Have you ever wondered what it's like to work behind the scenes on a movie? Lisa Bay Adams has been there and done that. As Director of Marketing & Promotions for Walden Media, she's part of the production company responsible for making Hoot, a movie based on the popular novel by Carl Hiaasen and set in Florida. In the movie, a young boy joins forces with his friends to save some burrowing owls. But Lisa Bay has more than a casual connection to the movie and its theme -- she's a former Florida resident and an adoptive parent of Whiskers the manatee.
"My family moved from upstate New York to Central Florida when I was five years old," says Lisa Bay. "As an elementary school student, I had the opportunity to take a field trip to Silver Springs in Ocala, which is where I had my first encounter with a manatee. This field trip was the first time I got to witness an endangered species, although I had studied about many of them in the classroom."
"I clearly remember being touched by their gentle nature but also confused by all of the scars on their backs. They didn't seem to be aggressive animals, especially after learning they are herbivores. Very concerned, I asked about the scratches (thinking maybe they were birthmarks like mine on my arm), and I was informed that the scars come from motor boats. I learned that because manatees are so large and slow-moving, they often can't get out of the way of the blades. I was so saddened by this reality and as a result, I have since always asked if manatees are in the water whenever riding in a motor boat."
For the production of Hoot, Lisa Bay's tasks have been many and varied. At the beginning of the shoot, she helped to secure owl permits on the set by facilitating communication between the movie's production supervisor and the National Wildlife Federation. She also worked closely with the movie's distributor, New Line Cinema, to insure proper integrated placement for AOL in the movie, as the story line includes an online search for information about burrowing owls.
Logan Lerman as “Roy” with his teacher Mr. Ryan (Jimmy Buffett)
in New Line Cinema’s upcoming mystery adventure, Hoot.
( Photo by Glenn Watson © 2005/New Line Productions)
In addition, Lisa Bay has been working with Girl Scouts, Build-A-Bear, and Target to make sure that Hoot is included in their book clubs. "I recently participated in the American Librarian Association conference in San Antonio, and there was an unbelievable demand for our educational materials," says Lisa Bay. "There seems to be a lot of anticipation for the film, as so many young people have read the book and are looking forward to seeing it on the big screen in April."
A former Marketing Manager of National Promotions at The Walt Disney Studios, education and youth development are also topics that are close to Lisa Bay's heart. Before moving to California, she was an AmeriCorps volunteer in inner-city Atlanta where she served as a teaching assistant and innovator of after-school programs. She's also been a Girl Scout leader and elementary baseball coach.
Now that she resides on the west coast, Lisa Bay is glad to be an adoptive parent of a manatee. "I have always had an appreciation and love of the great outdoors, and I think nature is the most beautiful sanctuary in the world," she says. "Whiskers is a gentle reminder of my childhood youth and my love for the great outdoors as well as our responsibility to share our planet with all creatures great and small."
Read more about Hoot!
Look Mom, I'm On the Web Site!
Whiskers is Lisa Bay Adams' adopted manatee. Whiskers lives in the wild and winters at Blue Spring State Park near Orange City, Florida. Whiskers was born in 1996 and is known to be an exceptionally curious manatee.
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