Video: Jack Black Film’s ‘Bermuda’ Scene

May 15, 2011 | 81 Comments

Perhaps the least convincing special effect in a Hollywood blockbuster newly released on DVD was an attempt to recreate Bermuda in central California.

In a modern-day comedic retelling of the Jonathan Swift classic “Gulliver’s Travels”, actor Jack Black plays Lemuel Gulliver — a mailroom clerk at a New York newspaper who discovers Lilliput off the coast of Bermuda.

After Gulliver bluffs his way into an assignment in Bermuda to write about the Bermuda Triangle, he is hurtled to the undiscovered land  where the inhabitants are only six-inches tall. Although the film is partially set here, no location footage was shot in Bermuda — other locales closer to Hollywood were used as stand-ins for the island.

The film shows Jack Black’s Gulliver arriving at the “Bermuda” airport complete with sign saying “LF Wade International Airport”, coastal roads and a marina. But the bulk of the “Bermuda” footage was shot thousands of miles away at the Four Points hotel and sailing development on California’s Ventura Harbour.

Gullivers Travels fake bermuda scene

The producers’ failure to hire actors sporting Bermudian accents for the scenes supposedly set on the island has also drawn criticism for being inauthentic.

“That was so not a Bermudian accent,” read one comment in a feedback section for the film’s trailer at the “Gulliver’s Travel” official website. “I’m so tired of the generic Caribbean accent – especially because Bermuda is not in the Caribbean!”

“Gulliver’s Travels” was released theatrically by 20th Century Fox in December, 2010. The film — which received withering reviews and generated Lilliputian box office revenues– co-stars Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet and Billy Connolly. It was directed by Rob Letterman whose credits include the computer-animated hits “Shark Tale” and “Monsters Versus Aliens.”

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  1. Bermy 1 says:

    why are Bermudians always portrayed as some WEST INDIAN .....we dont really talk like that do we ??

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    • mixitup says:

      Maybe because half the population is of West Indian ancestory?? like it or not?

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      • Mel says:

        what?! Americans' ancestry is largely british - we don't hear them portrayed with a british accent!

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      • Rockfish says:

        I beg to differ about helf of the population's ancestory - half of it is English more so than West Indian - the English/Spanish were first - then the Africans enroute to the West Indies/Americas - followed by the Indentured Servants (West Indian's and Native Americans) - then the West Indians once we were setteled and began farming. Learn your history..

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        • yush says:

          @ rockfish if bermuda is 60/40 black/white......of that 40% its a mix of english,canadian and americans etc. the OTHER 60% majority are black...that population can trace some part of their roots to the WEST INDIES !

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          • Rockfish says:

            no dude - Africa - the term West Indian was used to catogorize Indians who came from the Caribbean - and then adapted by other Caribbean Nations which were then colletively referred to as the West Indies. Majority of the 'black' Bermudains have African and Indian heritage - not all of that population can trace their roots to the WEST INDIES!!!
            If you make that statement - the black population that can trace their roots to America - are they in the 40% bracket?

            And if you're trying to use St. Kitts as a part of the West Indies - at that time - they were a part of Bermuda - so it dosen't count - slaves with Bermudian owners were sent there to work - back when Bermuda was a player in the sugar cane industry - so learn your history.

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            • Scott says:

              what nonsense are you speaking?

              I'm pretty sure the West Indies is called that not because of Indians from the Caribbean, but because the old explorers headed West, trying to find a new trade route to India, and came across those islands instead... so they called them the West Indies because of a geographical mistake....not because of the natives were "Indians"...

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  2. Beltere Gardner says:

    I agree, I am sick and tired of people portraying us like that. You think that they would at least googled us to a least know what we looked like. I guess they were to cheap to hop on a plane and have to pay to use our image. Come on that airport and car! Who's going to fit in car? A bunch of circus clowns.

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  3. Rich says:

    Goodness gracious, who cares if the 30 second scene is inauthentic. If I were financing this movie, I certainly wouldn't expect to fly a cast and crew to Bermuda for thousands of dollars when I can do it on the cheap a stone's throw away from a Hollywood studio.

