If Columbia-based film producer Aaron Blumberg has his way, he's about to have his own television series on the Discovery Channel. Even better, the Not So Hostel may get to star in the first episode.
"A show with a twist, Hostel Hunters targets 18-to-25 year olds who want to affordably discover culture beyond their couches, but will appeal to anyone trying to see more of the world for less," reads the treatment that Blumberg and crew have pitched to the cable network, known for such programs as Cash Cab and Man vs. Wild.
Since receiving the pitch, Discovery has requested Blumberg send them a sizzle reel, a short, eye-catching blip of info that gives network executives an idea of what the show is all about, and that's exactly what he intends to shoot at Not So Hostel on July 24 and 25.
"The sizzle reel is not a full pilot. Rather, it is a three-to-five-minute clip of the show that will be the hook when pitching to get funding for a full pilot," says Blumberg. If Discovery likes the sizzle, they'll send Blumberg cash to film the full pilot, and, with any luck, a series will be born.
"The style of the show is going to combine the humor and facts found in Dirty Jobs with the relational interaction and stunning footage found in Top Gear," says Blumberg.
Vikki Matsis, Not So Hostel's manager, is thrilled with the idea. "We're going to throw a big party while they're here," she says. In fact, she welcomes the greater Charleston public to drop on by for the kegger in Not So's beloved backyard.
While on site, the crew will stay at the hostel and indulge in all the amenities it has to offer, like community kitchens, free wi-fi, and a blossoming mushroom garden. Plus, they'll be taking a jaunt over to Hominy Grill to film a food segment as well.
If the sizzle reel leaves the channel execs excited, Hostel Hunters may well become another PR boon to the ever-popular property. Last year, Not So Hostel was featured in a New York Times travel piece, and they were recently written up in Time Out New York. And, of course, the spot was also featured in our very own Charleston City Paper. Matsis, who's been with the hostel for three years, attributes all the positive press to the spot's holistic approach to hospitality.
"We don't cut corners. We buy the more expensive organic cleaning supplies. We put in a Mac mini computer in the lobby instead of an old PC," she says. Those are just a few of the small ways Not So Hostel makes a big impression, but it's the property's dedicated team that Matsis thinks really pays off. "We have one girl who takes guests out to show them around Charleston every night she works," she says. Matsis hopes Blumberg and his crew pick up on all the little extra efforts Not So Hostel puts forth to make their accommodations one of a kind.
"Not So Hostel has such a wonderful welcoming atmosphere, a prime location, and comfortable amenities at a reasonable rate. Not to feature them would be criminal," says Blumberg. "I love the feel of Not So. The artwork adorning the doors and the hall all give a feel of care for details and aesthetics."
For Blumberg, he's hoping those details on screen will pay dividends for his career. As for the Not So Hostel, it'll be just another solid piece of publicity to frame and show off in their eclectic lobby.