Filming Our Mini TV Pilot (Yes, really!)
This year has been filled with a lot of craziness and excitement! There was the new house and a top-to-bottom renovation, 9-months of pregnancy and the birth of baby Brooks, our 10-year anniversary and a momentous graduation, tons of hard work and a whole lot of family and fun. Even with all that, by far the craziest thing we did in 2015 was film a mini TV-pilot. Yeah. That still sounds crazy to me too!
It all started back in February, when we were approached by an LA-based production company who had found the Grit and Polish through our feature on BobVila.com. She wanted to pitch a show about our family to a large TV network. I'm not going to name names, but the network starts with an H and ends with a V. The premise of the show was basically what we do on a daily basis: renovate houses and move our family into them. They dubbed it "Inside Job".
After a phone call with the producers, we met them via Skype. They asked us all about our renovation process, our family, and our lives and recorded the whole thing. Then they sent the interview off to the network.
We heard back a few weeks later that the network liked us and had commissioned a sizzle, which in TV-speak is a 5-minute mini pilot. We signed "shopping" agreements (contracts giving the producers exclusive rights to us) and began on the process.
During April and May, the production company sent two crews up to Seattle to film us for a total of three days. We started out at the already-renovated Ravenna House where they filmed us doing small projects, touring the house, talking about the early days of our romance, and interviewing us about buying and renovating houses. You know stuff we can't shut up about even if we tried.
Luckily we had closed on the Dexter House a day or two before the first crew came down from LA so they were able to capture us touring the house pre-renovation and then as we gutted the kitchen. Wilder got to take part too and was pretty eager to show off his skills with a drill. Brooks was just a big bump at that point ;)
During our three short days in front of the TV cameras I learned a ton. Like always turn off your mic before entering a bathroom. And just how much footage it takes to put together a five minute video (seriously, three whole days of filming!). But I was also surprised by how much fun the process was. Garrett and I had a blast and were just so exhilarated by the whole thing. Well exhilarated and totally exhausted. TV is a quite a business. My hat's off to Chip and Joanna Gaines!
The finished sizzle video was super impressive...at least we think so. It wrapped up everything we do and who we are in five minutes and made us look good doing it! After watching it for the first time, I said, "Wow! I would definitely watch that show". Which sounds kinda conceited, but when it comes down to it, it seems like the kind of thing you should say after watching a video about your own life.
In the end, the big network passed on our sizzle. Apparently something to do with the flip sector being saturated. So we won't be on your TV screen any time soon. Which is kind of disappointing, but after such a fun and unexpected adventure, it's really hard to be anything other then happy for the experience. The whole thing felt like a mini break from our lives (even though it was all about our lives), like a glimpse at a whole different and exciting path. But mostly it was just fun. And we are thankful that someone out there thought what we do is cool enough to consider making a show about it.
So our 10 seconds of fame is up. Our contracts have expired and we're back to renovating without cameras around. But I wanted to share the experience with you guys, since it has everything to do with this blog and you guys and was a really exciting part of our 2015.
p.s. Thanks to my mom for taking most of these pictures! She and my mother-in-law were around during filming to watch Wilder...how great are grandmas?!
p.p.s. Have you guys watched Andy and Candis' new show, Old Home Love on DIY and HGTV? I still haven't seen an episode, but I'm pretty sure it's awesome since I love what they do!
p.p.p.s. I'm so excited that our first Christmas as a family of 4 is finally here! I picked up these monogramed stockings from Etsy to mark the occasion. When they arrived, Garrett asked me, "do they make more designs so we can get one for the next kid?!" Not totally sure if that's funny or horrifying at this point...maybe both! ;)