33' Lot | A Short Documentary
The Vancouver Special is a term used to refer to houses built in a particular architectural style in the period from roughly 1965 to 1985 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver Specials are characterized by their typical "box-like" structure, low-pitched roofs, and balconies across the front of the house. Brick or stone finishes on the ground floor are characteristic of the ground level facades, with stucco on the 2nd or 3rd floors.
I sent over 300 letters to Vancouver Specials all over the city of Vancouver, BC, searching for participants to be documented. I received six responses. While these six households, varying in size, lifestyle, economic status and world view, are not a complete picture of the diversity of living in this city, they provide a snapshot into the array of people that makeup Vancouver. Through extensive interviews with all six households, complete with thorough documentation of the homes themselves, I gathered intimate and honest portraits of the vastly different way people live. By using the Vancouver Special, both a banality and symbol of the city, as a literal framework, the film touches on a variety of topics, some pertinent to life in Vancouver — affordability, landlord-tenant relations, renovictions — and some mundane enough to be ubiquitous — family, parenting, interior decoration. Most of all, this film is an exploration of the similarities and differences between people across economic, social, and cultural strata.