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    • Nicole says:

      You are missing the point retard. We can get over the fake airport scene but the accent is totally off and ridiculous. They could have did everything the same but even cast an American and it would have been more believable. No Bermudian sounds like a Trinidadian or a Jamaican. They always portray us as something stereotypical. It would have took how long for them to find 1 person who's been to Bermuda that could have told them the accent is way off-but that didn't gel with their stereotype of an islander. It's insulting and totally stupid but that's Americans for you.

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      • Doug says:

        "You are missing the point retard."

        "It’s insulting and totally stupid but that’s Americans for you."

        2 insults in one post... great way to stand up for Bermuda Nicole

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        • Think about it says:

          Doug you dummy, are you really missing the point? It's more insulting for Bermudians to be portrayed in such a way that would have people who have seen the movie to think that we are just Jamaica but smaller. I recently saw the movie on a flight coming back and I was outraged at how not ONE thing in the scene was authentic to Bermuda. For sh**s sake they had dirt roads and chickens running around and the guy driving had the thickest (although fake) Jamaican accent.

          The movie was a flop anyway, so I'm willing to bet not many people saw it (thankfully)

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      • Scott says:

        its a 30 second scene... do you really think a multi-million dollar project gives a crap about the accent of a 21mile island for a 30 second scene?

        We are known to the world as a Caribbean island and as such get dropped into their "generic accent" group..

        yes our accent sounds different then portrayed, but my goodness, its 30 seconds.. i can give you tons of Bermudians that DONT sound like what you would call a BDA accent either... this is such a stupid thing to be whining about. laugh it off, call them ignorant of true bermuda accent, and be done iwth it.

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  4. White Christ aka White Jesus says:

    Boy did I DIE of laughter after watching this part of that movie. Strangely I was hugely insulted at the same time. Did they not do ANY research on Bermuda at ALL? gosh.

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  5. Terry says:

    I haven't watched it nor intend to do so. Who was the director....Ewart Brown.....

    All that money spent on trips to India and this is what he comes up with? Guess he got payed to play.......

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  6. Warner (Brother) says:

    Who the hell frickin cares what accent they used. They mention Bermuda - and its free advertising. Get over your spoiled Bermudian selves and your accent too. The rest of the world doesn't care.

    Be glad they used the word Bermuda - be so glad. You don't know how fricking lucky you are and all you can do is complain that the accent wasn't genuine. Friggin typical spoiled Bermudians. Same happened over 'Bermuda Grace' a few years back.

    You people are an embarrassment.

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    • Truth says:

      All free advertising isn't necessarily good advertising. Did you see it at all? I wasn't impressed either and I am not one who generally cares about this sort of thing. A little research would have been cheap as well. The just didn't care.....which is perceived as disrespect. An understandable position.

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    • T Walker says:

      I concur!

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    • Shadashay says:

      If they used authentic Bermuda accents then everyone would think it's a movie about individuals with special needs.

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      • #ThatIsAll says:

        LMAO!!!! @Shadashay I was thinking the SAME THING!!! LOL anywhoo strange I actually just watched this movie last night (apple TV <-Loves it) My BF and I were like WTH is up with the accent.. but I mean think about it we have a local celb like Collie Budz (realisticly he is likely one of the most popular Bermudians in the entertainment industry) out there taking with a fake Jamaican accent.. what do you expect.

        Anyway thats the only part of the movie with any interaction with a "Bermudian" lol They were gonna have him catch the bus... but he had his suitcase

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      • Hahah! says:

        Love it! Also, there are so many Jamaicans here, maybe the point was that the guy was truly a Jamaican in Bermuda. Haha!

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      • One LOve says:

        Wow, that's rich. I always find it interesting that we run away from our heritage and look to poke fun at things that make us Bermudian.Our accents are totally influenced by our ancestors.We are influenced by various British and West Indian dialects. As a child I often encountered Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Jamaican and West Indian workers on island and just couldn't understand a word that flowed from their mouths. And interestingly enough, the same was true of many English that didn't happen to be raised in London or attend a finishing school. I lived in the US for 20 years and lived in seven different states and again was fascinated with how those on the West Coast (mostly Californians) boasted of not having an accent and those in the South ran from theirs as did those from New Jersey and the five boroughs of New York. No matter where you hail from, England, the US,Australia, South Africa, Canada etc etc, there are segments of your population that speak "funny", and so what. I'm more concerned with what is said, than how it is pronounced.

