Small is Beautiful

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October 29, 2013

Small is Beautiful

Small is Beautiful

Small is Beautiful is a feature-length documentary exploring the tiny house movement. It’s a collaboration between Australian filmmaker Jeremy Beasley and Oregon native Kelly Nardo.

This is not the first documentary to focus on tiny houses, however, after exploring what was out there, Beasley saw there was a gap. He explains:

“[Most films out there] seemed to be all about the aesthetics of tiny houses. I wanted to go deeper; I wanted an understanding of why people were making this choice, and how living tiny affects people’s lives.”

As the filmmakers point out, the lower costs associated with the tiny house life (building costs are typically less than a tenth of those of an average American house, and two thirds of tiny house people have no mortgage or credit card debt) give the occupant the freedom to pursue the life they want.

Small is Beautiful focuses more on what the tiny house lifestyle enables than on the houses themselves.

The project is a work in progress (Jeremy and Kelly are crowdfunding to complete it), but already the team has collected an impressive variety of stories from tiny house people throughout Oregon.

Take Karin for example, who has chosen to live tiny because it allows her to gift medical care to people one day every week – in line with her commitment to living in a gift economy.

Or Nikki and Mitchell, who are hoping their tiny house will allow them to trade the 9-5 for a different kind of life; one where they spend their time on life-sustaining activities like growing food for themselves and their community.

Read more about the people featured in Small is Beautiful here.

We’ll be looking forward to Small is Beautiful – definitely one to watch.

average cost of a tiny house

credit card debt

Small is Beautiful – A Tiny House Film – Pozible from Jeremy Beasley on Vimeo.

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Valerie - October 29, 2013 Reply

So elementary, but do you think you can get the overall population to understand it – no! Henry D. Thoreau said it well over 100 years ago regarding men being poor their entire lives because they think they need the kind of house the neighbors have. I painted this on a piece of wood and hung it up. These aren’t the kind of values one typically learns in society and certainly not in schools.

dewhit - October 29, 2013 Reply

I cannot understand how someone wants to delve deeper into the stories behind individuals desires to save money and be more resourceful and then wants everyone else to finance their 5000 dollar expense to make a film.

5k is not a lot of money to invest in something you really believe in as claimed. But it is easy to walk away from or abandon if it is not your

    Paije - October 29, 2013 Reply

    I believe the idea of crowding the video fits in perfectly with the philosophy of gift economy that she follows.

    Jeremy B - October 29, 2013 Reply

    Hi dewhit,

    Thanks for your comment. I thought it might be best to clarify a few things for you, as I’m making the film.

    I’ve already invested over $8000 personally, not to mention 2 months work. The $5k we’re raised so far is to cover the next stage of filming. (Which will only be around 14-15% of the total costs).

    We are fully committed to making this film and wouldn’t spend all our own time and money to make it happen if we weren’t.

    Aside from helping with the funding, one of the reasons we’re reaching out is to engage the tiny house community and to be a part of that conversation. We’re committed to making the film wholeheartedly and I hope you enjoy it when it’s done.


    MJ - October 30, 2013 Reply

    I think the answer to your question is inherent in your opening words “I cannot understand…”. There are a lot of reasons behind this sort of funding, but one big one is, I believe, that it gives people the opportunity to be involved and support something they believe in, feel positive about, aren’t doing themselves but might dream of doing. This isn’t a begging thing, it’s an opportunity. If the project doesn’t get funded, no one loses a dime, it catches the imagination of project supporters or it doesn’t. Can the system be abused? Do the project makers always follow through? I’m sure there are some in the fail column, that’s a given. Just like many of the known ‘charities’ have big checks in the fail column. I personally enjoy knowing that my [usually very small] financial support might help realize a dream of someone(s) willing to work hard for it. Does that help your understanding?

Sue - October 29, 2013 Reply

Have you looked into Kickstarter? I’ve known several people who utilized it as a fundraiser: for a movie, start a food co-op & create an APP for travel & they all exceeded their goals.
Unlike dewhit, I CAN understand how someone who’s passionate about this movement would want to spread the word & make more people aware of their options. Had I had this option decades ago, I would have chosen it, rather than work on it in my 60’s; but hey, better late than never.

Molinda - October 30, 2013 Reply

Visual is the key to helping people understand.The tiny house pictures are great, but this is amazing as it adds the Real People! Presently, I am recovering from ankle replacement surgery, but I will be on board to contribute soon. I sold residential homes with big mortgages for over 20 years. This is The Way To Go!

Cynthia - November 1, 2013 Reply

I live in east central Wisconsin, near Oshkosh. I have been given permission to help myself to a large, historic barn that has blown down. I would like to salvage the barnwood and beams, but have no way to transport them to a farm in Racine where I can store them until I sell my house and build a tiny house. The owner plans on having the entire historic barn burned by the fire department this winter. I would appreciate it if anyone would volunteer to move the materials for me in return for some of them. Please email me if you are interested.

Andre ewert - November 2, 2013 Reply

Great little projext. Why not do a road trip across Amsrica and canada meeting tiny housers. Also get sponsors like for tiny house toilets. Solar panels etc from products that work.

Michelle - November 4, 2013 Reply

Great motivation! Being a tiny home owner, I have more free money than I ever had working a full time job and paying a mortgage ! Those who get it, get it those who don’t …just simply don’t ! Love what your doin guys ! See it through !

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