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an aside

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[Shot fades in from white. Camera slowly zooms in on KANG SEULGI, she's in bed lying on her stomach, chin in the palm of her hands as if in thought.]

Seulgi: I'm not sure where to start.

Joohyun (off-screen): What's the first word that comes to mind when you hear the name 'Kim Yerim'?

Seulgi: Huh well—cute. That's what comes to my mind. She's always been cute... maybe it's because she's the youngest but she has this—this child-like cuteness about her you can't really describe. I guess that's why all of our labelmates dote on her, she's just that cute.

[Shot cuts to one of KIM YERIM sleeping on the floor, head resting on one arm and the other curled around her stomach. The camera shakily pans forward until all on the screen is an extreme close-up of Yerim's face. Faint laughter can be heard in the background until the shot cuts back to the one with Seulgi.]

Seulgi: When she started I never got the chance to talk to her much other than the occasional 'How are you?'. She was so young, you know? I think she was twelve, but yeah. A couple of us wanted to surprise her on her thirteenth birthday but when we did she started to cry—do you remember, unnie? You got so pissed off at me that I thought I was gonna cry.

Joohyun (off-screen): You guys scared her.

Seulgi: Nuh-uh. Anyway, I knew she was extremely talented. Back when the company decided to put her into Rookies I thought she'd originally debut with us! By that time we'd speak more—about dance routines and different vocal inflections in rap—she was curious, really curious might I add. Some of her questions were so complicated and based in theory that I'd tell her to ask someone else with more experience. Once, she asked me something related to rap but I told her to ask you because I didn't know the answer and you know what she said? That she was scared of you.

Joohyun (off-screen): What?

Seulgi: Yeah! She said you were so old— [She snickers but schools her face back to a neutral expression at the reprimanding "Yah!" from Joohyun.] —fine, she said she didn't wanna pester you. But I said you're cool, even if you are old.

Joohyun (off-screen): Seulgi-yah.

[Seulgi instantly pales at the tone of voice.]

Seulgi: Okay, yeah. As I was saying... Yerim's a kid and sometimes I just wanna protect her, you know? Once she debuts with us she's gonna get an onslaught of comments and reviews about her performance and you never know what they'll say—there might be negative comments and I don't want her to face all that. She's too pure to be tainted by words said by people who have too much time on their hands. I wanna be there for her if she ever needs to talk about it.

[Shot fades to white and transitions to SON SEUNGWAN, she's sat cross-legged on the floor, a little hesitant in front of the camera.]

Seungwan: Yerim? I don't think there's a word to describe her in any language—and I mean it in the best possible way! She's so energetic, it's like she's a tiny ball of energy you can't turn off. I can relate to that, I guess it's a Pisces thing... I used to play all day as a child and never get tired.

Joohyun (off-screen): [A splutter of a laugh.] I don't think that's related to your star sign?

[Seungwan smiles a little in embarrassment.]

Seungwan: Sorry. But you know what is a Pisces thing? She's smart. Really smart because she knows how to use that knowledge to her advantage. That's why she's such a great conversationalist! I don't remember when but I think it's pretty recent—before our debut that I saw her reading a book on Freud. Freud! Can you believe? She's what, sixteen? I didn't know about Freud when I was sixteen! It was a total shocker but we got talking about his theories—she didn't know much, that was a given, but she could hold her own ground. It's really inspiring to see that.

[Cut to a shot obviously taken from further away, in secret. Footage is somewhat grainy from the zoom and shaky but it's clear enough to see the two individuals lost in a conversation: Seungwan and Yerim. A lot of the time Yerim supplements her story by various gestures. Cut back to the footage of Seungwan.]

Seungwan: As I said before, she's energetic and she plays on that energy by spending more time in the practice room—I don't think she ever gets tired. She focuses on improving on one thing and just goes for it. She literally pushes to get harder and more complex choreographies and the best part is that she actually masters them! I'd give up if I were her but she doesn't. It's just a choreography but for her, it's a stepping stone towards a goal she wants to achieve and... she did.

[Seungwan smiles at Joohyun behind the camera.]

