HTDF swimming with dolphins script/video segment

Here’s one of the many scripts I put together for the “how to DO florida” television series.  This segment is from Season 3.
If you missed the broadcast, click the picture below to view the segment in its entirety or go to





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[:04]  20:15 – 20:19Chad kiss dolphin, then speaks on camera  CHAD:  Today I’m going to show you how to swim with dolphins
[:25]  B-ROLL – BEAUTY SHOTS OF DOLPHINS IN OCEAN AND INTERCOASTAL VO: Dolphins have always been synonymous with Florida.  Gaze long enough at the ocean, gulf, intercoastal or even some rivers and bays here in Florida, and you’ll be sure to find dolphins playing in the background. So Chase and I decided to set out on a dolphin adventure to get up close and personal and to learn more about these fascinating mammals.
[:05] TC?  Chad next to welcome sign CHAD:  Today we’re in Marineland, population 17 …mostly dolphins.
[:09]  GRAPHICS – MAP VO:  About an hour south of Jacksonville, just below St. Augustine and right on A1A is Marineland, home to one of Florida’s very first attractions.
[:20]  B-ROLL – VO:  The story of Marineland is rich in Florida history.
[:15]B-ROLL – OLD PHOTOS FROM MARINELAND BOOK, MARINE STUDIOS SIGN AND FILM CREW (p. 33, 34, 36) COLOR SHOT OF A GUEST IN WATER WITH DOLPHINS, PAINTING WITH DOLPHINS AND/OR FEEDING DOLPHINS  VO:  Marineland opened in 1938 as Marine Studios, an underwater headquarters for Hollywood, creating spectacular underwater footage for major motion pictures and newsreels.  People travelled from all over the world to get a firsthand look at marine life aboveground and underwater.  It was Florida’s first theme park.  Today, guests get the opportunity for a more interactive experience. 
[:16]  34:28 – 34:44Kurt Allen with TITLE GRAPHICS [:18]  39:04 – 39:22Kurt and ChadB-ROLL – LLOYD BRIDGES, SEAHUNT, CREATURE OF THE BLACK LAGOON, REVENGE OF CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON AND BENJI SCUBA DIVING KURT:  Our founders had a vision to create Marine Studios to show creatures from the ocean in their natural environment, so they wanted to build a facility where they could actually do that.  And, our founders were involved in films such as Gone with the Wind and King Kong, some of the big ones.


CHAD:  Some of the classic movies that have been shot here.

KURT:  Lloyd Bridges was a regular here doing some scenes from Seahunt, we had Creature of the Black Lagoon, revenge of Creature from the Black Lagoon, even Benji learned how to scuba dive and he was the first dog to ever scuba dive.

CHAD:  Yeah, that’s pretty cool.

[:18]  39:29 – 39:50Kurt and ChadB-ROLL – TRAINERS WITH DOLPHINS[:07]  40:15 – 40:22Kurt and Chad CHAD:  Somebody wants to come out here and do this, what are some things they need to know?KURT:  We have a wide variety of programs at different price points, so if you’re interested in touching and feeding dolphins and a very simple program we can do that, all the way up to the in-water programs, the immerging programs, and if you’re really thinking about the industry as a whole, we have a trainer for a day where you can actually spend the whole day with the trainers.


KURT:  But, if you’re not coming in to do a program, you can come in as a general admission guest and enjoy just watching what we do on a day-to-day basic in our office.

[:05]  B-ROLL OF CHAD AND KURT WALKING AROUND FACILITY  VO:  After Kurt gave me a quick tour of the facility, it was time for my son and I to suit up and get wet!

[music up]


[quick montage of facility and dolphins]

[:10]B-ROLL SHOTS OF AQE VO:  Today we get to meet with Aqe.  Aqe is one of many of the dolphins that have been a part of the Marineland family for generations.
[:03]  04:10 – 04:13Chad, Chase and Kat go into pool KAT:  Alright!  Let’s go meet Aqe!CHASE:  Yay!
[:13]  04:28 – 04:41They wave, Aqe waves back  KAT:  Hi, Aqe!  Good to see ya!CHAD:  Hey, buddy.KAT:  Look at him wave right back.  Good job.  I think we gotta give him a rub.CHAD:  So we get to feel him.KAT:  Yep.
[:03]  05:11 – 05:14[:09]  05:19 – 05:28Chad talking on camera while petting dolphin CHAD:  It’s amazing, the feel of the dolphin.  The texturing of the skin.


Smooth, but a little texture to it.  But, you can see why they go in the water so fast.  Their texture is absolutely silky smooth.

[:05]  05:35 – 05:40[:14]  05:44 – 05:58[:08]  06:11 – 06:19 KAT: I’m gonna signal to ask for his tail.  Sure, here’s my tail.


KAT:  These are called the flukes.

The flukes are made out of cartilage, what your nose and ears are made out of.  Isn’t that cool?  All the power comes from this part of the dolphin here.


KAT:  You wanna see what he can do with this tail?  I’m going to teach your very first dolphin-training signal, alright?

[:05]  06:38 – 0:43Kat instructs to Chase[:30]  06:55 – 07:25They watch watch Aqe jump around the pool KAT:  You’re gonna raise your right hand up to your forehead, and on the count of three you’re going to shoot it up to the sky.


