Here’s the article Carmen Bolanos from www.NuNomad.com and www.bluesuitnomad.com did with us, interview style:
Meet the Nomads – Vern and Jeff Hobo Film Makers
April 03, 2007
This week on Meet the Nomads we are visiting with Vern of The Hobo Soul. Usually we think about NuNomads as traveling internationally while they work but some like Vern and his friend Jeff keep on the domestic front. Nevertheless, they are definitely living a NuNomadic lifestyle. I definitely recommend a visit to their website where you can get a great feel for their everyday life (complete with photos of their weanie and peas dinners) and their sense of humor.
(Vern came to NuNomad through our forum where you can see his introduction in the Introduce Yourself section)
What is your business/profession?
I’m an Independent Film Director and Television Camera Assistant. Since January 1, 2006, my editor and I have been living in a 24’ 1973 Winnebago RV, rambling the streets of Los Angeles while pursuing our film careers. Shortly after we moved in, we created a production company called “The Hobosoul Productions”. We learned how to incorporate our simplified and resourceful lifestyle into our company, and have been able to create music videos, short films, corporate videos, experimental films, and documentaries (including the ongoing documentary of our Winnebago Experience).
What training/experience did you receive in order to be able to have this business/profession?
Both my editor (Jeff Stone) and I, graduated from film schools. I started working with cameras as a wedding videographer. Jeff edited small commercials and church projects. We collaborated on a short film a few months before we moved into the Winnebago.
How long have you been doing this?
More or less 5 years.
How long were you in your business/profession before you began traveling?
What interested you in becoming mobile?
We wanted to simplify our lives. We got rid of rent, which gave us the ability to purchase much of our film/video equipment. We thought it would be a great story to tell, and we are both in a place in our lives where the idea was very feasible.
How much of the year do you travel?
Technically, we travel 365 days a year. We are hoboes. We are wandering workers and our house has wheels on it.
Do you travel alone/with a partner/with children?
Jeff Stone, my editor and good friend.
Is there any special equipment or infrastructure you must travel with in order to run your business? (ie laptop, telephony, fax)
Film/video equipment, Two 17” Mac laptops. I suppose our Winnebago is our infrastructure.
If so – what brand/models do you choose and why?
Panasonic, Sennheiser, Bogen-Manfrotto, Winnebago, Apple Macintosh, Sony.
Are there any services you use while you travel in order to run your business? (ie Skype, supportsoft, online appointment services)
Free Internet (coffee shops, residential homes, businesses, etc..), our website (The Hobo Soul), MySpace.com, YouTube.com, dvxuser.com.
Are your clients/customers located at your home base or scattered?
Scattered. We can work on films anywhere; across the world.
What kind of reaction have you had from your clients/customers about your traveling lifestyle?
They love it. I often don’t tell them and let the story unravel itself naturally. “You live in a what???” That’s a good one. “Your’re a…hobo???”
What would you say are the pros/cons of the nunomadic business and lifestyle?
Cons: We can’t have a garden. No driveway/garage for auto repairs. Showering is tough. No electricity/water.
Pros: Freedom. Simplicity. We meet a ton of different people. We save money. We laugh a lot. Most everything is a story. No electricity/water.
Do you have any advice for those people wanting to set up their own mobile business?
I really don’t think it’s for everyone. There’s a lot of time when you are alone with your thoughts. If you’ve ever thought about it, even somewhat seriously, try it out on a small scale. If it works, just go for it. Our lives have changed so dramatically, in ways that I never thought possible. I’m living an experience of a lifetime, and what I learn here, will be with me for the rest of my life.