Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lights, Camera, Action!

Phew, what an exhausting two days we’ve had filming for “My First Place.” Matthew and I were anxiously awaiting to get this show on the road (pun intended) but after just two days of filming we’re so happy we have a much needed day off.

We first met the HGTV production crew at a lovely rancher in Admiral Heights Friday morning. Before we could begin the crew gave us a quick wardrobe check making sure we were wearing bright, solid colors without logos and/or wrinkles! Sounds easy, right? Well it wasn’t for me. Before this whole process started with HGTV I never realized just how many black/gray/brown/dark clothes I had in my winter wardrobe-eeek. The night before filming I had to make a mad dash to the outlets and buy a few brightly colored shirts to wear during filming, problem was, we ended up filming more scenes this weekend than I originally thought so I was scrambling through my closet hoping to find more outfits.

After our wardrobe check was done we had to get  mic’ed up and started on our pre-house hunt interviews. Matthew and I had to individually answer about 4 or 5 questions detailing what exactly we were doing. Although these interviews were supposed to be short and sweet, anytime a car, airplane, ambulance or marching band (I’m not making the last one up, it really happened on Saturday) was in the background we had to stop and answer all over again. It’s actually a lot harder than you’d think because sometimes you’d just give a great quick witted response then quickly forget what you said and fumble over the same question when it was repeated. Ideally, these interviews would be best conducted inside but part of HGTV’s goal is to capture the overall feel of the town so it’s definitely worth the extra effort.

Okay, so our wardrobes have been checked, we’ve been mic’ed for the show and we’ve completed our interviews now it’s time to get inside and begin the house tour, right?! Nope, not yet! I know, I know it’s crazy how much thought goes into even the littlest things, as much as I wanted to believe my Real Housewives reality shows were real I’m now seeing how scripted everything is. (To my RHONJ fans, all I can think about is Teresa’s table flip a few seasons back. During the time I was convinced that it was a heat-of-the-moment argument that escalated way too quickly but now (sigh) I think it was totally planned. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch TV the same way again.) Anyway, before we were allowed to go inside the darn house and start filming we had to shoot the “drive up” scene. Basically, HGTV just wanted us along with our real estate agent to drive up to the property while discussing the house stats (listing price, days on the market, bedrooms, etc.) As simple as driving up, discussing the house stats and getting out of the car may seem it’s really anything but. We had to do seven, yep seven, whole drive up takes until they felt we looked the most natural, which is really difficult when you still haven’t gotten used to having a film crew closely following you around. I mean how can you not look at the camera when as soon as you get out of the car the camera is pointed right at you?!

Alas, we were finally able to enter the house, hallelujah! Once inside we spent approximately three hours filming a little more than 1300 square feet. I remember thinking to myself “this is the only time I’ve ever been happy to have a limited budget for a home, I couldn’t imagine having to film in a large home, we’d be there for days and days!”

Filming inside the house was a lot of fun but it took time to make sure the rooms were lit properly, the camera man had the correct angle and of course that Matthew and I along with our real estate agent were able to say the right things WITHOUT looking at the camera. All in all we had a great two days filming and we’re excited to continue the home buying journey with HGTV! We looked at a total of two homes, made an offer on one home, found out that the seller countered our offer and now we’ve got some thinking to do. We decided not to counter the seller back right away even though I think HGTV was disappointed that we didn’t. Instead Matthew and I are going to an open house today before we make anymore decisions. I’ve had my eye on a home that is priced a little more than the home we made an offer on but it’s larger and move-in ready (brand new bathrooms, granite counter tops, beautifully landscaped backyard with privacy fence, etc.) 

We were hoping to get the home in Admiral Heights for less than the listing price since the bathrooms need to be totally gutted (everything is blue-toilet, sink, tub, etc), the kitchen appliances are older than me and overall the house needs some TLC, but it doesn’t seem like the seller is as willing to come down in price as much as we’d like. Before we make a counter offer we wanted to see if spending about 30k more for a move in ready home with all the updates is a smarter way to go. Buying a home is such a huge decision and we’re really hoping to find the home that’s going to give us the most bang for our buck (isn’t that a show on HGTV, too?) 

                                                                         Quick Recap:

-Friday morning we toured this home here:

-Friday afternoon we all went to lunch for a much needed break

-Friday late afternoon we went to our real estate agent’s office and made an offer on the home we toured 

-Saturday morning we toured this home here:

-We loved the fact that it was so close to the Navy football stadium but we didn’t like the overall layout

-Saturday afternoon we all went to lunch then headed over to a waterfront restaurant to find out the seller’s response to our offer 

-Saturday evening we went out for dinner and drinks to celebrate two days of filming and for making a little bit of progress in the home buying process

-Sunday afternoon* we’re looking at this potential home that’s at the top of our budget but move in ready:
* You may be wondering why we toured one home, made an offer, then toured another home. I know it seems so out of order because well, it is out of order, but HGTV is just going to edit it back so it really looks like we saw 3 homes then made an offer etc, etc. HGTV really only wants to follow us on two home tours then whenever we do end up buying a home they will film that house as a our third house tour. HGTV realizes that it’s impossible to only look at three homes so they let us look for homes off camera which is what we’re doing today-and since I won’t be on camera today I’m wearing an ALL black outfit and I couldn’t be more thrilled :) PS-don’t they say the camera adds 10 pounds?! And isn’t black supposed to be a slimming color?! Not cool, HGTV, not cool!

I wish we were able to snap pictures of all four scenes this weekend but there just wasn't any time. Here are two pictures from our very last scene of the weekend! 

Not the best pictures but at least you get an idea!

1 comment:

  1. Loving your little blog! It's so interesting to hear this side of reality TV... and congrats! Both on the TV show and your new home-to-be :)