The actors are called "IP" and they are like paper people.

Text | Liu Min

Source | GQ Lab (ID: GQZHIZU)

Cover source | IC photoOn Douyin, most of the hot videos you get are carefully designed. A large number of professional teams are studying the preferences of the audience and tailor-made reversal dramas, sweet pet dramas, and emotional stories. Here, the actors are called "IP" and "Masters". They are like paper people with no real personality. From the domineering president, to the group young master, to the rich second-generation little milk dog, they adjust their accounts at any time based on feedback. Human set.
The young people behind the account are often just out of campus, their trial and error time is only 3 months, the account is not popular, immediately stop updating. The team that survived the competition in the Red Sea must eventually move towards advertising and e-commerce live broadcasts in order to survive.
Am I a tool person or a creator? Li Maomao, a 25-year-old girl, has experienced the ups and downs of the short video industry in just six months. Perhaps life has taught her not to look for meaning here.

Unclear blackheads

At 11 o'clock in the evening, Li Maomao took the eyebrow pencil and painted blackheads on the actress's nose one by one. The four colleagues around me stood idly, staring with big eyes and small eyes, and the work at hand was stuck in the middle, all waiting for her to finish drawing the countless black dots on her hand.

There is no one in the company anymore, only her small film crew is still working overtime. This shot of removing blackheads has been retaken 3 times, and the blackheads are applied and wiped again. The atmosphere became more and more depressing. Five or six of the actors, photographers, directors, and producers were quiet enough to hear each other's breathing.

Li Maomao is the director of a Douyin account. This day, he shot a beauty advertisement for blackhead products. The account is the image of a young girl, Xiaolu, who has 200 million fans and is considered a small internet celebrity on Douyin. In the last two months, the company received nearly 30 advertisements for them, one every 2 days on average. This is basically the fastest they can make a video. The three people have to write a book, make a film, edit, and publish, and they are too busy to take a break. I stay up almost every day until one or two late at night, and work overtime at 3 in the morning.

The client that night was eager to ask for the film, stayed on WeChat, asked for a good film, and then sent it for review. Blackheads are drawn by eyebrow pencils. When showing the effect, wipe them off with makeup remover. What are the "some blackheads" and "some" written in the script?

The first one, the customer said, there are too many blackheads, so remake.

For the second one after half an hour, the client said that there are too few blackheads and not obvious enough, and another one.

For each shot, the actor has to remove makeup and make up powder again, and then draw blackheads with big pinpoints one by one. In close-up shots, make sure that no oil comes out on both sides of the nose.

Li Maomao became discouraged. The last time she repeatedly tossed a video like this was two months ago when she repeatedly overthrew and rewritten a script with enthusiasm. The script tells the story of an "inferiority girl": because the girl is not good-looking, her company colleagues laughed at her for her poor body, laughed at her eating a lot, and asked her to do the most trivial work. Colleagues couldn't remember her name, and would always call her "Hey!"-until one day, the heroine found her down and asked: "Xiaotong, how are you?"
"Thank you!" The girl turned her head tearfully, her face moved, "Thank you, for calling my name!"

The story was inspired by the real experience of a colleague. Li Maomao became excited as soon as she caught this clue. She first wrote a long book, and then immediately changed it to a shorter length. When the filming started immediately, Li Maomao asked everyone to stop: "This is a good idea. Let’s not waste it, we must change it until we are satisfied!” The team did nothing for the 3 days and discussed this book until Li Maomao got up for a nap and suddenly got inspiration. The story changed from a college student to a white-collar worker and a dormitory to an office. All the procrastination is cut off. "Take it, don't care!" Everyone was very excited and came out in one go. Someone's eye circles were red after the rough cut without the soundtrack.

The video was sent out that night, and within a few hours, it received millions of likes, "so heart-warming", "real to cry"... There are too many likes and comments from netizens, and Li Maomao's mobile phone is stuck. This 25 The year-old girl found herself shaking hands and feet, "Oh my God, are there so many people on the Internet?"

That night of fire that finally received 300 million likes was like a dream. The film was viewed 4000 million times and brought 40 fans. At the meeting the next day, the boss played the video in public, but it was not enough. "Let’s watch it again!" As a reward, the boss allocated 2000 yuan on the spot to let the team go to dinner.

