August 8, 2011

SPONSORED POST Interview a Dolphin Trainer!

Posted by at 5:17 pm in Book to Big Screen, SPONSORED | Permalink

Dolphin_130x130_sponsoredThis blog post is sponsored by Dolphin Tale.

True story: a dolphin named Winter got its tail caught in a crab trap. It survived but had to have its tail amputated. How can a dolphin swim without a tail? It can’t. . . BUT it got a prosthetic tail and now Winter can swim fine! You can read about the story in a book called Winter’s Tail, and coming in September, you can see the movie based on the story called Dolphin Tale.

If you love dolphins, we have a special surprise for you at the end of this blog post but first, here is Nathan Gamble, the 13-year-old star of the movie to talk about what it was like to make the movie.

Q: Tell me about your character in Dolphin Tale.

Nathan: Sawyer is a pretty shy, a little moody and quiet character. But when he gets committed to an idea he becomes very strong, passionate and dedicated to seeing it to the finish.

Q: Are you similar to him in any ways? In real life, do you think you would be friends?
Nathan: I’m not too much like him, really. I’m pretty outgoing and like to laugh and am pretty social. But I think we might be friends, too, as I would respect his loyalty to his family and his cause. He becomes the kind of person people want to follow in the end.

Q: This movie is based on a true story. Did you meet the real Sawyer Nelson?
Nathan: Well. . . there really wasn’t a Sawyer Nelson. Winter was actually found by an adult. A little creative license, I think.

Q: Which scene was the most fun to shoot? Which scene was the hardest?
Nathan: Filming with Harry Connick, Jr. was really the highlight of the shoot for me. He is such a funny, personable and nice guy. He took me to a Tampa Bay/New Orleans Saints game during the filming in Florida and later he got me a Drew Brees autographed football which was awesome. Hardest? Probably having to hold my breath for so long! And then when it got colder the water was really tough to be in for hours at a time, too.

Q: Can you describe the experience of swimming with a dolphin? What are dolphins like?
Nathan: Well, if you can imagine playing with your dog underwater, that is what it is like. They are so fun-­loving and so affectionate and smart, too. They learn tricks incredibly fast and have a great memory.

Q: What was the most memorable experience you had with Winter, the dolphin?
Nathan: After a while Winter became protective of me so when someone else would come in the pool, Winter would get between me and the new person as if to say, “He’s my buddy, keep your distance, stranger!” That and the fact that Winter never got tired of spitting water in my face, too. And then he’d laugh that crazy, squeaky dolphin laugh. It must have been like a joke that is always funny no matter how many times you hear it, you know?

Oh my goodness! The dolphin was laughing at him?! That’s so cool/crazy!

If you want to know more about dolphins, you’re in luck because. . . the actual dolphin trainers who work with Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida will be here to answer YOUR questions! If you have any questions about Winter’s real life experience with a fake tail, what it’s like to swim with dolphins, or just how awesome it is to work at an aquarium, now is your chance to ask and maybe get your question answered by a real dolphin trainer.

UPDATE: The dolphin trainer from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium replied! You can read her answers to your questions here.

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  1. astronomyable3

    So who was the guy who saved the dolphin and how did he do it?What was his role?Can dolphins also hurt people?Is it safe to go up and start playing with a dolphin in the wild?

  2. catbird108

    That video touched me. At the end of it, I felt an emotion unknown to me. I was ready to cry. I’ve seen dolphins do tricks at shows. Can Winter Do spirals like spinner dolphins?

  3. Mara

    OMG! I cant wait to read the book. I love dolphins so super much and I would do anything to get to meet Winter<3

  4. dancingdancer7

    How old do you have to be to be a vollunteer? Because i’ve studied dolphins and i would love to be around them more:)

  5. Andrea

    Besides Winter’s prosthectic tale, is there anything else that’s different about Winter than any other dolphin?

  6. PinkPanther73

    amazing. i read the book and it was one great book. most people should read it cuz it is sad and happy at the same time. some people would think it is boring but others would just want to read it over and over again. you should comsitter reading the book and let me know on this page. i just love the book.

  7. proudathena3

    Wow!I’ve read the the book,but I can’t wait for the movie.Dolphins are my favorite animals.My fav dolphin species is the “pink bottle-nose dolphin”!

  8. Taffy

    Do Dolphins ever attack people? Whats there regular life span? How do Dolphins sleep in the water? What are Dolphins favorite food? Are there different types of Dolphins, if so what are they ?
    Thnx ♥Taffy

  9. hurricanehands1

    I liked it because whoever made it had good vocabulary
    and checed there spelling so it was good.