Huanle Shiji's President Chen swallowed what he had in his mouth before answering Gun-Ho's question.
"We started with 1 million dollars."
"You must have debts as well, so I believe that the company currently has impaired capital."
"To be honest with you, yes, you are correct. That's the company's current financial situation."
"You have produced two dramas so far, and both of them didn't do well. I believe that getting crowdfunding wouldn't be an option for your company either."
"I suppose so."
Gun-Ho said while having his beer, "I'd like to take a look at Huanle Shiji's financial statements. I want to see its current accounts payable as of today."
"I will need to ask the accounting staff for it."
"If you could email me with the financial statements, I would appreciate it. I will need it in order to make my decision. You will find my email address on my business card."
"Of course. I will send it to you as soon as it becomes ready."
Director Woon-Hak Sim, who had been having the food quietly while sitting at the corner of the table since he couldn't understand the conversation going on in Chinese, asked, "Mr. Director Wu, do you direct TV dramas yourself?"
Gun-Ho interpreted for Director Wu.
"Mr. President Chen directed the two dramas that we produced so far. I'm the director of a drama progress. Since we have a limited number of staff, I get involved in creating graphics as well."
"If so, I guess that Mr. President Chen usually cast actors and actresses as well."
"That's right, but I had cast extra actors and actresses myself too when necessary."
"It must be immensely expensive to cast a top star here in China as well, isn't it?"
"Oh, my gosh. Don't get me started. It does indeed cost an extremely substantial amount of money to cast a top star. As a matter of fact, one of the main reasons why we are financially suffering right now is because of the amount of money that we paid to the actors who starred in our dramas. It is a must to have a top star in your TV dramas because without them, you can't expect to have high ratings."
"You said earlier that you already have the manuscript for your next TV drama, which was written by a famous writer. Did you already cast actors and actresses for it?"
"No, not yet. It's going to be a daily TV drama. We haven't organized the production team for it yet, and we don't have a planned schedule yet either. We are in the very beginning stage now."
"Hmm, I see. Do you usually lease a studio for shooting?"
"We lease an empty space only, and we build our own studio."
"Does a broadcasting station in China subsidize the production cost for outsourcing a drama production like 100%?"
"No, not 100%. They do provide some subsidy though, but definitely not 100%. What about Korea?"
"Same as China, I guess. Drama production companies in Korea earn their profits mostly by selling their content to a global market and also by selling original soundtracks. They can't totally rely on the broadcasting station's subsidy."
"We do that too."
Director Sim picked up a piece of deep-fried shrimps and said, "Do you mind if I take a look at the synopsis of the manuscript that you mentioned earlier that a famous Chinese writer wrote?"
"No problem, but it's written in Chinese. Will it be okay?"
"If you could send it to me, I will have it translated into Korean. If you don't have the synopsis prepared yet, maybe the first 50 pages of the manuscript should be good."
"The first 50 pages?"
When Director Wu looked surprised, Gun-Ho smiled and said, "Director Sim asked for 50 pages which should be the amount of content when it is translated into the Korean language. It must be about 30 pages in the original Chinese version. A translated version tends to be longer than the original one."
"I see. Sure, I will do that. I will send it to you via email as well."
Listening to the request that Gun-Ho and Director Sim made, Director Li laughed and said, "You are indeed a businessman, President Goo. You want to review Huanle Shiji Production Company's financial statements and its next TV drama's synopsis first before you make your decision. Of course, that's the ideal attitude of an investor, I guess. If I were you, President Goo, I would have done the same. Well, I guess we are pretty much done with business talking for today."
"Well, since we are here, can I take a look at Huanle Shiji's office?"
President Chen laughed and said, "I've heard a lot about you, Mr. President Goo, from Director Li. I was told that you own several factories that generate 100 million dollars per year. Huanle Shiji is a small production company with 15 workers. There is nothing much to look at there. I don't think you want to visit the office."
At that moment, Director Sim chipped in unexpectedly with a question.
"Is Shanghai's Yingshi Leyuan far from here?"
Gun-Ho had never heard of the name of the place. Noticing that Gun-Ho had no idea what it was, Director Sim briefly explained to him about the place.
"It's a very famous Shanghai film park. It's one of the top ten movie locations in China. I've always wanted to visit the place. Since I am in Shanghai, I definitely want to go there."
Director Wu answered, "It's not far from here at all. It's situated in the suburb of Shanghai CityChedun Town in Songjiang District. You can freely enter the park after purchasing an admission ticket."
"Oh, so anyone could enter the film park with a ticket."
"Right. It's open to the public. The place had been reproduced with traditional houses and streets of 1930s China. You won't regret visiting there. You probably heard of the Chinese movie L.u.s.t, Caution, right? It was played in Korea as well. L.u.s.t, Caution was filmed in Yingshi Leyuan. The Chinese TV drama series Romance in the Rain was also shot there too."
"Hmm, I see."
President Chen chipped in with one more movie-related place to visit.
"You might want to visit Wuxi City as well. It's a city that you can find above Suzhou City. They have Wuxi Film Studio where many historical movies were filmed. Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the Outlaws of the Marsh were all filmed there."
Director Seukang Li added, "When you visit Wuxi City, why don't you pick up President Min-Hyeok Kim in Suzhou City, on the way? You visited China multiple times, but you haven't really gone sightseeing. And maybe you want to have some fun in China this time."
"Haha. That's right. Maybe I should spend some time here for pleasure, not just business."
Gun-Ho said to Seukang Li, "Well, let's call it a day. I will give you a call after I review Huanle Shiji Production Company's financial statements, their second drama that is currently on air, and also the next drama's synopsis."
"Sounds good. I do believe that the next drama will succeed by using Korea's production techniques and working with Korean actors or actresses. I hope you carefully review the possibility and render a favorable decision."
"Okay, I will do that. It's you, Director Li, who introduced this investment opportunity to me, so I will, of course, will review it favorably."
Gun-Ho parted from Seukang Li, President Chen, and Director Wu and went out on the street.
Nanjing Dong Lu (Nanjing east road) was packed with people.
"Whoa. There are too many people out here."
Gun-Ho was surprised and also complained about the busy street. Director Sim laughed and said, "China is a country with more than 1 billion population. Of course, its streets are filled with people."
"I keep getting bumped with people. Let's get into a hotel. I see a business sign for a hotel over there. It says 'Central Hotel.'"
"That looks pretty expensive."
Gun-Ho entered the Central Hotel without hesitation and reserved two rooms.
Gun-Ho handed a room key to Director Sim and said, "This is the key for your room. It's up to you whether you want to take a rest in the room, or go out and have your fun. Let's meet at the lobby at 6 pm for dinner."
"I can visit Yingshi Leyuan myself if you prefer to stay in a hotel and take a rest, sir."
"No, I will go with you. Let's visit that film park tomorrow, and take a good rest for the remaining day. I want to lay down on the bed. Maybe it's the beer that I had during lunch."
"No problem, sir."
"This hotel seems to have a sauna facility. You might want to relax while taking a sauna."
"Well, I will go up to my room now. I will see you later."