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A Thousand Faces Chapter 59

Updated: Mar 13

The reaction on online communities was starkly divided. 


It was indeed a unique case that could mark a significant milestone in the history of South Korean cinema. 


There were heated debates between those who were excited about the freshness and innovation and those who were critical, believing that inexperience would definitely lead to problems. 


Some people couldn't even accept the content of the article as it was, scoffing at the possibility. After all, he was just seventeen, a novice who had only recently started acting. 


- The casting is insane. He's not just good at acting but directing. I couldn't believe my eyes. 


- Han Junwoo is about to make a big move. Honestly, anyone who has seen his videos knows he's capable. 


- Does that even make sense? Especially with Jin Do-ryeon, Moon Kangwoo? Did they all go mad? 


- Director at seventeen, lol. He'll probably bail out in the middle of filming. 


- How desperate must they be to take on such a project... 


- Are you guys stupid to believe that? Obviously, there's a real director. They are just using the trending Han Junwoo for publicity. 


[Actor Kingdom's Han Junwoo, the conspiracy theory of Fantasia] 


[The real past of Han Junwoo, revealing his identity] 




Countless comments and anonymous posts flooded the internet. 


"…I expected some reaction, but I didn't know it would be on this scale," 


Yoo Sang-jun clicked the mouse and remarked. 


In the production team's meeting room, only Park Jun-gil and Yoo Sang-jun remained. 


"Hmm. Now that it's come to this, we can't just sit back and watch." 


Park Jun-gil was contemplating how to leverage the situation. 


"Get the reporters to put some of those things out." 


"The reporters?" 


"Make it about how our program contributed significantly to Han Junwoo's rapid development. It's not a lie, is it? He's only just started acting." 


Yoo Sang-jun nodded, though somewhat reluctantly. 


"Then, if the movie becomes a hit later, we'll get some of the spotlight too. We need to think long-term about Han Junwoo. Our station could continue to be mentioned alongside him." 


"Okay. I'll proceed with that immediately." 


"Oh, right." 


Park Jun-gil snapped his fingers. 


"Tell me about today's shooting. It's the first since the article was published." 


Park Jun-gil asked with a face full of anticipation. 


He was excited to hear about any captivating footage that might have been captured. 


"It was the same, really. He's sweeping through by himself. Of course, the other participants' reactions have changed." 


"How so?" 


Yoo Sang-jun recalled the morning's shoot. 


Despite being the center of national attention, Junwoo remained undisturbed, focusing on practice as usual.  


However, the participants who read the article had changed. 


The remaining few participants deliberately avoided getting close to Junwoo. 


It was only natural to feel distant from the actors they idolized, who were now under Junwoo's direction in a movie. 


Yoo Sang-jun remembered. Among the participants watching from a distance, Kang Hyeok stood up as if determined and approached Junwoo. 


It was the first time he had seen Kang Hyeok directly approach Junwoo. 


"Hey… can't you just stick to that?" 


Kang Hyeok was referring to the content of the article. His voice carried a hint of anger, but that wasn't all. 


"You're going to do well in that too. That's what you wanted to do, right?" 




He was talking aggressively, but his voice betrayed a desperation he couldn't hide. 


Junwoo, who had stopped what he was doing, stared at Kang-hyeok for a moment. 


"Can't you just do that?" 


Watching that scene, Yoo Sang-jun felt an inexplicable mix of bitterness and subtlety. Kang Hyeok, with the backing of the big family named Daemyoung, must have been really pushed to say that. After all, he was also just a kid. 


"Why do you look like that?" 




Park Jun-gil's question snapped Yoo Sang-jun back to reality. 


"...No, it's nothing." 


Uncharacteristically, Yoo Sang-jun fell silent for a moment. 


He realized he was hesitating to tell Park Jun-gil about the scene he had witnessed on camera. 


