the serendipitous way in which our life unfolds, we now find ourselves making a documentary with award winning filmmaker, Jim Lounsbury. As his website states, “Jim is a natural collaborator and has worked with fellow artist, online communities and some of the world’s biggest brands to explore new ways to engage with people through story”. Jim is passionate about stories that explore nomadism and conservation, so it seems fitting that our paths have crossed.
My partner Steven and I lived in a motorhome for 5-years sharing our ideas of creating a new paradigm for town planning with academics, local councils and communities around Australia. Our idea was to design a circular economy village so we could integrate our food, water and energy into the built infrastructure we lived and worked in. Our interest overlap not only in the nomad space but also with our vision to transition to a Circular Economy. Jim is now working to create an impact film studio for Circulist, a company Nick Gonios and he co-founded to accelerate the shift to a Circular Economy.
We first heard of Jim Lounsbury when we visited a Vanlife gathering at Crescent Head.
Some of the young van lifers we met there were involved in making a documentary with Jim to share stories of their nomad lifestyle with the world outside. We were excited at the prospect of seeing this movie, so we stayed in the loop and were at the launch of the doco — The Meaning of Vanlife — in Sydney.
Given that Steven and I were living and working from a motorhome at the time, the movie and the ideas of minimalism, authentic community building and freedom that it exemplified resonated with us greatly. The stories were told through the eyes of the young nomads who have consciously chosen this life to escape the rat race — forgoing the settled life and all it involves so they could embrace the freedom of the open road.
When Jim indicated he wanted to film a 15–30 minute segment that told the story of our vision to design and build circular economy villages, we were quite excited.
We had dreamt about bringing our vision to life through the medium of film so the fact it is actually happening is very exciting. Jim decided that the bones of the documentary would be filmed at three locations. The first would be at Bellingen, where we are working with the local Council to implement a planning framework that would lay the ground work to make designing and building Circular Economy Villages in their Shire feasible.
Jim came up to Bello the last time we were up there and did some filming as we met with Council staff. He continued filming as we woke up for sunrise, cooked meals in the van, hiked in rainforests and explored the area, whilst searching for locations that might be suitable to realise our dream. Jim has also visited us at our home in Sydney, capturing our life in the suburbs as well as filming at Valentino Gareri’s office — the architect who has brought our ideas to life by drawing up some preliminary concepts for us.
We are truly excited about where this journey will end up. Jim and his team are currently editing the documentary which will be released later this year to draw attention and market our ideas further. Our dream is that when our ideas become reality, a full length documentary might be funded by the ABC or Screen Australia.
For now, we are enjoying the feeling of being immersed in a new creative venture and look forward to where that journey might take us.