Novel Translation

The Greatest Showman – Chapter 104

Chapter 104 – To the bone

Mónica almost reflexively raised her hand to cover her mouth, and the next second, her scream was stifled in the palm of her hand. She widened her eyes in disbelief as she looked at the darkness in front of her— the firelight was once again extinguished, plunging the entire warehouse into darkness. She couldn’t even see the outline of the coffin, but… tears quickly welled up in her eyes, and overwhelming emotions completely engulfed her, almost making her gag.

It is unimaginable and still unimaginable even after experiencing it first-hand.

Just by changing the rhythm of breathing, just by the sound of physical collisions, just by the sound deep in the throat, the desperate struggle in that dire situation had been vividly displayed, deeply touching the soul of every spectator. Before they realized it, they had already immersed themselves in that world— as if they were trapped in the coffin, as if they were facing danger. Everything was so vivid that emotions began to derail and spiral out of control.

Hot tears moistened the back of her hand, startling Mónica. She couldn’t even remember the last time she shed tears, but just now, she couldn’t control it, and before she realized it, tears had already slid down.


Rodrigo’s voice, delayed by half a beat, finally resounded. It echoed in the spacious warehouse, swaying like rootless duckweed, somewhat eerie, but eventually, everyone reacted.

The lights turned on half a step late. The faint yellow halo slowly dispersed the darkness, gradually brightening the warehouse. It dragged everyone slowly from the realm of the movie story back into the real world. The chaos and unease of transitioning from illusion to reality made everyone restless. They averted their eyes one by one, hiding their wretchedness and inner fear — The despair that arose after the lighter lit up cruelly and bloodily strangled the hope that had not yet had time to sprout. The shock it brought was all hidden in those dilated pupils, deeply imprinted on everyone. So much so that now, seeing the light, they wanted to flee.

Mónica abruptly turned around, wiping the tears from her cheeks, concealing her embarrassment, and then quickly walked to the side, seeking refuge.

Eduard opened his mouth wide, wanting to say something, but found that all the words were stuck in his throat, so pale, so powerless, so impoverished—the moment of truth seemed to be like a blade cutting through the skin, making all the hairs stand on end, wishing to turn and run away immediately, but the body was firmly stuck in place, just like being trapped in that coffin, suffocating panic and the fear of death firmly gripping the throat, baring teeth and claws.

Suddenly, he remembered, Renly’s actions, just before filming, he was sitting quietly in place, looking at a page of the script, not turning the page for nearly an hour.

What was on the first page of the script anyway? His memory was somewhat fuzzy, as the first page barely contained anything. His heart contracted suddenly, and Eduard turned quickly, searching for the script, but his steps were a bit unsteady, making him almost fall, the surging blood made his muscles somewhat uncontrollable.

Found it!

Eduard hastily opened the script and then saw the first page of the script.

Paul: Help! Help!

This is all there is, just these. Two short, mere sentences — more accurately, what they had just filmed was only the first sentence, but the effect presented… was so shocking!

Without the orchestration of lenses, without the assistance of lighting, without the director’s editing, it was simply a continuous shot that was also shot in the darkness, placing all the weight on the shoulders of the actor. And Renly, the young man who seemingly hadn’t even grown a full beard, delivered a spectacular performance; gradual, delicate, complete, and clear in structure. In just under two minutes of performance, it brought about a tsunami-like effect.

Closing his eyes, Eduard couldn’t help but tremble, like dry leaves in the autumn wind. He could deeply feel every emotion Paul experienced in his desperate situation, deeply penetrating the marrow of his bones, so that the moment darkness fell, he reflexively began to sink into fear.

Now, Eduard finally understood what Renly was doing before shooting. Through repeated reading, pondering, and thinking, Renly transformed a neatly arranged sentence into a magnificent reality. This is truly the transformation of something decay into magic!

Lifting his head, Eduard’s gaze was somewhat bewildered. He was just an ordinary cameramen who had previously taken part in two works, that had little impact, and his collaborators were all local Spanish actors. He had never truly felt the power of cinema, much less witnessed the power of acting, so now he felt somewhat at a loss.

Finally, Eduard’s gaze fell on Rodrigo. He tried to speak but found his throat incredibly dry. After swallowing twice, he called out, “Rodrigo.”

Rodrigo’s face was radiant, his eyes gleaming with excitement and enthusiasm, like sunshine.

