Working as a freelancer from home brings with it a great deal of freedom, but some crave even more of it. Such is seemingly the case for American filmmaker Zach Both, who converted a decade-old Chevy cargo van into a tiny home, which he also uses as a mobile filmmaking studio. Zach used to work as an art director at a tech startup, but left to focus on filmmaking full-time. He chose to do so in a mobile home, because for him, the filmmaking process goes hand in hand with a nomadic lifestyle.


Living and working in a van lets him quickly and easily change locations and go where the storyline of his latest film takes him. As he puts it, living in a mobile home gives him “freedom to write a script surrounded by mountains, direct a shoot in a remote desert town and then collaborate with an editor or composer in Los Angeles — all within the same month. That would be impossible any other way.”

He did a phenomenal job on turning the van into a home. He lined the interior walls and ceiling with reclaimed wood, which he salvaged from a nineteenth-century church in Cleveland, Ohio. He also installed a futon bed, which can be turned into a comfortable sofa and workspace. The stool he sits on while working or eating also doubles as a trashcan. To separate the front part of the van from the living area, he installed a custom-made curtain. And the part I like the most are the awnings that shade the windows, which also act as chalkboards. They are ideal for jotting down ideas and creating storyboards for films. The van also features a small but functional kitchen, which is hidden under the working table.



He also equipped the van with roof-mounted solar panels, which generate enough electricity to power the fridge, home theater system and the mobile Wi-Fi network. There is no bathroom unfortunately, but he uses the shower at the gym when needed.


According to Zach, he spent a total of $12,000 on the remodel, which includes $4,000 for the van, and $8,000 for the materials, tires, tools and repairs. The appliances set him back a further $3,000. Visit him at The Vanual for more info on how he carried out the conversion of van to home.