On the evening of February 27, 2015, in an intensive care unit of the Los Angeles Community Hospital in the United States, Jiang Cheng turned on the TV and started watching the 87th Academy Awards like most Americans.
Looking at the stars on TV, who walked enthusiastically across the red carpet and toward the Dolby Theater, Jiang Cheng was filled with emotion.
"If you weren't ill, maybe one day you could have been like them," Jiang Cheng said to himself.
Jiang Cheng had been obsessed with movies since he was a child, he dreamed of becoming a famous filmmaker. So after graduating from college, he studied in the United States and began to travel Hollywood full of passion and desire as he worked whilst studying.
He wasn't afraid of hardships. For his own ideals, he ran through sets in Hollywood, sold newspapers, delivered takeaways and sold records, all at the slightest chance of learning.
Looking for opportunities to learn, he contributed articles to various newspapers and magazines and wrote movie reviews without any compensation. In the past few years, although there hadn't been any fame, it was clear to him, how to make a movie.
Director, producer, photographer, light technician, sound technician, acting..... even editing and makeup, he understood how to operate in each role. But it was clear that without practice, it was mere talk.
Although he had a master's degree, but as a foreigner in the United States, with no connections and no funds, wanting to make a difference in the crocodile cesspool that was the entertainment circle, was nigh impossible.
Helpless, Jiang Cheng could only accept reality and start from the bottom, becoming a screenwriter at a small film company. His official role was screenwriter. But in fact, there was no difference between the work he did and chores. However, he never complained to others, and he worked tirelessly.
During this period, he wrote several good scripts. However, his luck never seemed to be there, everything he wrote was out of luck.
Like the magical blockbusters of the past few years, he produced an excellent story similar to "The Lord of the Rings" and "Pirates of the Caribbean". It combined Chinese and Western magic.
Unfortunately, just as he found a buyer. Literary and artistic films came into fashion and the buyer lost interest and declined unwilling to risk it. So downtrodden and furious, he wrote a fresh and inspirational literary film, but before he could find a buyer, "Avatar" came out and everyone rushed off to shoot a science fiction blockbuster...
Never one to believe in superstition and giving up easily, he spent a year looking over trends and creating multiple scripts before finally writing a story comparable to "Transformers". This time his luck came and his script was spotted by MGM one of "Hollywood's Eight" and they bought his script.
Happiness came so quickly, he felt like he was floating.
Unfortunately, reality was cruel. Before he could bask in the joy of success, he heard the news:
MGM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
He reached for heaven, but was swatted down to hell.
After this incident, he was a little bit discouraged, but he was still busy in his early thirties. In order to survive, he followed the advice of his friends and switched to being a TV screenwriter.
Who would have thought that this time he actually broke out into the ranks of the famous, several well received TV series later and his wallet quickly began to thicken. With money in hand, his ambitions were stirred again, he wanted to make a movie. But the painful lessons of yesteryear's made him cautious and he decided to postpone it for another two years, to make sure his funds were sufficient.
Two years later, everything was ready, but just as he was about to set to work, God played him another hand, three words is all it took to turn his dreams into nothing.
Advanced gastric cancer!
All the money he saved to make the movie was funneled into treatment. But it still wasn't enough to save his life. The doctors conservatively gave him two months. So after Chinese New Year, he laid in the hospital and began to wait for death.
Recalling the tragedy, he called life, Jiang Cheng couldn't help but smile.
Just when the stars began to receive their awards, Jiang Cheng felt his breathing become difficult, he instinctively knew...
His time was coming to an end.
"So this is how I die?"
The fear of death and the desire for life filled him with complex emotions.
Struggling to open his eyes for the last time, Jiang Cheng saw a white figure appearing on TV. It was a beautiful Chinese woman. She won the Oscar for Best Actress.
"So beautiful! Like a fairy!" Jiang Cheng looked at her obsessively, wondering if she had ever tasted failure in her life. Or what true bitterness tasted like.
His parents had died long ago and he never married, chasing a fruitless dream instead.
Now he was dying, but there was no one around.
"If there is an afterlife, I must marry a wife as beautiful as her!" Was Jiang Cheng's last thought.
As a miserable and tragic tear slipped from the corner of his eye.
The noise of the TV continued, but there was no breath in the ward....