At this moment two months later, all of Li Maomao's energy can only be placed on these fake blackheads. The customer signed the year frame with the company, and business colleagues did not dare to offend this big customer.

"Don't shoot, I'm going to tear it up." Li Maomao couldn't stand it anymore, and there was a fire in her heart. Recently, I can't find the value of work more and more-today's notebooks were rushed out, and now there is no time to polish a script repeatedly, the number of likes on the account has been declining, floating between a few thousand and thirty or forty thousand . To increase the number of likes, increase the speed of fans, and satisfy daily customer fathers, less than two months, the joy of creation has been wiped out.

Li Maomao picked up the phone and loudly said everyone's grievances to his business colleagues. After that, without looking at the phone, I took everyone to retake the scene and just finished work.

Business colleagues did not come to her again. The film was broadcast a few days later. The data was poor and it was soon hidden by the company.

"Golden Six Seconds Principle"

Li Maomao is 25 years old this year and graduated from the Department of Journalism. When she joined the Xiaolu account, the account had 20 fans, actors, photographers, and the new director Li Maomao. There were 3 members in total, and at most 5 people, 3 to 5 people. It is the standard configuration in the industry.

The account belongs to an MCN company in Chengdu. Starting in 2018, a large number of MCN companies have set up teams to make short story videos. The monthly salary of newcomers entering the industry is 3 to 30 yuan during the probation period. The company will set an incubation period-to achieve XNUMX fans within XNUMX months, the project will be officially established. If it fails, the account will be suspended and the entire team will be "optimized".

MCN (Multi-Channel Network) company can be understood as a company that operates Internet celebrities. Specific to the short video industry, MCN has a full set of screenwriting, photography, business, and public relations. It can turn an amateur into an Internet celebrity from scratch, help him receive advertisements, broadcast live broadcasts, and realize his influence.


A short video editor described Douyin’s viewing habits: “It’s the same as choosing a concubine. I’ll choose the next one if it’s not pretty.” The user opens the app, and the information stream provides popular videos that are never finished, “click on your computer to open it. A variety show, if you don’t want to watch it, you have to close the window and search for the next one. The time cost is very high. It doesn’t take a second for the short video to slide away, so you can completely ignore your content."

This forces a set of proprietary grammars for short videos.Like Li Maomao’s explosive video, conflicts are shown as soon as it comes up-Xiaolu and two other girls are walking together, and at the beginning they use narration to raise questions: "Is it a friendship of three people, there is always one person more redundant?" Next , Xiaolu grabbed her boyfriend and cried, "Why didn't you post our group photo in the circle of friends?" Next, the white-collar Xiaolu was hit by the newcomer in the first second and the files were scattered all over the place...

This is the "Golden Six-Second Principle". First, conflicts are used to attract curiosity and drag users to look down.

The video shot needs to be fast. A turning motion takes 2 seconds. Now it needs to be cut to 0.5 seconds. The next shot is cut as soon as the shoulder is twisted. Li Maomao didn't even look at the final 2 minutes of the final product, and asked to squeeze out water for another 30 seconds without leaving any breath. The end came to an abrupt end. There could not be more than one frame, urging the plot to run down.

Don’t test the user’s comprehension. “There are 4 million daily active users on Douyin”—almost every interviewee mentioned this number, and then immediately mentioned the next number: “China’s undergraduate rate may be less than 5%”— -If you want to play a lot, the content must sink, and the more it sinks, the more conflicting it must be, and it must be straightforward. Don't try to use advanced lens language. If the protagonist has psychological activities, just use the narration to read it out. When the protagonist recalls the past, the video becomes black and white.

The video of the "inferiority girl" was also exaggerated. In real life, how many companies can laugh at a girl in person like this? Li Maomao admits that behind those lines is deliberate labeling: "You need to exaggerate a little bit, so that the audience can directly feel her feeling of misery, misery, and discrimination in a short period of time."

The soundtrack is the final assist. Most of the feature film soundtracks on Douyin are three-stage. First, they are brisk, and then start to pave the suspense with a "boom", and finally a sensational positive energy tears, or R&B soundtrack, combined with slow motion to strengthen the cool personality.

