Even a Cold Dead Stiff Needs Perky Pizazz

装死也要装出色

Special Focus - - Contents - Wang Wei 王伟

More than 300,000 ex­tras are em­ployed by in Heng­dian World Stu­dios of Zhe­jiang each year.

Any back­ground ex­tra can make a death look just as con­vinc­ing as any star or sup­port­ing player, but for per­form­ing the same death scene, the pay scale same ex­tras re­ceive is as dif­fer­ent as night and day. Low- level ex­tras are given 48 yuan per day. Ex­tras on spe­cial con­tract earn 80 yuan a day, and are clas­si­fied as mi­nor, mid-level and ma­jor. Less than 100 ma­jor ex­tras can earn up to 5,000 yuan per day and re­ceive name credit.

Don’t even think that the older they are, the higher the salary they com­mand, be­cause no stu­dio

is go­ing to waste even a sin­gle dime, and the rea­son is sim­ple; there is a big dif­fer­ence be­tween just play act­ing and act­ing out a re­al­is­tic death scene. Peo­ple re­act on in­stinct when they are alive, but in death even if a cold ca­daver square in the face were hit square in the face by chards of shrap­nel from an ex­plod­ing squib nearby, it wouldn’t move an inch. Be­ing that it’s a stiff, if it were rolled down a hill, its limbs would well… re­main stiff. There are many dif­fer­ent ways to die. When run­ning full speed ahead, a man would not fall down as soon as he was shot; he would stag­ger for­ward a few big steps and fall for­ward flat on his face. Any­one poi­soned would have painful spasms be­fore death; their face would gri­mace, their eye­balls would pop out and they would in­vol­un­tar­ily stick their hands in their mouth.

For a liv­ing man to act like a dead man would in real life is eas­ier said than done, which is why a mi­nor ex­tra who is up to the task might earn any­where from 100 to 300 yuan per day. To act out a death scene re­al­is­ti­cally, a good back­ground per­former would rush to the hos­pi­tal ICUs and mor­tu­ar­ies wher­ever they had free time, and closely ob­serve ev­ery minute de­tail of the process of death as it un­folds. Even in the still of night, if they get word of a traf­fic ac­ci­dent or fight, they would get dressed and rush to the scene, no mat­ter how late or how tired they felt, which is why they are often mis­taken for the per­pe­tra­tor re­turn­ing to the scene of a crime.

Let’s take a look at what a mi­dlevel ex­tra earn­ing any­where from

400 to 800 yuan a day does in the craft of act­ing out a re­al­is­tic death scene. His or her pupils would slowly di­late and then shrink and keep star­ing straight ahead com­pletely mo­tion­less for a minute or more even when ex­posed to strong light.

Upon their ar­rival at the stu­dio, af­ter get­ting into cos­tume and make- up, some ex­tras just find a cozy place to hide and sleep. When it’s time to film their scene, they walk lazily in front of the cam­era, some­times even act like a goof­ball in front of the cam­era. Would an ex­tra like this even be worth the 48 yuan a day?

As Shake­speare once said, “All the world is a stage.” The one who has a cameo as a ca­daver is not much dif­fer­ent from you and me. Even with dili­gence, you may not make it, but if you do get your big break some­day, it would def­i­nitely be the re­sult of your hard work.

( From He­fei Evening News , March 22, 2018. Trans­la­tion: Qing Run) 中毒的人死前会痛苦地痉挛,面部狰狞,眼球突出,用手卡住嘴巴。

这活儿说起来容易,但让一个大活人演得惟妙惟肖是不容易的,能做到的就是日薪100 元至300元的小特。为了演好一个死人,他们一有空闲就会往医院重症病房和太平间跑,近距离观察人死亡的过程和细节。晚上收工回来,只要听说哪里发生交通事故或者斗殴案件,再晚、再累也要披衣直奔现场,以至于经常被人误以为是肇事者。

再看看日薪 400 元至 800 元的中特是怎么做的:瞳孔可以慢慢放大,然后慢慢缩小,即便用强光照射,眼睛也是直直的,整个过程可以持续1分钟。

一些群众演员,一到片场,穿好戏服,就找地方躲起来睡觉。到拍摄自己的戏份时,才懒洋洋地在镜头前走场,不时闹出镜头穿帮的低级笑话。像这样的群众演员,48元的日薪不给他们,该给谁呢?

人生如戏,其实,“死跑龙套的”和你我并无多大不同,你用功了,不见得能做到,但哪天做到了,那一定是你用功了。

(摘自《合肥晚报》2018年 3 月 22 日)

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