Here's our friendly crew for our one-day shoot in Texas in mid-July. For HHI, in case you aren't familiar with it, there is always a "before" shoot, to show where you lived before you embarked on the insane journey of buying a home overseas. We hadn't lived in Texas for seven years and our home there has been sold for a while, but we couldn't very well go back to our rented house in Japan for the "real before"--that would have been delightful but awfully impractical.
These guys taught us all about how to get miked up, how to answer to-be-edited-out questions from the director without making it seem like answering questions, and how to appear to be candid and fresh when doing a third take. It was terribly, terribly hot, so any real freshness was pretty much out of the question.
It was necessary to inject occasional moments of levity into what can be a long, tedious process. TV people work hard for their money! I should probably mention that we decided to do this shoot at my grandmother's house, where we stayed this summer but had never actually lived.
Oh, now here we are back in Germany in our house, with a simply lovely British crew. This was Day Two of our three-day shoot. Day One was spent out and about, looking at two other houses in the area with an agent, as if we were in the midst of choosing a house to buy.
Did you notice that there is no furniture in that photo with the crew? That's because they hired movers to move everything out of our entire house to make it look as if it wasn't ours yet. Oh, the acting we had to do! Thank goodness the Husband was in Advanced Drama in high school. I won't go too much into how ridiculous it feels to have most of your household goods moved into and around your garage and then all moved back in, on the same day. This kind of thing can be (was) a major promoter of mental instability in homeowners (us). This day was not fun at all.
Day Three was better, because we were total celebrities. To show what it's like to live here, we went out around town and ostentatiously took over a restaurant (got to eat a nice "typical German" meal on HHI's tab!), a bakery, an outdoor cafe area, several streets, and a walkway alongside a lake. Make way for the crazy Americans and Brits, everybody! That's right, go ahead and stare! And most of all, stay out of our way. No autographs, please.
Oops, this is back on Day Two, with our kitchen empty and our new friend, agent Gabi, waiting around with us for our next take. She was such a good sport and also a good actor.
Here's the last thing we did, at the end of Day Three when we were all dog-tired: we sat in the field behind our house and shared our thoughts (director-led, you understand) on buying our house and living in Germany. We had to lie a little so people who see the show won't want to go stick their heads in ovens immediately after watching.
And here we all are: our American (German-speaking) P.A. Chuck, director Katie, sound dude James, our family, and camera wrangler James. They were a fun bunch (we had a little too much fun at the end of Day Three) who helped make this whole thing almost bearable. Cheers!
Maybe you're wondering when the show will air; we are, too. They're telling us it will likely be next year, in the Spring. I guess it's a little late to be concerned about possibly looking like idiots on TV?