A couple months ago, I was fortunate enough to receive an email out of the blue from an AOL producer concerning one of my blog articles that I posted, “The Mole Hole”. Annie Carroll was interested in filming a video interview of it for an AOL series on bad real estate experiences called "My Next Move." It would document the horrible experience and what you learned from it. How excited was I! After “checking out” the producer (of course from the advice of my big sister Sheryl), I determined she was legit and I emailed Annie back saying I was very much interested in it.
For those that don’t remember or haven't read my blog post, “The Mole Hole,” it is about my worst apartment experience. It was such an odd little trashy studio that my sister Sheryl openly sobbed about it when she walked in, quickly asking if I could get out of the lease. I proudly said that I could not. She sobbed again. After months of living there, it gained the moniker the "Mole Hole" for various reasons including the windowless back room which slanted underground.
Annie and I emailed a couple times about the project and I decided I was definitely into it. We set up a phone conference with her and the associate producer, Kelly, and discussed the Mole Hole blog at length. The AOL gang would come down to Philly, interview myself, then my sister and I, and then film location footage. Lastly Annie reminded me not to wear anything too crazy or loud as it would not look good on camera. I would later choose the perfect boring beige shirt. I knew I saved that boring shirt for some reason.
I called my sister Sheryl who was initially excited but then subsequently freaked out when I sprung on her that we would be interviewing at her house. "WHAT?!?!" I clearly remember her screaming over the phone. The rest of the initial conversation I can't print. Luckily, the excitement of the news crept back in and Sheryl was all for it.
Annie, Kelly, and camera woman Rhiannon all traveled down for the afternoon from NYC. Once in Philly, they scouted the Old City neighborhood where the studio was located, recording footage to use for the video. Upon arrival at my sister's home, they were offered beverages and pastries by my sister, ever the gracious hostess. The ladies set up in Sheryl's dining room. Annie would interview me. Kelly would assist her taking care of sound and Rhiannon would be on camera.
|Annie coaching me along in the interview.|
I began to get bored with myself (believe it or not!) constantly talking about this apartment but Annie reassured me that I was doing fine and giving her great material to use. It is definitely a lot harder than it looks. I told the same story over and over again but Annie was a trooper, encouraging me and laughing along the way. She really put me at ease.
I learned alot about the interview process along the way such as how easy sound travels. I was tapping my foot ever so slightly out of nervousness and Kelly would calmly say "I can hear your foot." or when Sheryl was being interviewed, "The mike is tapping your necklace." And then her mike fell completely down her shirt. Just the little things that one doesn't think about which can disrupt an interview.
|Are you capturing my good side Rhiannon?|
And then there was the sweating! We had lights on us but they were not THAT hot. My nervousness (What do the commercials call it? Stress sweat?) took over and I tried sitting on my hands to avoid raising my arms. I also sat on my hands because apparently they oddly gravitate towards my neck when I am being filmed. Uh, don't ask.
I have to say that my sister's house, inside and out, never looked better. We were also happy to see so many pictures of our family present in the background of the video. All of the panicking getting the house ready paid off in the end. Although Sheryl became obsessed with the outside footage at one point, trampling her own garden to remove a pot that I swear no one would see! Several lilies fell that day. God bless them. I just stood staring at her grapple with some hanging pot she was forcibly trying to remove from her railing.
Unfortunately they were not able to use the interview footage with Sheryl and I. They took almost three hours of video and condensed it down to just over three minutes. I can't even have a conversation in that short of a time span! There just wasn't time in the arc of the video to bring her portion in. We were disappointed. I think I was more disappointed than Sheryl but she took it all in stride.
|Me attempting to act and look like I know what I am doing!|
The acting part was weird. I felt completely out of my element and self-conscious walking up and down my sister's outside stairs. (Sheryl's house stood in as a potential apartment building.) Again, our producers and camera woman put Sheryl and I at ease reassuring us we were doing great. Didn't they just see me walking stiffly down Cambridge Street several times like I was wearing a cast on each leg?
|Can I try that stiff walk again?|
If you haven't seen it, here is the link again for the video:
And by the way, I never realized that they use stock video footage in videos like this such as the art gallery opening and the toilet footage. My toilet was never that quite dirty. My mother would have been mortified!