, patting his chest and letting out a long sigh, clearly relieved. Both Renly and Matthew couldn’t help but chuckle.

“Buried” is truly a film that tests one’s skills to the limit. It is not merely about being trapped in a confined space; it’s about being confined to such a narrow space that turning around becomes nearly impossible. Throughout the film, there is only one setting and one actor. The director’s skill in framing shots, editing, and scheduling, the actor’s performance, interpretation, and ability to evoke emotions, the screenwriter’s storytelling, psychological insight, and plot twists, and even aspects like cinematography and soundtrack – this all will undergo rigorous tests. It’s already quite challenging to produce a decent work under such constraints, let alone an outstanding or even a true classic.

Therefore, the rudimentary filming location was within Renly’s expectations because the film itself only consists of one scene.

However, Renly was somewhat surprised to find that Rodrigo had prepared boxes of different sizes. As an audience, they always wonder how a film is shot or how a particular scene is captured; it all seems almost magical. Now, the mysteries of the film industry are slowly unfolding before Renly’s eyes.

Renly is now even more grateful to have experienced the fear of being trapped in a confined space firsthand because the entire filming process will be completed in an open environment, posing a more profound challenge for acting. Having prepared himself, Renly is now eager to step into the practical phase without further delay.

“Where are the other members of the crew?” Renly rubbed his hands together and began to move his body, as he got ready for the shooting.

Rodrigo glanced at his watch; it was almost time for the appointment. Although Spaniards are always habitually late, today was the first day of the shooting of “Buried.” Even if they aren’t on time, they shouldn’t be too late… Just then, there was a bustling sound at the door: “I told you, don’t turn right, don’t turn right…” “The navigation told me to turn right, what are you saying? Do you think I like taking detours?” “I’m just saying, I know this area well, I won’t get us lost.” “Alright, alright, anyway, we’re not late.”

Rodrigo breathed a sigh of relief and hurried over. Before he could say anything, someone at the door shouted, “Rodrigo, come help move the tripod. Alex actually brought the big light too, and I told him not to bring the big light…” “What if we need it? It’s only fifty euros more if we rent it together. If we rent it separately, it’s two hundred euros a day. Are you going to pay it or should I?” The unique rapid, passionate, and stuttering Spanish language echoed throughout the entire warehouse, turning the previously deserted warehouse into a lively place.

“It seems you’re ready to get to work.” Matthew grinned as he looked at the bustling crowd and spoke to Renly.

Renly pursed his lips and gave a calm reply, “What time is your flight?”

Matthew had spent three days in Barcelona and now it was time for him to return to work. He was currently in his internship phase, aiming to become a qualified lawyer, which was a necessary step.

“Um, 11:35.” Matthew glanced at the watch on his left wrist. “I must leave now. Barcelona airport is always particularly troublesome.” Even the VIP lanes were no exception; the Spanish penchant for laziness was everywhere.

“London’s rainy days are waiting for you, don’t envy me too much.” Renly’s banter left Matthew chuckling speechlessly. Every holiday season, Spain was one of the preferred vacation destinations for Britons.

“I thought you would miss the rainy season in London.” Matthew teased back, earning a roll of the eyes from Renly. After hesitating for a moment, Matthew still asked, “After your work here is finished, are you sure you won’t go back to London for a visit?”

Renly shrugged, “You can take some photos of this set and show it to Elizabeth. I think she’d be very happy with my decision not to go back.” Matthew couldn’t help but smirk, and yet he couldn’t refute it. “After the work is done, I’ll probably wander around Scandinavia. I want to try some free solo climbing.”

Free solo climbing, ranked first, as the world’s most dangerous extreme sport. First, it was the claustrophobic experience, now it’s free solo climbing. Renly was still Renly, never changing.

Matthew nodded slightly, wearing a look of disdain. “You know I’m making a gesture right now.” Renly certainly knew, Matthew was mentally flipping him off.

Looking at the faint smile on Renly’s lips, Matthew thought for a moment. In the end, he didn’t say much, turned around to leave, but then hesitated for a moment, turned back, and patted Renly on the shoulder, “Beware of Spanish ham, it’s an irresistible temptation.” With that said, both of them couldn’t help but laugh, and then Matthew turned around and walked away.

Rodrigo walked over, seeing Matthew’s departing figure, he cast a puzzled glance at Renly. Renly just smiled without explaining, “Won’t you introduce me to our fellow crew members?”

“Wow! Is this the actor you found? Why does he look so young? Could it be that he’s not even of age yet? Oh no, this is bad. I didn’t bring any diapers. Rodrigo, do we need to go to the supermarket now? If you’re willing to reimburse, I’m willing to run errands.” A tall and skinny young man, with a head full of curls who was staring at him, said with a grin. His Spanish was mumbled and rapid, like a machine gun, finishing a long sentence without pausing for breath.

Everyone burst into laughter, but Renly was unfazed, still wearing a smile. “I suggest you’d better buy adult diapers. You drank too much last night and ended up sleeping in your own urine. The smell is noticeable now. I’m not sure what your girlfriend thinks, but I can assure you, I do mind. If I pay for it, could you go to the supermarket and get some body deodorant?”(T/N – Ouch)

Silence fell like a shroud over the gathering, smiles lingering at the corners of every mouth, stiffening into masks. Even Rodrigo was stunned, his eyeballs almost popping out.

Spanish, pure and fluent Spanish. Obviously, Lanli’s Spanish is far from the “basic” level.

Originating from Latin, Spanish and Portuguese are crucial components of aristocratic education because Latin texts remain a vast treasure trove to this day, encompassing literature, philosophy, science, and more. Apart from English, Latin is often the first language they learn. In some courses at Cambridge University, students even have to write their papers in Latin. Nowadays, languages like French, German, etc., are all behind Latin in terms of popularity.

There wasn’t much change in Renly’s smile. “Good morning, I am Renly Hall, playing the role of Paul Conroy.” Renly’s gentlemanly and polite voice echoed in the warehouse, and it even reverberated. Everyone in front of him remained stiff, unable to react. At some point, the temperature of the warehouse seemed to have dropped again.

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