You would think that being a teacher, mother and grandmother would be enough to keep anyone busy, but Terri Emerson also finds time to be a screenwriter. Her first film entitled “Bernie, the Dolphin” premiered a year ago. Now the sequel has just been released. It premiered in St. Petersburg on Dec. 13, 2019 and is also available on DVD and digital download on demand.
Ms. Emerson remarks, “Writing Bernie 2 was easier than the original because I knew what actors I had and what they could do. It took only a month to write the sequel.”
“Bernie, the Dolphin Part 2” picks up about a year after the setting of the first film and follows the adventures of Holly and Kevin Ryan, two dolphin enthusiasts. Holly has now become an apprentice dolphin trainer at Marineland and Kevin a filmmaker with his own website called “Bernie’s Journey” in which he documents Bernie’s movements.
Eleven year-old Lola Sultan again plays the part of Holly Ryan. During the year between the release of the first movie and the second she has been auditioning for other parts and focusing on school.
Fifteen year-old Logan Allen portrays Kevin. Recently, he’s been working on a series called “Creep Show” broadcast on the streaming service “Shudder.” Kevin has also completed “Sweet Magnolias,” a Netflix movie coming out next year.
Patrick Muldoon reprises his role as the dad, Bob Ryan. Dahlia Legault, who happens to be a graduate of Springstead High School, again portrays the mother, Abby Ryan.
Rounding out the major actors in the cast is Kevin Sorbo reprising his role of Winston Mills, the children’s nemesis. Sorbo has a long history in films – acting in sixty-four movies, as well as producing or directing others. He has just completed a film called “Let There be Light,” in which he plays another “bad guy.”
Not one to be type-cast, Sorbo comments, “I love playing the heroes. For example, I played ‘Hercules’ on TV for seven years.”
Tony Armer, Film Commissioner for Pinellas County, is one of the producers of “Bernie, the Dolphin 2.” He is very enthusiastic about attracting the movie business to the Bay area. Many scenes were shot in Dunedin, while the majority of the movie was filmed at Marineland in St. Augustine.
Immediately following the premiere, there was a question and answer session. The big question on everyone’s mind was “Will there be a Bernie 3?” Marty Poole, co-writer of the script, remarked that it would depend on how successful this film is. Besides traditional marketing, the producers are asking fans to give it plenty of “buzz” on social media.
That shouldn’t be difficult to do. Most animated films are G-rated. However, it is getting more difficult these days to find G-rated live-action dramas, especially those with comedy elements, interesting plots, good acting and good characterization with family-friendly themes that appeal to children and adults.
Terri does not believe in resting on her laurels or taking much of a break from what she loves to do. While on a temporary sabbatical from teaching, she is collaborating with another screenwriter, Valerie Kalfrin, on a romantic comedy. They are hoping that a major family-oriented network will pick it up.
It’s great when a local resident like Terri Emerson accomplishes what many people only dream of. Hopefully, she will continue to have success in pursuing her passion.