Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lights, Camera, Action - Houzz TV Comes to Leyden Glen Farm

In January, I got an email from a man named Rick. "Hey Kristin. I work for Houzz. We are starting a TV section on our website. Would you be interested in us coming to your place to shoot a video?" Evidently the story about our brightly colored and creatively decorated farmhouse that came out on the website way back in September 2012 has been very popular with their readers. 

Discussion happened over the dinner table. We all decided that HouzzTV sounded like a good opportunity for our little sheep farm and my creative business. I responded to Rick - and we talked about a date. We decided upon the beginning of May and then I promptly forgot about it. Sometimes things like this crash and burn and never happen. Best to not worry about it and see if it will happen as the date gets closer. 

Well, it did happen. On May 13, Rick Spence and 3 crew members arrived bright and early at the farm. The plan was to make a video about our farmhouse, our family, and how I decorated our place with all the patterns and colors. It took two days and hours and hours of filming. I took some photos (when I remembered) and they are below. 

If you had ever asked me if this all could have happened here at our little farm, I never in a million years would have thought that this kind of opportunity would arise. The video is live now over on the HOUZZ.COM website. Next week it will be posted to YouTube. I will then ask you all to share it with your friends and family. (Waiting til it is on YouTube will help me monitor the numbers of views). 

Hop on over here to the website to check it out. You may have to scroll down a bit to look for the VIDEO link. We're all in it - me, Julia and Mark. It is pretty cool, I must say.

More photos and filming story at the farm continues below.......

It was a beautiful day. 

Rick arrived with 3 other men from California. Rick had promised me a good professional job and I trusted him. You may remember his name if you are a fan of HGTV. He was the Host of a show called Curb Appeal several years ago. To say that he was a great guy would be an understatement. 

It's always a tad bit uncomfortable when you are meeting and greeting people you don't know early in the a.m. and knowing (or not knowing) what to expect. There was a videographer named Danny, a sound engineer (whose name I cannot quite remember), and Alex who was a TimeLapse photographer and DRONE camera specialist. Yes, you read it correctly - DRONE. 

They all checked our home out and Rick came up with a plan. First off, I was interviewed for 2 hours in the living room. (As opposed to still photography, there are a lot of lights needed for the camera. It is fascinating to watch this kind of production happen.)

Rick was very professional - as was his team. He sat on the couch and fed me questions. I answered them. After the interview, they filmed and filmed and filmed more. 

It was a gorgeous day - with high billowing puffy clouds. Alex set up his camera in a bunch of different windows and did time lapse photos. They explained to me that they are very effective in video (and they were right). The camera is set to automatically take photos every 5 to 10 seconds for about a half hour. You can learn more about that here over on YouTube. The result is beautiful and the still photos can be incorporated into a video. 

After lunch, Rick asked Mark if he would mind having the dogs work the sheep. This was the first time the drone camera was used and I could not wait to see it work. Here are the three men watching the drone and hoping for the best with the sheep and dogs. 

Here is Alex flying the drone. 

Alex used an iPad mini attached to something that looked like joy sticks from a gaming console. I am not really clear how it all worked but the thing lifted off the ground and began flying around. It has 4 propellers on it and works similar to a helicopter. Alex flew it around using the joy sticks to move it different places all the while watching the iPad to see what he was getting. 

Here is a close-up of the Drone Camera sitting on the couch. This gives you an idea of the size of it. About the same size as Vera the cat. 

Amazing, huh? Nessie (our older collie) was the dog moving the sheep and she got tired so we stopped. We all ran back in the house and they downloaded it onto Rick's computer. 

The footage was okay but it was decided to try Kate work the sheep the next day. In the video, you will see both Border Collies Ness and Kate and Winston our Great Pyrenees Guard Dog. 

Here are some more photos of Alex flying the drone down our little road. Before lift off.

Action shots of the drone camera. Pretty cool, huh? 

Alex worked so hard - filming all kinds of angles all day long. He took hours of drone footage and very little was used. It certainly did add to the feeling of the video. And he had a fantastic time doing it. So very fun. 

Mark was interviewed outdoors. Rick told me he did a great job. Then late in the day, when Julia came home from school it was her turn. They put a mike on her and we fixed her hair and threw on a pretty pink sweater. She did a great job and you can see her in the video. 

She was a bit shy and tongue tied but she is 16 years old. It's not every day that a farm kid has this kind of experience.

Thank you Julia and Mark for putting up with my craziness. 

Three cats watched all the action from the kitchen island. 

The next day, it was all about the house. We began with another interview of me talking about the way I decorated our home off camera. It took about 45 minutes and I was not filmed. 

Next up, it was the farmhouse's turn for glory. Fortunately, my photographer friend Rikki Snyder had volunteered to come for the day. She and I styled each room, moving the clutter and making the house presentable for the world. Danny filmed many angles as we moved on to the next room, getting it presentable. 

Our house isn't very big and it is a real place with real people living in it. Any occasion like this takes an inordinate amount of work to stage it for the camera. To say I was exhausted at the end of each day would be an understatement. 

The results are really good and it was totally worth the work and disturbance to our daily lives. Now for the world to discover our beautiful little place in this little corner of Western Massachusetts I hope you enjoy watching and listening to the video. And thank you Houzz!

Here's the link to the video. Next week, I'll give you the link to Houzz's YouTube channel so you can help me spread the word.  Have a great day everyone! 


Lee said...

Loved the video! And I can't wait to see the house in person again (and you)! Soon!

ellen said...

