Several days later.
In the morning.
After resting for a few days, Zhang Ye finally got back to work at the studio.
Ha Qiqi smiled and greeted, “Good morning, Director Zhang.”
Zhang Zuo greeted, “Good morning.”
“Have you finished resting?” Little Wang said, giggling.
Zhang Ye chuckled and said, “What rest? I’ve been accompanying my wife and child at home for the past few days. I was either cooking or going on outings with them. It was even more tiring than working.”
Little Zhou burst out laughing. “What a humblebrag! I was taken by surprise!”
Little Wang rolled her eyes. “Have you ever spared a thought for those lonely people in the office? You’ve got such a good daughter and a beautiful wife. How could you feel tired about that? Don’t you know how to be content with what you have in life? Oh right, I forgot. You’re face-blind and don’t know that your wife is pretty.”
Zhang Ye said in amusement, “You’re teasing me now, are you?”
Zhang Ye asked, “How’s the ad doing?”
“They’ve started a global campaign.” Ha Qiqi said, “The effects are quite good.”
Zhang Zuo smiled and said, “I’ve spoken with The Cola Company, and they’ve mentioned that they’re pretty satisfied with it and it’s on the right track overall. Our international presence and fame are slowly building up too. Our position on the international celebrity rankings these few days has been very stable and we didn’t increase or drop in ranking as we maintain our grip on a frontrunner position. It might be quite difficult to go further up the rankings, but it won’t be easy to drop down in the near future either.”
Ha Qiqi said pleased, “We’ve gained stable footing in the international scene.”
“That’ll do, not bad.” Zhang Ye nodded approvingly.
Ha Qiqi asked, “What are your plans?”
Zhang Ye questioned back, “What do you guys think I should do?”
Ha Qiqi waved her hands in response. “We don’t dare to give any more suggestions. When Hollywood invited you to shoot a movie, we persuaded you to do it. As a result, we nearly caused a huge mess that would have sent our international popularity plummeting. So it’s better that you make your own decisions when it comes to work. We’ll carry out the dirty work in whichever direction you point us in.” She then laughed and said, “History has already proven countless times that the projects you choose will always turn out fine.”
Zhang Ye laughed and said, “Come on, I haven’t thought of anything yet either.”
What should he dabble in this time?
He really had no ideas.
The movie this time had indeed brought him a lot of gains, and things like fame and qualifications were earned through it as well. But strictly speaking, he also resorted to quite a few gimmicks to achieve those results. Wolf Warrior 2 had indeed entered the Top 100 of the global box office rankings and shocked the entire world. But in reality, most of the box office earnings were achieved in China. Meanwhile, the people in most other countries had almost not even watched this movie. Hence, the popularity that he received through the screening of this movie was always lacking a little something and had its own set of restrictions in turn. This was also the reason why Zhang Ye would find it hard to break past the international C-list rankings in the short term. Even if he were to make another movie like Wolf Warrior 2, or another two or three movies like it, his popularity wouldn’t be able to go much higher. At most, he would be able to stay at the top of the International C-list Rankings.
There was a fundamental difference between these two rankings!
Since this was the international stage, he would of course have to do something with an international appeal and influence. It couldn’t be a show that only his own countrymen would like, but something that foreign citizens would take to as well. Only by crossing that line would Zhang Ye stand a chance of advancing towards his goal of reaching the International B-list Rankings. Any other talk right now would just be for naught.
The takeout was delivered.
“Director Zhang, it’s time to eat.”
“You’re still pondering about it?”
While they were eating, Zhang Ye was still considering this matter.
He asked, “We didn’t receive any invitations for any projects?”
Ha Qiqi said with a wry smile, “We really didn’t.”
Zhang Ye wondered out loud, “How is that possible?”
“It’s because your popularity right now is too high.” Ha Qiqi said helplessly, “That’s why everyone thinks that you’re too expensive to work with and that they can’t afford you. That is probably the reason.”
Zhang Ye rolled his eyes. “Sure, it’s my fault for being so popular.”
Zhang Zuo said, “The main issue is you’re way too popular. You’re a director of a five billion yuan movie!”
Zhang Ye corrected, “It’s 4.8 billion.”
Ha Qiqi laughed and said, “Don’t mention 4.8 billion yuan. In China, even a director or actor who has had a part in an 800 million yuan production can easily call the shots in the entertainment circle. Just think, how many times have you exceeded their achievements by? But I guess we can wait for a bit longer. There will be no projects extending an invitation to us. The only thing we should be concerned about is whether it suits us or not. What we lack now is not work, but a good project. We have to first open up our path on the international market before we can go further.”
Zhang Ye nodded. “I agree with that.”
Suddenly, his cell phone rang.
It was a call from his old classmate, Yu Yingyi.
“Yingyi? What’s up?”
“Are you at the studio?”
“Alright, I’ll head over for a visit.”
“Sure, come over.”
