ONE BIG HOME
comes to Door County
On the tiny Island of Martha's Vineyard giant "trophy homes" are threatening the island's unique character. And for carpenter Thomas Bena, it bothered him a lot that he was helping to build them. So Bena traded his tool belt for a camera in an attempt to understand the motivation behind these oversized homes.
Bena had no idea where his filming efforts would take him. But after a decade of interviews with owners, builders, architects, planning officials, and local citizens, he realized he had a bigger story to tell.
"I decided I had to dig deeper than anger to have any meaningful effect on my local community," Bena says. "If a community doesn't take an active role in deciding its own destiny then the market will decide for them." So Bena helped lead a local effort in the town of Chilmark to pass a bylaw limiting house size. "I didn't know how to change local regulation," Bena says. "So I filmed the process of someone with no experience (me) trying to do so."
"A community gets to decide their own destiny– and if they don’t take an active role then the market will decide for them."
-Thomas Bena, Director
Still Photos courtesy of ONE BIG HOME and Elephant in the Room Productions.