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TINY: A Story About Living Small (2013)

Two young people decide to downsize their lives by building a 'tiny home' on a flatbed trailer.


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Credited cast:
Daryl Gibson ...
Daryl Gibson (Herself)
Merete Mueller ...
Jay Shafer ...
Logan Smith ...
Paul H. Smith ...
Paul H. Smith (Himself)
William J. Smith ...
William H. Smith (Himself)
Tammy Strobel ...
Dee Williams ...


What is home? And how do we find it? TINY follows one couple's attempt to build a Tiny House from scratch with no building experience, and profiles other families who have downsized their lives into houses smaller than the average parking space. Through homes stripped down to their essentials, the film raises questions about sustainability, good design, and the changing American Dream. Written by Merete Mueller

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9 March 2013 (USA)  »

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Christopher Smith: There's a point in every project where the excitement of the original idea wears off, and you're left with a lot to do.
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User Reviews

Expected more from tiny
22 July 2014 | by (US) – See all my reviews

The film follows an overly optimistic guy with little to no construction skills as he builds a tiny house on a trailer base. For most of us tiny houses are a curiosity and escapist 'what if'. For some it is a way of life... but then, some people sleep under bridges. While I didn't quite hate the movie, I also didn't come away with anything new from it.

What could have been interesting - how are tiny houses designed to suit their inhabitants, what features could be applied to 'big' houses, how much stuff or space do you need... wasn't covered in any debt. Some other people talked about their tiny houses, which was a redeeming part of the film, but you never even glimpsed a layout blueprint of the house being built.

What might have been engaging - the person, his struggle to build and furnish a home for himself, to find his place in the world... was a superficial, jittery montage. The mess he made and the trampling through the wheat field actually made me angry; so much for having a small environmental impact. And he never cleaned up... just hauled the thing to his own pristine piece of land. Issues of plumbing and power were not even addressed.

What might have been thought provoking - the idea of home and why we want/need one, where we find home... ended up being lost in trivial musings on where one might want to live.

To me the biggest shock was the price tag. That dinky shed on wheels cost him $26000, and he did all the labor? You can buy a decent travel trailer for that, heck a nice older house trailer with appliances, and be done. I can't see how it is better for the environment to build 'tiny, new', when there is 'small, used' available for much less. He could have used the difference to make his new home more environmentally friendly.

I base my jugement on the fact that I designed and helped build our regular sized home. We re-used, reclaimed, integrated old and new (out of necessity). We also cleaned up, changed our plans, compromised, and most of all we live in our house, and finally made it a home. I got none of the feelings associated with designing/building/living in a home from the guy. None of the pride, the frustration, the love, what he intended, what worked, what didn't, what he would do different had he known...

In truth, I had the feeling that they probably just spent a week in that cabin and then hauled it off and sold it. In the end there seemed to be no connection to the space, no homey feeling.

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