PART 1

TUGGER the ship

by Faruq Oyekan

TUGGER the ship is a hilariously witty and a refreshingly humorous comedy sci-fi from the mind of writer and director Kevin Bertazzon.  With a total runtime of 22 minutes, TUGGER the ship tells a tale that is encompassed by humor that is both strikingly intelligent and incredibly multi-layered.

The pilot and his crew are chased through the galaxy by alternate versions of themselves in a space-faring tow truck designed by a nine-year-old girl.

- IMDB

What makes TUGGER the ship unique, is its use of hilarious cutaways and breathtaking CGI. Throughout the film CGI is used to create scenes of breathtaking spaceship travel and cutaways are used to develop jokes that create a belly full of laughter. Combined together TUGGER the ship is truly one unique short that will un-compared to anything else you watch this year.

TUGGER the ship is full of un-forgetful well-rounded and quirky characters that will have audiences on the edge of their seats. The cast’s chemistry shines on screen and together they are able to turn the film’s dialogue into comedic timing and dialogue gold.

ProCreate Tugger

TUGGER the ship, is a nicely composed piece, that benefits from stunning lighting and a sense of care that is showcased through its framing and cinematography. Rich vibrant colors and mostly brightly light shots create a sense of space travel that rivals films such as Star Trek and Prometheus.

After a couple of CG shorts, a few friends wanted to work on a sci-fi comedy thing where we could do live action, CG, illustration, animation, and graphic design - basically all of our skills lumped into one project. Then SPLAT! Out came TUGGER. It was supposed to be the first episode of a web series of much shorter (stupid) stories, but we lost the space and people got busy so it became a standalone instead.

- Kevin Bertazzon

The appeal of this short film manifests itself in its ability to create a sense of reality that is both comedic and weird. However weird, in a good sense that draws the viewer in and leaves them invested in every scene. What will happen next is not always apparent throughout this short, and that’s a good thing. Kevin Bertazzon proves himself a talent writer that is skilled in the art of complex humor and somewhat surreal storytelling.

By the end of this film audiences will be left wanting more and laughing as they call back the films many contagious jokes.  Kevin Bertazzon’s TUGGER is something that needs to be seen and that needs to be enjoyed by all. This brilliant piece of comedy gold is available on Youtube. Check it out now!

PART 2

INTERVIEW with Kevin Bertazzon (Director/Writer)

First of all how long have you been film making? What got you interested?

…First back to you, thanks for interviewing me, Faruq. It's fun getting to chat about this stuff. I kind of became a filmmaker by accident. I was in a comedy troupe a LONG time ago and we decided to pick up a cheap camera and shoot one of our sketches:  http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/a7e88f8820/face-of-the-assailant  

After that, a couple of guys talked us into taking the next sketch show I wrote, and shooting it with our crappy camera as a "found footage" thing. So my first real foray into filmmaking was a (crappy) feature length movie. Here's the trailer:  https://vimeo.com/45961890

I was working as a character animator so I then collaborated with some people I worked with on a CG animated short:  https://vimeo.com/116632690

I guess it kind of continued sporadically from there.

What inspired this short? 

After a couple of CG shorts, a few friends wanted to work on a sci-fi comedy thing where we could do live action, CG, illustration, animation, and graphic design - basically all of our skills lumped into one project. Then SPLAT! Out came TUGGER. It was supposed to be the first episode of a web series of much shorter (stupid) stories, but we lost the space and people got busy so it became a standalone instead.

ProCreate Tugger

Any interesting behind the scene stories?

The most interesting thing to me is how complimentary some have been about the esthetic. Which really feels good. I'll ask "Hey, did you find it funny? Did you enjoy it?" They'll usually pause, then say "I REALLY liked how it looked." So I guess we pulled it off because we just went through Home Depot and found the cheapest pseudo-industrial looking materials we could find (the walls were Styrofoam insulation), painted it pink and girlie, then stuck it together with Velcro and Gorilla Tape. Much of the skeletal structure was discarded wood we found by a dumpster - which smelt like skunk sex and homeless pee. (See attached photo of me sitting on set with the co-owner of the studio, Roger Seto and the DP, Chris Capel.) Then when it came to the CG exteriors, I wrote it basically as 'cars-in-space' so we could get away with default car shaders (textures) that matched the color scheme of the interiors. That way we didn't have to paint details. A lot CG production people who see it go "Aw, you used car shaders? That's totally cheap dude." Yes it is my friends…yes it is……

What is it like film making now after having made this film? Has your approach changed?

I never want to write anything with people staring at screens anymore. I realize that's what people do in real life - but I find it boring. Once we were on set I was like "Fuck! We're looking at pieces of glass instead of each other!" Especially when I could feel the actors wanted to connect because we were developing a nice chemistry. That was stupid. Just stupid. I want to shoot with two cameras from now on as well. Sure, it's a pain in the ass when logging the footage, but it keeps the shoot fresher, quicker, and lets the actors play around and improvise with each other once we've gotten the dialogue we need. The experience stays more fun and that reads in the final product.

ProCreate Tugger

Do you have any projects lined up for the future?

I've written this sort of a modern day Adams Family thing. I'm toying with the idea of trying it on stage first before shooting it. The design is the first image on my art page:  http://lovelystudios.com/founder/artwork

But my main goal at the moment is getting out and searching for like minds. I've spent most of my time in LA sitting behind a computer and I don't want to do that anymore. I know it sounds cheesy, but I'm taking improv classes, seeing comedy shows, and trying to meet people doing interesting and entertaining things.

Any advice to filmmakers?

No. Styrofoam. Sets.  https://www.facebook.com/TUGGERtheship/videos/10151913150679042/?type=1&theate

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Faruq_Oyekan_-_Bio_Pic.jpg

Faruq Oyekan is a San Diego-based screenwriter and filmmaker. Born and raised in California, Faruq dedicates his time to producing and participating in film projects across the region. Faruq's own film work consist of short film narratives that explore realms of fantasy, sci-fi, and the bizarre. To Faruq, short films are just the right length and the prime arena to inspire others with new and innovative narratives.

Cast and Crew

TUGGER the ship

Directed by Kevin Bertazzon

Written by Kevin Bertazzon

Cinematography by Chris Capel

Music by Andrew Spence

Starring: Gary AbrahamianKelly Albano, & Peter Atkins

Full Cast & Crew

Runtime: 22  min

Genre: Sci-Fi Comedy

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