Virtual “Taping” with a Crew of One
During this first week of deconfinement, I was relegated to staying at home in order to tape a new and very special House Hunters International. That, in itself, is a contradiction in terms, but that’s exactly what we did.
Recorded from our respective homes this week using our iPhones as video cameras, with myself in Paris and John Garland Jones in Nice (the star of “Finding a Voice in Nice, France,” Season 139, Episode 8), it was a first-time experience for us to virtually “tape” an episode. A week ago Sunday, for the first time since confinement, I did my hair and make-up, got dressed up in “wardrobe” and started to prepare for the recording, all on my lonesome. I played every role of the usual crew: DP (cinematographer), sound engineer, director, fixer and “talent,” when I set up a scene recorded in my own bedroom to show off my collection of berets (about three dozen). The idea was to show me in my home environment. Knowing that the wearing of a beret has become my on-screen symbol, the producers thought it would be fun for me to show off the collection.
It was an interesting experience, starting with dealing with the equipment of which I wasn’t familiar. I stupidly could not understand how to raise a tripod to a higher level that held the iPhone. Even Googling it didn’t help. Because it’s such basic knowledge, even online I couldn’t find any instructions on how to do it! When I finally figured out that the legs raise, one at a time when a clip is released, I got the iPhone set up with a microphone taped to my chest under my dress (just like the sound engineer does), made a few tests before doing the scene I had rehearsed in my head.
I did the whole scene of several minutes proudly, then stopped the video and replayed it only to discover that the video was mistakenly set on Time-Lapse so that it played back at six times the normal speed, rendering it pretty comical, indeed. (Guess I wasn’t meant to handle the technical aspects of recording.) That meant doing it all over again. By this time, I was getting a lot of practice! Three takes, a charm, and it all worked out well in the end, so I packed up the equipment and sent off the videos to the producers.
Wednesday and Thursday we recorded again, this time with John Garland Jones in Nice, the director in New York and myself in Paris, all on Zoom. For what they call the “Watch Party,” we set up our iPhone cameras on top of our own computers to set a proper eye-line and mic’ed ourselves up for the best possible sound quality. The director played John’s show on her screen share while we commented on it and talked about the experience we had in the process. That session took 4.5 hours and 10 recorded segments from which they will edit to create portions of the new show.
The next day it was just the director and me. She set me up on a chair in the doorway to my bedroom so that you could see my entire living room behind me. My laptop sat on a stand in front of me, the iPhone camera perched on the tripod (now that I figured that out!) next to it to ensure a good eye line. This is how the interviews are staged when we’re taping an episode — normally the camera is on me (or the “contributor”), the director stands adjacent to the camera, so that I’m looking, not directly into the lens, but just a tad to the side, at the director, while she asks the questions that elicit the answers she’s wanting to get.
That session was only three hours long — you’d think we could do this faster, but it’s the prep work that counts the most. Once we had it set up the way she wanted it, the interview itself didn’t take long. The whole experience was new, fun and exciting. It gave us an opportunity to talk about lots of things we don’t normally do during a usual taping. This episode is about giving an inside glimpse of what it’s like to tape the shows and expose a bit more of our individual opinions and personalities; our likes and dislikes, our experiences and feelings, exposing our true selves.
The editing should take a lot less time than a normal show when more than 20 hours of “footage” is edited down to about 22 minutes, so it’s sure to be aired sometime in the near future. And don’t worry, you’ll know about it as soon as we do. Meanwhile, you can watch the original episode with John G. Jones from the HGTV.com site: Season 139, Episode 8, “Finding a Voice in Nice, France,” by clicking here.
We’re still having the most beautiful weather in Paris. These are not words I have used often in my 25+ years of living in Paris, but I’m convinced the reduced pollution thanks to confinement is largely responsible…although I could easily be wrong. As a result of these “beaux temps,” and “deconfinement,” the whole world was out on the streets of Paris on Saturday, queuing up at the newly-opened shops anxious to spend their money on just about anything, just for the privilege of it. There was a queue of about 10 people to enter a tiny lingerie shop on rue Vieille du Temple — the kind of shop that displays a few tiny lacy things designed for waifish women, with a minimal inventory that has always led me to wonder how they stay in business at all. Who in the hell buys these things and why are they so popular? I may never understand it.
Not everyone is wearing masks, but my rough estimate would be about 75 percent are being smart about it. Most of the people maskless seem to be under 30 years old. Perhaps it’s not “cool” in younger circles or they think they are invincible, but in my opinion, it’s not cool or smart and just irreverent. One photo circulating online about mask-wearing cracked me up — a photo of a public bus in New Orleans with a woman seated in the background wearing a Mardi Gras mask that covers just her eyes. The caption: “When you tell New Orleans people to wear a mask, you need to be specific…”As a New Orleanian, I find it absolutely believable and hysterically funny. It would be just like a New Orleanian to do it just for sake of making people laugh and not to be cool or smart or irreverent.
