Dolphin Debate Heats Up and Eye of the Dolphin is Part of It

by Michael D. Sellers for MovieBank and Quantum Entertainment.Last week I posted a film-makers statement about dolphin issues as they relate to Eye of the Dolphin and wrote that we are starting to get positioned within the debate on dolphin captivity. There are more developments to report.First — I want to make clear that I don’t think this is an esoteric fringe area. With any indie film you need to try every way you can to create a “buzz”. The dolphin captivity issue is one in which there is a genuinely raging debate — one in which there are highly motivated parties on all sides who feel passionately about the issue. Having worked long and hard and, we believe, intelligently to make a meaningful film that addresses these issues, we have a place at the table and we should use that to be heard, keeping in mind that anything bringing awareness to the film helps us — and if we can achieve positive awareness as a film which contributes meaningfully to the debate — so much the better. We will have done something useful for society and helped our films prospects.We need to keep in mind that the expectation among these “dolphin debate” people, mostly scientists and activists, is that any Hollywood film which tackles these issues is likely to be simple-minded and not contribute much to the debate. They assume we didn’t do our homework, and/or that we don’t care enough about the issue to get it right on screen. Thus if we can overcome this expectation, and in fact be regarded as contributing thoughtfully to awareness and, hence, discussion on this topic (which is as much about who we are as human beings as it is about the dolphins and their conditions), then it moves us up a notch in the “get taken seriously” category.So, two things have happened since the last post on this topic.One — I have created a blog (work in progress) specifically for dolphin issues. You can go there and check it out by clicking on this link. Or you can paste in the URL: http://www.moviebankinvestors.typepad.com/eyedolphininfo. There is a revised version of the “film-maker’s statement” I posted here last week, plus there are links to pro and anti-captivity sites, relevant photos, and other resources. And it’s a work-in-progress. We will be making it better as we go forward.Two — I have had some very interesting conversations with Ken LeVasseur, the dolphin researcher whose brilliant work inspired much of the dolphin science content in Eye of the Dolphin. Ken, who is familiar with the script, is now reviewing the film and will be providing comments and, assuming nothing goes amiss in his review of the film, will be helping us get the film into the hands of top dolphin science figures. We should understand going in that we might get our nose bloodied a little bit by this — after all, we did not make the film to please every dolphin captivity opponent or proponent that is out there. But if we can make a little legitimate and intelligent noise within that community, ripples will go out to the rather large community of dolphin enthusiasts and news organizations who follow this kind of thing.I urge you all to go to Ken’s site and read his very compelling work. You can click here to go to the site or type in http://whales7.tripod.com/policies/levasseur/

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~ by Michael Sellers on July 16, 2007.

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