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Hoot: One Book/One State
(released 5/24/2005)            Green Room Orlando News Feed Subscribe  
By Kimberly Burke

Hoot booksWriter/Director/Comedian Wil Shriner presented Zak Dahlheimer, a student from Deland, the first place prize of the Read Together contest on May 23, 2005 at the Orange County Library main branch first floor stage. Zak submitted his entry in Governor Bush's Read Together, Florida Essay Contest. The One Book/One State reading promotion participants were asked to read the award winning book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen and then write an alternative ending essay. The first place prize was a walk on role on the movie adaptation of the book Hoot set to start shooting in South Florida on July 6th. (http://browardalliance.org/index_frm.htm see Film TV Commission and then under current productions) In addition to his on screen appearance, Zak received a scholarship for $1,000 and a cash payment to his school St. Peters Catholic School from Read Together sponsor Washington Mutual.

Carl Hiaasen's book Hoot has been written for the screen and will be directed by Wil Shriner. Shriner has had a full career working with the likes of David Letterman, directing for Becker, Frasier, episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond and appearing in his own The Wil Shriner Show. Shriner, a Ft. Lauderdale native, spoke to the press about his desire to fulfill the book's intent as a post card of Florida Life. Shriner (brother of Ken Shriner, Scotty from General Hospital) became involved with Hoot through his dinner buddies Jimmy Buffet and Carl Hiaasen. Buffet bought the rights to his friend Hiaasen's book and Shriner was asked to write it in screenplay form and then bring his vision to the screen as director on the project. Producing partners on the film will be Buffet, and Frank Marshall of the Kennedy/Marshall Company. An additional contribution to this Florida story coming to be is Walden Media and New Line Cinema.

Zak and his winning walk on role is not the only opportunity to appear in this Florida tale. Currently, Director Shriner says the character Roy is being played by Logan Lerman of the former WB show Jack and Bobbie and the film Butterfly Effect. The parts for Mullet fingers and Beatrice have still not been cast. Nationwide casting is being conducted for these characters in the final 7 weeks before the first shots on July 6th, 2005. Shriner says he is open to any kid who thinks they match the characters' size and descriptions portrayed in the book. Orange County Library (http://www.ocls.lib.fl.us) has many copies of the book available for all ages to read. Check it out, read the book, and maybe you or someone you know could be Mullet Fingers or Beatrice in the film.

Liza McFadden, President of the nonprofit Volunteer Florida Foundation, which manages Governor Bush's Family Literacy Initiative and the Read Together, Florida Literacy promotion, also announced the second place winners in the contest as Chase Cicale from Rogers Middle school in Riverview (Tampa Bay) and third pace winner Amber Zarichniak of Sugarloaf Elementary Middle school of Summerland Key. Both students would receive scholarships from Washington Mutual and their schools would receive cash awards. All three winners received a personally inscribed copy of Hoot from Carl Hiaasen. The students' essays will appear in this year's edition of Beginnings, A Journal For First Time Writers, published by the Center for Literary Arts at Miami Dade College. McFadden closed the award presentation with the mental note that one of last year's Read Together One State/One Book selections was also made into a TV film in Florida titled Their Eyes Are Watching God.

To view pictures from the presentation, go to the Photo Seen.






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