Gun-Ho said, "It costs an enormous amount of money to produce a movie. 3 million dollars is certainly not enough at all. You know that, right?"
"I'm still in the process of obtaining more funds. I keep the door wide open to get crowdfunding."
"You don't need me then, do you, Mr. President Chen?"
"Umm, sir, I do need you. It takes a long time to collect enough funds through crowdfunding. As you know well, even the pre-production stage in filmmaking takes five months. If we wait until obtaining enough funds before getting into the pre-production stage, it might be too late to produce a successful movie. The genre of patriotic films is the current trend in China. If we release our movie a while later, people might have already moved on to another genre. We have to produce the movie and release it as soon as we can while people still love to watch it."
"So, you are saying that I should provide half of the production cost in order to save time."
"I believe that it's not difficult to find Chinese investors who would be more than willing to fund a tremendous amount of money. Why do you want to work with a small Korean company GH Media?"
"Chinese investors are usually interested in taking over the operating right once they put their money in a business. Their constant attempt to interfere with the business is unimaginably bad. They would also try to place their own person in my position and start replacing my staff with their people. If that happens, I will lose my business."
"You said the other day that you recorded my first investment funds into the TV drama production of Shiguang Ru Meng as a short-term loan, which is not what we initially agreed. How do I still trust you and make an additional investment in your business?"
"I have my reason for it, sir, and I didn't mean to change my words with you. My current creditors were requesting to give them the shares of my production company for the debt that I owe them. Also, if I make your money as a short-term debt rather than giving you some company shares by increasing the capital, it would be easier to pay you back."
"If my investment funds are treated as a short-term loan, I will make profits only for the interest on the money."
"Not necessarily, sir. Since the business entity GH Media invested its funds in my production company, I can always pay GH Media for other services such as consulting fees. I just need a receipt issued by GH Media for the extra amount."
"We are currently receiving technical support and consultation from BM Entertainment. Director Woon-Hak Sim introduced that company to me. We are not paying a huge amount of money to them, but we are paying them for their service."
"Sir, I'm absolutely confident that this movie based on Ms. Ailing Feng's scenario will succeed. I know of several famous screenwriters in Korea such as Soo-Hyun Kim and Eun-Sook Kim. A movie or TV drama based on their scenarios is guaranteed for success, isn't it?"
Gun-Ho turned to Director Sim, and asked him, "What do you think, Mr. Director Sim?"
"Umm, well, I don't know, sir. I haven't had a chance to read the scenario yet. I can't tell anything about it at the moment."
"I understood what you said, Mr. President Chen. Can you give a copy of Ms. Ailing Feng's scenario to Director Sim? Along with the synopsis as well? I will have it translated into the Korean language and review it in Seoul."
"Of course, sir. The title of Ms. Ailing Feng's scenario is Menghuan Yinghua. I will give a copy of the scenario and synopsis to Director Sim by the end of today."
"Mr. Director Sim, once you get the copy, please send it to GH Media's President Jeong-Sook Shin immediately."
President Baogang Chen added, "Mr. President Goo, our estimated production cost for Menghuan Yinghua is 10 billion Korean won. And, if you could invest half of that cost 5 billion won, I'm certain that you will make several times of what you invested at the end."
"You said that you have 3 billion won funding so far. If I fund 5 billion won, are you sure that you can find the rest of the estimated production cost 2 billion won?"
"Oh, my gosh, sir. Once you fund us 50% of our estimated production cost, everyone will try to participate in investing in this movie production. Don't worry about it, sir. Once we have our production presentation, it will be the splash in a newspaper in no time. Moreover, since the movie will depict patriotism, we will have full support from the government."
"We have about 15 dominant film distributors in China. I'm pretty sure that Director Seukang Li has enough power to influence some of those dominant film distributors' decisions, such as Ying Lian Media, Bona Pictures, and Five Brothers."
"Is that right?"
"As a matter of fact, Director Seukang Li helped us enormously in receiving a very good time slot for our currently-being-produced TV drama Shiguang Ru Meng. It is important to produce a good TV drama, but the time slot to be on the air is critical in getting high view ratings as well."
"I didn't know that Director Seukang Li was that influential."
"Director Li was a member of Gong Qing Tuan (the Communist Youth League of China) when he was younger. He is not even 40 years old yet. He is a rising Lingdao (leader) for the next generation. Therefore, people take his words very seriously."
"Is that right?"
"Director Li and you President Goo are very good friends who could practically help each other as well. I think it's a magnificent combination."
"I heard you, President Chen. I have to leave for Antang City tomorrow to attend a board meeting. I will make time to meet Director Li this evening."
"Thank you, sir. If you meet him tonight, please put in a good word for me with him."
After President Baogang Chen and Director Woon-Hak Sim left the room, Gun-Ho made a call to Seukang Li.
"Hey, it's me, Gun-Ho Goo."
"Oh, President Goo. Where are you right now?"
"I just had a meeting with Huanle Shiji Production Company's President Baogang Chen. I'm at the hotel room in Pudong. Can we meet this evening?"
"Of course. I will be heading in the direction to that area this evening anyway to get home. So, I will go to your hotel around 6 pm. There is a nice restaurant behind that hotel. They are very good at Hu Cai (Shanghai cuisine)."
"Sounds great. I will see you then."
When it was 6 pm sharp, Gun-Ho received a call from Seukang Li."
"It's me. I'm in the hotel lobby."
"I will be right down."
Gun-Ho went down to the lobby carrying the scroll painting that President Chen gave to him earlier that day.
"Hey, it's really good to see you, President Goo!"
"Good to see you, Director Li."
The two men hugged each other and sat at a table in the lobby.
"This is a nice hotel. I heard that Lial Zhiang stays in this hotel whenever she comes to the area."
"The Korean actress Lia."
"I was worried about the new TV drama, and I feel so relieved that Shiguang Ru Meng is doing really well."
"I want to thank you for it, Director Li."
"Me? I didn't do much. It's all because of you, President Goo. I appreciate it."
"Oh, you know what? I received this gift from a Chinese person. I brought this to show you. I'm not sure if this is an expensive painting or not."
Seukang Li closely looked at the scroll painting, and he said, "This looks like a painting from the late Qing dynasty."
"Qing dynasty? It must be expensive then, isn't it?"
"Not necessarily. It was painted during Guangxu. You can buy a painting like this for 2,000 Yuan."
"While Empress Dowager Cixi governed the country, many people had suffered from economic hardship, so many people got into the painting industry just to make a living. So, this painting is probably not a creative painting but a copy of a famous painting. Who would make a gift of an original painting of a famous painter? They would save it at home and pass it on to the next generation within their family."