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A Thousand Faces Chapter 68

"Thousands of eyes of the audience are concentrated through the narrow gap of the camera." 


Shin Haksu never forgot that sentence for a moment. 


He knew how significant and weighty the work he was doing was. 


The scenes he captured with his eyes would, in the future, be seen by the entire nation, or perhaps even the whole world. 


He carefully turned the ring of the camera with his right hand. 


The zoom pulled in, and the lens focus narrowed. 


The camera captured the director standing behind it, and then the film's two leads, Moon Kangwoo and Jin Do-ryeon came into focus. 


After adjusting all the cameras, he slowly, silently stepped backward. 


Soon, his back touched the wall, and Shin Haksu stiffened his body. 




Could this place really be called a movie shooting location? 


An indescribable silence dominated the set. It was so intense that even swallowing was difficult. 


Until the director called 'cut,' no movement was allowed for him today. 


The highlight scene of the movie begins. 


The protagonist, born with innate abilities in all senses, succumbs to lust, breaks a taboo, and ends up in despair. 


"We're going to paralyze the world. I can make kings kneel and turn the Pope into Jesus." 


Moon Kangwoo's acting began. 


"It's not over yet! I will continue to pursue this, and people will cheer!" 


The camera caught Moon Kangwoo's fierce eyes. Not just the acting but also the physical changes were happening simultaneously. It was a sight never seen in any previous movies. 


As the emotions intensified, it seemed like the time and space of the set were twisting and changing. It was an illusion, an effect that seemed impossible without special effects or CG. 


"Let's drive people crazy together." 




Jin Do-ryeon responded in kind. 


"It's impossible to corrupt you. You hate me with your petty sense of justice but can't kill me, can you?" 


The intense dialogue and emotions between the two actors surged back and forth. 


An extreme immersion beyond verbal explanation. Their acting dominated the set in a way that was incomparable to any previous shooting. 


Even with a deliberately reduced crew, there were well over twenty people filling the set. 


It felt like time had stopped. 


Nothing could be heard or seen moving in this vast set except for the lines of Moon Kangwoo and Jin Do-ryeon. 


Jeon Gwang-in was watching this scene, frozen in the back. 


What he couldn't take his eyes off was not the actors delivering their mad performances but the director behind the camera. 


He couldn't take his eyes off for a second. From Junwoo's every action, moving his feet, touching the equipment, without a word, without an expression. 


'How is that possible...' 


Camera director, sound director, lighting director, and other equipment staff. 


It's a given that countless experts and staff are involved in a movie, something one doesn't need to think about. 


How one could do all that alone was something no one could believe just by hearing it. 


Junwoo was playing with all the equipment around the actors alone: the main camera, dolly, crane, every camera, lighting, microphones. And he was doing it at the perfect timing, touching them casually, without any rush, every motion as smooth as flowing water. 


As Junwoo adjusted, the angles and lighting illuminating the two actors kept changing incessantly. 


As if it was a pre-determined routine. 


Without a hint of hesitation, without a single stop. 


He had to touch everything himself because not even a slight margin of error was allowed. 


Knowing this, no one else stepped forward. 


It was at that moment a staff member, who had been standing dumbfounded, got in Junwoo's way. 


Another staff member nearby hurriedly took off their shoes and rushed over to snatch them by the nape of the neck. 


Junwoo passed by the spot swiftly. 


It seemed as if Junwoo didn't even feel their presence. His focus remained the same, but it was as if he was seeing nothing. 


Everyone on the set had the intuition. That staff member probably won't be seen after today. 


It was suffocating. 


It was an atmosphere closer to fear than just caution for the concentration of the director and the actors. 


Everyone instinctively held their breath as if by agreement. Speaking even a word, moving even a limb, or making any noise would mean the end. 


They instinctively knew that they were standing in a historical moment that was opening a new chapter in the film industry. 


The fear of causing even a slight blemish due to a moment's mistake was unimaginable. 


In the midst of this, the actors displayed their insane immersion in the silence. 


The same scene was repeated several times. 


Changing angles and moving equipment to shoot the same scene from different perspectives continued several times. 


There was not a single NG (no good take). It was miraculous, even for top actors. They managed to deliver the same frenzied performance as if the TV had been rewound. 


Junwoo moved on to the next scene as if it were only natural. 


Everything was seamless. No one harbored any doubts or asked any questions. 


Even when the camera stopped intermittently, Junwoo immediately resumed without a comment. 


It was a scene that could only be presented by the combination of a genius director and top actors. 


So far, only the synergy between actors has been witnessed, but witnessing the fantastic rapport between actors and the director was a first. 


Jeon Gwang-in realized it was not just because they were top actors known by name. 


It was not only their skills but the depth of their internal strength that allowed them to immerse themselves in this oppressive atmosphere. 


He recalled the past month, where all the actors had become like disciples, serving Junwoo. 


It was possible because they acknowledged, accepted, and threw themselves into Junwoo's vision. 


This was the reason why the director had been extremely sensitive before the shooting. 


Two hours had already passed. 


At the very back of the set, Shin Haksu was still standing with his back against the wall, just like at the beginning. 


He was worried about the camera battery but couldn't dare to move. 


The suffocating silence continued even during the breaks in filming. 


Now, he couldn't feel his legs. 


His back was drenched with sweat, feeling clammy. 


But Shin Haksu strained not to blink for even a second. 


He couldn't afford to miss a moment. 


Indeed, as befitting the main scene, it was overwhelming. He couldn't have seen the previous footage, but Shin Haksu was certain just from what he was seeing now. 


This film would be a massive hit. 


And maybe... 




'Talking about Han Junwoo' 


The news of Shin Haksu's documentary production confirmation was released. 


People wondered why he, who had been active as a movie director, suddenly started filming a human documentary. 


