Filmmakers are bringing a tiny documentary to Pittsburgh

click to enlarge

Screenshot from Movie The Box Truck: Building a reusable home

Fans of DIY shows and home makeovers may recognize this name Derek “Dick” Didriksen. The author and designer from Massachusetts delighted viewers as the host of the HGTV show Builders of small houses, and he has won a following as an expert on microstructures such as tree houses. He will continue to advocate for living small with his debut Movie The Box Truck: Building a reusable homea documentary he made with the director Alex Eaves.

Didriksen and Eaves to stop in Pittsburgh on Sat., Aug. 27 to hold a screening Movie truck with a box at Dormont’s Hollywood Theater along with a special event at Point Breeze Construction Junction, a nonprofit that specializes in used and surplus construction materials. According to the synopsis, the film follows the transformation of a 17-foot moving truck into a 98-square-foot tiny house and “mobile re-use learning center.” The house was built from “pretty much nothing but reused, repurposed and landfilled materials.”

Watch the trailer below:

Eaves, “the guru of reuse” and owner of clothing brand Stay Vocal, says Movie truck with a box appeared while he was touring the country promoting his first film, Reuse! Because you can’t recycle the planet.

“My car at the time was a Pontiac Vibe, and I would transport my equipment, merchandise, and sometimes sleep in it,” Eaves says. Pittsburgh City Paper in an email. “At events, I tried to show people how I lived a re-use lifestyle, but I quickly realized that it would be much more effective if I could show people in person how I lived a re-use life: from how I work to from how I dress to how I sleep and so on.”

While doing Reuse!Eaves says he contacted Didriksen and they started talking about a tiny house.

Eaves says the home was made from reclaimed, reused and recycled materials, starting with a converted U-Haul truck.

“Everything from the flooring to the insulation to the furniture to the nails was in-house,” Eaves says, adding that the entire build took about nine months.

Local residents will be able to see the home during the Reuse Box Truck Roadshow at Construction Junction, which will also include demonstrations from the Pittsburgh Glass Center, the Pennsylvania Resources Council and other organizations, as well as food trucks and a mobile mocktail bar.

In an email, Construction Junction board member Mary Ann Borer says, “The whole reason for this event is to promote the value of reusing materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.”

The tiny house movement has gained prominence over the past decade and has been touted as a solution to a number of housing problems, including the environmental damage of construction and overdevelopment. He gained attention due to reality shows such as Builders of small houses, Tiny House Nationand others.

However, the movement is subject to criticism: experts say that the houses, which are often smaller than the average one-room apartment, do little to solve housing problems. A 2015 year City newspaper history pointed out how planned tiny houses in Pittsburgh, especially in Garfield, have turned from being viewed as a possible solution to affordable housing to an exorbitant investment (one source said buyers would be better off buying and renovating existing rundown properties).

Tiny home buyers too, reportedly left their homes in search of more housing, and because the buildings often do not meet city building codes. For example, in 2016, a woman in West View couldn’t find a parking space for her mobile tiny house because zoning regulations don’t allow “homes on wheels,” according to story by TribLive.

The backlash seems to have done little to faze Eaves, who still believes tiny houses are useful for a number of reasons.

“I would say look at the housing crisis that’s affecting much of the United States right now,” Eaves says. “Tiny houses are an affordable and effective solution to this problem. There are some fantastic tiny house communities in the US that prove it’s possible. And when you build these homes with reclaimed materials, as we did, you’re fighting the problem of material scarcity; not to mention the further positive impact on the planet.”

Reuse Box Truck Show. 9:00am-5:00pm Sat., Aug. 27. Construction site. 214 N. Lexington St., Homewood. Free of charge.
Movie The Box Truck: Building a reusable home. 9:00 p.m., Sat., August 27. Hollywood Theater. 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont. 10 dollars.

Back to top button