Suggestions on how to achieve a convincing field of wheat/grass reacting to wind + physical objects

I’ve been using Blender for about 3 years now for simple 3D animation and game design.

I’m in the process of writing and preparing a short animated film, for the opening scene of which I’d like to recreate a shot from Werner Herzog’s ‘The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser’
See here: https://youtu.be/t5q6QmiikM8?t=123
The shot itself is very simple - a static camera observing a field of wheat blowing in a strong wind for about 40 seconds. At the end of my shot I want a character to run from behind the camera and into view, carving a path through the wheat, as the camera slowly rises and transitions to the next scene.

I’m trying to figure out how to make a field of wheat that blows in the wind at least somewhat convincingly, and physically reacts to the body and motion of the character.
My immediate guess on how to tackle this would be to use a hair particle system for the wheat and one or multiple wind force objects with noise modifiers to alter the direction and strength in a random way.

I then want the wheat to part and move away from the character as they come into contact, and to leave a noticeable trail, whereby the affected wheat is ever so slightly bent away from its resting position, with some wheat crushed underfoot to be completely flattened and obscured.

I should note that I’m using Blender 2.8’s Eevee renderer and I’m not trying to achieve a photo-realistic image, if it looks half as good as the source material then I’ll be happy.
However I don’t think it’s necessary to simulate each strand of wheat in a complex physics simulation, rather I’m thinking force fields may be the way to go:
The character would have attached a repulsive forcefield.
For the indentation, I would need a long thin force field that extended the length of the path travelled, parting the wheat on either side and crushing the wheat particles directly underneath, but I’ve no idea how to do that…
Any ideas? Looking through the various force field types would I use a ‘Curve Guide’ ?

Am I on the right path or am I going to struggle getting decent results with this approach? I’d like to hear how you’d approach the same problem.
…Maybe there’s something clever I could do involving drivers? :slight_smile:

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