“Is it because of this reason that you chose him as the male lead?” Eduard already knew the answer in his heart but couldn’t help asking. The members of the crew had all read the script and naturally understood how crucial the role of the male lead is in this work.

Rodrigo grinned, “No, actually, his performance today far exceeded my expectations.” Rodrigo savoured it carefully. Compared to their last encounter in New York, Renly’s performance today had an indescribable flavour. He couldn’t describe it, and he wasn’t sure if it was because of their previous confinement experience, but what he could be sure of was that the upcoming shoot would be even more worth looking forward to. “Do you know? He actively approached me for the audition.”

Rodrigo couldn’t quite tell where this sense of pride and satisfaction came from, but his heart couldn’t help but flutter lightly.

“Rodrigo?” a muffled voice came from the wooden box, interrupting Rodrigo and Eduard’s conversation. Instantly, everyone in the entire warehouse cast their eyes.

Rodrigo quickly walked over. Because the first scene required utilizing the echo of breathing and the narrow space, the lid of the wooden box was closed, but the bottom was completely open. Additionally, to facilitate camera capture, the wooden box was slightly tilted, with a mound of dirt piled underneath for Renly’s feet to stand on and gain leverage.

Rodrigo arrived at the back of the wooden box and crouched down to inquire, “Renly?”

“How was the shoot just now?” Renly asked. Ideally, Renly wanted to personally check it behind the monitor, but it was too cumbersome to enter and exit the box, and he needed to maintain his tense state, so he gave up the idea of fussing over it.

Rodrigo paused, and then he realized—he hadn’t even reviewed the last shot. “Wait, I need to confirm it again.” Rodrigo felt a bit embarrassed; he was so caught up in awe and amazement that he had even forgotten the director’s basic duties.

Quickly standing up, Rodrigo went to the back of the monitor and began to review. Unexpectedly, others also rushed up one after another, watching every move on the screen.

Two minutes, one hundred and twenty seconds, which was really too long and boring for a long shot; but the reality was different, the whole performance was seamless, without any waste or redundancy. The acting filled the story with fullness without exaggeration, skillfully drawing the audience into the story with just the right amount of tension.


Rodrigo also realized for the first time that acting, is not just lines, not just expressions, nor just actions, but every detail about a person can be a performance. Especially in the last shot of the opening performance, the dilated pupils contained an incredible power, straightforwardly cutting off the hope that had not yet had time to sprout, cruelly leaving people in despair, unable even to muster the emotion of resistance.

With just a glance, that world has already changed dramatically.

Such a challenging scene, Renly not only passed it with a single take but also imbued it with more meaning. Rodrigo could imagine that in the upcoming scenes when Paul begins to fight for survival, the audience’s attention will undoubtedly follow his every move, as the suspenseful twists and tension have already been foreshadowed here. Unbelievable! Truly unbelievable!

“Perfect!” Rodrigo exclaimed, searching his mind for the words, but still unable to describe the excitement within him, he could only say again, “Perfect!”

Renly’s muffled voice came from the wooden box, “Good, I’m ready to continue shooting.”

“Oh, right, right,” Rodrigo nodded repeatedly, clapping his hands to attract everyone’s attention, “The second scene, we’re starting the second scene now.”

Everyone started bustling again, only to find that Eduard was still standing still. Rodrigo had to step forward and pat him on the shoulder to snap him out of it. Eduard seemed somewhat absent-minded, but after taking a deep breath, he suddenly became full of enthusiasm and immediately threw himself into work. This was a dramatic change from his previous state, as he became proactive.

Eduard walked to the side of the wooden box and whispered, “Sorry… forgive me for my rudeness earlier.” He paused, “Anyway, sorry.” With that, Eduard quickly turned and left.

Once everyone was ready, Rodrigo turned around, intending to instruct everyone to be quiet, but found that everyone had voluntarily stepped back ten steps, fearing that their breathing might disrupt the filming effect. At the same time, everyone tightly closed their mouths, eagerly watching the quiet wooden box.

A smile crept onto Rodrigo’s lips involuntarily, sensing that the upcoming filming would go very smoothly. “July 15th, ‘Buried’, Act One, Scene Two, first attempt.”

T/N – I AM BACK…probably. No excuses for making you wait so long for a new chapter, I was just busy with real life, trying to graduate, with my other work, so yeeeeah, I hope I am back for good.

T/N – If you like this novel, please give a review or rating on Novel Updates🙂

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