10 minutes later, Yu Yingyi arrived.
The moment she entered the office, she said in surprise, “You’re still eating takeout?”
Zhang Ye laughed as he ate, “Then what should I be eating?”
“You’re already worth over 2 billion yuan, so why are you still eating this?” Yu Yingyi said in amusement, “I would have thought that you’d be feasting on abalone and lobster every day. I wanted to come here to scrounge a meal off of you.”
Zhang Ye chuckled and said, “The money is not in yet. I’m still as poor as I was right now.”
Ha Qiqi gave up her seat. “I’ve finished eating. Take a seat here, Teacher Yu.”
Yu Yingyi smiled and said, “Thanks, Sister Ha.”
Zhang Ye looked up and asked, “What made you come to my office to visit today?”
Sitting down, Yu Yingyi said, “Someone never visits unless they need something.”
“So what is it?” Zhang Ye blinked.
Yu Yingyi looked at him. “You’ve really done us Chinese people proud with your movie. In just a few months, you’ve built such a good reputation for our Chinese film industry. However, you’re still a host based on your profession, and we both came through the television system. Surely you can’t only be thinking of making movies now, can you? Shouldn’t you also do your part and better the television industry of China as well? By making a TV show that can bring us up onto the international scene, right?”
Zhang Ye said nervously, “Do you think it’s that easy?”
Yu Yingyi laughed and said, “It’s not easy, which is why I came to you.”
“Forget it, I’m not that capable.” Zhang Ye hurriedly waved it off.
Yu Yingyi said, not giving up, “What do you think of Central TV International?”
Zhang Ye said honestly, “I don’t think it’s much.”
Yu Yingyi was horrified. “We’re the only international channel in China. How is that not something?”
“Do you guys have the viewership ratings to back it up?” Zhang Ye asked.
Yu Yingyi said coldly, “We have the coverage!”
Zhang Ye said, “What do you mean by that? Are you thinking of doing an entertainment show on CTV International? Hasn’t it always been showing only politics and military programs?”
Yu Yingyi said, “We have to keep up with the times too.”
Zhang Ye said, “It’s not easy making a TV show these days.”
Yu Yingyi said, “You mean there are still things that you can’t do?”
Zhang Ye laughed and said, “Sister, I’m not a god. Do you think that making a show is that easy? And you even want it to be interesting to international viewers too? Do you know what kinds of shows foreigners like? Talk shows? Although I was the one who started that format, it spread overseas a long time ago. They already have their own talk shows that are quite popular with the viewers. Who still wants to watch ours? Or do you want to make a documentary? The international documentaries have higher production value than ours’, and their investments are larger as well. Their hosts fly all over the world to film their footage, so how can we compete? Or do you want to make a survival show? They’re so overdone by the other countries that we won’t have the first-move advantage, so it will be a surefire fail if we were to do them as well. This is why China does not have a share in the world when it comes to TV shows. If we wish to use our own TV shows to promote ourselves overseas, it’s an almost impossible task. No one will watch any of them.”
It wasn’t that he didn’t want to make a television show to open up China’s path overseas. This was something that he wished to do back then, but making television shows was different from making a movie. China’s television shows had even less of a presence in the world than China’s movies. After thinking for a very long time, there wasn’t anything that Zhang Ye could bring to the table.
As such, he said, “Just forget about it.”
Yu Yingyi was taken aback. “Wait a minute.”
Zhang Ye asked, “What?”
Yu Yingyi looked at him with a puzzled face. “When you mentioned that talk shows and documentaries are very popular overseas, I know that. But did you mention something about survival shows just now?”
“Yeah,” Zhang Ye said matter-of-factly.
But Yu Yingyi asked, “What’s that?”
Zhang Ye was startled. “Haven’t you watched a survival show before?”
Yu Yingyi scratched her head. “No, I’ve never watched one before.”
Zhang Ye said, “They have such shows overseas, and they’re under the exploration genre”
Yu Yingyi said, looking confused, “I really don’t know about them. What are you talking about?”
Zhang Ye rolled his eyes. “Why are you such a hick?” Then he turned and looked at Ha Qiqi, Zhang Zuo, and the others. “Explain it to her.”
However, their reactions were the same as Yu Yingyi.
Ha Qiqi said, “I don’t think I’ve heard of it before either.”
Zhang Zuo seemed like he was thinking hard. “Are there shows like that?”
Little Wang said, “Exploration? Exploration of what? Digging for oil?”
Everyone was shaking their heads. No one had heard of it before.
Zhang Ye was dumbfounded. “Ah? There isn’t such a thing?”
He quickly searched for it on his computer.
Soon, a surprised expression appeared on Zhang Ye’s face. He shouted, “What the fuck, it really doesn’t fucking exist!”
Yu Yingyi said curiously, “Just what sort of strange show did you watch?”
That show isn’t strange at all!
It was a phenomenal show that was extremely popular all around the world!