He had been involved in many fierce competitive programs before, but never had he felt such emotional turmoil. For a brief moment, he even questioned his profession as a producer. 


"The finals are approaching anyway." 


Park Jun-gil spoke in a regretful tone. Time had flown by; now, there were barely five contestants left. 


"That's true. The final round is soon, and so is the last filming day…." 




In the lobby of Fantasia, the actors were gathered, sitting together. 


Having checked the public's reaction to the confirmed news of the movie production, they felt like tearing their hair out. 


"Everyone saw the public opinion, right?" 


Moon Kangwoo started. 


"For a moment, what were we possessed by…" 


He scanned the faces of the other actors. They were all adept at concealing their true feelings. 


However, anxiety was visibly etched on their faces, noticeable enough for each other to see. 


This was not a simple problem. The trust that the public had in the industry was shaking. 


Regardless of the outcome, even starting such a project was toxic for actors of their renowned status. 


Moon Kangwoo, being one of South Korea's top actors, had always been above directors. 


In the industry, he was known for not following directors, often leading to clashes. It was because of his strong attachment to the films he was involved in. 


He preferred to endure losses rather than proceed half-heartedly. 


"Besides, when you look at it piece by piece, it doesn't make sense, does it?" 


"That's true." 


"Definitely, the quality is tempting…but how is that kid going to manage such a scale in such a short time? I wonder if it's physically possible." 


"He doesn't even have field experience. Was it too reckless a challenge from the start?" 


However, oddly enough, none of them suggested backing out even now. 


Everyone was just subtly glancing at each other, beating around the bush. 


The exploded article could be dismissed as a tabloid and covered up, and there were indeed many ways to back out. But, 




Moon Kangwoo frowned, experiencing confusion like never before. 


He just couldn't let it go. 


And he knew everyone here was thinking the same. 


Even amidst this chaos, the image of that boy's confident face, the words he had laid out at their first meeting, and the greed that surged when properly analyzing the script wouldn't leave his mind. The fear and determination felt for the first time about properly portraying the role. The lingering feeling that had been swirling inside since closing the last page of the script. 


Rationally, it was right to stop now. But instinct wouldn't allow it. It was strange. Even though they were already at the peak of their careers, they couldn't shake off the feeling that rejecting this opportunity would be a regret they'd carry forever. 


After a moment of silence, where everyone seemed lost in their thoughts, Jin Do-ryeon spoke. 


"Above all, I'm most worried about his mentality. For the first time, he's being criticized by the entire nation." 


Curiosity, something they hadn't considered before, dawned on the actors' faces. 


"Right, in the midst of all this chaos, where is he now? What is he doing?" 




At the first filming site, set. 


The staff were busily checking every corner of the set. 


Jeon Gwang-in looked worriedly at Junwoo, who was standing in the distance. 


Junwoo was standing just in front of a slightly tilted fake wall. 


Jeon Gwang-in bit his lip as he looked around the set. 


The props ordered by Junwoo for setting up the place were a hodgepodge. 


Normally, a rough sketch would form in one's mind from the moment the set director instructed what was needed. 


The current situation on the set was flowing differently from what was anticipated when checking the script. 


Jeon Gwang-in couldn't predict what kind of place Junwoo was trying to create. 


'What's going on in his mind...' 


Approaching from behind, Jeon Gwang-in cautiously asked. 


"Why do you need all these things?" 


Junwoo was meticulously carving the corner of a fake wall with a chisel. 


"Can you explain what you're trying to do?" 


Junwoo stopped working on the fake wall and turned to look at Jeon Gwang-in. 


"I'm creating 88 spaces." 




Jeon Kwangin's face showed complete bewilderment. 


Junwoo's eyes scanned the unfinished set, still unrecognizable in its form. 


"Here, there, and over there. 34 spaces are derived from each character's sense of guilt, their subconscious. And…" 


Junwoo pointed out various parts of the set, continuing his explanation. 