Fantastic. I have always admired and loved all the color you have filled your wonderful home with.

Alison said...

What a great video! I just loved it and your lovely house. Congratulations.

Susan said...

Great video!

Running with a sharp pencil said...

Love the book--and the video is great!

Running with a sharp pencil said...

Love the book--and the video is great!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful video! Loved hearing your voice.

Linda Pratt said...

Brilliant, and the Farmer was truly eloquent.

Anonymous said...

I loved the video and hearing your voice was 'weird'? Not the voice I imagined with you. LOL
Whole thing made me 'teary' in a good way.

Auntie Shan said...

Those cats on the counter look like a couple of Executive-Producers!

And oh my, what BIG "mosquitos" you have!

Urs said...

Thank you for the video!

Is that correct?
Size: 3,500 square feet; 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
For that size you have only two bedrooms?

Kristin Nicholas said...

Yes it is Urs. The top floor upstairs is very wonky w/ one enormous bedroom, lots of storage, a huge chimney that takes up a crazy amount of space, 2 crawl spaces, an attic, and a very large bathroom. Then there is another bedroom upstairs too over the ell.

We took out 2 bedrooms and a hall to make the kitchen on the main floor. The kitchen was in the basement when we moved in. Kitchens in the basement in New England are called summer kitchens. The guy that did that only lived here in the summer in the 1940, 50's and 60's. He was an architect and was the one that brought back the house and saved it from falling into the ground.

I would love a 3rd bedroom upstairs but it would cost me so much money to rearrange everything and only 3 people live here. Maybe if I hit the lottery but since I never play, that isn't going to happen.

There's a reason that most old houses from 1751 that still survive do not have original center chimneys - it is because of the crazy amount of room they take up on 3 floors. We have 3 fireplaces on the first floor and a massive stone structure that holds up the chimney and fireplaces (in the basement).

Most center chimney capes (that is what our house is called) had the giant fireplaces removed when central heating came in. Not ours.

Seriously - we aren't the kind of family that spends much time in bed. We only sleep in the bedrooms so it works for us!

Living in an old house from the 1750s isn't for everyone. You have to be able to put up with the odd structures but for us - we LOVE IT!

Loco Lindy said...

The video is SO beautiful and inspiring, Kristen! I love your self-confidence and willingness to share your home. And as I sit in my own house, I now feel better about our worn floors (that my child crawled over and the dogs run across) and less-than-perfect furniture, as they are part of what makes this home. The drone footage is incredible, and the interviews with all three of you were just great! Congrats, I hope this coverage helps you toward your goals, thank you for sharing your life with us.

Shing Hsieh said...

You're so generous, sharing your home with the world in this really gorgeous video. It's funny, I've been reading your blog for years and it's the first time I've heard your voice, not what was playing in my mind. I love the studio space you've created. Thanks for sharing.

Michele in Maine said...

How very exciting, Kristin! I can't wait to watch the video. What a panic it must have been just to undertake cleaning and decluttering ones house for such an event (at least it would have been for me!). It reminds me a bit of what I go through for house showings (my house has been for sale for several years). So much work but what a great result!

Mary Kate said...

the video is amazing. It is such a loving snapshot of your lives as a family.
Julia did a great job!
Mary Kate Witry

Auntie Shan said...

So I finally got around to viewing the vid - at 4am! - COOL!
Love the looks on the Sheep's faces when the Drone flits by!
BTW, I'm guessing that Mark has already put "drone" on his Christmas/Lottery "List"..? ;-}
oh, speaking of THE FARMER... Early "HAPPY FATHER'S DAY" to him!!

GerryART said...

The video is PERFECT!!
You guys are naturals on video.
Great looking Family - doggies, sheep and all‼️‼️‼️
Will be watching this video ( and YouTuber version) a number of times.

Hugs , smiles,

bella said...

That's it. I'm movin' in. Make my room up for me.

Leslie said...

What an absolutely fantastic video! I loved seeing the cats, the dogs and sheep and the lovely vistas. Drone cameras seem to be "da bomb!" giving us a neat look around.

Mark & Julia did a great job. Thanks for sharing.

Monica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan Carlson said...

Kristin, I absolutely loved the video on Houzz! I was one of your biggest fans from the original article that Ricki did - and one of the fans who tried to make the nay-sayers place nice - probably had the opposite effect - ha! I read your blog and bought your book (loved it!)and always feel like I'm talking to an old friend but hearing your voice and meeting the Farmer & Julia was such a treat. You and your family are so dear and I wish you continued success!


Anonymous said...

Kristin, I so enjoyed your film! Thanks for sharing your talent and home. Have just discovered your books and am eagerly awaiting a shipment of Julia yarn from Webs (32 colors!). I grew up very close by in Northfield and now live far away so watching the video was like visiting home again! There are so many creative sparks the video has created for me! Sincerest thanks!

Anonymous said...

Before I get to the video, I want to shout....the HAPPY HOUSE I WON arrived and it is fabulous! Along with it came a gorgeous plate that I bought, and I love them both. Really, get on over to Kristin's Etsy store now! So well made, painted and glazed and such beautiful colors. My house is yellow with a red door and window frames which I love...I always wanted a red door. These are special pieces that are going into my "heirloom" collection to be used then passed on in the family.

The video is fantastic. What a well done piece, and each of you speak so well. It's wonderful to get a further glimpse into your home and what you do. It "feels" like a wonderful home, and as has been said, so generous of you to share. Just terrific...kudos to you.