I met Tyler Funk 14 years ago in the film program of Langara College. He stood out right away—and not just because he was 6’4”, had a huge mop of curly hair and rocked the loudest shoes in the program. He stood out because—unlike many of us in the program who were dabbling in the world of film, on hiatus from our 9-to-5 jobs we’d later return to—he always knew he wanted to be a filmmaker. As I got to know Ty, his family and his friends, I’d hear stories of the films he’d made as a kid, dragging his younger siblings and friends along for the ride. I learned about the time he got scammed out of thousands of dollars as a teenager, trying to buy a video camera. The stories all fit the man I was getting to know: passionate, driven and focused on creating. He’s been achieving his dream as long as I’ve known him; not a month has gone by when he hasn’t been writing, producing or directing a web series, an animated comedy or an ad for a global brand. But creating Anything for Fame is a fantastic showcase of his creativity and drive. Tyler dragged his tiny crew (three of them, including his childhood friend Sebastian Mercado, whom he’s never stopped working with, and director of photography Peter Planta) across Canada and the United States for over 70 days, getting to know the characters in his film well enough to bring their stories to life. I’m immensely proud of the work Tyler has put in to make this film happen, but I’m not the least bit surprised.
-Written by Laura Hope, Senior Policy Analyst at Metro Vancouver and Tyler’s spouse
Which ’hood are you in?
I’m in Burnaby–Royal Oak, near Metrotown. It’s finding its identity with new breweries and coffee shops, and a great bike path to Vancouver or New West. Perhaps my favourite part is that it’s a short walk to Deer Lake.
What do you do?
The goal is always to work with people you like and do something exciting. Which can take a lot of work. I’ve run my production company, North of Now, for 10 years with my best friend, Sebastian Mercado. We grew up in Banff, Alberta, together and then went to the film program at UBC. We’ve done everything from feature films and web series with amazingly talented people such as Jann Arden and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, to directing over 50 commercials for brands like Coca-Cola, Ford and Hot Wheels.
We just got back from a campaign in West Hollywood and are trying to enjoy a bit of summer before the next shoot.
But what I mainly spend my time doing is being a dad. I have two wonderful young boys (three and six) who keep me busy. One is obsessed with Pokémon GO and swimming, the other loves Science World and New Westminster—like, anywhere in New West. So we’re always busy exploring and looking for new parks and pools and adventures.
What are you currently working on?
Right now, we’ve got four docs in different stages of development and two series that we’re pitching. On top of that, I’m always producing and directing commercials. The commercials tend to have an extremely tight turnaround time, so they’re great compared to the larger projects that take years to get going. It’s a nice chaotic balance.
I think to have a career in this industry, the answer always has to involve a half-dozen projects. Currently, I’m trying to find more time to get back to writing, perhaps start an acting or singing class, and also trying to make time to play with all the new AI tools. Everything is changing so fast—it’s a challenging and exciting time.
Where can we find your work?
You’ll find my feature documentary Anything for Fame on the streamer Paramount+ Canada (subscription needed) and on nfb.ca (free to stream across Canada). I’m really proud of my film and would love to hear what you think! Send me a tweet or an X if you watch it and let me know.
My commercials and web series can be found on my website.