Seungwan: She's going to finally debut—with us. I met her a couple of days back and she already knows every step of Be Natural and Happiness! That's dedication. And it's what you don't usually see around here. Some people give up entirely and others don't push hard enough. I know she's probably had days where she doubted her own decisions but what inspired me—what still inspires me is the fact that she went forward and she stuck by her decisions. She's young, basically a child and her dedication honestly floors me.

[Shot fades to white. Next shot comes into focus and PARK SOOYOUNG is sat on the couch and pointedly not looking at the camera.]

Sooyoung: The one thing I know about her is that she's gonna steal my position as the maknae.

Joohyun (off-screen): Sooyoung-ah you'll always be our maknae. [A pause.] What do you think of Yerim?

Sooyoung: She's cool.

Joohyun (off-screen): Don't you have anything else to add to that?

[Sooyoung shrugs her shoulders.]

Sooyoung: She's pretty funny. Got an okay sense of humour. I thought she'd be an okay target for a prank, didn't think she'd tell on me like a little bitch— [She rolls her eyes fondly when Joohyun supposedly glares at her from behind the camera.]  —she didn't. She was cool about it and was the first one to actually get back at me. And that started our prank war. Unfortunately, it stopped because we debuted but...

[Sooyoung cackles quite evilly.]

Joohyun (off-screen): What do you think makes her so great?

Sooyoung: Are you trying to feed her ego, unnie?

[Cut to a video of Sooyoung and Yerim posing for a picture but they can't seem to decide how to pose. They start to bicker and hit each other playfully, while Seulgi takes the pictures, anyway. Shot cuts back to the one with Sooyoung.]

Sooyoung: I used to talk to her during our trainee days—and she's only two years younger to me, yeah?—but she always spoke like she had more experience than you'd think.

[Jump cut to Sooyoung sat on the floor, playing with the hem of her shirt.]

Sooyoung: It's just that... you'd think that she's sure of herself but I know she isn't. I've seen the way she pushes herself to the limit, it's almost like she wants to break—it's like, what she's doing to herself is because she doesn't think she's worth it. She doesn't see herself, she sees... all the things that could be improved or made better. But she's reached a level of perfection some people strive for and can never reach yet she's trying to... god, she's more than she thinks she is. She's so much better.

Joohyun (off-screen): Is there anything you'd like to say to her?

[Sooyoung laughs a little.]

Sooyoung: Got a little serious there, heh. Well, Yerim-ah... you know, you belong in Red Velvet—with the four of us. You'll complement all of our strengths and... don't let it get to your head, yeah? Don't be a little shit about it but you're cool and you're like my little sister. And just—if you ever tell anyone about this I'll—

[Shot fades to white. The final person is BAE JOOHYUN herself, she's turned the camera towards her and it feels more of a vlog than an interview.]

Joohyun: Hey, Yerim-ah. I don't know where this was going but here it is. [She smiles fondly.] You're finally going to debut. You're finally going to be a part of Red Velvet, as our fifth member. You have no idea that when they told us about you I hadn't realised how much we needed you as a group... before I talked to the members I would've just said how much I needed you but you realise it now as well, right? We need you, we always had. You should've been here since the start.

[She rolls her lips into her mouth, lost in thought for a moment.]

Joohyun: You know you mean so much to me, yeah? You make me feel so young, so carefree like I don't have any worry in the world. You have that quality about you—you make people feel safe and wanted, even if you don't feel the same way. But you are wanted. You're so special to me, Yerim-ah. I'm so proud of you.

[She turns away from the camera, but it's already evident in the way her voice cracked at the last sentence that she's close to crying.]

Joohyun: I'm probably being stupid and sentimental but that's just how I am with the people that mean a lot to me. You're going to do so well, Yerim-ah. You'll be a role model for so many people—for so many young girls who have a dream. Not everyone might like you but please remember that it's not your fault and that you're wonderful. No matter what they say you'll always be that person who can make me smile. And I'll always be there for you—I'll always stand by your side no matter what happens because I trust you. I believe in you, Yerim-ah, I only hope you can learn to believe in yourself one day.

[Fades to white.]