Shin Haksu's response was to release the contents of the actors' pre-interviews. 


And then he said nothing more. 


-Director Shin Haksu reveals the reason for producing a documentary 


[Please talk about the most challenging aspect of this film.] 


Jin Doryeon: It was meticulously researching and achieving the refined emotional expression of the role. Continuously trying to understand the director's intention was the biggest challenge for me. 


[How did you approach the film's visual style or direction?] 


Moon Kangwoo: I dare not speak recklessly. Whatever I say here, the true answer exists only in the director's mind. I believe the film will allow for various interpretations when you watch it. 


[You keep mentioning the director, but he's a teenage newcomer directing his first work, right? How has working with Director Han Junwoo influenced your career, Mr. Moon Kangwoo?] 


Moon Kangwoo: Regardless of the box office, my valuable connection is with the director, both as an actor and a human being. I never thought I would feel this way. I think it's significant to have collaborated with a great artist like Director Han. 


The questions in the interview about the film and the roles. Actors did not omit mentioning Junwoo in all their answers. The identity of the film was Junwoo. 


The actors were excited, not talking about themselves, their roles, or their own interpretations and research. They talked only about Junwoo throughout the interview, as if they finally had the chance to say these things. 


And then, 


[So where is Director Han at this very moment? Right now, as we speak.] 


The answer space for the last interview question remained blank. 


Among the eight actors, still, no one could answer. 


And starting with that 20-minute documentary trailer interview, the first print of a magazine featuring Junwoo's name soon began. 


The title was... 


"Han Junwoo, Who is He? An Actor, a Director, or..." 


The nation's top magazine, 'Celebrity Insight.' 


It was a magazine that covered the lives, interviews, and fashion of top stars. 


The editor of Celebrity was captivated by the interview content released by Shin Haksu.  


'This is it.' 


Anticipating success, he began to delve deeply into Junwoo. 


The content of the actors' interviews adorned the first page of the monthly magazine, 


Filled with stories about Junwoo, it took over major bookstores, large supermarkets, and airports in less than a week. 


On the cover, Junwoo's photo was prominently displayed behind the text. 


Among the covers of other magazines adorned with top stars' dazzling photos, Junwoo's photo was just a captured frame from a broadcast of ActorKingdom on stage. 


When Junwoo, who had made the nation buzz, suddenly appeared on the cover of a magazine, word-of-mouth started to spread, and attention was drawn to the content of the actors' interviews. 


And finally, when the content published there became known to the outside world, the public was astounded. 


The impact was immense. 


The magazine sold out in less than a week after its release. 


The magazine company scoured all available resources to find even a single comment, clue, or anything about Junwoo. 


After relentlessly pestering the W Broadcasting Station, they managed to obtain one piece. 


The unpublished one-on-one interview between Jo Sungrae and Junwoo. 


It was a segment that had been kept in storage, deemed unsuitable for broadcast. 


- Rather than saying it was matched when you see the elements, they just combine on their own. Even the audience that will see it. 


- It's ambiguous to say it's visible or audible. It's not a feeling of thinking and creating. It's just there. 


- Things that seem like orders, spells, or another personality. The range seems to keep expanding. I'm momentarily absent-minded, so I haven't organized it yet. 


- Everything. Script, direction, filming, editing, and all other things. 


Each of these statements was published on the pages. 


Contrary to the expectations of the broadcast production team, who thought it would be ignored for being incomprehensible, the public's reaction was explosive. Because no one could understand it, they were even more intrigued. Aggressive emails poured into the magazine company, demanding the release of the video with Junwoo speaking directly. 


Below, Jo Sungrae's earnest interview about his feelings at the time was laid out in text. However, the words of the veteran actor with over 50 years of acting experience were naturally forgotten. 


Junwoo's comments, just a few lines, 


Experts and critics clung desperately to those few words. 


Various interpretations from different fields dominated the discussions. Debates over what was right, warnings not to jump to conclusions, arguments over the value of interpretation, and fights breaking out during hundred-percent debates caused a commotion. 


But the conclusion always returned to the starting point. 


'What exactly is he?' 


The world was now obsessed with Han Junwoo. Even those not interested in movies were curious about Junwoo. 


What was in his mind? How could a human show a realm beyond humans through just the genre of film? Who were his parents, where did he come from, was he really born in Korea? 


In hindsight, it was a bizarre phenomenon. 


It was like the whole world was suddenly talking about a legendary figure who had died long ago. The whereabouts of the person in question were obscure, except for the information that he was in the middle of filming a movie. There was no way to know if he was aware of the world talking about him. 


The desire to see him in person began to circulate in communities. 


- What would it feel like? I want to meet his gaze. 


- I've seen him in person, and it was insane. 


- Where can I go to see him? Does anyone know where the shooting location is? 


It wasn't just the curiosity or reactions typical for a celebrity. 


Everyone seemed to be oddly excited as if trying to confirm that Junwoo was indeed a real person. 


Fake addresses for Junwoo started circulating on the internet, and people even began trading them. 


The fan base began to grow to an unbelievable size. 


It was unprecedented for a figure who wasn't an idol or an actor and didn't even have debut news. 


- But do you think Han Junwoo knows he has fans like us? 


- Probably not. But that's why I like you, Junwoo. 


- Once the show ends, where can we see Han Junwoo... Any news about his appearances? 


Indeed, the end of the broadcast was approaching. 


Only the final episode, the grand finale, was left. 


People still had no idea how Actor Kingdom would end. 


The reaction was merely an assumption that the winner would undoubtedly be Han Junwoo. 


And around that time, a new piece of news was published in the daily Celebrity Insight magazine. 


["Actor Kingdom Final Shocks with a Twist. What on Earth Did Han Junwoo Do...?"] 

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