HTDF Airboat in Everglades

PRODUCTION   SCRIPT

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B-ROLL EVERGLADES

B-ROLL OLD AIRBOATS

B-ROLL NEW AIRBOATS

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VO: There are so many different ecosystems here in Florida…but the most famous by far is the Florida Everglades. This beautiful “river of grass” takes up nearly all of the southern part of Florida and is home to so many unique creatures.

Long ago, we couldn’t venture out very far to experience this magnificent environment. Handmade crafts with huge fan motors were created to glide around the shallow waters and deep, sticky mud. Today’s sophisticated airboats haven’t changed too much from the original designs from the past.

MAP/GRAPHICS[:25] VO: Today, we headed just a half hour west of Miami to Coopertown – population eight (humans anyway) to experience an airboat ride in the Everglades and check out some gators. This former Seminole Indian village is only four acres, yet attracts about 50,000 visitors a year with their airboat rides, fresh frog legs and gator nuggets. It doesn’t get any more Florida than this.
01:02:41-01:02:56[:15] CHAD: When you come to Coopertown, you got to get your gator swat…your hat, your squeaky toy, your foot. Gotta have ‘em.
B-ROLL JESSE[:15] VO: Meet Jesse Kennon.   Airboat franchise owner, former gator wrestler, and the mayor of Coopertown himself. When he’s not performing his mayoral duties, he’s out in the ‘glades showing the incredible wildlife people from all over the world come to see.
CHAD AND JESSE34:12-34:54

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B-ROLL SAWGRASS

CHAD: It’s gorgeous out here, Jesse.JESSE: It’s kind of a nice area to work in.

CHAD: you got quite the cubicle out here. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. All these cattails out here and I guess all that sawgrass, miles and miles of sawgrass.

JESSE: A lot of miles of it, yeah. We got about 10,000 miles of it in the Everglades, here.

CHAD: Oh, ho man.   It’s quite the workspace.

CHAD AND JESSE17:11-17:36

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19:23-19:47

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CHAD: So, Jesse, somebody wants to come out here and do this, where should they start?JESSE: First, if you’re wanting like a personalized thing, find a reputable guide that has had experience…and a lot of time out here.

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CHAD: So, a reputable guide service, wear something comfortable, water, suntan lotion. What about cameras?

JESSE: Definitely take your cameras because you’re definitely going to see a lot of things and you’ll be very disappointed if you didn’t take your camera.

30:49-31:54[1:05]

B-ROLL ALLIGATORS

CHAD: So, when you see an alligator out on the river or where ever you are, observe, don’t disturb.   Don’t feed them, don’t touch them, just look at them. And they’re absolutely marvelous creatures. I mean, if you really look at the alligator and how long it’s been earth, it’s ability to survive, you know, in these kind of conditions, the top of the food chain, it’s a pretty remarkable animal.JESSE: It is ‘cause what you gotta realize is from the age of the dinosaur, he hasn’t changed. He hasn’t gone through a great evolution.   The only thing is he went from 60 feet down to ten feet. Thank goodness, ‘cause 60 foot alligator today we’d have a problem.

CHAD: We’d need a bigger boat, right?

[Jaws SFX]

35:50-36:13[:23]

36:41-37:09

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CHAD: Jesse, how important is the airboat in Florida in terms of just transportation and getting around?JESSE: It’s very important because there are areas you can’t get into without an airboat. That’s the only way you’re going to get in there. It’s very important for rescue.

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CHAD: Well, what a great way to get tourists to see the real Florida. To get in an airboat and come out here in the Everglades and see what it’s made up mostly Florida is mostly stuff like this, marshes, everglades, you know, makes up a big part of Florida.

37:54-37:57[:03]

38:10-38:16

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41:21-41:41

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B-ROLL OF OLD PHOTOS OF CHAD’S GRANDFATHER AND HIS AIRBOAT

41:58-42:14

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JESSE: Well, it’s pretty unique…

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JESSE: …and, if you really look at it, you’re flying an airplane right on the ground.

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CHAD: Well, I know, growing up, my grandfather had an airboat and he built the boat out of wood and an old airplane engine and then, he used to run the St. Johns river.

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CHAD: And, as a kid being so fascinated with that boat. And when I finally got to go on it and it was just this out of body experience being out there with my Granddaddy.

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44:54-45:23[:29]

FYI-FACTS: Airboats do not have brakes and cannot go in reverse.

45:28-45:46

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45:54-46:14

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46:24-47:00

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47:11-47:15

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47:35-47:43

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CHAD: (big pause) Do you mind if I drove it?JESSE: These don’t handle it like a regular boat does. Little bit of unique as to the way they handle.

CHAD: I’m a quick study, Jes.

JESSE: Well, you got a little bit of boat experience, which isn’t bad, but it still handles differently.

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CHAD: Well, give me the 101. Let’s just see what we are dealing with here.

JESSE: Lemme give you a rough idea. So, basically you got the accelerator on the floor, just like an accelerator on a car or whatever else.

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JESSE: This is your controls. It’s like a rear rudder on an aircraft. When you push forward, you’re going to go on your right, when you pull back, you’re going to go on your left. Don’t do extreme movements.

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JESSE: If it starts going someplace, you just move a little bit and see what your reaction is, don’t do this because the next thing know you’re going…wheew… wheewww…one side to the other side. And that’s what you don’t want. And, everything’s going to go off the back, because when you return move this rudder that prop blast moves back in the round. It’s not like a steering wheel on the front of your car.

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JESSE: You wanna try this thing?

CHAD: I do.

JESSE: OK.

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CHAD: Let’s go airboating.   Jesse’s gonna let me drive. Ahhh!

B-ROLL OF AIRBOAT RIDING

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Montage airboat riding
B-ROLL OF AIRBOAT RIDING

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VO: If you ever get a chance to ride an airboat, I highly recommend it. The experience was like no other. It’s a great to open up to an incredible world we rarely get to see, with the wind in your face and a smooth ride…well, except for the occasional bump here and there.
BEN STATING IN MUDDY WATER48:46-48:53

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MATT: Are you okay, man?BEN: Sorry about your camera, man.
B-ROLL OF BEN CRAWLING BACK INTO BOAT

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CHAD HOSING DOWN BEN
52:39-52:50

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VO: Yes, unfortunately our cameraman was hanging off the side of the boat to get a shot when we hit a bump, but all in all it was still a fantastic experience.

CHAD: Look at that mud!   I hope that’s mud.

(laughter)

B-ROLL OF BEN FALLING, MUDDY CAMERA, GETTING HOSED DOWN
WEBSITE
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Check out our bloopers, plus info on airboats and the Everglades on our website at How To Do Florida dot com.
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