Guest Post: Larissa Reinhart, 15 Minutes

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I am super excited to be here with you today to feature a guest post from author, Larissa Reinhart. Please help me by giving her a warm welcome!


15 MINUTES, Maizie Albright Star Detective, by Larissa Reinhart
Doing HHI As Research for My Reality Star Heroine

Last May 2016, my family had our TV debut in HGTV’s House Hunters International. Our episode was “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya, Japan” and is now showing as a rerun (most currently on February 21st at 12:30 pm EST). The shoot took five days and was a lot of fun. The crew was wonderful, very friendly and sweet with our children. We’ve been longtime fans of the show and were thrilled to be a part of it.

When my husband first inquired about the show’s application process, I didn’t think we’d have a chance of getting picked. We’d lived in Japan three times previously, how could we be interesting to viewers? However, I had started writing my first Maizie Albright Star Detective story, 15 Minutes. Mazie’s an ex-child and teen star whose star imploded and landed her on a reality show between bouts of rehab. She’s forced by a judge to leave LA and her celebrity lifestyle to return to her hometown in Georgia, where she decides to become a private investigator (after playing one on TV).

Unbeknownst to Maizie, her reality show follows her to Georgia, so I thought it’d be great research to see what went into applying to be on a reality show. Little did I know, that by the time I finished writing 15 Minutes, I’d be on a reality show and using what I learned for the other books in the series.

Here’s five things I learned.

1)    A lot of your filming day is waiting for sound and light. When you’re indoors, light is always an issue. Sometimes indoor light reflects green, so the cameraman has to find an angle that works. For HHI, he needs shots of the interior before we come in to look at the house. When you’re outdoors, sound is always an issue. The mixer needs to constantly do background noise checks. And for some reason, waiting is exhausting.
2) On a reality show, everything is improvised, the words are yours, and your reactions are genuine. However, when there’s only one camera, the director may want to get other angles. Then you have to do the same scene again and repeat what you just said. And sometimes you have to do it many times because you forgot what you said or you flub it. Or a loud truck rumbles by and ruins the sound. 

This happened a lot, especially in the first days of our filming. However, in our last big scene where we discuss our three housing options and decide which house to choose, we did it one take. That felt great!

3) The director is watching the action and listening to sound from a small TV screen that’s connected to the camera wirelessly. The cameraman is paying attention to angles, light, and composition, what technically will look good. The sound mixer is wearing headphones and checking for sound clarity. The director is thinking about the story and creatively what looks good. She’s also in charge of the filming time table each day. Camera and sound are the trees and she’s the forest. No one’s paying much attention to you unless you screw up.

4) The worst thing you can do is look at the camera. If you look at the camera, you have to do the shot over.

I learned this the hard way. Many times.

5) Our shoots were 8 to 5 with an hour break for lunch every day. We all went to lunch together but at the end of the day, the crew went back to their hotel and worked. They had to upload the film, check it, and prepare for the next day.

There’s no after-party with the crew. They take their job seriously and like everyone, when the work is over, they want to go home.

Thanks Larissa for being here today!

Happy Reading!


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me today! I hope your readers enjoyed my post!

    1. You're welcome! Thanks for being here! I enjoyed it :)

  2. Fascinating. It was great to see you and you family in "real life". Can you imagine doing that for years like Maizie did? Jeanie Whitmire Jackson

  3. Hey Jeanie! Yes and no. The crew are passionate about what they do and although it's a lot of travel and time away from their families, they seem to love their job. Plus they have their own pet artistic projects, particularly the director and filmographer. As for reality TV acting, I think it would get wearing pretty quick, but I'm introverted, so it suits me to be alone with my computer. It's hard for me to think of things to say all day (unless I'm typing). Extroverts would probably enjoy it because it was fun. :)

  4. This is one of the most fascinating guest posts I have ever read. 15 Minutes sounds like a fun read. Love the cover. I'll go check this out now. x

    1. Thanks Alison! I hope you enjoy 15 MIN!