Over this past weekend Frederick Kim, writer and consulting producer of Frankenstein MD passed away from a sudden brain aneurysm. Outside of Frankenstein MD he was a practicing medical doctor who had dreams of writing for television.
I met Fred in the mid 2000’s at an advanced pilot class at UCLA amongst a talented group of up and coming writers that produced no less than 6 TV writers from a class of less than 15. Aside from being an incredibly intelligent person, he was always kind, open, and considerate. I remember in a writer’s group when he came across medical language and procedures within scripts of fellow writers, he would give his notes with the authenticity of someone who spent years studying medicine, yet with the empathy of a writer who wanted to tell a cool story using some medical science.
When Frankenstein MD was announced in 2014, I immediately thought of Fred not simply as someone that I thought we should have, but someone we definitely needed. I remember having my first meeting with Fred on Frankenstein. He came into the Pemberley Digital offices dressed in a light purple button up shirt, something that didn’t seem right for the Fred I knew. I realized after the meeting that he was coming in for a meeting to hopefully get the writer job, yet I, ironically went into that meeting HOPING that he would take the job that I was going to hand him. I still don’t know who was more ecstatic when he agreed to join the team of Frankenstein MD.
On Frankenstein MD, he was in the writer’s room with us when we broke the first 8 episodes. But before we ever made it to set, he was offered another staffing gig on the USA show Complications. I remember him being so apologetic that he had to move on to TV, but I told him I was happy for him. I reminded Fred that I was there with him in those classes at UCLA, writing nights and weekends away from our day jobs, and re-iterated that writing on a TV show was what we were fighting for. I gave him a big congrats and thanked him genuinely for his service.
Fred offered to help as much as he could before his Complications obligations began. He answered every medical question thrown to him that weekend from our writing staff, and he punched up every bit of medical terminology he came across. He literally went from Sunday night answering emails from the Frankenstein MD staff to Monday morning walking into the writer’s room for Complications. He never got a chance to be on set with us, but I enjoyed every moment working with him.
I continued to see Fred from time to time, at writer group meet ups and CAPE events. Every time I saw him I expressed my desire to work together again, and every time he told me was ready when I was. After hearing that he was in the hospital, I rushed from the airport to Cedars Sinai to see him on Sunday. Though he was unresponsive, he looked how he always was to me as a person… peaceful.
I’ve been informed that he had surgery to donate all of his organs. Though it makes me sad to realize he’s gone, I do recognize the irony that he worked on Frankenstein MD, a show that has a major character become an organ donor. But unlike that story, I like to think of Fred’s as a positive one. He ended up helping and saving a lot of people in his life’s work as a writer, doctor, and donor. Thank you Fred. I’ll miss you.
Executive Producer, Bernie Su.
Below is episode 2 of Frankenstein MD, written by Fred Kim