TurnHere, the video insider’s guide on where to go and what to do, formally launched its new Web site, including new sections dedicated to the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York markets.

TurnHere also announced it has signed online travel service Expedia.com as an advertising sponsor for the launch. As part of the agreement, Expedia will be featured in various banner advertisements throughout the site pages, offering users an additional travel resource.

The site showcases hundreds of professionally shot short films that capture interesting neighborhoods, merchants and travel destinations throughout the United States and worldwide. Site visitors can search for films of interest by location or activity.

“TurnHere combines the emotion of film with the authentic experience of local neighborhoods,” said TurnHere founder and CEO Bradley J. Inman, who is also the publisher of Inman News. “We’re the place to go to find out where you want to go for dinner, on a weekend getaway or for your summer vacation.”

The new Web site includes:

  • City Index Pages – The Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco Bay Area markets are featured on the home page with links to hundreds of short films about destinations in each metropolitan area. Consumers can also search for films about unique neighborhoods across the United States and worldwide.

  • Activity Index Pages – Visitors can search for films under different theme categories, including restaurants, nightlife, tourist attractions, shopping destinations and others. They can also choose to click on “our picks,” which provides films selected by TurnHere editors, or search the “most watched” films on the site.

  • Film Previews – Short video clips will rotate on the home page, city index pages and the activity index pages, allowing visitors to preview a variety of films in a short period of time. Consumers can either click through to watch the entire short film or continue watching other previews.

  • Upload Films to an iPod – Users can save films and upload them to their video iPod to view films while they are on the go.

  • Film Player Pages – Site visitors receive a short description about the film and the filmmaker, as well as a scrolling directory of locations nearby.

  • Google Maps Integration: From the film player pages, users can see a map highlighting the featured location, and important landmarks and businesses mentioned in the film. Visitors can also click on the “pushpins” map feature to highlight contact information for these destinations.

TurnHere has a traditional media business model, providing editorial content to consumers at no charge and generating revenue through advertising, licensing relationships with distribution partners, and commercial film production services. Its advertising model includes national and regional site sponsorships, video advertising and a host of online advertising opportunities.

The company has content distribution agreements with MSN, Google, and Yahoo!.

In addition, local merchants can pay a sponsorship fee for TurnHere to produce a video about their business to be featured on the site. National brands can also take advantage of local video production capabilities by working with TurnHere and local retailers on unique sponsorship opportunities.

“We’ve created a great controlled online video environment for national advertisers,” Inman said. “Unlike other online video sites that feature amateur user-driven content, our films are professionally developed under the supervision of our staff producers. Our filmmakers bring their personal styles and authentic voices to the site and TurnHere provides the hip, contemporary context in which many national brands want to be seen.”

TurnHere is also a resource for the filmmakers who create and produce the video content featured on the site. An online community has developed among the filmmakers, who see it as a great resource for work and an additional outlet to showcase their talent. Many communicate through a blog that can be accessed from the TurnHere filmmaker Web site at http://www.turnhere.com/turnherepro/.

“TurnHere is different because it gives filmmakers a voice and the ability to tell a character-driven story with personality,” said Danielle Franco, a New York-based filmmaker who has several works featured on the site. “We are able to provide a very intimate view of a neighborhood or location that is narrated by a local resident with a unique perspective.”

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