So today I think I am a little sad, the project is complete and the Barnwood Builders on the DIY Network have driven off to another barn or cabin. The Barnwood Builders shared something with me and my family that I can not easily explain, it is a gift, of course, a new family room, but it is something more also. It is when kindred spirits come together things get magical and create something better than if we were doing things alone. My family room would not have been half as beautiful without the lumber that we received from that old barn. Their show needed a willing and able family to take truckloads of old lumber and make it into something. My blog would have never gotten the recognition it has without them finding me in cyberspace. I would have never learned so much about the way TV production works and is filmed. Mark would have never put a shoe on a horse if it was not for people who deep down love West Virginia and the beautiful life this state has given us.
I have never in my life worked with a better group of people, the respect that is given to each person on the set from the littlest, ( Christopher) to the Assistants, Caterers, the barn or cabin owners, to Tom, I and the real stars of the show, is higher and deeper I have ever seen. The amount of teamwork these people have to put into creating a one hour show is hard to explain and they do it day in and day out.
It took almost three days to film the demo of my old barn and Tom’s farrier segment. It took three more days to film my house and cut in clips of landscapes and animals. Then 4 or 5 weeks of planning and travel ( We joined the bandwagon a month before shooting started). Now 6 weeks to edit this one show and do voice-overs and graphics before this show will air. All for a one hour on the DIY network. What an amazing experience, I am still in disbelieve that It all happened … it was a dream, right?
I am a fan of Mark Bowe for his love of this State, its people and its rich history. It is his vision that I share and will continue to pour into my blog. So that maybe one day people outside our hollers will see that we are not trapped in the past or unlucky. That we have made a choice to slow our lives to remember our past and see the beauty that is our countries rich history. Without our past we have no future and it takes time to build a solid foundation to live on. ( Notice: West Virginia was barely impacted with the housing crisis or the recession that followed something to think about as most states finances are in the red while West Virginia is financially stable.)
On the last day of filming our house Sean McCourt (the executive producer), Travis (head photographer) and his assistant arrived about an hour before Mark Bow to set up the lights to make the room bright and homey. Well, nothing ever goes as planned and the lights that Sean rented were really no help for us and Travis worked hard to get as much natural light in the room as possible. I still think you will see in the final cut that the room looks dark …… like well the inside of a barn… kinda hard to get past that.
Mark was happy to hear all the stories of our home in a way that I have not seen in any other episode. I have no idea what ones will be in the show but I am pretty sure you will see my artwork, the Mason jar Chandelier ( how we made it here), Toms Elk and lots of neat things we took from the barn to decorate with. Travis even took closes ups of my family photos and bearskin rug. It is strange to tell my family stories in front of a camera, the tail of packing out our Elk and getting it mounted by an oral surgeon, not a taxidermist, the print that my brother made from of a lake a block from my mother’s house in Longmont, Co. and the story of Toms grandfathers 28 point buck. Those are the pieces of my family that I just shared with America and the world… A strange feeling really!
The show works unscripted and is very open to the nature of the people and places they are working with. The weather and moods of the cast and”guests” are more real than you can imagine. The producers gave me a general overview of what they wanted us to cover in the show… new floors, walls, the DIY chandelier, and my artwork. Then turned to Mark and said, “We will shoot this in reverse order and will shoot from this doorway”. That is all the direction we got… seriously I just followed along…. if he asked a question or pointed anything out I just told the story that I have been telling everyone for the last 5 months. Then we moved outside for the “Greeting” portion of the shoot… yea a little strange but this made it easier for the lighting set up and is the only acting my family did… Christopher was a ham and Tom was nervous and I thought it was all funny. We had to film the greeting three times over to get all the information into the shot that Sean needed us to say or to keep hammy Christopher from blowing the high-five that he gives Mark.
Then they filmed Mark giving us our gift and I get to finally see the photo present they made for me. For a photography nut this was the very best gift I could have been given. I know the story behind the photo, the location, and the photographer and am so happy they got some blue sky in the photo. All I remember about that morning was cold and rain… It now looks lovely in my country kitchen and will be a treasured gift for the rest of my life.
Just like these treasured photos of the work we did and the time we spent together to make this all happen. It has been worth every moment of rain and mud, every long day of hanging wood boards in a 90-degree family room and hours of time on our knees with tile and grout. I think Tom, Cody and I logged 70 hours on the floor twice that of the walls.
Somehow it all came together and is better than anything I could have imagined. We now have a family room my family is proud of! Thank you to the cast and crew of the Barnwood Builders. I can’t wait to see episode# 5 of the new season that starts Oct 2015. I may just have a Viewing Party with my family and friends in November when my show airs… Who’s up for popcorn?