Launched in May of 2006 by a team of Bay Area real estate and internet entrepreneurs led by Brad Inman – of real estate news site InmanNews and Homegain – TurnHere is attempting to start a revolution in the travel industry. By organizing a network of creative local filmmakers, TurnHere has amassed a collection of semi-professional neighborhood videos. Videographers submit five-minute-or-less tours of tourist traps and tiny locales alike, while attempting to stick to the high standards required by the site’s moderators. The results are indie-flavored short films giving the scoop on neighborhoods around the world.
TurnHere videos run the gamut from high-energy nightlife excursions to peaceful walking tours of quaint villages. Produced, directed, and hosted by knowledgeable locals, the stories told of bargains and shopping meccas (not to mention ghosts), bring the viewers a true sense of the location. While films cover areas in multiple continents, three locations – San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles – contain the most material, with videos showcasing even single streets. Other shorts are searchable by location or by activities, such as “beaches” or “indulgences”, so you can find what you may or may not be looking for. From Hamlet’s castle in Elsinore, to a charming snake-ridden villa in Thailand, the site covers such a range of content because it gives its network of filmmakers a great deal of creative and editorial control. While the videographers wholly intend to sell you on their city, they do so with such imagination and skill, you sometimes forget you’re basically watching a commercial.
Finally! Someone has made a travel film about Wisconsin that isn’t about cheese.