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    • Mel says:

      And you're ignorant! Who wants free advertising that is totally incorrect?

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    • Think about it says:

      How would you feel if every movie that took place in america had the actors speaking in thick southern (redneck) accents? Bermudians are an embarrassment? Are you serious? Do you not realise that EVERY country in the world hates you and thinks that you have too much and are all spoiled? That's funny, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is.

      I just came back from Europe and everyone seemed to not like us because they thought we were American. It wasn't until we told them that we weren't that they started being nice to us.

      I can't wait for China to cash in that money they loaned you, you'll all be speaking cantonese in the near future Lol.

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      • One LOve says:

        Who cares--get embarassed because we are rich as we are and so many of our people live under the poverty line. Now that's a reason for concern.

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    • Just Sayin says:

      @ Warner (Brother)

      I really think your missing the point. It has nothing to do with being spoiled. We "Bermudians" are a unique people... Yes Jamaica is popular, but they do not represent the other island. If you went to see a movie made in the UK that took place in the US and every character had a southern drawl i pretty sure you would find it off... or better yet picture the latest Batman movie and every character sounded like they were from New England. Yes it was only a 30 second clip, but your telling me a multi-million dollar production couldn't even take 10 seconds to YouTube the place that they're portraying... not only is that lazy, but it's downright insulting. The department of Tourism should try that one... take a clip from a "Come To Jamaica" commercial pass it off as Bermuda and follow it up with a "it was only 30 seconds". But the reality of it all is that the studios are telling us that they really don't care who we are or where we come from and that's the real insult!!!

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  7. mixitup says:

    Bermudians need to get over this "Im not West Indian" hell your not English either. Majority of the populace can trace their heritage to the Caribbean, not to Bermuda. I am grateful for the free publicity, who the hell cares if the accent is not authentic!

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    • Nicole says:

      Yeah because I'm sure if every non American country made a movie about let's say Los Angeles and the person had Texas accent they would be hugely offended. Or if it was New York and they had a down south accent. It's insulting. They do it all the time, more like typical arrogant Americans not giving a damn. They of all people get hugely offended over stuff like this so Bermudians have a right to be annoyed. Even the cheap tacky fake airport they "recreated" is an insult.

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      • Scott says:

        ...no...they wouldnt care..

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        • Alt says:

          I'm sorry; I'm a proud Bermudian, born and raised. I must be the only one, but I don't get how it's insulting...is it really that SERIOUS? It's a fictional, fairytale movie for crying out loud, get over it!

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    • Truth says:

      Did you see it? Perhaps you wouldn't be so "grateful" if you saw it.

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    • ?? says:

      how would you feel if every black person in every movie was portrayed with an african accent since most black people trace their heritage to africa?

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      • It's a movie says:

        Would it really matter whether they spoke with an african accent or not? Why are people so insulted and embarassed over the stupidest things? We're all one, no matter what accent, what language, nationality or color. How is it offensive the way someone talks or what accent they have? We have many west indians living in Bermuda, the character could have been portraying one of them! Its this kind of sad small mindset that causes so much of the hatred in the world. Wow......

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    • One LOve says:

      Now that's a person that i can listen to!

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  8. Warner (Brother) says:

    Stupid spoiled Bermudians think they can dictate how someone speaks in an effing movie????? Movies aren't real!!!!! How self centred can you get. This is free advertising you idiots.

    Typical Bermudians - they think they are special.

    They are special alright - like the kids at St Brendans.

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    • Truth says:

      @ Warner- Your tantrum is funny. To be clear, whether or not they nailed the accent is irrelevant. The marketing is not a good look for Bermuda, a fact that is clearly lost on you. It is disrespectful, to any destination, to purport to the world that you shot a film there (when you didn't) and then don't have the courtesy or decency to do ANY research on the place, which is the least they could have done. That is my issue with this. You keep saying that it is free Marketing but as I stated earlier, free Marketing is not always good marketing.

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      • Warner (Brother) says:

        Truth, you are obviously stuck in the 'old Bermuda' which was so successful that we could turn people away - there are many people like you who still haven't figured it out. Right now Bermuda needs all the free advertising it can get. This might not be perfect - but at least it is free advertising. As far as my 'tantrum' goes? I guess the 'truth' hurts. The 'truth' is what I was telling.