KAT:  Ok, are you ready, Chase?  Here we go…1, 2, 3 — throw your hand up there!

[Aqe jumps six times around pool]

CHAD:  That’s fantastic!

KAT:  Good job!


[:21]  15:34 – 15:55Chase points finger as Aqe talksCHASE POINTS FINGER AS AQE CHIRPS[:04]  16:11 – 16:15Kat shows blowhole[:02]  16:29 – 16:31

CU of blowhole with sound

KAT:  Why don’t you point your finger at Aqe and see if he makes any noise.

(Aqe talks)

KAT:  Where is Aqe talking from?

KAT:  His mouth?  That’s a good guess, but actually he’s making all those sounds from his blowhole over here.


KAT:  See?  Isn’t that cool?


(Aqe talks again)

[:22]  22:37 – 22:59Chad and Kat[:08]  23:12 – 23:20Chad and Kat[:04]  23:44 – 23:48Chad and Kat

[:02]  23:52 – 24:03

Chad and Kat

[:08]  23:06 – 23:14

Chad and Kat

[:02]  24:21 – 24:26

Chad and Kat

[:02]  24:29 – 24:31

Chad and Kat

[:09]  24:41 – 24:50

Chad and Kat

[:06]  25:16 – 25:22

Chad and Kat

[:03]  29:20 – 29:23

Chad and Kat

[:08]  29:30 – 29:38

Chad and Kat

[:03]  29:48 – 29:51

Chad and Kat

[:16]  30:45 – 31:01

Chad and Kat

[:11]  31:08 – 31:19

Chad and Kat

CHAD:  What is it like being here, working with the animals every single day?KAT:  It’s amazing.  You never get sick of it.  It’s the most amazing thing to come in and interact with animals so long building relationships with.  No matter what kind of day you come in with, it’s always good to see the dolphins.CHAD:  It melts away.  So, one of the things with working with dolphins, you work with these…fish.


KAT:  Alright, well here, we offer them two types of fish.  There is the smaller guy here, this is the capelin and the larger guy here is called a herring.


KAT:   We monitor each fish that the dolphin gets down to the last calorie.


CHAD:  And how many calories we talking about?

KAT:  Anywhere from the younger ones, maybe 4,000 calories, to the ones that are eating more, over 15,000 calories a day.

CHAD:  15,000 calories a day.


CHAD:  That’s a lot of fish.

KAT:  Yep.  Actually, this is restaurant quality fish.  If you wanted to eat one right now, you could.


CHAD:  You dare me to bite into this.

KAT:  I dare you.

CHAD:  You’ve bitten into one of these?

KAT:  Yes.  Absolutely.


KAT:  It’s part of the training initiation.


CHAD:  I’m gonna stop talking about it, I’m just gonna do it.

KAT:  Oh, yeah!!  How’s it taste?

CHAD:  You know what?  It tastes like a sardine.  It’s not bad.


CHAD:  (wipes mouth) You have a breath mint around here?  A tic-tac would be great.  Maybe a box of them.


CHAD:  When someone sees a dolphin out in the wild, what should some of things to keep in mind?


KAT:  Anytime you see a marine animal out in the ocean, or in the intercoastal, or anywhere out in the wild, you need to keep a specific distance away from them.


KAT:  You don’t want to feed them.  They are perfectly capable of feeding themselves.


CHAD:  I’m always so fascinated, fishing in Florida my whole life, catching fish and you cannot catch a dolphin on a hook and line.  They just know that.  They’re so smart, that no matter what man has created, to catch many fish that we catch, a dolphin will not eat that.


KAT:  They’re incredibly capable of adapting to all kinds of different changes in their environment.  That’s why they’re top predators.  They know how to see a situation and manipulate it to their advantage.





VO:  What an incredible encounter it was to see and touch one of the most magnificent animals on the planet.   Since its inception as a pioneering underwater film studio, this Florida treasure has been dedicated to the research, conservation and education of these amazing sea creatures and their marine environment.  What an inspiring and iconic place to bring the family and connect with our neighbors in the sea.   
[:11]36:52 – 37:03Kurt AllenB-ROLL OF OLD MARINELAND PHOTOS  KURT:  A facility like ours we wouldn’t be able to build today if it wasn’t for the history of Marineland and the science and research we founded here that lead us into the progression of our industry as we know it.
[:04]  GRAPHICS – WEBSITE For more information on Marineland, visit our website at How to do florida dot com.


The name Aqe means “storm” in the native Timucuan Indian language because he was born on a stormy Florida day.

OPT. SOUNDBITE ~  38:05  KURT:  It’s not an accident that we’re near the ocean because we actually use natural sea water that gets filtered through the sand to our facility and fill our tanks with 1.3 million gallons of sea water.

CHAD:  That’s a pretty cool fact that there’s pipes that run underground into the ocean, suck water from the ocean, back to the pipes, into the tanks and then back out?


KURT:  It comes from the Atlantic ocean, into the park, and then back out into the intercoastal.  And we’re still using the same piping from 1937, which is amazing.  The technology they built in that time frame was beyond the capabilities of what anybody was building, so they were really revolutionaries in the engineering field. 38:51