Why are the same canned sound effects repeated on Douyin? "You are not exaggerating, the audience can't feel your emotions at all." Changsha editor Pupu used to cut variety shows on TV. In the variety show, a narrative line can be slowly laid, and it will reach the climax after more than ten minutes. For plot points, the camera can stay on the faces of guests for a few seconds, slowly showing their emotional changes. The soundtrack at this time is a supplementary mood and must be niche, otherwise the audience will be robbed of the outdated melody and feel that this TV station is too outdated.

After starting to do vibrato, the audience was pushed to the end by the dazzling editing, leaving only more than ten seconds for the end, too late to set the stage, and can only directly bring emotions. Pupu no longer has to spend time looking for a playlist. Users have been domesticated by Douyin's music library. Just choose the most familiar BGM, "The nameless man, who am I... whose glory is not accompanied by tears? "Oh my god!" "Face the wind!"...Music brings direct stimulation of the senses, and the audience will immediately feel affectionate, happy or refreshing.

When such a video is done, the more compact it is, the more saturated the mood, and the higher the probability of the film being watched. "Finish rate" is an important criterion for the evaluation of the platform algorithm. Some accounts will even cut to 10 seconds for the rate of completion. After reading a sentence with flawed poisonous chicken soup, it will be thrown there and there will be no more text. The audience picks in the comments. Scolding can also increase the amount of comment interaction.

When Li Maomao was studying, she went to a newspaper for an internship. After two months of internship, she had the opportunity to publish an article about tofu; she also worked as a planning agency for an advertising company, writing a network-wide publicity plan for a football game. Overnight, a more than 200 page planning PPT containing live broadcast, lottery and public relations drafts was made. Everything looked perfect, but she was surprised to find that the case was executed with only one Weibo copy.

"Where is the meaning of my work?" Li Maomao asked his supervisor: If Party A doesn't want to execute it at all, then what would we have so many brainstorming plans for? The director was asked this question, and it took a long time to think of an answer, saying, no matter what, our proposal won the bid, and the company can support so many people with the money. This answer could not persuade Li Maomao, she left her job soon.

In Douyin, the platform algorithm will reward videos with high completion rates and high likes. Even a new account with only one video will push it to a larger traffic pool.Watched by 100 people, watched by 1000 people, watched by 10000 people... Li Maomao witnessed the process of "inferiority girl" videos being continuously pushed into new traffic pools. There is no real concrete "pool" in front of her, but she can perceive, The stories I wrote are shaking out like ripples, causing many people to cry at the same time. More than 300 million people press like with their thumbs. Is there anything more fulfilling than this scene?

Domineering CEO also sells mask

The image of the deer began to appear on mobile phone screens in different corners of Chengdu. Li Maomao and actor Xiaolu went downstairs to buy water, and the cashier at the convenience store would ask in surprise, "Are you that, are you that roommate...?" Xiaolu went home at night, and the security guard also raised his eyes from the screen of the phone, enthusiastically Ask, are you the deer?

Fans began to regard Xiaolu as a real character. There were high school girls who sent private messages to Xiaolu every day. They talked to Xiaolu about their new mobile phones, feelings about watching new movies, and all kinds of life. Some hard-core fans will like, comment, and forward every video, and wait in the live broadcast room to chat with Xiaolu.

The “inferiority girl” video received the most private messages. One of them came from a girl also named “Xiaotong”. The girl said that she had a bad figure since she was a child and had experienced the same thing in the video. “I was embarrassed to say it before. Thank you for comforting me with this film." Li Maomao was very excited, and she sent a screenshot to her best friend: "I am so happy!" The response of the good friend made Li Maomao talk for a long time, and the friend said: "Yes. , Content is the magic of our liberal arts students to change the world."

The character of "Little Deer" is getting fuller and fuller. She is in her early twenties. After a long relationship, her boyfriend will neglect her, the company leaders will force her to work overtime, and her father will send her to college. She will feel that her father is rustic and soon feel guilty... Just an ordinary girl next door who is not so lucky.

That kind of warm ordinary feeling narrowed the emotional distance between Xiaolu and fans, but in the future it severely limited the commercial value of this account.

In 2019, the most popular in the industry are reversal cool dramas and sweet pet dramas. Water splashing man, hand-tearing green tea mistress, scolding the evil mother-in-law... In June of this year, I watched a few shooting scenes on an account called "@李路飞" in Changsha. The account has 6 million fans and is set by punk cool girls.

