The Healing Love team finished shooting in China on August 6. They will fly to Vienna around August 10 for a few more scenes before officially wrapping up the 5-month filming work by the end of this month.
Healing Love tells of the talented musician Fang Haosheng, played by Wallace Chung, who went through a rough patch because of intermittent hearing impairment. He broke up with his first girlfriend Chen Yu (Chen Ran), fell out with his close friend Xu Dong’an (Xiao Zhenyu), and faced difficult choices in his communication with his father and the relationship with his true love Han Han (Wang Xiaochen).
It is unusual for a modern drama to spend as long as five months on filming, but Healing Love has its reasons, according to the head of the project and Wallace.
Albeit a talented musician, Fang Haosheng is a lonely soul. He grew up without a mother and had a poor relationship with his father. At age 30, he discovered that he had intermittent hearing impairment, which aggravated his pain.
The head of the Healing Love project [Haha: the original article never mentioned his name…] said that the story was chosen by Wallace whose team worked with the screenwriters: “He has wanted to do a project about social care since five or six years ago, so he is devoted to Healing Love. The script is completely original and went through many edits.”
“Healing Love constructs the story upon music. We want to promote social care and spread positive energy, encouraging the audience to pay attention to people with hearing impairment or other disabilities and give them confidence to prove themselves,” Wallace said.
[Haha: Wallace has achieved the goal in me. I have paid more attention to news about people with disabilities. A few months ago, two female graduate students in China developed a bracelet that converts sign language to audio messages. When I read the news, I thought: Fang Haosheng should get this bracelet!]
Although Wallace told the media that he was not the producer of Healing Love, he frequently interacted with the writers about the script and the director about lighting and actors’ positioning on the set.
Wallace’s preference for Healing Love can be attributed to his interest in charity work though it was not widely known by the public. Longtime fans know of his philanthropic work with Make-A-Wish Taiwan and Village Libraries of Happiness, but to most people Wallace is only a versatile artiste. I believe Healing Love will prove to the public that Wallace has a deeper understanding of the underrepresented groups and social care than others.
Healing Love not only calls for more attention to the hearing-impaired, but it emphasizes the importance of philanthropism through the [screenwriters’] decisions about Fang Haosheng’s career and the development of the storyline. For instance, although Fang Haosheng and Han Han care deeply about each other, they both believe that people should not just live for themselves. Spoiler alert: Healing Love does not have a happy ending.
Wallace said the team focused on the storyline and filming techniques. “For example, how to make the audience instantly perceive that Fang Haosheng has hearing problems is a challenge. He senses were sharp. He had an acute sense of hearing, so when he began to have hearing problems and had to explore around the place, he had more difficulties than the average people. It is pretty challenging for people like him to adjust to the new situation psychologically,” said Wallace. Fang Haosheng observed people more closely to compensate for his hearing loss. Wallace hopes the audience see the power of focus and perseverance in Fang Haosheng.
Wallace learned conducting and how to play the violin for a few months before filming started. His violin teacher from Taiwan was amazed by his fast progress. Fun fact: The teacher revealed on his personal Facebook account that Wallace was his idol when he was at junior high.
The head of the Healing Love project said he was moved by the scene where Fang Haosheng and his colleagues gave a concert for the hearing-impaired children to show how those children communicate with the world. He also said a group advocating for hearing-impaired children’s rights invited Wallace to be their spokesperson, which proved how meaningful it is to create TV dramas about marginalized people. He expect the airing of Healing Love to have a larger impact on the public awareness of social care. Wallace said, “There is a love story in the drama, but there is more about family love and social care. We hope to remind the audience: Care more about the people in your life, your parents, your relatives and friends, and even your neighbors. If you are too embarrassed to do something, you can communicate through music.”
Healing Love is a metropolitan fable that addresses the loneliness of urban dwellers. Fang Haosheng and Chen Yu were together for years, but they didn’t discover each other’s needs for true companionship. Plus, Chen Yu was not aware of Fang Haosheng’s condition. It is probably because people living in big cities are accustomed to being cold and detached towards each other. They cannot speak their minds even to the their closest partners. Many people feel lonely in a bustling city probably for the same reason.
On the other hand, Han Han as a speech therapist was able to heal Fang Haosheng because she resonated with Fang Haosheng on the emotional and spiritual levels. Their love is thus purer and more touching.
As for the conflict between Fang Haosheng and Xu Dong’an, the purpose is to create more obstacles. Well, I guess the existence of Qiao Zhenyu is purely to give Wallace a lot of headaches…haha.
The head of Healing Love said Fang Haosheng is not meant to be a breakout role for Wallace: “Not a breakthrough role, just a way of showing there are more sides to him. The most important goal is to help him express his ideas.”
Wallace put it this way, “There was a time when I only accepted the roles which I had not tried before. People tend to have an itch at a certain stage in life to do things to tell the skeptics: I can do it! Why tell me I can’t? But now that life stage of being obsessed with getting a breakthrough role is behind me. Now I care more about the energy that a project will pass on to the audience and whether it will move the audience.”