Yesterday was a day like no other here at Old Town Home. Why? A television crew from the DIY Network popped over to film us (and a few friends) for the show I Want That! Here's a run down of the day's exhausting and very fun and exciting events.

Update: Now that the episode has aired, here's the video proof of our horrible television personas. Enjoy and be kind.

Well, maybe I should back up for a second because I say the crew "popped over," as if their visit was unannounced. It was a little more formal than that. Last month I received an email from Amy Rutherford, owner of Old Town's Red Barn Mercantile, with information on a local casting call for DIYers. When reading it, she thought Alex and I would be perfect for it, and was kind enough to send it my way. We quickly jumped at the chance and sent in an application, which included a short write up on our projects and mad skeells, as well as several before, during and after photos of our home. Well, wouldn't you know it, but a mere two days later we heard back from the show only to learn that they loved our house and were interested in featuring us. Woo hoo!

If you're not familiar with the show, I Want That is a show that used to air on HGTV, and was recently picked up by the DIY Network. Each episode features several new/innovative home products, and features homeowners and DIYers installing them, trying them out, and providing an on camera review. 

Unfortunately we can't discuss the products reviewed at our house until the show airs in late fall (November/December), but they were indoor and outdoor items, and had a good broad appeal to just about anyone.

After two nights of manic cleaning, frantic grocery shopping, and the obligatory "stash-n-hide" technique of throwing all of our excess clutter and dog paraphernalia in the basement, we had whipped our house into shape and finished up all of the cleaning before anyone arrived.

A crew of four arrived bright and early yesterday morning to start identifying locations in the house to shoot. They settled on the backyard (looking at the house) for the first segment, the office and guest bedroom for the second segment, and finally the backyard (looking away from the house) for the third party segment.

Since this show is very much about the home tech and cool/new products that will be featured on the show, and the fact that the products are often great for the DIYer of any level, the house becomes a backdrop to the products. Our house fit the bill as one worthy of these home tech items, so the interesting "behind the scenes" technique the crew employed is that they shot our house and the various segments to look like it was filmed in three separate houses, populating each segment with a different portion of the house and different people in it. So, even though all of it was filmed in our house, it won't look that way on TV, and may even be spread across a couple episodes of the show. The house nerd in me is excited at the far-fetched prospect of turning on the tube, flipping through the channels (yes, in this day and age of technology I still turn on the tube and flip channels), and coming across one of the shows that featured today's footage. I picture myself squealing with delight at catching glimpses of my dining room table or the desk in our office, that we spent countless hours building and staining, on national TV.

The day kicked off with getting the two of us mic'd up and rearranging the backyard a bit for the shoot. 

I had to perform mundane tasks such as "gardening" (a.k.a. me cutting some of the plants around our pond) and sitting in a chair, flipping through a magazine. Alex also did an on camera shot of the product install as well as walking out into the backyard with the product and using it. The purpose of this segment is to show how we'll use the product and how our home can benefit from it. We were also interviewed about how we use our outdoor space, and what we thought of the product (have I said "the product" enough?).

I vaguely recall stumbling over my words, and trying not to sweat profusely in the 95 degree heat. Oh brother. The product itself is super cool, not only in looks but also in ease of installation. Did I mention one really awesome perk of doing the show? We get to keep the stuff we demoed. Suh-weet!

Next up, Alex, Lulu and I, along with the crew, headed out front so we could shoot some footage of us coming in and out of our house, as well as strolling up and down the street. Since I didn't have to actually say anything here, it seemed like a piece of cake in comparison. Unbelievably, all of this took up the entire morning. After a bite to eat gathered around our dining room table, the crew moved onto the next product.

Our friend Aileen, also a DIYer and into home tech, graciously offered her time for the next segment on product two. After some rearranging of the office bookshelf to make it more feminine (there went Alex's prized baseballs), they got to filming her in our guest bedroom and office. She went through the whole easy install and demo process, and spent much of the afternoon working with them on this element. And oh boy can I tell you, I'm more happy than ever that we finally got our butts in gear and did a quick update of the guest bedroom because it had a staring role. 

Note: That's actually not Alex in the photo above with his back to the camera, but it's Eric, the Production Assistant. He looked a lot like a young version of Alex. Even Sara, the producer of the show, commented on how much they looked alike.

We didn't want to be the cheese balls blatantly talking about our new baby (this blog of course!), but if you look carefully in the shot when the episode airs, you may be able to see pulled up on the computer monitor in the background of the office scene. We'll see if it makes the final cut, and I'm sure, being the nerds we are, we'll blog about it if it does.

While this filming was going on upstairs, a monster summer storm rolled in, complete with torrential rain, thunder and lightening. It messed a bit with the sound on the shoot upstairs, but also soaked the backyard.

Which, devastatingly enough, meant that the party scene was a washout and no one had an opportunity to try out product number three. We tried to wait it out so the party scene could still happen, but once the rain passed the sky was too gray and cloudy to look like a fun and bright summer party scene. Sadly, this meant party product three went back home with the crew.


Party Product #3 is in the Product Protection Program and has been blurred to mask its identity.

We're going to try to reschedule a time in the near future to shoot the outdoor scene with friends all getting their party/drink on. We're really hopeful we can reschedule, not even as much for the free product as much as it was just a lot of fun and we really won't mind if the crew to comes back and hangs out with us. Fingers crossed.

All in all, it was a really tiring but exciting day, and one waaaay outside of my normal comfort zone. The crew of Sara, Tomas, Joe, and Eric were all so friendly, respectful of our home, kind to Lulu and Mel (our four-legged crew members) and made the process so much fun, though I'm quite certain that I'll cringe watching myself when the episode airs this November. My one and only previous on camera experience was on a local news station talking about area flooding. Alex said I made a weird "horse face"  that time, and unfortunately I had to agree. Oh good grief. Let's hope for Tivo outages that day.

Comments 6


Nicole Hayes
7/14/2011 at 11:30 AM
awesome! can't wait to see the final cut! and, you know you've got a partyer here if you need one! ;)
Thanks! We'll let you know if we can reschedule the shoot. We'd love to have you. :-)
Laurie Kazimer
7/14/2011 at 1:20 PM
This is so awesome!
Kristi Graves
7/14/2011 at 7:40 PM
Congratulations! So exciting!!
4/24/2012 at 3:47 PM
Great post! I'm a self-admitted lurker here, but I thought I'd comment because my husband and I too were also on "reality tv." We were on House Hunters and I'm crazy jealous that you guys got to keep the gadgets you tried out. People think that you get paid big bucks to be on HH but you don't. Our episode first aired in August of last year and reruns air regularly about once a month. Be prepared to get recognized in public! "Do I know you from somewhere? I'm not sure where..." Although my husband gets recognized 10x more than I do, it never gets old ;)
Oh my gosh, I think I remember your episode! :-) That's so funny that you get recognized from the show. A few of our neighbors happened to see it on TV, but "strangers" haven't stopped us yet. (Although a couple people have stopped us around town because they're blog readers.)

Louie is too cute for words, by the way. I'm in love.
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