In 1990, Rick Minnich’s father Richard was involved in a car crash that made him lose his memory. Minnich was twenty at the time. A few months after the accident, he began filming his father, to examine what was still left of the 'old' Richard. Due to his father’s amnesia, Rick, like his (half-) brothers and sisters, had the feeling he had lost part of his life, of his personal past.
This scene, where the filmmaker and his younger half-brother have an emotional discussion in the middle of the Nevada desert about the causes, consequences and questions surrounding their father, did not make it to Forgetting Dad. Still, Minnich did try to incorporate the footage. So he is happy he can show the shots now, after all. Minnich is a fan of DVDs with additional options: 'I love it when I can explain all sorts of things in submenus!'
Minnich tried everything to find a place for the sequence. 'At first in the beginning of the film, as a prologue. A foretaste of what’s still in store, as it were. But in some way it was out of place there.' At the very end of his film, the scene did not work, either: 'I preferred the open end, as it is now.' A final attempt, to put the sequence somewhere in the middle, mainly slowed down the story.
Another important reason not to use the scene is the fact that his brother, who is wrestling with a drug habit, comes across as emotional and angry in the rest of the film, but in these shots was more level-headed than in all the others. In the eliminated scene, the tables were suddenly turned. When Minnich wonders aloud whether his father is a psychopath with a strange physical affliction, his younger brother answers confidently: 'You are dealing with our dad. He is still our dad.' Minnich: 'It may sound strange, but as a character he was more effective as an angry young man.'
Continuity issues also underlay Minnich’s choice. The scene was recorded much later than the rest of the film. Meanwhile, his brother had broken a leg – and you would somehow have to explain his crutches.