In the existing 86 videos, Li Lufei is a barbaric girlfriend for a while, a female hacker and an enthusiastic passerby who knows martial arts for a while. When two black car drivers want to assault her, Li Lufei can knock the big guy to the ground in an instant and let two people. Fled. The boy who formed CP with her is another account of the company. The boy was a domineering president at first, and he transformed into a wealthy young master one and a half months later. Recently, he is taking the route of a rich second-generation little milk dog boyfriend. They are beautiful, wealthy, and possess the power of comic characters. The traps of employees are always quickly seen through by them, and occasionally Li Lufei is wronged, and her boyfriend can stand firmly on her side.

Only once, Li Lufei really encountered a stubborn stubble: a rich second-generation boy bullied her sister, and the boy’s wicked mother slapped Li Lufei directly. When all his skills could not be used, a brightly dressed mysterious suitor appeared. "Sorry, I'm late." A few slapped back. The wicked mother was frightened and collapsed to the ground by a phone call: "Who did you offend again? The Yu Group has withdrawn from us, we are done!"

In these reversal dramas, the protagonists always play the most powerful roles in society. "Just poke it to be cool." A screenwriter of the account told me, "The things that ordinary people can't get and the grievances received in life, we have to enlarge it. The role is strong enough to hit the pain point in the end to be cool. To others."The screenwriter continued to write the plot of the "Green Tea" series for a month, "Life is already bitter enough, and everyone doesn't want to suffer from watching your short videos. I just want to watch sweet love and stop abuse."

Shi Jiyan, the person in charge of the account, is 27 years old. She has taken screenwriting courses systematically by herself. She has written scripts. She knows that everything a character does and every sentence must conform to the character's setting. But now, love and hate are both For no reason, "I will do a strong psychological construction and tell myself that this is Douyin, and this is Douyin."

The plot of Li Lufei's sweet pet basically accelerates the presentation of the idol drama's sugar scene. After misunderstandings and small tempers, the two sides always want to reconcile. The ending is often when Li Lufei accidentally bumps into the other's arms, a domineering kiss or "wall dong" from his boyfriend.
In the last scene filmed one day, the protagonist and heroine fell face to face, looked at each other and kissed. Shi Jiyan adjusted the camera position and angle over and over again at the scene, studying the angle of borrowing.

Why not really kiss? "For Douyin, it's not necessary..." Shi Jiyan was already sweating in the midsummer of Changsha, and she still tried her best to make the borrower look more credible. "If you are a real kisser, the actors have sacrificed too much."

Li Maomao also tried to write a reversal plot for "Little Deer", but the actresses of the cool drama usually look tougher. They draw high eyebrows, can raise eyebrows, flick their hair, and give out a cold smile. Xiaolu's appearance is non-aggressive. The actor Xiaolu loves to laugh very much. She is not tall. She always raises her nose and laughs while chatting, giving people a relaxed affinity. The team tried to get her to reprimand her colleagues who love to take advantage of the small bargain, and also made up a magic bracelet that gave her super powers. These exaggerated plots ended up very poorly. The deer is still suitable for realistic stories.

It is obvious that emotional stories with realistic themes are far more difficult to write than cool dramas full of reversals. The latter does not need to adhere to strict logic, and the difficulty of screenwriting is greatly reduced-this also ensures that the account team can repeatedly splice popular elements and streamline operations to ensure daily output.

Stable output means that when the team starts to receive advertisements, there will be a more stable cash flow, which will keep a team alive.

A well-known entertainment official account blogger told me that in the first half of 2020, beauty advertisers almost collectively switched from official accounts to short videos. Almost no beauty brand is still telling the story of the brand spokesperson or the brand itself. This kind of brand promotion is too slow to measure effectiveness. On the contrary, in a one-minute short video, the product's efficacy is visible to the naked eye, and consumers directly receive a coupon and place an order.

Whether it's an overbearing president, a savage girlfriend, or an office girl who has just been bullied and crying, all the story endings are the same in the short video-half of the story is played, the protagonists will always turn their heads suddenly, from the plot I stopped instantly and took out a box of mask from my pocket: This mask is rich in French diamond powder and Tokyo evening cherry ingredients to inhibit melanin deposition. From then on, stay up late and never be afraid!

After "Little Deer" had 120 million fans, the company started accepting advertisements and received 15 ads within a month. The advertisements on Douyin are very hard, and many customers demand that they must be broadcasted in addition to the normal content. Li Maomao's original pure creation quickly turned into writing propositional essays for advertisers.