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  9. Mark says:

    They did some research because they knew the name of our airport!
    As far as the accent, I hear a lot of bermudians trying to put on Jamaican accents.
    How can we expect someone from LA to know who we are when we don't even know the answer ourselves?

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  10. Warner (Brother) says:

    In Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke did the worst cockney accent in recorded history. Yet Billions of people love the movie and I've never ever heard of anyone being 'insulted' by by the awful accent. It would take somebody completely self absorbed to do such a thing. Someone incredibly myopic and self serving. Someone who thinks they are 'spashul' or entitled in some way - in another world perhaps. OMG I've just described a Bermudian.

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    • Face the Nation says:

      Did you get your PRC or did you come to late ?

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      • Warner (Brother) says:

        Ha! Funny. I'm Bermudian actually. And yes, some Bermudians need to get over themselves and be thankful for free publicity.

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        • reality check says:

          it's not even about the free publicity. We get enough of that with the Triangle and subtle references to cruising or vacationing here. It's definitely not us needing to "get over" ourselves. Sure there are people who do rubbish accents in every movie but at then end of the day if you're going to portray us wrong at least do it in a somewhat entertaining movie. That movie was a complete waste of film and I seriously wish I could get those minutes of my life back.

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        • Think about it says:

          If you're Bermudian then you're an idiot for everything that you're saying. It doesn't matter if no one liked Dick Van Dyke's accent. At least he tried to do what the accent sounded like. These idiots were speaking in a Jamaican accent which sounds NOTHING like a Bermudian accent.

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          • Scott says:

            yeah but you have bermudians trying to sound jamaican all the time..

            its 30 seconds of a movie thats not even about bermuda!!! how is this an issue?

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            • Think about it says:

              What are you talking about?! The main theme is that it takes place off the cost of Bermuda! It doesn't matter if it was 30 seconds or 10 seconds, the fact is, if anyone did this to America, they would be up in arms about it. I think that it was extremely ignorant on the films part for not at least googling Bermuda, it would have taken 2 seconds.

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              • Scott says:

                lol we need to look at this realistically though.

                firstly i dont think americans would really care if their country was represented any accent, because they are so diverse, any accent could work....

                also almost everyone it the world knows where america is, and what american sounds like (for whichever region). You dont really need to do any research to know these things... so its not like anything would rude be "done" to america.. people just know..

                we are a tiny spec in the ocean.. probably 99% of the world havent even heard of us.. and i would say the majority of this movies audience only know the name because of the triangle, not because of our island...

                also, what exactly would googling help? they know we are here.. the story is about some islands in the bermuda triangle... not about geographical accuracy...and googling wouldnt do anything about an incorrect accent.

                as has also been mentioned, The Deep, our most famous and full length film had zero bermudian accents in it... no one who watches the movie will care what they sound like...and to be honest the creators care more about the audience then the ego's of some tiny island thta the movie isnt even about..

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                • Think about it says:

                  You're STILL missing the point. Because we are pretty much unkown to the rest of the world, it is more damaging when we are misrepresented in such a manner. I don't want the rest of the world thinking that we are some backwoods, live in shacks chicken farmers.

                  Also, I don't care that there wasn't a Bermudian accent in the movie, I care that the accent they used was far from how we actually sound. I would have been happier if they made us sounds American or even British.

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                  • It's a movie says:

                    Wow, what an ignorant statement truth. Funny that you call West Indians "backwoods, live in shacks chicken farmers", when I know several that are probably living better than you and I are right now - in 'rich' old Bermuda! It's people like you that give all Bermudians a bad name, and I'm sick of it. You need a reality check. If you haven't already, go and watch the documentary 'Poverty in Paradise'. You can stop fronting for yourself now, because you sound real dumb.

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                    • It's a movie says:

                      Sorry, statement was directed @Think about it

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                    • Doug says:

                      It's a Movie - where can I find the movie you referenced? I've seen the trailer and would like to see the rest of it

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  11. Rockfish says:

    Where they even given permission to portray our Island like that - we can tell that's that was not our coast line and frankly - the Island or peninsula they featured don't have jack on Bermy's cost line. Such an injustice - to portray Bda like that - could we file a writ against the producers??? We could use the money to help boost our economy...

