The Perfect Relationship by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 29: The Turnaround After Defeat
After the audition began, including Yin Chang and Wang Chen, there were a total of five stars that were present who entered the studio. Compared to the average person, they were dazzling, but compared to each other, it was clear who stood out among them at a glance. There was no comparison. Yin Chang’s overall image blew the others out of the water, including Wang Chen.
A lot could be understood by a person’s posture and dress. Especially in the entertainment industry, public image is key to success. It stands to reason that Wang Chen, growing up in a very affluent home and thus access to privileges normal people do not, should be able to stand out above the rest. However, standing side by side, no one seemed to outshine the other until Yin Chang entered the room. For once, they felt just average.
Moreover, with blond dyed hair, three studded earrings on his left ear, and loose-fitted clothes, Wang Chen’s overall image was similar to K-Pop idols. Compared to Yin Chang, with his black hair and black fitted trousers and shirt, Wang Cheng felt like an internet star, not a celebrity.
However, apart from Wang Chen, the other models present were mentally prepared to have a supporting role. Wang Chen was not. Since he debuted as this year’s “Absolute Idol”, he was expected to be the main character of a story. His limelight was stolen once Yin Chang appeared out of nowhere.
Fortunately, Wang Chang could maintain his professionalism. Even if he burned with anger in the pit of his stomach, he still smiled like a spring breeze.
After introductions, each of the models put on a VI watch and went on-set to take photographs according to the photographer’s direction. As soon as the digital photos were reviewed, Wang Chen and Yin Chang looked similar. It’s no wonder. Wang Chen had more experience than Yin Chang and knows how best to express his good side. The most crucial factor was, the quality of the photographs and their commercial value were the same.
After each session with one of the models, the set of photos were sent to a production team for simple color correction, then passed to a panel of judges in the next room. Sitting in the center of the room, the art director, Luca, watched as the images were projected one by one onto a big screen. On either side, the other managers sat close by, all discussing the photographs.
“I think Wang Chen’s solo photos were very expressive.”
“Yes, especially when he laughs. He feels sunny and energetic; a perfect reflection of the youthful style we are looking for.”
“Compared with Wang Chen, Yin Chang’s overall image doesn’t match the brand.”
“Agreed. His all-black attire makes him look too formal and cold.”
“Well, although he’s not as youthful as Wang Chen, there is a sense of sophistication depicted in the photographs.”
“I also feel that way. The market price for the K-series is higher, right? I feel like it suits him more.”
Manager Xie couldn’t help but look at Luca and ask: “Luca, what do you think?”
From the beginning, as if he had ignored the discussion around him, Luca didn’t say a word. Crossing his arms, he sat watching every photograph very carefully as they went by. Hearing what Manager Xie asked, he raised his hand and made a gesture of peace and quiet. Afterwards, he continued to stare at the screen.
The atmosphere in the discussion room suddenly became very serious. Several of the managers stopped their discussion and instead, offered a brief summary about each of the models as they appeared on the screen.
After Luca reviewed all of the photos a dozen more times, he lowered his hand to pick out two models. Of the five, Wang Chen and Yin Chang were chosen. “You mentioned these two in your emails, right?”
The marketing manager immediately replied: “Yes. We were more inclined to choose Wang Chen. He is the boy with light blond hair.”
While putting the printed image down, Luca nodded and motioned to the staff to replay Wang Chen’s series of photographs. He slowly commented: “His photographs are very good. VI watch matches his style very well. However, his image is too prominent, making them too personal. Our watch is just an accessory; a decoration that can easily be substituted by something else.
Luca’s evaluation made those who support Wang Chen feel a little surprised.
Luca glanced down at Wang Chen’s information again and said: “Maybe this person is more famous in your country and currently has better commercial power in the market. In order to make a final decision, this also has to be considered in combination with your suggestions.”
Having positive feedback in favor of Wang Chen to report back, his marketing team and manager breathed a sigh of relief.
Manager Xie anxiously asked: “What about Yin Chang?”
The staff replaced Wang Chen photo with Yin Chang photograph and projected his images on the screen. Luca looked up and said: “He’s perfect.”
Everyone: “…” Perfect? With such a sudden a high evaluation, will Yin Chang be directly selected?
“….And he pays great attention to detail.” Luka thought of the young man who he met that just folded his towel after washing his hands in the bathroom, with appreciation.
“He’s wearing black clothes today with only gems on his cuffs as embellishments. Then to match, he chose a sea-blue watch to use in the photographs. Because of the black background, our eyes are drawn to the blue colored areas of the image at a glance – like the watch on his wrist.”
Except for Luca’s high praise of Yin Chang, everyone was quiet. Those who supported Wang Chen already felt defeated in their hearts.
Shaking his head with regret, Luca suddenly commented: “But, he is so beautiful.”
Everyone: “???” What do you mean?
Luca elaborated: “No matter how deliberate we try to tone him down, a voyeur will always be drawn to his person. They will want to know more about him personally. As someone just mentioned, Yin Chang is too sophisticated.”
