“It is a pleasure finally find a blogger who is “giving back” with his job.
Forrest Mallard has been a real collaborator!”
Jago Sermasi – Co-Founder/Walk in Granada
By 2015, Forrest Mallard had already been traveling the world, non-stop, for over 10 years. The idea to become a travel blogger interested him, but stepping into an industry already dominated by ego-driven influencers was not something he wanted to do. It took Forrest another 7 years to create an online format that he was genuinely excited about.
By combining all of his favorite elements from The History Channel, Rick Steves’ Europe, NAS Daily, Atlas Obscura, and Anthony Bourdain, SizzleMap was born in late 2021.
After arriving in a new town, Forrest spends several days studying the region’s history and researching the monuments and attractions in the area. After selecting a few monuments, he then begins research in the history of each, individual attraction. After compiling all of the information he has learned, it is all boiled down into a jam-packed 1.5 minute script.
It takes about one week of research before the first video is completed. But once the first video is published, there will be an insane schedule of one video per day, published until that city is done.
SizzleMap launched in Budapest Hungary on 1 November 2021 under the title ‘Buda, Baths, and Beyond‘. After two weeks of research, Forrest somehow was able to produce 50, deeply researched, professionally edited, short films in 50 days.
The Budapest film series was screened by luxury tourists as well as backpackers who responded to the videos quite positively. However, nobody was expecting that the most enthusiastic audience for the project would come from Hungarians and long-term Expats. In the videos, they found new reasons to appreciate a city that they already loved.
The positive feedback and praise from Hungarians and life-long Budapestians was the best complement Forrest could have ever dreamed of, and it inspired him to take the show on the roads and create interactive maps in other cities.
The future of SizzleMap is very bright, as Lisa Russell (Emmy Award-winning Film Producer & UN Artist Ambassador) will be joining the effort to bring this interactive vlogging experience to cities, towns and villages around the world. By incorporating a youth, video production education program, SizzleMap will partner with local organizations to allow local youth to tell the world what they love the most about their own city.
So stay tuned and let’s see where SizzleMap takes us next.