Teenager captures fun side of Island life on hit internet video
A YouTube video, part teenage high jinks and part nostalgia, has garnered a sensational near-130,000 hits online with sunny scenes of the Islands shores.
Encouraged by Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert to keep up the work, 15-year-old Giles Lorimer Turner, now in his GCSE year of boarding at the UKs Rugby School, finds his success a gratifying surprise.
Looking outside now, its cold and grey and dark, Giles told The Royal Gaztte.
Far from home, along with his brothers James and William, Giles finds the stunt videos a means of storing happy, sunnier memories.
The saga began with a high-tech birthday gift, when older brother James received a GoPro camera the waterproof, shockproof, near-indestructible cameras that have been used to film action inside the mouths of sharks and polar bears, and which have proven ideal for cliff-jumping.
For the brothers, inspiration started with what Giles calls the Burnt House Hill videos.
Homegrown summer videos depicting cliff-jumping made by Burnt House Hill Productions caught widespread attention last year after the group partnered with a US production company.
Recalled Giles: That inspired us to make our own videos. Its a credit to them. Also, we were all going away to different schools. We were going away, so we came to value life in Bermuda a lot more.
Originally together in Somersfield Academy with their band of friends, the brothers set out to compress a days madness into a four-minute clip.
We were at Admiralty House park and did a lot of cliff jumping there. Those jumps were planned very carefully. We made sure it was deep water at high tide. Its exhilarating up there you get up top and you know its deep water and high tide. I dont want to say its group pressure, but you have to overcome some fear. We just want to have a good time, but you dont want to do stunts and risk it.
The cliff jumping video was shot all in the same day. We went that afternoon to Abbotts Cliff. You get a really nice panoramic view there. We shot that around August 20, and I think we put it up around August 24.
Impressed with the high-definition images, the brothers forwarded their video to Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert.
We heard from him around October, Giles said, and he was very encouraging, told us to keep going with it. It was around then that it really started to take off.
I remember telling one of my friends we were ecstatic just to get 700 views. I dont know how, but it went viral. The Bermuda Cliff Jumping one thats one of the best in my view, and it took us ages to edit. My brother James, whos here at Rugby with me, does a lot of the editing. We can gather around one computer.
Proud Hamilton Parish parents Garth and Sarah Lorimer Turner were only too happy to facilitate more videos during the brothers regular trips home.
Wed just bring the cameras along, said Giles. I do the filming for a lot of it, and James edits. My younger brother William poses for the camera a lot. Its teamwork.
Giles said the astonishing take-off of their batch of videos means more filming this summer: more cliff diving, various beaches and other sides of the Island that can be filmed with the help of every 16-year-olds dream: a moped licence.
Giles said the videos have proven a hit with people overseas, highlighting Bermudas best: the sun and the sea.
Friends who werent in our videos could really relate to it, he said. A lot of people my age feel thats how people in their early teens have fun in Bermuda. And for people who watch them, its a chance to experience the extreme side of tourism in Bermuda.
He added: YouTube lets me do stats. At the take off around October, November, we were getting 30, 40 views a day. Then it became 700. It picked up to 2,000 views a day and right now its around 1,000. We dont have too many views from Bermuda but lots from outside 30,000 from the US, from Bermuda, France, the UK. From Bermuda theres about 2,000.
He called the clips a memory we can look on, and something we can show to people and say, thats what life was like there.
For now, however, Giles has other things on his mind.
Well be back in Bermuda on April break, he said. Im not too sure what well be doing. I know Im going to be busy studying, but Im sure my brother will give it a go.
Others featured in the videos are: William Lorimer Turner, 14, at Millfield School, UK; James Lorimer Turner, 16, Rugby; Luke Dragonetti, 15, Kents Hill School, US; Kilian Rentrup, 14, Lawrenceville School, US; James Grearson, 16, Upper Canada College; Daniel Nash, 15, Somersfield Academy, and David Musicant, 16, New Hampton School, US.
l To see some of the videos, read this story on www.royalgazette.com