A Day on the Set of Nashville Flipped

 

Troy demonstrates how to distress the wood flooring used to match the home’s original architecture.
Troy demonstrates how to distress the wood flooring used to match the home’s original architecture.

 

Rob and Troy sketch out floor plans on the hood of the truck.
Rob and Troy sketch out floor plans on the hood of the truck.

The sound of pounding hammers, whirling chop-saws, and the whoosh of spitting nail guns fill the air of the 1930’s style ranch house. That is until the filming starts. Then it’s “quiet on the set!” Today we are filming just outside of Nashville in Old Hickory, Tennessee. From a distance, a day filming for DIY Network’s Nashville Flipped would look like just another construction sight. A twenty-yard dumpster sits parked in the driveway, a cluster of pickup trucks crowd the street out front, and two sawhorses stand on the patio topped with plywood to serve as a portable work bench. But if you look a little closer, you will find tucked amongst the sawdust, tool boxes, and stacks of lumber, are bags of film and audio equipment.

Inside the house, a full camera crew and set up including lights, sound, a small monitor, and two cameras, close in around Troy as he adds decorative tiles to the ceiling. Off screen, the chop saw sits idle, the hammering has stopped, and the nail guns have been shushed. Only the painting continues (painting is one of the few quieter aspects of home renovation). Shows like ours, featured on DIY and HGTV, are shot from two perspectives through different lenses; one wide and one tight. The wide lens captures the big picture of what is going on and the tight lens allows for close ups on the details of what we are working on for viewers at home.

Director Heidi stands close by filming in the back yard.
Director Heidi stands close by filming in the back yard.

What you will see at home is Troy securing the tiles in place, then painting them. What you will not see is that once Director Heidi calls “Cut,” the camera crew moves out and the construction crew moves back in. The nail guns come back and the saws start spinning. The lighting, cameras, and equipment are hauled out to make room for the incoming cabinets, then brought back in to get shots of installation. Meanwhile, Troy and Rob make phone calls to check in with our other construction sites. While they have to stay at the house where we are filming for today, in between shots they still manage to attend to permits, finances, scheduling of workers, and ordering parts for a broken A/C unit (in the sweltering heat of September, this is a top priority).

Rob stands off camera, watching as Troy prepares for his scene.
Rob stands off camera, watching as Troy prepares for his scene.

What viewers at home may not understand is that while each episode of Nashville Flipped showcases one house from framework to finish, in real time we are working on several houses at once. While we may film the final shots of a finished home one day, that same week we may also be filming demolition, installation or anything in between at another one of the homes we are working on. In the end, everything we film over the course of several months gets edited into several episodes, each focused on individual homes, forming a season of Nashville Flipped.

Heidi and Troy run through how the scene is about to go down.
Heidi and Troy run through how the scene is about to go down.

Beyond the ceiling tiles and cabinet installation, today is also the day that the flooring goes down. While in real life, we may not flip an entire house in the short episode-length time that it gets condensed down to (we usually spend five to six weeks on each house), we do move remarkably fast, tackling several aspects of renovation all at once. As we move to film the installation of the home’s flooring, Troy gives viewers at home a tutorial about how to distress wood like the pine flooring we are laying down in the house. Troy talks to one camera while the other focuses on the board he distresses. After a couple takes to make sure we have everything we need so the viewers at home can see exactly what goes into distressing hardwood, we move inside to apply the technique to the home’s floor.

Troy and Rob distress and add some hand-driven nails to the new wood floors to add some character before staining them.
Troy and Rob distress and add some hand-driven nails to the new wood floors to add some character before staining them.

Inside, Troy and Rob attack the floor with distressing tools, adding a few hand-driven nails for extra character. Despite the stresses of a long day on the job, Troy and Rob never loose their sense of humor. The two decide to turn hammering nails into a competition (winner to be revealed when the episode airs during Season 2). Once we have the footage we need of the distressing of the floors, Heidi brings the day to an end, announcing, “That’s a wrap!”

At the end of the day, everyone packs up and moves out to await the call sheet for the next day of shooting. The paint cans are sealed, the tools are put away, power cords are rolled up,  footage is downloaded, and all the lighting and audio equipment goes back in their cases. There is an exchanging of several “See you tomorrows!” as everyone heads out in search of a place to beat the heat and unwind for the evening before starting again in the morning. Tomorrow, filming will take place at one of our newest homes (also our oldest built and we cannot wait to share it with viewers in Season 2) and renovations will pick up here where they left off. With a show like Nashville Flipped, there is always something to be done. Whether it is walls to be taken out, fixtures to be installed, or finding new historic homes to save, our team never stops. But we wouldn’t want it any other way!