Open Collective
Open Collective

Strawbale Dream Home – FUNDED!

Part of: Happen Films
Fiscal Host: Gift Collective

A film showcasing the value of building with natural materials. Follow the jounrey of Adam & Sian as they build their dream home with a deeply ethical mindset.


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Financial Contributions

Make a one-time donation to the making of this film.

Support from as little as $5 up to the amount that feels good for you. Thank you!

$6,496.85 NZD of $10,560 NZD raised (62%)

Starts at
$5 NZD

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Strawbale Dream Home – FUNDED! is all of us

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Thank you for supporting Strawbale Dream Home – FUNDED!.

Happen Funds

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$14,497 NZD

Chris Palmer

$50 NZD


A new short film by Happen Films (title to come)

About the film

Who doesn’t love a story about a new house build?! Building your own home is a dream for so many of us. Building your own home from scratch isn’t an option for most of us – maybe we don’t have the skillset, or the wherewithal, or the gumption! Adam and Sian had much of the skillset up their sleeves, but they also knew they were in for a challenge. They chose to build using natural materials, sourced as much as possibly locally and reclaimed, and to do as much as possible of the work themselves. And also to take great joy from the process.

There were many challenges along the way, from the building of the house and from life itself. But they’ve created a house of such beauty, and in it you can feel all the love and sweat and joy this couple brought to building their dream home.

Why this film?

Here at Happen Films we have a passion for building using natural materials. Not just because the conventional building industry is one of the most wasteful of all – sending tonne after tonne of toxic materials to landfill every day, the world over – but because we love the resourcefulness and creativity that come with building this way; in this case using clay dug from the house site, making traditional timber framing with mortise and tenon joinery (no nails!), and the beautifully renewable resource that is strawbale as a building material.

We were stoked to have the opportunity to share Adam and Sian’s build journey so that others might be inspired by the possibilities for building in a way that is healthy for planet and people. And, of course, to follow the journey with this couple over four years of devotion to creating something truly outstanding.

In fact, we’ve filmed with Adam and Sian before. Back in 2016 – only our second year of filmmaking! – we visited them in their house truck on the Agari permaculture farm. Check out that film here to get know Adam and Sian a little. You’ll see they already were creating beauty and being thoughtful about how and where and in what they were living!

What's the story?

The story follows the highs and lows for Adam and Sian, right from signing the paperwork on an empty, grassy 1/2 acre plot in Victoria, Australia. After years practising permaculture on other people’s properties, their excitement to be starting fresh with their own house and gardens was palpable. They created the design of their home together and Adam used his skills in traditional timber joinery to construct the framing. 

They have strong ethics around how they approach the land and the build and every step has been deeply thought through. They also love bringing their community along for the ride, with friends helping out in multiple ways throughout.

This film explores why you might make the choice to use natural materials, traditional methods, and choosing to source reclaimed and local. What are the unique challenges when you choose this path? And what are the unique joys that it brings?

Why support this film?

If you share our passion for building in a way that leaves a low footprint on Mother Earth and creates joy and beauty, then please help us share inspiration and motivation with communities around the world so that others might choose a natural build over a conventional one. Or just help us share the creativity and beauty of this stunning home!

How and when will it be produced?
Production details
We’ve been following Adam and Sian’s journey over the course of four years, since 2018. Each time he made a trip back to Australia to visit his family, Jordan would check in on Adam and Sian’s progress and visit for an interview update and fresh footage.

Time frames
Filming is complete.
Post-production (editing, sound mix, colour grade etc.) is underway.
Release is dependent on funding but we're aiming for January–February 2023.

Production – director/cinematographer: $2,100 NZD.
Post-production – transcription services, editor, colourist, royalty-free music, sound mixer, post-production management: $7,300 NZD.
Production overheads – travel, food, contingency: $1,160 NZD.
Total: $10,560 NZD

Victoria, Australia

This film will be uploaded free to view on YouTube, promoted through our social media channels, and hosted on the Happen Films website.


Transparent and open finances.

Contribution #718197
Invoice #176864
Reimbursement #175551
Today’s balance

--.-- NZD

Total raised

$14,540.88 NZD

Total disbursed

$14,540.88 NZD

Estimated annual budget

$14,544.88 NZD