Wednesday, May 2, 2012

House Hunters International in Halifax: Filming

filming house hunters international in halifax

Welcome to instalment one of three of our House Hunters International experience! We're going to take you behind the scenes of the show and give you the low-down on what it's like to film reality TV.

So - the back story. We were in Halifax, Canada (our hometown) in the autumn of 2011 for me (Jess) to begin finishing my undergraduate degree. We were set to move back to Malta in January 2012, and had planned on arriving on the island and working with a local real estate agent to find a flat once we were on the ground.

Next - the logistics. We were contacted by House Hunters a couple of years ago through our blog to see if we wanted to film an episode. We did - but we weren't in a position to purchase property in Malta at that time so we had to decline. In December of 2011 we were contacted by House Hunters again, and jokingly told them of course we would participate - if only you did rentals! It turned out that they were just starting to do rental properties on the show. One telephone interview and a short audition tape later, and we were signed up for the job.

We started filming just three weeks later - right after Christmas. We filmed for one day in our hometown of Halifax, and for three days in Malta. It was a crazy, whirlwind, once-in-a-lifetime experience. No matter how our episode turns out we are so happy that we got to participate. We had a lot more fun filming than we thought we would, and in the end we found our dream flat. Win-win.

We filmed in Halifax the day before we flew back to Malta. Talk about last minute! We worked with a director from NYC and a local camera and sound guy for the day, and our shooting schedule took us around the city doing 'typical Canadian things'. It snowed that day, and I hope it turns out well on screen. In person it was picture perfect - big, fluffy snowflakes - an excellent contrast to our sunny little island in the Mediterranean.

The main event of our filming was at the skating oval on Halifax's Commons - a big park in the middle of the city. Mike used to figure skate, so I'm sure he looked much more graceful on camera than I did in my big clunky rental skates. We filmed here for a few hours, doing lap after lap trying to stay warm, as the flakes fell steadily. We were the object of many, many stares while we filmed, which was a little embarrassing and weird. We also ate poutine for the camera (maybe the third time I've eaten it in my life) and then picked up the pups and headed to Citadel Hill. That's where the photos below were taken. By this time we were pretty cold, and my hair was wet and stringy. I had stuffed Little Hotties into my coat and shoes, and by the end of the day we were grateful to head inside and warm up.

In the evening we filmed at Mike's parent's place where we were temporarily staying before moving back to Malta. Mike's mum's kitchen was turned into a mini TV studio and both of our families were there to cheer us on. After we 'wrapped' filming we sat down for a glass of wine, and then frantically packed and did last minute errands before leaving for Malta the next morning.

We were lucky to work with a good crew in Halifax and had a lot more fun than we thought we would, despite the cold. We had expected to need to repeat interviews and scenes over and over again - and we did. Reality TV, as we all know, isn't real. We were prompted with questions, and asked our director for a lot of direction - we aren't actors. But the dogs? Made for TV. They were stars.

- Jess

filming house hunters international in halifax

filming house hunters international in halifax


  1. It is SO beautiful there! I'm so jealous! Can't wait to see how your episode turned out!

  2. Yay FINALLY we get to hear all about it and see, can't wait! I actually just saw an old episode of A home in the sun I think it was called, with an older couple looking for a place in Malta. Was cool to see ;)

  3. It's so cool that you got to do this and sounds like a lot of hardwork but also a lot of fun. I wonder if the episode will be available to watch online perhaps... I really want to see it! xx


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