Seymour shooting video to enter HGTV competition


Seymour is ready for its closeup.

The city plans to enter a nationwide contest through HGTV that would help revitalize the community with the biggest renovation project in the cable network’s history.

Becky Schepman, executive director of Seymour Main Street, is working with videographer James Young of LoveWell Productions in Columbus on ideas for an audition video for the Home Town Takeover.

If chosen, HGTV stars Ben and Erin Napier of the hit series “Home Town” will take over the city to shoot the six-episode series that will result in a makeover of the downtown and adjacent historic district. The episodes would air in 2021.

“For us, that works out really nice because we have a great historic district with homes,” Schepman said. “Lots of them are in great shape, but there are a few that have some opportunities.”

Schepman said she learned of the contest from parks and recreation employee Jeff Campbell, who sent her an email about it last week.

“He said, ‘Hey, check this out. I think you should do it,’ and I looked through it and was like, ‘You know what, I think that would be a great idea,’” she said.

At first, she was worried about the short timeline for entering the contest. Submissions are due by Feb. 7.

The only requirements to enter, however, are to have a population of less than 40,000 people, have homes with great architecture longing to be revealed and a main street that needs a facelift.

“It’s really vague,” she said. “There’s just not a lot of details, but maybe they wanted it that way to leave it wide open.”

Through photos and a video, Seymour Main Street has to show specific places that need renovated, such as a local business, a home or shared space, such as a park, give a tour around the city showing places that could use a makeover and the people who love Seymour.

To do that, Schepman is recruiting volunteers to take part in a video shoot from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday downtown in front of the John Mellencamp mural on the This Old Guitar Music Store building at 106 W. Second St.

“It’s really important, I think, to show the community supports the downtown, so that’s why I’m hoping community members will show up Tuesday for the video shoot,” she said. “I think the more people we can show that are excited, the better our chances of winning.”

The Junkyard BBQ food truck will be on site for people to purchase lunch, but volunteers do not have to stay the whole two hours.

Schepman said she believes because Seymour is “the small town” depicted in John Mellencamp’s hit song of the same name and is his hometown, it has an opportunity to stand out among other entries.

The video will be shot with Mellencamp’s “Small Town” song playing, she said.

“We really want to promote that we are America’s small town,” she said.

She said Mellencamp himself had even shared Seymour Main Street’s Facebook post about the contest and video.

Besides the Mellencamp mural, the video also will highlight some of the downtown’s other recent accomplishments, including the Seymour mural, the downtown benches and new trash cans, the “Small Town” musical notes crosswalks and progress on the new One Chamber Square.

“I think we’ll also do some shots that show our opportunities,” she said.

Those could include alleyways and downtown buildings that need attention.

If chosen, Schepman said HGTV will likely pick which projects are included in the makeover.

“We’re going to put our name in the hat for sure and see what happens,” she said.

North Vernon also is planning on entering the contest, Schepman said.

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What: Seymour Main Street’s Home Town Takeover video shoot

When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday; volunteers don’t have to stay the whole time

Where: Downtown Seymour in front of the John Mellencamp mural on the This Old Guitar Music Store building at 106 W. Second St.

Who: Volunteers of all ages are needed

Lunch will be available for purchase from the Junkyard BBQ food truck before, during and after the video shoot.


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