When Charles Martin Smith was hired as director of the new movie “Dolphin Tale,” he immediately flew to Florida to visit Winter the dolphin, an ocean rescue who lost her tail and was fitted with a prosthetic by her human family. The scene he saw there would set the tone for the entire movie.
“There was this kid about six who had lost a leg to cancer; he had been going through intense treatment. His mother had brought him there and he was allowed to swim with Winter,” Smith told me last week by phone, “I watched her around him, she echolocated around the leg and the prosthetic. She understands, I think. And I just watched how tender she was with him and how moved the boy was and how moved the mother was. I wanted to try to capture some of that.”