LAWRENCEVILLE - "Stand by. Speed."
"And action, please."
Driving through the Steeplechase subdivision in early August you wouldn't know a TV show was being filmed at one of the homes unless you happened to catch the lone cameraman shooting footage from the street. Or if you happened to drive by just when the Czerwinskis and their Realtor were filming a shot on the front stone steps. The rest of the footage was shot inside the confines of the two-story white stucco home on Paper Chase Court.
The Czerwinskis - John and Sharon and their two children, Hannah, 14, and Jack, 11 - are relocating to Gwinnett County from Racine, Wis., and decided to do something different in their search for their new home - that search was filmed for Home and Garden Television's "House Hunters," a show that offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look at families and couples who are in the process of finding a new home.
"This is going to be a tough move for us emotionally," said John Czerwinski, noting the family had lived in Racine for 10 years and had established strong roots there. "We thought (appearing on "House Hunters") would be a fun process, especially for our daughter."
John Czerwinski has accepted a position as worship arts director for Stonemill Church in Suwanee.
Angie Holcomb, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners in Duluth whom the Czerwinskis contacted on referral, took the family through three Lawrenceville homes over the course of three days, with filming wrapping up Aug. 6. Two of those homes were in the Steeplechase neighborhood, and one was in White Oak Place.
"Not only is it great for these three homes that are going to be spotlighted on House Hunters," Holcomb said of the filming, "but it's great for Gwinnett County. I think it's going to be a positive thing for Gwinnett in general."
One might think it takes a large crew to film a TV show, but a three-person team that operated like a well-oiled machine - two of whom are with an HGTV crew out of Atlanta - was on hand to tape the Czerwinskis' episode of "House Hunters."
"The crew is amazing," Sharon Czerwinski said, adding, "We're grateful for the crew being flexible with our children." Hannah and Jack Czerwinski were on location Tuesday with their parents, who likely had just as much fun as their children.
Prior to filming, one of the first things the Czerwinskis and Holcomb had to do to prepare for the taping was get miked up. To clip the mic to his shirt, John Czerwinski had to remove his necklace.
"Kevin Costner doesn't have to take off his," he joked.
And Sharon Czerwinski had a special request for one of the crew members when he checked to make sure her mic's battery pack was on - "Will you check my makeup?" she asked, laughing.
After the crew was set and the Czerwinskis and Holcomb were in place on the front steps, filming was ready to begin, and that's when the show's producer, Mary McCrone, got to say those magical words - "And action, please."
During filming, McCrone took up a post at a monitor so she could watch the action as cameraman Jack Frost (yes, that's his real name) hefted a bulky camera on one shoulder to tape the action. Frost was trailed by the equipment-laden sound operator, Clint Crowley, who listened in to make sure the audio was clear.
Wrapping it up
After the final shot was filmed, the Czerwinskis and Holcomb said goodbye to the HGTV crew and got back to their lives outside of a television show.
"It was a lot of work," Holcomb said the day after shooting wrapped, "but I would do it again in a second."
Sharon Czerwinski agreed - to an extent.
"I would do 'House Hunters' again, but I really hope we don't have to move again," she laughed.
"The good news is they'll do a follow-up in the next couple months ..." she added.