Netflix’s ‘Motel Makeover’ is a series that follows friends turned business partners and moteliers April Brown and Sarah Sklash as they break down all stereotypes of the hospitality industry by transforming a dingy inn into a bright shelter. They travel to Sauble Beach from Prince Edward County, Ontario, to expand their June Motel empire – a hip boutique getaway that is aesthetically pleasing, vivid, and cozy in every manner. In each episode, the duo proves their ambition by tackling the hurdles that come their way. So, let’s find out if everything we see on the show is authentic or scripted, shall we?
Is Motel Makeover Real or Scripted?
Produced by Canada’s Proper Television and financed by Boat Rocker and Netflix, ‘Motel Makeover’ has been touted as an unscripted show from the get-go. Falling under the reality, lifestyle, and home-improvement genres due to its feel-good and authentic nature, the show truly depicts how April and Sarah converted the 1973-built Knight Inn Motel into their picturesque June Motel on Lake Huron. Of course, considering how much time, money, and resources are utilized to ensure an enthralling production, a lot of editing and extra work is done, but that does not mean that the show is fake.
In other words, while none of the circumstances that April and Sarah face are scripted or pre-planned, the way we view them is due to the strategic placement of scenes in the post-production process to pull our attention and never let it slip. For instance, the numerous challenges the pair came across during the last few days of renovation before opening – with the pool, guest bathrooms, and restaurant – were not penned by anyone (and neither were its solutions).
However, to help us understand what was happening and keep us invested, the scenes were edited to overlap and include voiceovers from April and Sarah’s interviews. Another aspect is that cameras are always present whenever something goes awry. We assume that since the motel refurbishment took months, a fact that was candidly highlighted, a few crew members were at the scene at all times, even if they weren’t rolling.
Therefore, when something interesting occurred, they were probably notified in order to capture it in real-time, or they later asked the people involved to reenact conversations as naturally as possible. Having said that, the latter was presumably rare as we see how April, Sarah, and Project Manager Courtney filmed things themselves on their cellphone to document every conceivable feature. Moreover, the fact that we see the pitfalls and indecisions rather than just the swift transitions also indicates that ‘Motel Makeover’ is genuine.
“I felt a strong connection to April and Sarah’s story as women in their thirties who put their career ambitions first,” Jessica Nahmias, creator and co-executive producer of the show, said in a press release. “They go with their gut and sometimes make mistakes, but they embrace it all. It’s not something I often see reflected on TV, especially in the design space. What they’ve achieved is very inspiring.” In short, the detailed ups and downs of the duo “Junifying” the old property is as authentic as it can be.
Read More: Where is Motel Makeover Filmed?