HGTV is one of the most recognized networks in cable. When you see this network’s name you instantly know what the program and the production style will look like; which is exactly why Cineflix and HGTV Canada placed director Spencer Ramsay in charge of creating something completely different for the production Home Factory. Placing their trust in this acclaimed director to deliver a new aesthetic and approach for this venture, the success of the show vetted their choice. Fourteen action packed episodes display workers transforming raw materials into some of the most well-known everyday products we are all familiar with. If you think the title and premise don’t sound exciting, you’d be mistaken to label the content as such. Ramsay manifest a show that transforms what might seem mundane into verifiable “wow” moments. It says as much about the man behind the camera as it does the men and women who are part of creating many of the products that you have known your entire life. There’s always a story in creation and Spencer Ramsay places it front and center.
While it’s most common for a director to work with a square jawed leading man or a mesmerizing starlet, Ramsay proudly declares that his work on Home Factory was as equally engaging if not more so. While filming a leaf blower segment at a factory in Illinois, he asked a shy female worker to point the nozzle at her own hair due to the absence of leaves to illustrate the machines power and…presto, instant Beyoncé! When filming in North Carolina at Lenox, makers of fine bone china in America since 1889, the interview began with history that included White House dinnerware for President Woodrow Wilson and culminated in a laughter filled impromptu mock tea party. Spanning the emotional gamut, Home Factory spoke with Sam of the Homer Laughlin China Company in Newll, West Virginia. A second generation glazer who was trained by his own father and uncle at the plant, Sam fought back tears as he related what the ceramic industry and company’s history meant to him and his family. The faces that become attached to products that we may not think about give a depth and gravitas to the appreciation of those behind creating them. In a manner of speaking, Spencer and his crew brought these products to life with Home Factory.
The animation of non-living things also transferred to the very buildings themselves. This was essential to the vision Ramsay had for the show. He communicates, “What you see on the outside is often dichotomous to what is found inside. Factories are incredibly dynamic environments thanks to cutting edge technology and the transformation of raw material to finished product. This interior world is one of red hot molten glass, enormous precision laser cutters, massive cast iron forges, plastic injection machines, and dancing robots. They can offer up sensory memory, such as the vibrant colors and nostalgic smell of the Crayola Crayon factory in Easton, Pennsylvania which instantly transports you back to childhood.”
Listening to Spencer speak in impassioned tones about the products, people, and locations featured in Home Factory makes it obvious as to why Cineflix and HGTV Canada selected him to direct the series. Success can lead to stagnation, which eventually leads to irrelevance. HGTV Canada is forward minded enough to see that maintaining their preeminence with the public necessitates experimentation. Most HGTV shows involve home interior makeovers; taking tired, shabby rooms and transforming them into gorgeous spaces with harmonious color palettes and perfect soft lighting. With Home Factory the transformation story starts with raw materials and ends with completed household items. A professional with an artistic mindset like that of Spencer Ramsay is adept at transferring his passion through the medium of television. By offering a new perspective to a mammoth network like HGTV, Ramsay helps them to see the next iteration of their brand.