8 Child Actors

Pushing through the discouragement of our loss, we began planning to resume our film. A well-prepared plan is necessary to save time when filming. We also needed to find additional crew members so that we would have greater flexibility when arranging our shooting schedule. These were all major challenges.

In order to capture the different stages of Zoe’s childhood, we needed 8 different school-aged children. Zoe’s mother Mandy has 3 children, Zoe’s auntie Nina has 1 child, Ellen. For Zoe’s preschool scenes, we need 4 kids who are between 3 and 8 years old. For her elementary scenes, we need 4 kids who are between 7 and 12 years old, a total of 8 children. Child actors are already hard to find, let alone 8 of them. We could only pray earnestly for our needs to be met. One day, while our church was celebrating Chinese New Year, we saw the kids from Chinese School that were dancing and singing on the stage. Their captivating performance attracted our attention and we found many promising candidates. Praise the Lord, we were able to fill out most of the roles with these children!

7-year-old Evie was asked to act in several scenes for the film. Each shot took a few takes, exhausting her and causing her to burst into tears when she spotted her father (who later acted as one of the new neighbors in the scene). Yet each time when the director said “Action”, she quickly composed herself and resumed acting with a big smile. We were so touched by her great attitude toward working at such a young age.
Preschool children are usually very shy and dependent upon their mothers so we were unsure whether they could act with many people watching. We needed to be adaptable to work with them successfully. One 3-year-old little girl was so nervous and didn’t understand why so many adults were watching her move, that she began crying suddenly. We went along with it as such moments are common in our everyday life. Another 4-year-old little girl refused to climb up a small kitchen ladder for a shot. We tried persuading her several times, even trying to offer her donuts which she also refused. Finally, Ginny talked to her and found that she was actually just afraid of climbing the ladder. After explaining that she only needed to put her foot on the first step, the little girl cooperated with us. Our camera team began shooting these movements without formally calling out “Action” and was able to complete all the shots required for the scene. Following this, everyone on set was cheering and celebrated with each other.

God really answered our prayers for these actors. He brought all of them to us according to His time.

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