In the pre-internet days, it was common practice for actors, directors, and writers to leave some of their less than stellar credits—cheesy TV shows or B-movies they took for the rent money, or to kickstart their careers, or to pay for the cat’s kidney transplant—off their resumes. Whatever, they were totally safe in the knowledge that no one would ever find out. Ever. If it isn’t on the resume, well then, it doesn’t exist. Also, who in the world’s ever going find out about (Insert Completely Embarrassing Title Here)?
Then IMDB came along.
Hence, said actors, directors, and writers all of a sudden had some splainin’ to do. In my case, it was did you really co-write the so-called cult film A*P*E? You know the one that was so bad, it’s not even so bad it’s good? The King Kong rip-off? In 3-D? In South Korea? And you were dumb enough to put a pseudonym (Nebuer Redel) on your production sound recordist credit, rather than as co-writer?
Well, the answer is yes, and the reason was because my Dad asked me to do it with him.
Two years earlier, he was hired by a Taiwanese producer to shoot a caper movie in Taiwan, which turned out okay. And now the guy was calling back and asking my Dad if he could have a script about a misunderstood thirty-six foot monkey with anger management issues ready in a month or so, cast it, and get everyone on a plane to Seoul. Oh, and shoot it in 3-D. Thing was, my Dad needed the money to finance a very personal script he’d written, and this was the way to get that money. Likely, the only way.
Almost everything I’ve ever achieved, I owe to my Dad. Not because he gave me my Big Break; he didn’t. He couldn’t, either. Didn’t have the wherewithal. No, he made his own breaks—and in the process of doing so, taught me how to do the same. My sister Mimi was behind the second unit camera on this one, and got some tremendous footage of joint American/Korean war games. Do you think that just might have helped her as she evolved into a world class director? Yeah, I’d say so.
Everybody’s got to start somewhere.
Take a look at this site devoted to Asian monster movies, maybe have a few laughs, and maybe understand why I’m not particularly upset that this film is on my resume.
At least, my digital resume.