My Experience Filming Homesick

By Yuming Zhang- lead actor in “Homesick”
This movie is based on the true story of my older brother Ruoming “From Death to Life” . I’m glad to be the main actor acting as my brother’s role. If not for God’s grace and recommendation from Pastor Huang, I would not be qualified to be part of the short film “Homesick”. I also want to thank director Charles and producer Ginny, the beautiful sound mixer Rebecca, and the photographic team and all the cast and crew members.

Before the shooting, we have been preparing for two months, looking for cast. The director and producer were the first time flying back from the United States to Taiwan to film and all the cast are acting in film for the first time. It was a great challenge to everyone since there were many unknown factors for the first timers. Praise the Lord, the words of God said, “And we know that all things will work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. Don’t doubt, just believe.” During the four days of shooting, the words have been emerging in my mind, and every time there is a situation, after praying, it was always resolved.

On the first day of filming, I was actually very nervous, especially when the studio lights went on, and the camera started rolling. I could feel that the body wasn’t mine any more. Often a scene, an action, or a conversation would repeat more than 10 times.

The next day, we went to the Prison to shoot the scene in which I was released from the prison and made a call to my father. The response I got from my father was that he didn’t want me to go home. My joy from being newly released suddenly crashed at that moment. Although I was acting my brother’s feeling, I actually felt the way he felt because this is what really happened to both us before.

Yuming reenacted the scene of entering prison

In the afternoon, we went to the prison. When the iron door behind us closed, it meant that you are no longer a free man. This was the sound I was most afraid to hear when I was still in crime. And then when the haircut scene came up, the electronic razor buzzed over my scalp and as all the hair fell to the ground, my heart sank and brought me back to the past. The loss of my hair made me feel like a prisoner again. It was like being labeled again, but this time it wasn’t the same. Thank God, because of His grace, because of His love, my heart is so joyful, no fear at all.

The scene of cutting hair in the prison brought the memory back to Yuming. Yet now he is no more in fear.

The third day was a relatively smooth day, and I really appreciated all the workers in the Prison Fellowship. Without everybody’s cooperation, it wouldn’t go so smooth.

In the afternoon, we went to a hospital to shoot the scene where my father had knee surgery, and my brother came to take care of him. I could feel the pain and patience my brother felt in order to seek my father’s forgiveness. I could also understand how my father was also hurt and suspicious of my brother. Praise the Lord, all these qualms were resolved after patience, obedience, and constant prayers, so that our father and mother can finally put aside their doubts, and believe that my brother’s repentance was true.

The scene of Ruoming attended his father in the hospital

The fourth day was also our last day of filming. The first scene was about my brother stealing my father’s money while he was taking a shower. I was so ashamed of myself when I was shooting the first scene because it happened so frequently before. I can’t remember how many times I had been caught by my father. The second scene is about our neighbors gossiping behind my father and mother’s back. I thank the Lord, all these things have passed and we have all been saved by God’s grace.

The drug scene in the motel

In the afternoon, we went to a motel to shoot the drug bust scene and the last scene. When I was being handcuffed in bed, I actually had fear at the idea of becoming a prisoner again. All my past life moments flashed in my mind, and the handcuffs were being constantly opened and closed, bruising my hands, which reminded me of my previous experience. So I kept praying in my heart until it finally quieted down and there was no more fear. When the director called “cut”, that meant it was the end! I knew it’s all done now! Although I was very happy, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet. I did not expect it to end so soon. It was like the blink of an eye.

This was the first time in my life I was the main actor and my first time getting involved in shooting a film, I was really very grateful and cherished this rare experience.

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