When Em and I started this project, we joked about having our own HGTV show. I never really thought we'd end up on national television. As per usual, I was wrong.
How It Happened
On a whim, Em O submitted our story to House Hunters. Within a couple weeks, they called us for an interview and within another week or so we were signing the paper work and agreeing to start filming in 3 weeks. The whole thing happened so quickly, I completely forgot about my crippling anxiety about watching myself on camera (which immediately resurfaced after filming).
I had watched House Hunters in the past and often thought to myself "these people look like real dopes!". Then, our filming started, and I quickly realized how easy it is to become a dope. When signing up for the show, you are asked for your wish lists, deal breakers, and clear disagreements between you and your partner. I found myself constantly forgetting what my deal breakers were, and what I was actually looking for in a house. And the bottom line was, we were buying a house together because our wish lists actually aligned quite closely.
For the months after filming and before the episode aired, Em and I both had so much anxiety about all the dumb things we said while filming. Thankfully, the editors took pity on us and most of these did not make it into the episode, but we'll still recount them here for your enjoyment.
Em O jotted down "paneless windows" as one of her wish list items in the original application, always meaning to look up the actual term for non double hung windows. When it came time to shoot, they kept reminding her to comment on the "paneless windows" and she assumed, since everyone was using that term, it must be right! Little did she know she'd been demanding windows with no glass. After researching to purchase the new windows for the house, we learned she meant to say "casement" or "fixed windows". But you live and you learn right?
Throughout the home tours, I was asked to estimate the costs of various renovation projects, remodeling bathrooms, removing walls, etc. At the time, we hadn't started on any internal improvements so I had absolutely no idea what i was talking about. I was just spouting random numbers. To the editor, where ever you are, bless you for your fact checking.
Finding locations to film the "around the town scenes" proved to be extremely challenging. Our activities were limited to "things we can do while wearing heels". Since neither one of us is over 5'2'' we weren't risking being filmed in flats. Also, they need to get agreement from the various establishments to film, and anyone caught in the background has to sign a waiver. This complicates things, and limits the options even further. Although, apparently you don't need to get consent from animals, which is why you see us chasing ducks around in a small pen as opposed to interacting with any humans.
During all of the around town scenes you are asked to make small talk which, we learned, is extremely difficult when you have a camera in your face. We found ourselves repeating "how about that weather!" time and time again while the producer begged us to come up with something more interesting to say. "Nope, not doin' it. We're talkin' about the weather!"
Wardrobe was another tricky area for us. By now you guys know our style, which includes tons of patterns, bright colors and graphics - all of which was strictly not allowed for filming. Every day was a new struggle finding items that worked. And occasionally, after a camera test, you would be told to change. After spending a good 2 hours carefully choosing an outfit that would pass the test, this was a huge blow!
We should also mention that all of the houses we toured are within the flight path to the airport. This is a great thing real estate location wise, but a terrible thing for filming. Due to sound interference, you have to stop talking and wait for every plane to pass. This, as you can imagine, happened very frequently and really complicated any sort of organic conversation flow we were having.
The final scene we filmed was us planting a plant together. Under normal circumstances, this could have been a very nice final activity. However, we were asked to plant it dead center in the middle of our front yard. Exhausted from the long days of filming, we didn't have the will left within us to object, so on we proceeded to dig a hole in the middle of the yard and place some sort of tropical plant in the center of it. We decided to leave the plant there for the duration of our renovation, and often have a good chuckle over it after a long days work.
All of that said, our realtor, Ray Torres, was a delight to film with as well as the entire crew. We had more laughs than tears during filming and now always have this incredibly awkward gem to remember this time by. Special thanks to the Production Assistant, Spencer, for going above and beyond-- putting on a coverall and painting over all the writing on the walls in our purchase house (this is considered "art", and they would have to blur it out!), last minute renting a table saw for the woodworking scene, and ensuring that we had our afternoon caffeine. He is the real hero. Also thanks to Ali for letting us film some scenes at her super cute house.
We should also note that you may be wondering why it seems like our plan for the house on the episode is drastically different from the plan we have for it today. And that's because it is-- its completely different, in fact. Em and I will NOT be living in the house. We've got another post coming that will go into detail as to why our story changed (more than once) so stay tuned for that.
ANYWAY, we hope you guys had a good LOL while watching it, because we sure did (as well as a few cocktails).