Li Maomao asked the direct director to have an interview with the boss of the company. He wanted to ask if he could push the advertisement back and not delay the normal content update.

"All advertisements cannot be rejected." The boss dismissed the complaint of Li Maomao's team. People in the industry have long known that there is a natural conflict between content and delivery, but the ultimate goal of MCN's account is to earn advertising fees.The "Little Deer" team has an operating cost of XNUMX to XNUMX per month, such as wages, station fees, administrative staff salaries, utility bills, props depreciation costs... all consumption is clearly calculated. If it does not make money, the company maintains this account. What is the picture?

Copy or not

Li Maomao's time to get off work is getting later and later, gradually extending to 12 o'clock and 1 o'clock in the night. After starting to accept the advertisement, writing the script becomes very painful. She always wants to have more real emotions in the advertisement.

"I'm suffocating too. I still want to prove it to the company. I can."

"Later I found out that I couldn't." She said.

The company requires the "fawn" to be updated every three weeks, and it is best to change to a five-week period. Li Maomao’s inspiration is drying up, and his fans are even more dissatisfied. He finally rose to 200 million fans, and began to fall. The number of likes was also declining. In the comments, people often scolded: Xiaolu, you are such a kind person, how are you doing everything? Advertising, do you have such a shortage of money?

It was winter in Chengdu, and the weather was cold and humid. Li Maomao caught a cold and was too late to see a doctor. A few days later, he had a high fever and pharyngitis. He had to go to the hospital for atomization and the team had to stop work for one day. The actor Xiaolu and the photographer wanted to comfort Li Maomao, and planned to write a script of their own.
"What can you two write?" Unexpectedly, Li Maomao received two notebooks at 10 o'clock in the evening. The photographer refurbished the old script. As soon as he opened Xiaolu’s document, Li Maomao laughed straight out: Xiaolu doesn’t even write in the third person. She uses "I" like a pupil, and the beginning is "I". My father lost his temper at me today. I was very sad and very sad, and I started to cry."

The script didn’t work, and Li Maomao was still very moved. She finally revised out a new script, referring to Xiaolu’s real experience: Xiaolu originally worked in the government department of her hometown and had a stable and decent job, but suddenly she ran to Chengdu again, thinking Go for a break in a big city. For this, her father scolded her, and both sides have been in a cold war for the past six months.

In the filmed story, Xiaolu quarreled with his father for starting a business, and finally reconciled. The two embraced, both tearful and heartwarming.

The film received a rare 26 likes. After the release, Xiaolu suddenly received a call from his father one day, and asked stiffly on the other end of the phone: Hey, do you have money to buy down jackets?

This video gave the team the most desired sense of accomplishment, but it still didn’t reach the company’s assessment goal-in the 6th month of the account, the company asked for a monthly increase of 60 followers, an average of 15 followers per week, evenly distributed. Each one is 1 to 10 followers. Li Maomao uses the ratio of XNUMX:XNUMX to convert, which means that each one has to have four to five million likes. "When I think about it, I feel so stressed that I can't make something."

Also in Chengdu, a senior editor who has worked in the industry for 4 years straightforwardly calculated, "The ROI (return on investment) of a Douyin account needs to reach 6, which means that you can invest 1 and earn 6 in order to deduct all kinds of sinking. Cost.” Many practitioners have long recognized the criteria for content in this industry: To be truly profitable, you cannot regard your account as a work, but a product. Data is the standard to measure everything, and emotions have no value.

Li Maomao thought about interrupting the watch or reducing the frequency, and he had a good book to shoot, but this is a professional suicide. Shi Jiyan realized this problem very early, "I have no nostalgia for the work, I will write one and lose one, and I won't (think about it) again." She told her subordinates that a video was posted for an hour, and there were only a thousand likes. This one is scrapped, let me go, and work hard tomorrow. But it is absolutely impossible to release only one film a week. Once fans can't make new films, they will forget their accounts and lose their popularity.

All companies are running wildly, and it is impossible to have both high frequency output and high quality. Manuscript washing and borrowing are very common in this circle. Similar sections of plagiarism will be copied from each other. Fans will also @ below other people's videos, hoping that their favorite Internet celebrities can "customize the plot" according to this book.

