Behind the Scenes with HGTV Hawaii Life: 7 Things You Might Not Know

Behind the Scenes with HGTV Hawaii Life: 7 Things You Might Not Know

  • Amber Lee
  • 02/17/21

Are you a fan of HGTV? What’s not to love? If you’re as passionate about homes, real estate, and interior design as I am, watching some guilt-free episodes of home and garden television is a great way to unwind and relax.

Watching is one thing, but many ask, what is it like to be on the set of HGTV’s Hawaii Life? With my second episode behind me, I can say that it’s exciting, fun, rewarding, and very tiring. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the individuals in the film business full time (it’s not easy) and grateful I had the opportunity to do what I absolutely love on television.

Watch my new episode of Hawaii Life – “Thawing out on Oahu” Season 14 streaming on

Here’s some insight and behind-the-scenes info of what it’s like to be on set for three days filming an episode of HGTV’s Hawaii Life.

1. On-set call times are very early — coffee is an absolute must!

Days are long and it’s definitely hard work! Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial. The locations are chosen by the producers and they are in some of the most beautiful areas on the island with beaches or lush greenery in the background. When arriving on set, you have to get “miked up” by the sound engineer which requires some tricky positioning under the shirt to hide the mike.

getting ready to film hawaii life tv show

2. You’re in charge to select your own wardrobe and need two outfits for every scene.

With Hawaii’s hot weather, it’s a bit challenging to find casual business clothes in a light fabric. To add, you’re not allowed to wear all white, black or any small patterns on TV. Thankfully, I had a wonderful friend and stylist of mine help with my wardrobe. A lot of planning goes into wardrobe selection for all the agents and clients before shooting the episode.

finding the perfect oahu home on hawaii life hgtv show

3. Working with the camera crew and director is really fun!

Producer Chris Heron and his crew are true professionals. They also joke around and make you feel more comfortable on set which really takes the edge off. Three cameras pointing at you can be a bit nerve-wracking! It’s nice to have a laid-back crew who are absolute pros at their jobs, but know how to have fun too!

4.You have to provide your own on-set hair and makeup person or do it yourself.

For me, doing it myself wasn’t an option. Sometimes you’re standing outside in the hot beating sun for a couple of hours and you feel like your makeup is melting off. Not a pleasant feeling when you are told that your episode will be seen on average by twenty-two million viewers. It was a blessing to have a professional with me to powder my nose and secure any out-of-control hair. Highly recommend!

5. The Hawaii Life clients are real home buyers, and I am actually their Realtor!

I referred my clients to the show and they got picked up by the producers out of multiple applicants. Coincidentally, on both of my episodes, the couples were moving from Colorado to Oahu! Kevin, Aly, and the kids are great clients and now friends, featured on Season 14. They first contacted me when they were relocating to Oahu for Kevin’s work. They looked at many homes, and I am so happy they are here living the Hawaii Life now.

helping clients find their oahu home on hgtv's hawaii life

6. The producers let me set up a sailing adventure for them.

Sailing is my passion, and I am so happy to be able to bring that to Hawaii Life and show the island of Oahu from the ocean. The camera crew got their sea legs pretty quickly! I was impressed! One of the best things about sailing is taking in the gorgeous views of the island from offshore. We had an amazing day cruising around on Waikiki Catamaran Charters with Captian Jonathan Boulware. I always try to get my clients out on the ocean to truly appreciate the beauty Oahu has to offer.

hgtv's hawaii life crew sailing on oahu

sailing in waikiki oahu

7. The show isn’t scripted, but we do repeat the same scene in order to get all the different camera angles.

First, we will shoot a scene close up, then the same scene again from a wide angle. This lets the professional camera crew get all the shots. The only script I have is to state the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, total square footage, and the price of the property. Everything else is really off the cusp!

behind the scenes filming hawaii life

Looking for a property on the beautiful Hawaiian islands?

I am an expert in the Oahu real estate market and specialize in relocation. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or need a professional real estate agent to guide you through the home buying process.



what it's like to be on hgtv's hawaii life

Thawing out on Oahu Season 14 HGTV's hawaii life

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