This episode was filmed on location around Lake Louisa in Lake County, (central) Florida.

Lake Louisa is located on the northeast of Green Swamp, which is one of the largest wetlands in the State, second only to the Everglades. The Green Swamp covers 870 square miles through five counties and offered us plenty of authentic Florida foliage and wildlife.



Can you spot the gator above?
The young alligators seen in this film were not in captivity, but were wild alligators we encountered while on location. Getting footage of these animals can be difficult as, contrary to popular belief, they have a natural fear of humans and will flee at the first sound or site of someone approaching or even worse, they instinctively freeze and can lie motionless or underwater for over an hour.



When an alligator freezes, it is a master of camouflage and can be nearly invisible among the debris of the swamp floor. Many times during shooting we stood for hours in an area in search of gators, only to discover there were two or three small ones within feet of where we stood. Needless to say, filming wild alligators is no easy task.

For comedy purposes, we pictured Erwin Marlin in lumberjack flannels and a winter hat, regardless of what part of the world he was in.

Now, all of the location shooting was done in the last weeks of August, 2002. If you can imagine wearing a heavy flannel shirt and a ski cap for over twelve hours in the 98 degree Florida summer sun and ninety percent humidity of a Florida wetland, then you can sympathize with our principle actor, Darrell Smith.

Though many of the effects elements were created in a computer, all of the scenic elements were natural.

The tree Erwin exited as a port-a-john was not a prop we built, but a living cypress tree whose inner cavity was temporarily exposed due to low water levels. With the return of the rains in the fall, this shot would now be impossible as the tree cavity is now beneath the lake water.

 

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