Plagiarism is very cost-effective. A mature team can imitate one by one shots in as little as a day and a half, and make exactly the same film. Sometimes the remake's likes are higher than the original.

That "inferiority girl" video was quickly plagiarized after it made it into the top 3 of Douyin hotspots. It caused a trend of filming discriminatory stories. Some teams did not have suitable actors, so it was just a beautiful girl. To be awkward, some exquisite imitation models also broke one million likes.

When his own data fell, Li Maomao had to face the decision of "whether to copy or not". When the fans were crazy, other teams in the company invited her to lecture and share experience. A few months later, when a colleague from a company saw the hot video, he would suggest to Li Maomao: Do ​​you guys take a photo too.

During the busiest period of work, one day, Xiaolu wanted to take a leave of absence to be a bridesmaid for his roommate. Do you want to stay and catch up on work, or do you fulfill your promise as a student and attend a good friend's wedding? Li Maomao realized that this was a good topic, and immediately wrote a script. The story is about 4 girls. She wanted to co-produce with actors from several other accounts in the company. One of them is a large number with millions of fans, which can help everyone. diversion.

Li Maomao talked about the shop for renting wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses, and also divided the book for everyone. However, several accounts have been unable to agree on camera allocation. He urged Li Maomao to change several rounds. In the end, the co-production was still unhappy. Scattered.

A few days later, Li Maomao accidentally discovered that the tens of millions of fans had silently filmed the story. The storyline is basically Li Maomao's setting. The video received more than 200 million likes and was on the Douyin hot list. Congratulations are all in the company group.
It seems that no one cares about the creative source of this book. The boss is still happy with the data this time. He comforts Li Maomao: Everyone is doing the same. They are making money for the company. Everyone who makes money has money!

Li Maomao never digested the matter. She took Xiaolu's team and revised the script again after half a month. The video received 48 likes, which was higher than the average likes data of the account, but the miracle that burst into flames overnight did not take place. Some solid things began to fall apart, and Li Maomao found himself thinking about a question: "Are my expectations for the workplace too high and too good?"

"My career is too short"

One day in early July this year, at around 7 in the morning, Li Maomao was still wandering aimlessly on the Internet. In the first half of 3, she spent time in job-hopping, interviews, job-hopping, and interviews with different MCN companies. Tonight, she even wanted to pick up her English and take an English teacher exam in the future.

In the winter of 2019, the entire team of "Little Deer" left the company collectively. After the winter, the data has been declining, advertisers are no longer looking for them, and the salary of a few people has shrunk from 2 to 3 times the commission during the peak period to several thousand yuan. The vicious circle has already begun. In the previous filming, several young people always complained and derogated to each other without hesitation. Gradually, Tucao sounds like a different taste-impatient when making commercials, Li Maomao directly asked Xiaolu, can you ask a little bit about your performance? Xiaolu retorted: Haven't you read so many books? Why can't you write such a simple bridge? When these words are said, everyone knows that they are hurting each other. In the past, after get off work, this group of twenty-three-four-year-olds always had dinner together, played cards, and went to dance games at night. In the next few months, their only wish was to finish the filming before 12 o'clock.

After work has become a burden, it is difficult for Li Maomao to write beautiful and affectionate stories. The popularity of 200 million fans seems extremely limited at this time. "Little Deer" is a character trapped on the vibrato screen. She is like a paper man. Outside of those short stories, people don’t know who the deer is and what she likes. What are the values.Except for a limited number of large heads, most of the Douyin celebrities cannot participate in offline activities-their influence on reality is too small. Unlike the classic roles in film and television dramas, the roles of the celebrities are based on hot spots. Customized, limited time appreciation, once the audience closes the APP and closes the account, they are completely disconnected from this image.

When Xiao Lu was crying under the camera, Chu Chu's pitiful appearance was always heartbreaking. In the last few months of the account, for the data, Xiao Lu was made crying scenes almost every day, and the girl was almost depressed. One night in the middle of the night, when the deer stood up, her eyes turned black for an instant, her headache was like being severely cut by a razor blade, and her heartbeat was so frightening that she decided not to do it again.

