In 2016 I set out to direct my first feature-length film called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. The only problem: I'd never made a feature-length documentary in my life. It was truly a journey from the beginning. I loved it. I hated it. I finished the film multiple times only to throw it out and start over again. It was the most difficult project I've ever worked on but it was a story I had to tell.
Making Minimalism is a six part series where I deconstruct the entire process it took to create the film. I detail all the gear I used, every misstep we made, the challenges we encountered & all the big wins. The series includes exclusive interviews with my producers Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists, as well as the folks behind the media company Spyr. I'm incredibly proud of what we accomplished and now I want to show you exactly how we did it. Watch the entire series below.
EPISODE 01: STARTING THE FILM
Let me take you back to the very beginning. In this episode we talk about the origin of the film and how the idea came about. What was our budget? How did we put our team together? What was our game plan heading into production? (Hint: We didn't really have one). It was a simple process, but it wasn't easy.
EPISODE 02: MEETING AMERICA'S MINIMALISTS
We pack our bags and hit the road. In this episode of Making Minimalism we travel across the country speaking with some of the most influential writers online, people who have inspired millions to change. We sat down with Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist, Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens, and many more. What we captured was captivating and inspiring. The only question that remained: What the hell am I going to do with all of this?
EPISODE 03: LANDING THE BIG INTERVIEWS
In episode three I start to dig into the footage to produce a first cut, we land a few really big interviews, and then when everything seems to be going so well, we run into a brick wall. Two days before our first live screening (in front of a sold out crowd) I decide to recut the entire film. The response isn't exactly what I had expected.
EPISODE 04: WILL WE EVEN FINISH THE FILM?
We're nearing our theatrical deadline. The only problem: we don't have a movie that we're all happy with. We're starting to spend a lot of money at this point and there's a serious concern we won't finish the film in time.
EPISODE 05: HOW TO MAKE AN IMPACT
We’ve traveled around the country interviewing minimalist’s from all backgrounds, we’ve edited and re-edited the film multiple times, and now we’re finally ready to release it. But just because we have a movie doesn’t guarantee success.
EPISODE 06: ASK US ANYTHING ABOUT MINIMALISM
This is the final installment of Making Minimalism and we’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions about our documentary.