time lapse film

Who’s the Daddy: Joy First, Money Later – A Modern Education By Filmmaker Samuel Stonehill

We all dream of escaping the rat race, go travelling and leading a nomadic lifestyle.

Here, in the latest guest post as part of my Who’s The Daddy series, Samuel Stonehill of Moving Time Lapse shares his own experience of seeking out true happiness, travelling the world, creating films that matter while offering his young son Esteban an unconventional yet rewarding education.

It is one of the most inspiring and uplifting posts I’ve featured and it’s an honour to feature it.

Over to Sam….


I was born in London in 1976 to an English mother and an American father, a once rich and powerful industrialist whose career was on the decline.

Growing up I had a huge respect for him, but my lasting memory is of a man consumed by his work and the worry that his money pot was drying up.

Sent to a very strict boarding school at the age of seven, I will never forget the sound of my dormitory on that first night: thirty boys all crying for their mothers.

Of course, it didn’t take long for us to forget about home, replacing it with a relentless schedule.

From the perspective of my parents, I was receiving the best possible education, yet from where I stand now I can see that what I was actually receiving was a form of conditioning that moulded me into exactly the kind of citizen this world no longer needs.

It was not until after my father’s death in 2002 that I was able to let go of what was required of me and follow my instincts. After having worked my socks off in the British film industry for ten years I decided to stop worrying about how much money each job made me and focused instead on how much fun I could have.

This led me to a number of low paid but international film jobs and the more I saw of the world the more I understood the true nature of happiness.

I witnessed a greater joy in the children of impoverished South African townships who had nothing but the dirt under their feet, than in the children of London whose happiness appeared reliant on the purchase of the latest computer game or the number of likes on their Facebook status.

So, I decided to take the plunge and leave it all behind.

I built a website to document my adventures, gave up my home & possessions and I left the UK.

time lapse film

Since then I have been on an international journey of discovery. And a year ago I met my soul-mate on a bus in Thailand.

We did not plan for a baby but we knew the moment we found out, it was simply meant to be. Sabrina is from the South of France so we moved to a village just outside Perpignan for an eight month period.


My life is all about following my instincts now, only doing the things that bring me happiness.

Because it is when we are in this state that work does not feel like work. And when one takes money out of the equation, producing the work only because it brings them joy, they can quickly find themselves manifesting all kinds of wonderful opportunities that will ultimately lead them to money, without ever having to compromise their enjoyment of the moment.

So, to commemorate the life of my first child, I made a time-lapse film in my own way.

I will update the film every year for the next twenty years.

And perhaps, if it brings Esteban happiness too, this film will become a complete documentation of the entire life of a human being.

Sabrina and I intend to spend as many years as possible travelling the world with Esteban, giving him the kind of education I did not have.

As fathers we all do what we believe to be best for our children. I realise my life experiences have led me to an unconventional way of thinking, but please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying we shouldn’t send our kids to boarding schools or that our education system is bad.

I am saying that we should always encourage our children to understand true happiness has nothing to do with possessions, money or status. And that this world does not need another powerful industrialist, it needs liberated free thinkers to help us find solutions to the growing number of planetary problems.

And one only has to travel the world to see this for themselves.

Watch his latest film on following your creativity below

You can follow our journey here.

Thank you Samuel, what an inspiring, touching and uplifting post. 

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