Writing this film was a relatively simple task compared with the rest of the process. I needed to find someone that knew both English and Korean well enough to translate the screenplay. When I first arrived in Korea, my brother introduced me to a college student named June. He was really enthusiastic and intelligent and would end up being one of the most important people in the making of this film. In fact, the film would probably never have been made without him. We met one night at a local Turkish restaurant called Kebapistan. We ended up discussing some different films, and I told him about the project I was working on. I asked him that night if he would be interested in helping me translate the screenplay. He was extremely eager to do so. I was planning on putting up flyers to find actors at a theatrical college on the other side of town, but I was concerned that it would be difficult to direct Korean actors, unless I always had a translator on set. The thought didn't even occur to me that June would possibly be interested in acting in the film himself. He later ended up becoming the lead actor in the film. Besides translating and acting, June helped to find locations, order food, run errands, rent equipment, and do any other tasks that always seemed to come up. I really can't say how much he did and how much I appreciate his help and his friendship.
June on the first day of filming.
I was concerned about finding the rest of the cast, but everything reallly fell into place. I met the other main Korean actors Heidi and Chuck through a guy who was interested in helping crew on the film. They have both been really dedicated and have thrown themselves into the project as well. Beyond these, there were many others who helped out immensely and were delightful to work with. The project really couldn't have happened without this whole group of wonderful people. I also have to include my wife Abigail who was always there to help out and encourage me.
Heidi looking over her lines.
Chuck loving his bloody role.
There were certainly other challenged besides finding actors and translating the screenplay, but none as difficult and relieving to have finished. At this point, I had actors and a screenplay in the proper language. I just had to make the film...
Great cast and crew jumping for joy in Bugok Dong!