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    • Warner (Brother) says:

      The fact that you think someone should have to ask before mentioning Bermuda shows how self absorbed you and many Bermudians are. Once again, you, we, all of us should be glad Bermuda is featured - in these difficult economic times. We need all the free advertising we can get.

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  12. reality check says:

    As soon as I screened this movie i was disgusted once I saw this. Bermuda DOES NOT look like that and we DO NOT all drive in buggies shouting at chickens and we ARE NOT Americans with FAKE Jamaican accents! This is one movie that WILL NOT be introduced in the library that I work at. This is by far the worst thing that could have been done to portray our island. Shame on that idiot of a director.

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    • Warner (Brother) says:

      Although we disagree on the free publicity thing, I thank you for saving me the time I would've wasted watching it. But surely, it can't be worse than the Ivory Ape? OMG don't tell me it is worse pleeease!

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      • reality check says:

        well i haven't seen ivory ape so i can't really comment on that one. but you're welcome for the save.

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        • Warner (Brother) says:

          The Ivory Ape was truly one of the worst movies ever made and unfortunately it was made in Bermuda. The best part was when Charles Jeffers (who played the part of a warrior or tribesman of sorts) was shot. Everyone in the movie theatre laughed.

          As for the person who said I'm an idiot for all I've said. You are a typical myopic Bermudian - so narrow minded you give the rest of us a bad name. No wonder foreigners think we are dumb with people like you around.

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  13. D says:

    I agree this is absurd! I find it shocking that Bernews is just reporting this, this article is extremely behind; I have been stating this misrepresentation of Bermudian culture for about six or seven months now. It is absurd to identify Bermudians as a Caribbean country that has a Caribbean tongue; we are geographically located in the Atlantic ocean. I know I do not sound like a Jamaican, if anything I can understand us being identified as British by foreigners, because of our dialect. It is unfortunate that the United states has this fallacy of categorizing all island people as the same. This misconception is prevalent in the United States through their melting pot ideology but it will not be easily swayed.

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    • Prospero says:

      Just what do you find "shocking", D? The film has only just come out on DVD and a lot of people are seeing it now for the first time. So it's certainly a subject worth re-visiting. Check the archives. Think you'll find Bernews first reported on the Jack Black "Gulliver's Travels" movie -- and its dubious Bermuda content --late last year before it was released at cinemas over the Christmas holidays.

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  14. YES MATE! says:

    The Deep was on TV a couple nights ago. So far it is the only hit film made in Bermuda and only the shark scenes were filmed off island. Do you know how many Bermudian accents are in this movie? Just one by Teddy Tucker for about ten seconds.
    I haven't seen Gulliver's Travels but I am sure they didn't claim it was filmed on location in Bermuda. It's Hollywood fiction people! Find something important to get upset about.

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    • Think about it says:

      Are you serious? It doesn't matter if they claimed it was shot in Bermuda. They had a scene with the "Bermuda airport" in it and he was supposedly leaving Bermuda's shores by boat. How does that not lead people to think that is what Bermuda looks and sounds like. It wouldn't have been as bad if they left out the parts with the chickens (which was ridiculous)

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      • Scott says:

        LOL you tellin me you've never had to slow down for chickens before? those things are everywhere..

        at the end of the day, in a 90min movie, 30secs of video is not going ot be remembered. it could have been taken straight from the ports of nova scotia and people still wouldnt have remembered it exactly... i can guarantee people dont go to movies hoping there will be a clip somehwere that can help them plan their next vacation..

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        • Think about it says:

          Be for real. You know how people will watch a movie and someone will say for example, "My number is 555-5555," and people actually call it? The same thing happens when they see something like this. It doesn't matter how long the clip is, people will still see it and think that Bermuda is just a little shanty town with chickens everywhere and thick Jamaican accents.

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          • Scott says:

            yeah and there are also instructions on shampoo bottles that you should put it in your hair and not drink it...

            some people are just ignorant/stupid and have no common sense.

            its a movie about islands off bermuda in the triangle, has images of huge cliffs on the trailer... and aside from the aerial shots, the two other scenes could easily be found in bermuda...

            there was no "shanty town" shown on the clip we saw.. it was overhead of clear water, and a boat yard iwht a dock.. which we do have.... we do have chickens and we do have people with jamaican accents...