If there is no collective resignation, the account of this 200 million fans will most likely only go to break. The editor and director with 4 years of experience listened to me retelling Li Maomao's story. To put it bluntly, an account with less than 500 million fans has a life cycle of 6 to 8 months. He has several such accounts in his hand, and the content is iterated every one and a half months or two months, from reversing cool dramas, to jokes, to warm heart, every trend must be followed, and can’t keep up. The account will enter the late stage of its life cycle. The final destiny is that the team members are replaced and opened a new account. The old accounts follow the popular large groups to join the group, receive a little advertising list, frequently post advertisements, and drain the last bit of traffic value.

Starting from May and June, the situation of Shuangju reversal dramas has also changed. Now when you open the announcement group of local extras, you can find that the information of middle-aged and elderly actors has disappeared. The plot of "Evil Granny" is gone.

The number of "Little Deer" has been suspended for more than half a year. The last item is the inventory issued by the company in April. Someone has been commenting below: Xiaolu, did you forget your password? when will you be back?

The deer will never come back. Recently, when Li Maomao and Xiaolu interviewed the same company together, the interviewer directly commented that Xiaolu's appearance was not outstanding enough, soft and weak, "It is quite suitable to play a'green tea bitch'". A company’s businessmen heard about their experience of being forced to shoot commercials, and they disdain: What a dozen ads a month is worth, if we replace them with us, it’s possible to have 31 ads a month.

After coming out of the interview company, Li Maomao gradually understood why his former colleagues wanted to shoot the script-the large team was under more pressure, they also worked overtime every day, and the advertising KPIs on their backs were greater. These people wanted to make money to feed the entire company. Everyone is eager for a script with a hit, and the pressure is too great, and no one takes care of the matter.

After losing his job, Li Maomao rarely used Douyin again. She began to regain her habit of reading and watching movies. During the busiest period of the first two years at work, she tried to calm down and watch "The Thief Family", a Japanese film that won the Cannes Palme d'Or. Many of Li Maomao's friends discussed it online, and she forced herself to sit down and watch it. The plot of the movie has been relatively exciting and has its ups and downs. Li Maomao still feels restless. She soon fell asleep, and then played again after waking up, and then went back to sleep.

Now time seems to have returned to a normal speed, and Li Maomao can read the novel again. She recently turned through an ancient poem and liked "New Marrying Niang Ci" very much, "Three days into the kitchen, washing hands and making soup. If you don't know the food habits of your aunt, please send your sister to try it first." She was fascinated by the careful thoughts triggered by a bowl of soup. She is best at telling an in-depth story from an early age.

"My career is too short." Li Maomao always wanted to continue working on a project with Xiaolu, but found that the two seemed to be stuck in a position where they couldn't get better. Xiaolu also shoots Douyin himself and has been a Douyu anchor. After trying it for a while, he realized that he still needs a professional team to help. One funny problem is that she found that she was completely two people when she was filmed by SLR and by Douyin's beauty selfies-her eyes were bigger and her chin was sharper in the beauty camera, and she hit her face with countless internet celebrities. Everyone was completely stunned.

Li Maomao also knew clearly that his talents could not support long scripts and could only write short stories. She has studied Station B. Cross-APP is equivalent to cross-banking. Most of the UP owners on Station B have their own specialties. Her speciality is actually to write short stories, express the emotions ordinary people want to say, and resonate. "The short video is still in the bonus period, I may still have to look for opportunities here."

But how to realize it, both of them are still stuck at this level.

At 4 in the morning, Li Maomao turned on Douyin again and searched for "little deer". When looking for a job, she always opens the "Little Deer" account to show the interviewer. Two days ago, she saw fans urging for updates.

"Little Deer", searched, the familiar avatar popped out, but the name was changed to a new one.

Click in again, all the videos are gone.

Li Maomao trembled, and she realized that the company was going to use this number to promote new actors. She had this mental preparation. When Xiaolu went for an interview before, she had heard that the previous company was recruiting people to operate the "Little Deer" account, and then the number of fans that she already had was going down.

Li Maomao immediately sent a screenshot to Xiaolu, but the other party did not sleep either. All the videos and comments disappeared overnight. The two girls looked at the screen and digested the ending sooner or later.

Early the next morning, the head and cover picture of "Little Deer" were also replaced by a strange boy. Like evaporating dew, the image on that screen was gone.

(Due to the requirements of the interviewees, Li Maomao and Xiaolu are both pseudonyms. The original text was published in the August 2020 issue of "Chizu GQ" with slight adjustments to the text)