All of the managers in the room turned their heads to look at one another in confusion. Only Manager Xie had the courage to speak up: “Senior, isn’t that a good thing?”
Luca lamented: “He made me feel like our watches weren’t worthy of him.”
Everyone: “…” Because the preferred spokesperson was too refined and the products were too cheap – what kind of distorted evaluation is this? Even so, no matter how sophisticated he might appear, Yin Chang was young and new to the industry.
Trembling, Manager Xie hesitantly asked: “So, do you think Yin Chang is an inappropriate choice?”
Luca was also conflicted and couldn’t make a choice. He looked at the files of the two once more and asked, “Isn’t there some filming in the afternoon for a commercial? I will decide after the rough-cut is completed.”
At noon, the public relations department of VI arranged a catered lunch for the models. While they were eating, Manager Xie excused herself from the table and signaled Yao Manhuai to follow her to the bathroom. Quietly they talked: “I’m not confident that Yin Chang will be the spokesperson.”
Yao Manhuai frowned: “Why do you say that?”
Manager Xie: “Our artistic director thought Yin Chang was too sophisticated and didn’t match VI brand image.”
Even though Yao Manhuai has been in this business for a very long time, it is the first time she has heard of such an evaluation…..
“But Luca’s personal opinion of Yin Chang is very high and he may change his mind when he sees Yin Chang act this afternoon during the filming.”
Yao Manhuai nodded. She was afraid of affecting Yin Chang’s state of mind so she didn’t tell him about her discussion after she returned to lunch.
In reality, Yin Chang advantage was only in taking photos as he had some exposure during his photo shoots for the magazine and fashion shoots. Whether it was for a commercial or something else, he had no experience acting.
Looking through the script lying on the desk, Yin Chang didn’t know how to interpret the action of ‘while slowly putting on the watch, express intoxication and enjoyment’. In addition, he was to touch his arm and close his eyes. The scene seemed rather embarrassing.
When filming, Yin Chang was rather stiff. In contrast, Wang Chen’s performance was much better and the effect was obvious.
In the end, the combined opinions of all the judges of VI decided to let Wang Chen be their new spokesperson for the next two years.
When the marketing manager went to give Wang Chen the good news, Wang Chen stood up with great pride. Any grievances he suffered today because of Yin Chang were swept away in an instant. Just as he had felt during his recently won championship, Absolute Idol, he felt like he was standing in the limelight. The guy named Yin Chang could only stand in his shadow behind him feeling jealous…..
What about being more handsome? What about popularity? In the end, everything depends on your own ability! Hahaha…
Thanking the stars for their time to audition, several other staff members of VI company filed into the room. In addition to their participation compensation, they also prepared a splendid dinner party, intending to invite everyone to enjoy it.
Last in the group was Luca who was looking around for someone in the crowded room.
Obviously, Wang Chen also inquired about Luca’s origins through his own manager and knew that the art director was the main voice in the selection process. He straightened his clothes, raised a confident smile, and wanted to go over to solemnly thank the discerning art director for his choice.
Unexpectedly, Luca’s gaze passed directly over him, looking at Yin Chang behind him. Singularly focused, he ignored Wang Chen and walked straight to Yin Chang: “Hello, Yin Chang.”
Yin Chang: “Hi…” Huh? The foreigner who I met in the bathroom?
“I’m the artistic director of VI, Luca,” he said and smiled gently: “I’m sorry I didn’t choose you today.”
He was speaking in English and was afraid that Yin Chang wouldn’t understand him. He had waved his own translator over to relay what he was saying, but before he had the chance to do so, Yin Chang answered Luca in unaccented, fluent English. “Ah, It’s ok.”
After filming the commercial, Yin Chang was mentally prepared to lose the deal. Not being arrogant, he has a very good attitude and tolerance towards defeat.
Luca’s eyes lit up when he heard him speak English, and continued: “But I wanted to tell you, it’s not that you weren’t good enough, but that VI is not suitable for you. Our high luxury BG brand is preparing to launch an elite watch in the second half of the year. The grade and price of that watch are much higher than VI. I want you to be the brand ambassador for it. Would you be willing to accept the offer?”
Carefully listening, Yin Chang nodded. At the end, he was caught off guard: “This….” and looked to Yao Manhuai for consultation.
Yao Manhuai, who was also good in English, understood Luca’s meaning and immediately came forward: ”Hello Luca, I’m Yin Chang’s agent Samantha, and we are very happy to accept this invitation and very honored to do so.”
Using his finger, Wang Chen hurriedly poked the agent next to him: “What are they talking about?”
Given Wang Chen’s background and resources, the manager he was assigned to by the company was naturally fluent in English. After hearing the conversation between Luca and Yin Chang, she was stunned: “Luca invited him to be the face of the latest BG watch…..”
After listening to her translation, everyone in the room was dumbfounded.
…… BG? The watch that’s worth tens of thousands!?
They really plan on inviting a newcomer like Yin Chang to be the young spokesperson! ? ? Σ( ° △°)︴
Wang Chen: “……!!!” Fuck! What the hell is this ! ! (╯‵□′)╯︵┻━┻