Prepping for a Fitness DVD: It’s a Wrap!

Fitness DVD Shoot

Me and my "back-up dancers" about to shoot my Pilates fitness DVD.

I'm sitting here sniffing back tears. Not because I'm sad, but because I'm so amazed at the people around me and how talented and kind they are. My fitness videos have been filmed (!!!) and we're on to editing and marketing now. The day started at 2:00 pm in my Pilates studio with my husband and nephew (a really talented budding director/videographer who's a high school senior) clearing equipment out of the way. The film crew arrived at 3:30 and started turning my space into a film set, and my "back-up dancers," makeup person, and hair stylist arrived at 4:00.  What that really means is Greg, Dan, Steve, Eric, Josh, Dianna, Agostino, Siga, and Aida had my back. Not to mention my friend Bridget (med spa Goddess) and my Mom and my son who also stopped in to provide moral support. I watched Eric create a backdrop for the cameras. He's really talented and just got to work, fussing over stuff in one direction or another, arranging weights in a pretty pile, and setting up lights to make sure Siga, Aida, and I looked our best. Steve was the director, but he knew when to let Eric take the lead and when he needed to make a suggestion himself. Josh made sure everything was executed to their specifications. I couldn't believe that everyone had researched fitness videos! Agostino looked at hair options, Dianna had looked at how to make sure the makeup survived through sweat (a BIG issue for the second video), and Steve had checked out visual framing and lighting.  Siga and Aida had practiced their routines and knew them cold.  We were glammed up and ready to shoot. The Pilates video went remarkably smoothly. I felt very in command of the cues and the pacing and I think it all flowed very nicely.  There were two exercises we needed to reshoot, one for floppy wrists that needed to be straight, and one due to a visible thong moment!  Both were quickly fixed and we were on to the second video. The HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) routine scared me. Maybe intimidated is a better word. I knew I'd be starting it straight after about two hours of exercise and, as it turned out, three hours of filming. I also had to film the most strenuous segments last. We had some blocking issues with the cameras because the space was just a bit tight and we were moving around more than during the Pilates shoot. Once we had the angles sorted out, the first two segments went well; I'm definitely pleased with how they came out. The second two segments are strong too. How do I know? Because I struggled.  And if I struggled shooting it, that means you're going to get a great workout when you buy a copy and follow along at home. The mountain climbers just kicked my butt and we wound up having to do them three times (Cut!).  The final segment was also going along well until I got a hip cramp on the second to last exercise. I had definitely hit the wall, maybe because it was after midnight and I had been exercising for over five hours at that point. Did I mention how hard it is to do a high-intensity exercise for 50 seconds and talk/cue while you're doing it?  Heaving a lung is not an understatement and I actually fought back nausea a couple of times in between segments. But, I knew this would be a challenge, and I was mentally ready for it.  The crew was great and so supportive as I worked through it.  At the end of it all, I high-fived Siga and Aida and then lay on the floor for a while to recover ... everyone buzzing congratulations around me.  I was really proud of myself. I've had self-doubts through this whole process: Could I get the choreography together? Would it be good enough? Would the set look right? It's been such a learning process as I figured out all the moving parts to making a video. If you ever try to make one yourself, definitely don't try to do it on the cheap. Do what I did and get an experienced film crew and support staff who truly know what they're doing; they will make you shine and fill the gaps of your knowledge. Then you can wind up like me: tearing up and feeling truly blessed for going through the experience. Finally, a big shout out to Greg, my husband, for being there every step of the way, for believing in this project, and for always telling me my butt looks great, no matter what size it is. Cheers, Lisa Read all the posts in my “Prepping For a Fitness DVD” journey.

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

11 Responses to Prepping for a Fitness DVD: It’s a Wrap!

  1. Michelle October 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Lisa, congrats on your achievement and for pushing through the pain (ouch!). Have been following your journey and wish you much success with your new videos. I will be buying them, they sound like just what I need :-)


  2. Lisa Johnson October 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Michelle, thank you so much, that’s amazing of you to say! :-) L–

  3. Linda Lopeke October 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    How cool is that? It isn’t every day we get the inside scoop on filming fitness videos! I’m so glad it was such a wonderful experience for you and trust you’ll have great success with it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Lisa Johnson October 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Linda thanks so much! :-) Really appreciate your kind words. L–

  5. Lauren October 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Congratulations Lisa! I’m so glad you had a great experience shooting the videos – I can’t wait to get a copy!

  6. Ginge October 24, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    That’s fabulous, Lisa. How exciting! I can’t wait to see them. You’re amazing :-)

  7. Bridget October 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    It was so cool to be there and watch this thing come together so seamlessly. I had goosebumps the whole day ;) Nicely done, chica. Nicely done. You inspire me! xo

  8. Kerri O October 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    yay! Congrats, you worked hard.

  9. @comebackmomma October 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Sounds like a great experience. Your hubby is so sweet.

  10. Timothy E October 30, 2012 at 6:14 am #

    Bravo, more folks need to keep exercising as we get older. And since we all can’t get to a spa or club in the modern busy times (job, kids, chores, what have you)- doing to a video at home is smart. Good luck!

  11. Lisa Johnson October 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Thanks so much Tim! :-)

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