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    • Prospero says:

      Actually, "The Deep's" shark sequence was shot off Australia. And most of the footage of the supposed Bermuda shipwreck was filmed in the British Virgin Islands ... a steamer called "The Rhone" which went down in 1867 stood in for the fictional "Goliath". But the bulk of the movie was indeed shot on location in Bermuda. And despite the presence of hundreds of Bermudian extras in the movie, only a handful of authentic accents made it into the finished film: Mr. Tucker's, as you've mentioned. And C.V. (Jim) Woolridge's: the "Voice of Summer" can be heard providing commentary during a sequence which takes place at the 1976 Cup Match game ... I think Bunkers Bean's voice can also be heard during the Cup Match scenes but I'm relying on my frequently unreliable memory and stand to be corrected.

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  15. Warner (Brother) says:

    Yes mate you are so correct. We should be worrying about how to get more tourists here - any free publicity is better than none. How about getting upset with that pathetic new song 'Proud to Be A Bermudian'. Several people in the song deliberately speak with a Jamaican type accent. Not an single um um to be heard - its totally disgusting.

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  16. 5boro says:

    For what it's worth, them chickens did look authentic.

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  17. Away says:

    Yeah this kind of got me a tad irritated, but what really gets me hot is that they mentioned the Bermuda Triangle, which means now MORE Americans out here are going to be asking me about it now. I am SOOO tired about being asked about the Bermuda Triangle...

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    • Arthur - Atlanta says:

      I also get asked a lot about the Bermuda Triangle here in Atlanta but I am of the opposite opinion that it is an untapped gold mine for tourism.Whenever I am asked I use that topic to steer them towards visiting the island.
      The paranormal or activity by extraterrestrial beings are also very, very big tourism draws in parts of the USA and the world (Stonehenge for one) and those in the know make millions of dollars from tourism based products, tours and more.
      People love the mysteries and after 50+ years, people are still fascinated about The Bermuda Triangle so why not captivate on it. We have almost nothing else to drawn them here so what do you have to lose!

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  18. CeCe says:

    @Warner(Brother)
    I love the Proud to Be Bermudian song. I am so surprised that you don't like it. It has such a positive message. I don't recall anyone speaking with a Jamaican accent. Unless you are referring to the rap by Ronnie Lopez. He sounds Bermudian to me. The video is gorgeous. The only flaw is the footage of the of the kites. It would have been better to have Bermudian kites. Now that you've mentioned the song I can't seem to stop singing it:-) Have a great day, mate!

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  19. P says:

    What is wrong with people speaking their minds about the way their country and culture are being portrayed on the world stage. It is of great importance and should be matter of public discussion because it highlights a multitude of issues. How do we view ourselves as Bermudians? How would we like ourselves and our country to be viewed by others etc. There would be a problem if not a word was voiced. I would ask that those that are not Bermudians do not harass Bermudians for speaking up for their country and seeking to answers to questions about their national identity.

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    • Scott says:

      what do you say to bermudians who are saying this shouldnt be a big deal? are they allowed to voice their opinions too? or do they just not have enough pride in their country?

      not all those who arent fussed about this are expats..

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      • P says:

        Of course everyone should be equally allowed to voice their opinions..thats why comment sections exist in the first place. I am all for freedom of speech. I was just making a statement concerning those who are concerned about the way that Bermuda is represented, specifically represented by others. All opinions are valid because they are representative of individual viewpoints. I was just expressing my own.

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  20. P says:

    I understand the fact that Hollywood often gets it wrong. And shoots in the location they desire, showcase the culture,landscape and people in the way that they deem most affordable, marketable and adaptable to their particular ideology. However it is important for individuals to express their displeasure if they feel that it depicts their home in an undesirable way. I think it is important that such a dialogue take place and appreciate the range of comments showcased here.

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  21. Yep! says:

    For the record: I think Bermudians are doing a good enough job at shaming our country and portraying it in a negative light to the rest of the world (gun violence, government, poverty, bad customer service). This little scene in a fictional movie ain't got nothin on us!!!!!!

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    • Bob says:

      Yep--that's sounds like just about every country known to man. US, Canada, England etc etc

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  22. Citizen Banned says:

    If it portrays us so badly, we can only hope the movie tanks - and it sounds as if it has.

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