The journey to create an independent documentary is a long and winding one...

It's kind of like fixing your engine on a dirt road in the Wyoming wilderness. You have to travel a long way for parts, you probably don't have the money you need to fix it right away, and you have to limp to civilisation to assess what the next steps are before you have any idea of how long it is going to take to get you back on the road.

Well, we're back on the road. In a big way.


We are pleased to announce that we have just signed with STAN, the Australian streaming service, who will be distributing 'The Meaning of Vanlife' in Australia and New Zealand. Other broadcast partners are circling, thanks to the efforts of Dustin Clare at Fighting Chance Films, our fearless sales agent and distributor.


  Sam heading out for a surf at Winkipop (near Bells Beach, Victoria)

Sam heading out for a surf at Winkipop (near Bells Beach, Victoria)

We're now in the thick of post production. Our various timelines have about 17 hours of useable footage on them, and that's not including the interviews I did last week with Jared, Ash & Sam.

Our editor, Harriet Clutterbuck, has her hands full going through the mountains of footage we've acquired, but is now getting to the fun part, where the stories start to emerge from the ether. This is an exciting time, as the timeline goes from 17 hours down to 10, and from that down to 3 or 4. That's where the real fun starts, because you begin to see the shapes within the rock, so to speak (if you've ever seen The Atlas Slave by Michelangelo, you'll know what I mean) and the documentary begins to take shape.


  Jared and Ash rigging the sound for their own interview.

Jared and Ash rigging the sound for their own interview.

It was always the plan to do final interviews with Jared, Ash, Sam and Jonny when we got into the pointy end of the post production process. Their perspectives will stitch the documentary together, as they were there from the beginning of this @vanlifediaries journey, and have been the glue that has held so many of us together. 

It was wonderful to spend a few days with Jared, Ash and Sam last week, and I plan to do Jonny's interview in the coming weeks, and will report.


Thanks again for your support. I can assure you, 18 months isn't a long time to finish a documentary of this scope, with such a wide range of perspectives and stories to tell. You need belief, help, support, a little luck and the hard work of dozens of people to make it possible.

  Sam and Jess talking after a glorious morning at Winkipop.

Sam and Jess talking after a glorious morning at Winkipop.

We anticipate we'll be finished with the documentary by November (which is when our backers will get their copy of the documentary) with a release date announced later in the year.


A large number of you (particularly in Australia) have already received your backer rewards, but we're finalising the rest of the rewards in the coming weeks, so everyone should have their shirts and hoodies by the end of September, wherever you are in the world.



Over a tepid coffee in 2015, Jonny and Jared decided to start a community to share the stories of people they were meeting on the road while living in their vans. Only a year later, their stories had attracted over 260,000 worldwide followers, and tapped into a growing community of people living on the road and off grid.

Jared and Jonny, the founders of @vanlifediaries | From DAY 2 of production on 'The Meaning of Vanlife' in NSW, Australia

The Meaning of Vanlife follows Jonny and Jared as they set out to connect with with 'vanlifers' around the world to discover the spirit, struggles and philosophies that define the movement.

From the simplicity of sharing music and stories on the road, to social breakthroughs in environmental science, to a sociological discussion about why movements like Vanlife are so important - this documentary gets it's wings from the perspectives within the community itself, in an adventurous, revealing look into a global phenomenon.

Photos Courtesy of and @footloosephotography