Mr. Wong Ga-leung hobbled through the empty hall towards his office. He is 57-year-old and works as secretary in the Hong Kong Stuntman Association.
During the 80s and 90s of last century, he was active in the action choreography in Hong Kong. Many films ring a bell, such as From Beijing with Love, The Kung Fu Cult Master and Twilight of a Nation, starring Stephen Chow, Jet Li and Ray Lui respectively. However, he encountered a severe train accident in Indonesia afterwards, causing one leg disabled.
Now, he accepted this job with flexible working hours because he can work at home to take care of his son who is less than 11 years old and suffers from autism. Through those ups and downs, he didn’t complain about nor sympathize himself for all adversities but rather follows his personalities, complying with his conscience.
At forty, he had no doubts about his vocation－to be a director. After over one decade in TVB, Wong couldn’t see hope there. “TVB has a strict schedule for each drama and this didn’t allow you to add in more imagination,” he said. Due to the disappointment and desire for his dream, he was inspired by other two peers, one of whom was Indonesia overseas Chinese, to go to Indonesia where techniques of filming lagged much more behind than Hong Kong.
At the beginning, partners didn’t care much about profit distribution. They worked for the Chinese Indonesia’s brother’s film production company but it never financed the filming as negotiated. “I only focus on how to make a better film and other business was in the charge of the Chinese Indonesia,” he said, “I don’t know how much we earned but it was 33% of the profit that we have.” Wong couldn’t speak Indonesian at that time, so he had to listen to their arrangement about financial issues.
When Wong was finishing a shot of a train, his leg was accidentally run over by the train. A small length of his crus left his body, flying away. The severe situation cost him almost four years to complete the course of treatment in Hong Kong, during which time, only that Chinese Indonesia stayed in Indonesia.
Wong asked for HKD110 thousand from that Indonesian company, along with insurance, just covered the fee.
“He is disabled and useless.” When Wong and his partner came to the company again, he heard of that his old partner had planned to get rid of them. “If we wanted to continue working there, we should accept 5% of the profit,” he said because they were told that all properties were lost in the anti-China riot. “It’s so different from our original intention. 5% is unfaire.”
The Chinese Indonesia later kicked out his brother and dominated the company, which had connections with TV stations and thrived afterwards. Meanwhile, some Indonesia producers still invited Wong to direct films. “That peer even phoned to complain about my stealing his business,” he smiled and said, “Our work is better.” Gradually, he, at forties, learnt basic Indonesian by himself with help of dictionaries.
Although some friends felt pity for him because of the train accident, he responded that it is pointless blaming God for an unfair fate but to think about how to face it.
But challenge was still awaiting. When Wong was about to set up a company in Indonesia, his three-year-old son was unfortunately diagnosed with autism. It meant that his family had to move back to Hong Kong because the city has better subsidy system which can mitigate some financial burden.
“Had I not married at that time, I would not have had a child with autism. But, it is now and I should take the responsibility.” Every day, Wong need to send his son to school first, one for the defective, and after work, he helps with son’s homework because his wife is Indonesia, not knowing about Chinese.
Family is his core at present. If there is a good chance that separates him and his family for a long time, like one year, he would say no. “What if they meet problem when I am absent, they need me and after measuring these two, I know what I should choose.”
From his value, his choice and attitude towards life come down to personality. He said, “If I have to earn opportunities in mainland China through alcohol manners, I prefer to give up but lots of my peers accept it and establish their social net there.”
He knows many successful directors or action choreographers and reckoned that many of them pay much efforts behind the shining stage while some behave against their heart. “On one hand, I am not good at socializing, but on the other hand, even though I am not satisfied with my personality, I will not force myself for benefits against my conscience,” he said, “I am not smart but kind-hearted.”
So, he still regrets not meeting a friend brilliant enough to guide themselves to fight for their dream despite his failure to become such person.
“Life is plain but you still don’t know what will happen tomorrow.” Wong often participates school activities sharing right methods to educate those children with mental or physical disabilities.
He pointed to the book Word 2010 office example and said, “Friends help me enroll an office course and I am happy to learn skills that benefit my job.”
There are also several handwriting paper on his table. He is practicing the running script and cursive writing. “I try to learn rules in the cursive writing and recognize those characters,” he said, “looking for interests in life.”