Sometime, I'm going to get my 15 minutes of fame. Well, probably more like seven minutes. Fame is fleeting. It all started back in May, when...
Sometime, I’m going to get my 15 minutes of fame. Well, probably more like seven minutes. Fame is fleeting.
It all started back in May, when a TV producer who’d seen my remodeled Craftsman home in The Seattle Times’ Pacific Northwest magazine from 2001 called and asked if I’d be willing to have my house featured on HGTV’s “Generation Renovation,” a breezy home-design program that whisks viewers through four remodeled houses in 30 minutes (minus commercials).
Knowing the show was one of HGTV’s more upscale programs, I agreed to be a contender. Turns out my house was one of several being considered for a late-May shoot.
To further my candidacy, the producer needed tons of before-and-after pictures of the house, and she needed them fast — within 48 hours.
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So I cranked up my digital camera and shot “after” photos. But I had practically no “before” pictures, and the few I did have were intended for photo albums, not images you could e-mail.
Luckily, the producer had an idea: She told me to take digital pictures of my prints. Pictures of pictures would look horrible, she said — just the ticket for a “before” shot.
The next day, a second producer called. He interviewed me for nearly an hour, extracting details about my remodel and pumping me for any amusing anecdotes or renovation horror stories.
The air date for the “Generation Renovation” episode (512) featuring Robyne L. Curry’s home is pending. However, you can catch other episodes at 6 p.m. on Mondays on HGTV. For details, visit www.hgtv.com/hgtv/shows_hgren.
With the pictures I’d already sent and notes from the interview, the two producers had all they needed to pitch my story.
“Cross your fingers,” they said.
Two days later, I got the call: I was in!
Even better, the producers said the show’s boyishly handsome and energetic host, Gaard Swanson, would be part of the crew. This was quite a coup, because Swanson — the sports news director at KIRO-TV and a television personality — would be present at only one of the five Seattle-area shoots. And mine was the host house.
I was thrilled.
10 days to perfection
But joy quickly turned to panic when I learned my date with destiny was 10 days away.
Ten short days to dust, mop and vacuum an entire house; wash all the windows; hose winter’s grime off the summer porch chairs; dead-head the hydrangea bush; plant geraniums; buy a new welcome mat; and lose 20, no, make that 30 pounds, since the camera adds 10.
I attacked my ambitious to-do list like a house afire (no pun intended). I had to cut a few corners to make the skin-tight deadline, so windows weren’t washed, geraniums weren’t planted and a doormat wasn’t bought. But the house was copper-penny bright on shooting day.
Unlike its owner, my house was ready for its closeup.
The TV crew arrived promptly at 8:30 on the morning of the shoot. I’d been warned that the day would start early and end around 5 p.m., with a short break for lunch.
Given this punishing schedule, I never expected anyone to be as chipper so early as this bunch — a producer, a cameraman, an assistant and Swanson. Maybe they were all morning people. I wasn’t. But their friendly faces immediately put me at ease. So I rallied my best smile, shook four sets of hands and welcomed them in.
The crew and the shoot
Years from now, when I remember this day, I’ll fondly recall that the crew was warm, amiable, thoroughly professional and fun.
Within no time, Swanson and I were bantering back and forth like old friends.
The cameraman, who set up enough lights throughout the day to raise the thermostat in my house 13 degrees, was an utterly charming walking encyclopedia.
The sound guy, who arrived later than the others and left shortly after lunch, displayed a deft and sensitive touch as he discreetly threaded a microphone under my clothing and hooked a battery pack near my spine, beyond the camera’s eye.
And the producer, the third I encountered, was a bright young woman who loved, loved, loved television production. Around lights and camera angles she was a natural. Very much the director, she used notes from my earlier interview to highlight the best parts of my remodel or the amusing anecdotes. I was putty in her hands. Silly putty, at times.
Let me explain. When my only bathroom was remodeled, I went to work an hour early to take advantage of the showers there. I did this for six weeks. Saturdays, too. The producers loved this story so much, they wanted to incorporate my grooming-on-the-run into the shoot. How they did this, I won’t divulge. But it was wacky.
I learned a little about TV that day. It isn’t all glamorous. And a lot of hard work is involved. It was a ton of fun, though. I can’t wait to see my seven minutes.
Robyne L. Curry is a Seattle freelance writer and interior designer with a specialty in wall design.