Thanks to deconfinement, I finally had a manicure, behind a plastic partition separating the manicurist from me, both of us wearing masks. She could no longer offer me a coffee or tea, by the regulations set forth by the franchise, “L’Onglerie,” because that would mean having to remove the mask to drink it. No matter. At the end of the hour+ long session to bring my hands back to life, I felt like a new human being, ready to take on the world.
When I left there I suddenly realized I should have used the “facilities” before heading out since all the cafés are still closed, only the public toilets are available. That means planning accordingly on outings! Keep this in mind for your next excursion out in the City of Light!
Saturday night was not the usual partying out, but instead was a party in, with a group of people on Zoom. For the first time, the shareholders of the Ma Maison Miron Fractional Ownership property gathered together for an Owners Wine & Cheese Party. It was their chance to meet each other, which would never normally happen because their usage of the apartment occurs one after another, with no overlap, of course. They could be like passing ships in the night if it weren’t for such occasions as this on Zoom.
It was really enlightening for everyone to gather like this and get to know one another, even from a distance and on a screen. The owners who had already visited the property had a chance to talk about their experience in the small, but luxurious studio located in one of the three oldest buildings in the city, for the owners who have given up their scheduled usage time during the Covid-19 confinement. This means they are still waiting for their chance to come to use their own property themselves. When asked if tourists stop to gawk at the building, to which we answered, “by the busload,” we shared our feelings about entering such an illustrious building in Paris while the tourists gaze on us with jealousy. This is a very special and privileged group of people to share in a little piece of Paris that is so cherished by so many.
We discovered during our Zoom party that a large number of the owners are living in California, which doesn’t at all surprise us. Californians are our biggest market of Americans wanting to live and/or invest in France for a variety of reasons, starting with their overwhelming desire to travel and experience new things. We all know that Americans are low on the scale as passport-holders compared to other nationalities, even though they share has grown dramatically in the last 30 years — four percent of Americans owned passports in 1990, compared to 42 percent in 2018. Still, in Canada, 66 percent held passports in 2016, while 76 percent of United Kingdom citizens held them. When comparing states, residents of New Jersey take the record with 68 percent, followed by Delaware with 67 percent, Alaska with 65 percent. California ranks way up there with 60 percent and guesses which states are at the bottom of the barrel? Mississippi has less than 20 percent, and two states in which I’ve lived, Tennessee and Louisiana, with less than 20 percent and less than 30 percent respectively. (Now you know one reason why I don’t live in those states anymore!)
Ever wonder about the secret life of Coco Chanel? Edith de Belleville is giving a talk on Zoom this coming Saturday, the 23rd at 12 noon Eastern Time, 6 p.m. here in Paris. This is Part II of her series. It’s free and it’s in English. Email Edith at [email protected] to get the Zoom link!
And, if you didn’t see Thursday’s French Property Insider when we offered up a pretty perfect pied-à-terre in Nice for sale, then click here now to make you drool and possibly satisfy your desire to have your own apartment on the Riviera!
A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds Group
(recording the Watch Party)
P.S. If you haven’t already registered for “Finding and Financing Your French Property,” a Webinar by Kim Bingham and Adrian Leeds, Sponsored by the Adrian Leeds Group, Inc. on Zoom, May 25, 2020, 6 p.m. Paris Time (9 a.m. Pacific Time, 12 Noon Eastern Time), then do so now!!
Kim Bingham, Director of the international financing agency Private Rate, joins Adrian Leeds, Director of the Adrian Leeds Group, Inc. brings you a taste of Finding and Financing Your French Property in the Time of Coronavirus. Put aside just one hour of your time on Memorial Day, May 25th to learn what you need to know to make your dream to invest in France come true. Kim and Adrian will make brief presentations and then allow for a Q & A when you can ask whatever you like to learn even more. It’s FREE, but it’s limited to 100 participants.
Register early and in advance by clicking here.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please note, we are committed to keeping your e-mail address confidential. We do not sell, rent, or lease our subscription lists to third parties, and we will not provide your personal information to any third party individual, government agency, or company at any time unless compelled to do so by law. We will use your e-mail address solely to provide timely information about Adrian Leeds Group, Inc. and Private-Rate offers and events. You may unsubscribe at any time.
P.P.S. SPECIAL NOTE: In Honor of Jack Gorlin, my brother-in-law of almost 54 years who passed away in early April, I am sponsoring a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to pay for the funeral expenses. I thank you in advance for your generous contributions and for posting this or passing this on to anyone you think might like to contribute in honor of Jack’s passing. Here’s the link to the GoFundMe campaign.