Documentary: Don't Pay Me

"Life is too short to be unhappy." Don't Pay Me is a portrait of people who follow their heart and decided to live an alternative lifestyle. People who consciously chose to disregard conventional priorities about money and ownership of goods. People who prefer to share knowledge, food, skills, homes and time and who feel they're living a luxurious life without money. Bed and breakfast, art, composting toilets, an art festival, microbrewery, catamarans
I contacted Piotr from the crew and asked some questions.

How did you come up with the idea?

The idea started when I was traveling across Asia and Australia. As I was traveling on budget I was looking for ways to minimize my expenses. I have already been familiar with couchsurfing and I was very lucky to find helpx and workaway websites. As a result I stayed a month on a farm near Brisbane without spending a dollar. The people were great and I was really impressed by the idea of exchanging a couple hours of a not so hard nor stressful job for a nice room and delicious food. Having in mind I was actually also learning new skills (construction), polishing a language, living the real local life and not having to worry about anything at all. While traveling I was thinking about a traveling program that would show different ways of traveling without money or with just a little of them. That would include hitchhiking, dumpster diving, couchsurfing, etc. After coming back to Poland I was speaking about my helpx experience and found none of my friends really knowing about it. And some of them would really like to travel. But they had no money (or so they thought). Anyways after talking to my friend Rysiek with whom I wanted to work on the traveling program, we decided that volunteering/exchange experience is worth making a documentary about. We believed that many of our friends are stressed by feeling that don't have any alternatives to working in a corporation or having a job, paying mortgage and being consumed by consumerism.

At what point did you need money to realize the documentary?

All of us contributed how we could. We got Rysiek's wife car, Grzesiek borrowed cameras, I was buying gas and cheap food for us. We wrote to the persons that agreed that we come that we would have our own tents and food but most of them offered us great rooms and fed us. So all the money we spent were gas/highways costs. When we came back we have found many people offering us help with transcription, music, making the website, designing poster. But there was a problem with finding someone who would do editing. It is 2 or 3 months of work and people would love to do it but had to pay rent and have something to eat. So we were trying to find companies that would supply a potential editor with healthy food but that didn't work. After many months we decided to do crowdfunding. It didn't go as well as we would wish but we got almost 1000EUR. Something to start with. The usual cost of editor for such a project is around 5000EUR. So we were still short. But after lots of meetings we found a person who is willing to do that for the amount we have. Only because he likes the project. Likely we have also found a studio that will make transfer and synchro of the materials as desired by the editor. Normally that would cost 1000EUR. There are some other people that offered they will help us with sound and color correction. At the moment the materials are being synchronized (sound with audio) but it is going slowly as 2 of us are abroad and the third person is finishing their master thesis.

Do you think a moneyless world is possible?

I think everything is possible. The world without money as well. I don't know if it is going to be a better world, same or worse. The evil is in people not in the money. But forgetting that, a world without money is not going to come soon. After a couple of thousand of years with money, it is not going to happen suddenly. I also don't know what the alternative could be. Me myself I lack that vision. I only imagine people caring about each other, following their dreams, respecting and loving everyone regardless of their origins, color or language. I would love to see a world without war, consumerism and self-destruction. But I am pretty sure that I won't see that. We are probably going to destroy this planet and ourselves. If you ask me if I think the world without money is possible - I think yes, just after the human race destroys itself. ;)

When is the documentary going to be released?

A for the release date, I would love to tell you that but I have not even a slight idea. The project is going very slowly. I wish it is finished this year. Insha'Allah.

Further reading

Living Moneyless: Mark Boyle

Living without money, how does that work out in practice? The Irishman Mark Boyle has been doing it since November 2008 and he's having a great time. He's living in England in an old caravan given to him. He start symbolically on Buy Nothing Day, a yearly day to not buy anything together with others.