Pepper & Bones

 

Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker - aka Pepper & Bones - are filmmakers based in New York and Berlin. Epperlein grew up behind the Iron Curtain in Karl Marx City, GDR, where she had a career as competitive speed skater, bricklayer and architect. Tucker was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and spent his youth on far-flung Army posts until he settled in the Northwest and worked  as a commercial fisherman in Alaska.

Combining their talents in 1994, Epperlein and Tucker set up office in Berlin where they were early pioneers in digital cinema, experimenting with multimedia and non-linear storytelling. In 1997, with the support of Apple and Sony Europe they produced the award winning THE LAST COWBOY, one of the first digital films to be shot on DV and edited on the desktop. They also started one of the first DVD authoring facilities in Europe.Their work has been exhibited worldwide in places like The Stedeliik Museum in Amsterdam, The Berlin Biennale and The Museum of Modern Art Istanbul.

Liberated by digital technology, they spent their early years honing their craft on remote locations including Bosnia, Vietnam, Cuba, the Australian Outback and Namibia. In early 2003, they abruptly transitioned from filming wildlife in Africa to the war in Iraq, when Tucker was invited to drive into Baghdad from Jordan with an opportunity seeking German armored car salesman. Their critically acclaimed 2004 film GUNNER PALACE (Palm Pictures, Canal+) was the first "boots on the ground" film from the Iraq War and also carries the conspicuous distinction of being the most profane PG-13 movie in MPAA history with 42 utterances of the F-word.  In 2006, the pair went on to tell the story of a falsely accused Iraqi journalist in the Independent Spirit Award nominated THE PRISONER OR: HOW I PLANNED TO KILL TONY BLAIR (BBC Storyville & Red Envelope). With the war in Afghanistan heating up in 2007, they revisited the salesman they met in the early days of the Iraq and produced  BULLETPROOF SALESMAN (BBC Storyville) which shadowed the salesman as he made sales calls in the deadliest regions of the world. In 2008, they followed the soldiers of GUNNER PALACE home against the backup of an election year in HOW TO FOLD A FLAG. One of those veterans, a cage fighter, led them to FIGHTVILLE (MPI, Showtime), which captures the rise of small town mixed martial arts fighter in Louisiana as he fights his way to the top.

Epperlein is currently working on a graphic novel about life in East Germany. Tucker is writing his first narrative screenplay.