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Teenager captures fun side of Island life on hit internet video

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An image from the Bermuda video that has been watched more than 100,000 times since it was posted on the YouTube internet site last August.

A YouTube video, part teenage high jinks and part nostalgia, has garnered a sensational near-130,000 hits online with sunny scenes of the Island’s 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 UK’s Rugby School, finds his success a gratifying surprise.“Looking outside now, it’s 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. It’s 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 day’s 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. It’s exhilarating up there you get up top and you know it’s deep water and high tide. I don’t want to say it’s group pressure, but you have to overcome some fear. We just want to have a good time, but you don’t want to do stunts and risk it.“The cliff jumping video was shot all in the same day. We went that afternoon to Abbott’s 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 don’t know how, but it went viral. The ‘Bermuda Cliff Jumping’ one that’s one of the best in my view, and it took us ages to edit. My brother James, who’s 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.“We’d 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. It’s 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-old’s dream: a moped licence.Giles said the videos have proven a hit with people overseas, highlighting Bermuda’s best: the sun and the sea.“Friends who weren’t in our videos could really relate to it,” he said. “A lot of people my age feel that’s how people in their early teens have fun in Bermuda. And for people who watch them, it’s 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 it’s around 1,000. We don’t have too many views from Bermuda but lots from outside 30,000 from the US, from Bermuda, France, the UK. From Bermuda there’s about 2,000.”He called the clips “a memory we can look on, and something we can show to people and say, that’s what life was like there”.For now, however, Giles has other things on his mind.“We’ll be back in Bermuda on April break,” he said. “I’m not too sure what we’ll be doing. I know I’m going to be busy studying, but I’m 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

Giles Lorimer Turner
Brothers Giles, William and James Lorimer Turner immortalised their Bermuda stunts that have gone ?viral? and picked up praise from Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert.
The band of school friends behind ?Bermuda Cliff Jumping GoPro?: (From the left) James Grearson, James Lorimer Turner, Daniel Nash, Luke Dragonetti, David Musicant, William Lorimer Turner, Kilian Rentrup and Giles Lorimer Turner.