"12 spaces reflect the visual transformations due to psychological changes. Another 8 are where objects become distorted. That makes 88 in total. Depending on the role, composition, and filming techniques, it could even exceed a thousand, but you don't need to worry about that." 


Jeon Gwang-in blinked, his confusion not at all alleviated. 


"So, what are all these for?" 


"There are no limits to a character's inner potential. Accordingly, a movie's scale should also be boundless. It keeps expanding, spinning within itself." 


Jeon Gwang-in was at a loss for words. This was something he had never heard before, elements that couldn't be contained in a script. 


"…But that's too complex. I'm not even sure if the audience will catch that…" 


"They don't need to catch it. When the 88th space is revealed in the final scene, everyone who has watched the movie will feel they can go anywhere." 


Jeon Gwang-in couldn't grasp what Junwoo was saying or what he was planning to do. 


Typically, it was standard to travel around the world, shifting locations. He was prepared for that. 


Considering it was his debut work and his first movie, he must be overly cautious, choosing to maximize the budget. But Junwoo's expression suggested that all these were the obvious answers. 


"Is it okay to match the sets before even properly starting the readings? There's a basic order in the production process..." 


But Junwoo firmly responded. 


"How can a character come to life without knowing the world they're in?" 




"This is the right order." 


Jeon Gwang-in felt uneasy. Everything this kid was doing seemed too far removed from conventional wisdom. 


The public, the ones who should love and empathize with this movie the most. He had spent his entire life as a film director, and even he couldn't understand what was going on. 


Was he wrong to entrust such an unconventional genius with something so important? 


He was well aware of how people were reacting to the production of this movie. 


If this movie failed, Jeon Gwang-in's fall as a director was uncertain. Entrusted to the words of a child, failing to make a proper judgment, he would bear the responsibility for incurring immense losses and damages. It was a risky challenge. 


As much as he had entrusted the script, direction, set, art, and music to this one child, his only faith was in Junwoo. 


The complex and anxious feelings were unavoidable. 


But soon, Jeon Gwang-in's doubts were set aside. 


Seeing the determined face of the boy, it seemed right to do so. 


He felt embarrassed for worrying about things unrelated to the movie's production. 


Jeon Gwang-in recalled the moment he decided to trust Junwoo. It wasn't a mere fascination with the eloquence or momentum of a young genius director. 


He decided to trust his instincts about Junwoo's talent until the very end. 


"Alright, I understand. Let's do it." 


That was the beginning. 


Jeon Gwang-in, who had been watching Junwoo from a distance, was now following closely behind him. 


Without any need for understanding or explanation, he carried out his work precisely according to Junwoo's orders and instructions. 


And a little later, when the actors with uneasy faces arrived at the shooting site. 


Their first impression upon checking the set was not much different from what Jeon Gwang-in had initially felt. 


The scene unfolding before them seemed to have no relation whatsoever to the background of the script. 


"What is this mess? What are they trying to do?" 


"Is this supposed to be a set…?" 


Their faces crumpled with doubt. 


To them, it seemed like Junwoo, with no field experience, had started something he couldn't handle. 


Among the actors who were squinting and looking around the set, Moon Kangwoo's gaze was fixed on Junwoo. 


His sensitive face was darting around the set, directing the staff. 


It wasn't due to the lack of smooth progression on the site, nor was it because he was bothered by the current public opinion swirling around him. 


It seemed like Junwoo was solely focused on what the movie and the set needed, allowing nothing else to penetrate his thoughts. 


'How can he be like that? What is he relying on…' 


And then, Moon Kangwoo began to notice a gradual transformation. 


"Because the scenes need to intersect here," 




"I'll just do it myself." 


Watching the set slightly transform wherever Junwoo went, 




He kept flipping through the script in his hand, comparing it to the changes. 


The set, which initially seemed like a complete mishmash. As Moon Kangwoo observed each detail for a long time, his eyes gradually widened. 


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