Naps, wood stove heat and real food have taken on new value for me during this last week since I arrived home from a month on the Alaska Peninsula, guiding a BBC film crew working on a documentary on brown bears. September is hit or miss for weather in this region-the last 2 years it was pleasant, warm and dry, but this year our crew experienced the gales of October a month early.
The incessant rain and wind made living uncomfortable, but it didn’t slow the cameramen down. The crew, handpicked by the BBC for this project, includes some of the best wildlife cinematographers and producers on earth. Most of the crew made a global name for themselves by contributing to Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, and numerous other “blue-chip” Natural History blockbusters. These are not only the most skilled guys, they are also the toughest. Hurricane force winds, and weeks of living in tents in cold, wet conditions do not phase, slow down or scare these guys.
Check out some footage I shot during one of the numerous storms which battered us during our time in the wilderness on the Alaska peninsula during a particularly stormy autumn, in a land infamous for violently stormy autumns.
It was a huge honor to be working with such a cast and crew of modern legends who dedicate their lives to presenting the natural world to the public in the finest form. The team consisted of Barry Britton (Life of Birds, Planet Earth), Matt Aeberhard (Crimson Wings) Mark Smith( Planet Earth, Frozen Planet) , Rolf Steinmann (North America, Puma, Wild Arabia), remote camera specialists Nick Turner and Tom Hooker (Night), Series Producer and team leader Jeff Wilson (Planet Earth, Frozen Planet), producers Dave Marks (Wild Arabia, Human Planet) , Sam Taylor and Justin Kelly (Gold Rush) all operating the master control of Executive Producer Vanessa Berlowitz (Frozen Planet, Planet Earth). Best of all for me was yet another opportunity to work with my long-time close friend and fellow bear lover Chris Morgan (Bears Of the Last Frontier), a conservationist who has recently become one of the top wildlife film presenters of today. I must also mention the pleasure to work with fellow guides Buck Wilde, Dave Bacharach, John Mitchell and John Hechtel. This was quite a team. I cant discuss any of the details of the production, which should be out this spring, but I can say we obtained footage and perspectives of the grizzly that will stun the millions of viewers who will watch it on BBC, Discovery Channel, and ZDF. As always, the land and the wildlife performed miracles for us. Ill let the images due the talking.
Throughout September I was assigned to guide Rolf Stienman, an up-in-coming legend of the industry from Germany. He is currently the only wildlife cameraman who uses the Alexa Arry, a camera normally used for cinema productions. It is quite a challenge to operate this monster of a camera in the field, but the quality of his work is superior. Check out his blog post describing the project.